How long have you lived in the Lehigh Valley?
A little over three years now.
I have two little girls – Natalie, 8 and April, 5.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m very introverted, which surprises a lot of people because I’m not at all shy. I absolutely love working with people, but I definitely need my down time with a good book and a hot cup of tea.
What is your favorite family activity in the Lehigh Valley?
We love visiting the Wildlands Conservancy in Emmaus. The scenery is just beautiful. We usually pack a picnic lunch, and then climb some trees and walk the trails!
Favorite place to eat in the Lehigh Valley with kids? Without?
With or without kids, our favorite place to eat is Gio Italian Grill in Macungie. It’s by far the best pizza we’ve found since moving from NYC. Our other go-to choices are the salmon and the gnocchi with spinach sauce. Just talking about it is making me hungry!
What’s been the best piece of advice you’ve received from another mother?
It’s ok not to enjoy every single moment. We all love our kids more than anything, but parenting is hard, and we need to acknowledge that, too. We can feel both simultaneously, and it doesn’t make us ungrateful – it makes us human.
Tell us about Jen Grima Photography!
I started Jen Grima Photography about a decade ago, and quickly realized I wanted to do things differently than most other photographers. I had a desire to use my camera to tell stories, to capture real life in an honest way. Using the principles of photojournalism, I started photographing families and children the same way I did street photography – no posing, no props – just genuine, candid images of kids being themselves. Real life is not perfect, and I wanted my work to reflect that. I also wanted to show that our everyday lives are worth remembering, and are just important as the big moments. My approach creates a relaxed, fun, and stress-free environment to capture those day-to-day moments we all want to remember.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
I love meeting new people and hearing their stories, and I feel very lucky that so many families have trusted me to capture those memories for them. I’ve also been honored to have my work displayed in local galleries, like The Banana Factory in Bethlehem. In recent years I’ve started working with local small businesses, artists, and entrepreneurs, providing them with documentary style images they can use to market and promote their work. They way the Lehigh Valley community has welcomed me and valued my work means the absolute world to me.