I became passionate about photography over a decade ago when I began taking pictures of my son, Aidan, who has a genetic condition that causes significant intellectual and physical challenges (STXBP1 deletion). Because of this, his speech is unintelligible, but he has lots to say! I photographed the things he was doing and what he enjoyed so he could share this information with peers and teachers at school.  It gave him a voice; sharing his interests and helping others realize all that he was capable of doing.  The power of these photographs made clear to me their value as a tool for communication, advocacy, and empowerment.  My love for the technical, artistic, and humanitarian aspects of photography soon developed and has been a true passion ever since. I am, more recently, the founder and director of the non-profit, AbleVoices. Our organization teaches photography to people with disabilities as a means for self-expression, empowerment, and advocacy.
Whether I am photographing my son to help aid in his communication, helping to visually amplify the voices of people with disabilities, or developing my own personal or professional projects, it is continually evident to me that the art and craft of photography is profoundly impactful to serve as a vehicle to “do good” for individuals and the community.  Ultimately, I strive to use my work to make a tangible contribution in this way. 
I often have my camera when I am doing the things I enjoy... being a mom, running, advocating for people with disabilities, and teaching photography as a tool for expression to underrepresented groups. 
See below for CV.  


-  M.Ed., Masters of Secondary Special Education and Transition, University of Kansas
-  A.A.S., Visual Communications, Photography, Nashville State Community College
-  Teacher Certification, Secondary Education, Michigan State University
-  B.S., Biology major, Chemistry minor, Michigan State University

Professional Experience

-  Founder and Executive Director, AbleVoices, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, 2018-present
-  Teaching Artist, Borderless Arts Tennessee, 2017-present
-  Freelance Photographer, 2014-present
-  Tutor, 2005-2018
-  High School Science Teacher, 1996-2004

Other Experience

-  Statewide Planning and Policy Council (SPPC), Advocate for Adults Appointment, TN Department of       Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 2021-present
-  The Arc Tennessee, Board of Directors, Public Awareness Committe Chair, 2019-present
-  tnAchieves, TN Promise Student Mentor, Classes of 2019 and 2020
-  Leadership Brentwood alumnus, Williamson County Chamber Foundation, Class of 2019
-  PhotoVoice training, PhotoVoice, London, England, April 2018
-  STXBP1 Foundation, South East regional leader, 2019-present
-  The Arc Williamson County, Board of Directors and Past President, 2015-2019
-  Special Education Parent Advisory Council, Williamson County Schools, founding member, 2008-present
-  Partners in Policymaking Leadership Institute, TN Council on Developmental Disabilities, Class of 2007

-  Williamson Home Page, "2021 Influencers: Jen Vogus," October 2021, article
-  Brentwood Lifestyle magazine, "Life in Pictures," March 2021, article
-  Costco Connection magazine, "Catalysts for Change," December 2020, article
-  Williamson County Homepage, "Photography program for students with disabilities helps to give them a new perspective on life,"  
   September 2019, article
-  Brentwood Homepage, "Photographer Who Gave Voice to her Son; January Artist," December 2018, article
-  The Tennessee Magazine, "An Eye for Hidden Treasure," November 2018, article
-  InFocus, "Grant to Benefit WCS Transition II Students," Williamson County Schools, October 2018, article
-  The Arc TN Connection, "From Around the State," Fall 2018
-  Nashville Arts Magazine, "June Art Crawl Guide: Franklin Art Scene," June 2018, article
-  Franklin Homepage, "'Photovoice' Empowers Special Ed Students Toward Self Expression," May 1, 2018, article
-  InFocus, "Centennial High Transition II Students Create Photography Exhibit", Williamson County Schools, April 2018, article
-  The Arc TN Connection, “From Around the State,” Spring 2018
-  InFocus, "Woodland Middle Students Combine Science and Art," Williamson County Schools, December 2018
-  Williamson Herald,“Service Dog Photograph Sales Benefit Local Non-profit,” October 2017, article
-  Tennessee Register, “Mom of Child who does not Speak Finds His Voice in a Camera,” September 2017
-  Brentwood Homepage, “Local Photographer Captures Essence of Service Dogs in County Library Exhibit,” July 2017,  article

-  Breaking Ground, Annual Arts Issue, TN Council on Developmental Disabilities, "I AM DETERMINED!" February 2021
-  Breaking Ground, TN Council on Developmental Disabilities, "Finding Silver Linings: how the Vogus family navigates COVID-19,"
   May Cover Story 2020
-  Kindred Stories, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Civic Engagement and Disability, February 2020
-  Breaking Ground, TN Council on Developmental Disabilities, "AbleVoices: Photography for Self-Expression, Empowerment, and Advocacy," 
   September Cover Story, 2019, article
-  Hawks Hope, University of Kansas, Department of Special Education, "From Aidan to AbleVoices," January 2019, article 
-  Breaking Ground, Annual Arts Issue, TN Council on Developmental Disabilities, “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: 
   Using Photography to Help My Son Communicate,” January-March 2018, article
-  Breaking Ground, TN Council on Developmental Disabilities, “Connecting Special Education Families, Educators, and the
   Community in Williamson County,” April 2012
Presentations / Lectures

