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What is Tread Brightly?

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

Tread Brightly is truly a lot more than a media company. It is an ideology and way of life.

Tread Brightly was first thought of in 2014 when our founder, Jessica, was living in Europe as an English teacher and hobbyist travel/documentary photographer.

Having always dreamt of being a National Geographic published photographer, & journalist, she used her free time and spending money as a teacher to travel as much as possible, often solo, taking literally thousands of photos along the way. She rode camels in Morocco, went dancing in Prague, and got on several buses heading the wrong direction in Istanbul.

Traveling alone, one learns to rely on the kindness of others. Having grown up in the US with narratives that "everyone is out to get you" and "other places are incredibly dangerous," she had to see for herself, and in turn attempt to show others, that the world, yes, has a lot of danger and you must be discerning, but also the world is full of good, kind, positive people willing and even enthusiastic to help each other when needed. The world is full of paradoxes and complexities and if we can at least not contribute to the negativity, we can leave the world a little bit better through our work and our compassionate hearts.

As an English teacher of students from age 6 to 60, Jessica was endlessly speaking with people from various walks of life. With students from Japan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Colombia, former Eastern Germany, & just about any other country you can name, she learned more with an open mind, heart, & ears than any news program or documentary could convey. Living abroad for 4 years, studying languages and culture and history, one learns that we all have far more in common than we do different. And should we not listen to each other, we are simply doomed to repeat the deepest mistakes of our histories.

"Tread Brightly," coming from a phrase Jessica coined as her way of traveling through the world as a positive beam of light, is meant to convey the same feelings of "leave no trace" camping and other traveler's mottos: that we can do all things with a positive, uplifting energy, and that we might leave all those with whom we interact in a better, lighter, more empowered state than we found them.

Tread Brightly Media's core is founded on this principle.

People often ask me how or why I do weddings, concerts, events, AND documentary storytelling. I am often told I should make multiple websites. But to me, there is very little difference in the TYPE of project I am taking on as a photographer or videographer. The "what" (if you are a big Simon Sinek fan like me) is hardly consequential. The "WHY" is the important bit. And the WHY is to spread joy, creativity, and empowerment to those seeking to have a story or a moment documented and shared.

And that I can always do with enthusiasm and positivity.

Thank you for reading.

Tread brightly, fellow wanderers.


Female photographer takes pictures in canyon, Morocco
Jess in Morocco, c. 2015.

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