a picture of success
BY TERI WILLIAMS | PHOTOS BY PIX PHOTOGRAPHY
HARD WORK, DETERMINATION AND A BIG VISION HELPED
JESSLYN JOHNSON DISCOVER HER TRUE GIFT WHILE BUILDING A
SUCCESSFUL, LONG-STANDING BUSINESS IN TOOMBS COUNTY.
“Mama, what is film?”
Jesslyn stopped. For a moment, she was speechless. Sure, she knew
firsthand just how much the world of photography had changed since she
first followed William Ledford out on a ballfield at the Rec Department to
shoot pictures of young athletes. But the idea that her then fourteen-year-old
daughter Josie had never even seen a negative or loaded 35 mm film into the
back of a camera was surreal. Especially when her own mama had been a
professional photographer for over thirty years.
Her daughter’s question reminded Jesslyn that she was an anomaly. While
photography and frame shops were closing shops all over the country in the
evolution of film photography to digital, Pix Photography and Pix One-Hour
Photography and Gifts was one of the oldest businesses in the county still in
When twenty-one-year-old Jesslyn first approached Veterinarian Reid
McArthur and Editor and Publisher of The Advance newspaper, William
Ledford, about working for them, they were skeptical. Not only was she
mighty young to be given charge of their new business venture, a one-hourphoto
shop named Pix, the file label for pictures at the newspaper, Jesslyn
knew nothing about photography.
She didn’t roam the fields as a child taking pictures of flowers and
butterflies or spend hours locked away in a dark room fascinated with the
magic of developing pictures. She just needed a job. After two years at ABAC,
she had decided to come home until she could figure out what she wanted to
do with her life. Her plan had been nursing school until the reality of listening
to people describe their ailments all day really kicked in. In the meantime,
Jesslyn told her then brother-in-law, William Ledford, she just needed a job.
And if the guy he and Reid had hired to run it had not decided to change the
oil in his car instead of come to work that day, things might have turned out
Hometown Living At Its Best 71