Children’s Learning Center Teacher Misty Jones uses pictures to connect with children and adults. Inside her pre-K classroom, images of super heroes delight her young students. Outside the classroom, it’s the pictures Misty captures with her camera that impact those who see her work.
Not bad for someone who is self-taught and began with a used Canon® camera just six years ago. She started taking photos of her children and family (pictured above: daughter, Ashten, 11; husband, Jason and son Brant, 14 ) and quickly expanded beyond her Kansas City home. She now uses her day off as “Camera Therapy Day,” where she grabs her coffee and camera and starts driving. She stops when something catches her eye. “I never go with the idea of finding a specific thing because I will never find it,” Misty said. “I may go to the same park 20 times and finally take a photo.”
Misty’s interest in what she photographs varies and includes people, nature, old buildings, horses, cowboys, historical reenactments, old time bank robbers, and anything with wheels or an engine. “I love being creative with my images. Ultimately, a well-captured image represents a moment in time that is expressed infinitely and that’s enough reason for me to hang a camera around my shoulders wherever I go,” Misty said. Sometimes, she captures images without ever leaving her Suburban.
“I’m a tourist in my own city, and I encourage everyone to explore where they live. Wrong turns can lead to a beautiful thing or a bad part of town,” she laughed. Misty believes much of photography is part luck and part being in the right place at the right time.
Her favorite place to shoot is Belvoir Winery, located in the former Odd Fellows Home, in Liberty because she always finds something unique or different, including ghosts. One of her photos depicts an apparition behind a young girl. Other favorite spots are Weston and Atchison.
Misty promotes herself as Rebel Jones Photography, and it’s a name that fits her edgy style. “I have grown into the name with my experience and the confidence I have gained,” Misty said. A self-described shy personality, Misty’s severe hearing loss and subsequent hearing aids added to her quiet demeanor. Photography helped her gain confidence in herself and her abilities. “I always tell people that I didn’t find photography. Photography found me.”
Photography took Misty outside of her comfort zone. For three years, she was the official photographer for Big River Ranch. She first had to win over the ranch owner and prove a “city girl” could take photos with horses stampeding towards her. The owner is now one of her biggest fans.
Many fans appreciate Misty’s creative work. In fact, a representative of the Muchnic Gallery in Atchison, KS, recently asked to display her photos during a two-month exhibition called Breaking Illusions. Opening night proved so successful attendance broke gallery records. “I cried when I saw everyone who came to support me. Seeing my photos displayed was different than when they are on my laptop or office floor,” Misty said.
Ask Misty which is her favorite photo of the hundreds she has taken and she smiles, “It’s the one I will take tomorrow.”