Story by Megan Schneider
On March 25, Jen Edney, from the Marian Class of 2001, visited the Block A J1 class to give a small talk on her career choice and life journey. Edney is a full-time adventure photographer, specifically finding her niche in sailing and storytelling.
“I really started as one of the only sailboat photographers,” Edney said. Without a mentor or rules to follow, Edney could do her own thing.
Edney surprisingly was not a journalism photographer during her time at Marian. Edney did not discover photography, more specifically graphic design, until she was a student at Creighton University in Omaha. “All of my family worked in the medical field, so I thought that was what I wanted to do, but I was wrong.”
When she joined the program at Creighton she loved that her artistic side could shine, and she felt she had found something she could really grow with.
Edney has had to learn to thrive in the face of adversity. She attributes her success to “the value and deep respect [she has] for relationships and the tribe that [she has] built along the way.” Sailing around the world has proven to be difficult at times, as it is “just you, your crew, and the ocean,” Edney said.
Her first big break came from covering Zac Sunderland, a 16-year old who was trying to solo-circumnavigate the world. She met Zac in La Cruz, Mexico, and her journey back to the US from South Africa proved to be what lit her passion on fire.
Edney plans to continue sailing and take every opportunity she can to get out and see the world. Her advice for the girls at Marian is to, “always do your best, always do what’s right and always treat people the way you want to be treated. Work hard, play harder and laugh a lot.”
Edney was recently named to a list of the “Nine Top Female Adventure Photographers” by National Geographic. With more than 40,000 nautical miles sailed while visiting more than 30 countries, Edney certainly displays an adventurous spirit.
To see more of her work or reach out, her Instagram is @edneyepics