-  "From Aidan to AbleVoices: Disability Advocacy through Storytelling and Collaboration," Tennessee Disability Megaconference Keynote address, October 2021
-  "Photography for Self-Expression," National Arts Education Association annual convention, March 2021
-  "Able Voices: Photography for Self-Expression, Empowerment, and Advocacy," Pushing Boundaries: A Big Ideas Event, The Arc Tennessee,
   February 2020
-  "Able Voices: Photography for Self-Expression, Empowerment, and Advocacy," Council for Exceptional Children, National Conference, 
   Portland, OR, February 2020
-  "Able Voices: Photography for Self-Expression, Empowerment, and Advocacy," 4th Annual Inclusion Summit, Western Carolina University, 
   June 2019
-  "Able Voices: Photography for Self-Expression, Empowerment, and Advocacy," Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Vanderbilt University,
-  "Able Voces: Photography for Self-Expression, Empowerment, and Advocacy," Tennessee Disability Mega Conference, May 2019, 
   Nashville, TN
-  "Able Voices: Photography for Self-Expression, Empowerment, and Advocacy," Partners in Education (PIE) conference, 
   TN Department of Education, January 2019, Nashville, TN
-  "Photography Talks: Deepening Personal Expression by Amplifying the Voice of Others," The Arts Council of Williamson County,
   January 2019, Franklin, TN
-  "Saturday Morning Run: A Year in Photographs," Brentwood Photography Group, October 2018, Brentwood, TN
-  "A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Amplifying the Voice of People with Disabilities," TASH National Conference, November 2018, 
   Portland, OR
-  "A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Amplifying the Voice of People with Disabilities," The Arc National Convention, November 2018
-  “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Amplifying the Voice of People with Disabilities,” Tennessee Disability Mega Conference,
   May 2018, Nashville, TN
- “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Amplifying the Voice of People with Disabilities,” Partners in Policymaking 23rd Annual Reunion 
   conference, TN Council on Developmental Disabilities, March 2018, Nashville, TN
-  “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Amplifying the Voice of People with Disabilities,” The Future of Disability: a Big Ideas Event,
   The Arc Tennessee, February 2018, Nashville, TN
 - “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Amplifying the Voice of Students with Disabilities,” Partners in Education (PIE) conference, 
   TN Department of Education, Feb. 2018, Nashville, TN
 - “Promoting Collaborations Between Families and School Systems,” Partners in Policymaking 18th Annual Reunion conference, Director of
   Special Education for Williamson County Schools, TN Council on Developmental Disabilities, March 2012, Nashville, TN
Exhibits and Awards

-  Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, "I am Determined: Photographs of Strengths, Commitment, and Passion," with graphic artist Chuck Eiler,
-  Aspire Springfield, solo show, "Saturday Morning Run," January-April 2020
-  Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, solo show, "Kindred Stories: Civic Engagement and Disability," January-April 2020
-  The Parthenon Museum, "From Aidan to AbleVoices," Nashville, TN, November 2019-February 2020
-  Williamson County Public Library, solo show, "Saturday Morning Run," October-November 2019
-  John P. Holt Brentwood Public Library, "Saturday Morning Run," Solo show, January 2019
-  Society of Nashville’s Artistic Photographers, Annual Exhibit, Nashville Gordon JCC, 2018
-  Society of Nashville's Artistic Photographers, "Motion," Lexus of Nashville, August-December 2018.
-  Society of Nashville's Artistic Photographers, "A Sense of Place," Hotel Preston, July 2018.
-  Chromatics Gallery, "Minimalism," June-August, 2018
-  South x Southeast Photogallery, "Flora & Fauna," August 2018, Molina, GA
-  PhotoVoice Member Exhibit, Photofusion Gallery, London, England,  January-February 2018 
-  Brentwood Photography Group, Franklin City Hall, Franklin, TN. April-May 2018
-  American Advertising Federation Nashville, Student ADDY award, 2018
-  “Doggone Good!” Solo Traveling Show.  Vanderbilt Kennedy CenterScarritt Bennett Center, Nashville Public Library- Green Hills, 
   Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC), 2018
-  Society of Nashville’s Artistic Photographers, “Landmarks,” Nashville Public Library- Green Hills, March 2018
-  “Rising Strong Together!” Disability Mega Conference Art Exhibit, May 2018. Nashville, TN
-  Williamson County Fair, Cultural Arts Competition, Photography Awards: two 1st place, a 2nd place, and a 3rd place in the
   open/professional, 2017
-  Society of Nashville’s Artistic Photographers Annual Exhibit, Nashville Gordon JCC, 2017
-  Chromatics Gallery, “Captured Emotions,” 2017
-  Society of Nashville’s Artistic Photographers, “Work,” 2017
-  Tennessee State Fair, Creative Arts Competition, “Photography Merit Award” and “Best in Show- Black & White”awards. Other awards: 
   three 1st place and a 2ndplace in the open/professional category, 2017
-  “Doggone Good!” solo Traveling Exhibit.  Williamson County Public Library, Franklin City Hall, Brentwood Library, 
   Williamson County Community Services, 2017         
-  Photographer’s Forum, 37th Annual Spring Photography Competition, Finalist, 2017
-  Court of Honor, Scott Kelby Lynnville Photo Walk 2017, Williamson County Public Library, Columbia Market Square, and Lynnville City Hall.
-  Society of Nashville’s Artistic Photographers, “Perspective,” Gordon JCC, 2017


-  Arts and Business Council of Greater Nashville (ABC), member
-  Center for Nonprofit Management (CNM), member
-  National Association of Arts Educators (NAEA), member
-  Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), member
-  Society of Nashville’s Artistic Photographers (SNAP), member
-  Brentwood Photography Group (BPG), member
-  TASH, member
-  Professional Photographers of America (PPA), member
-  Professional Photographers of Middle Tennessee (PPMT), member
-  Arts Council Williamson County, member
-  PhotoVoice.org, member
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