Meet my talented friend Jess Legaspi
I have been in love with Jess's work for quite some times. She has even contributed to some of our product photos (see here). Her style is what I am drawn to. She manages to create drama in her edits & mystery in her photos. The combination is perfection!
Given all the hard work and hours involved in the photography business would you choose this line of work again?
Yes, I enjoy working for myself. I love being home with my kids when I want to be. I like that I get to set my own schedule!
Lessons learned from your years of experience: what mistakes have you made that you would never repeat?
One lesson I would never repeat is not believing in myself. I spent some time knowing what I wanted to focus on and be good at, but I was afraid to move forward because I would think that I wasn’t the best or I wasn’t good enough or I didn’t know what I was doing. Stop believing the lies and set out for what you are called to do!
If you could change one thing about the industry what would that be?
I would change every photographer to valuing actual print products. In this digital age, it’s really easy to give digitals to clients. However, I fear that those lovely photos will stay forever put away on a HD somewhere or forgotten long ago on social media. I love that I have 50, 60, 70+ year old photographs to look at of my ancestors! It’s an amazing feeling to hold a photographic print in my hand that was created 70 years ago with these relatives I never had the chance to meet; I value the craftsmanship that goes in to this art. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t give digital images, but I certainly believe that prints need to make a come back!
Has your contract had to change over the years as you have learned of sticky situations with a client?
Yes! It’s always, always, ALWAYS important to have a contract. Not just to cover your butt. This is a valuable communication to clients as to what they can expect from me and from the experience of working with me.
What types of shoots have you vowed you would never do again?
I have vowed to never photograph newborns, families, and children again!
Do you have an absolute favorite photo you have taken that you feel you knocked the socks off of? If so, please provide and describe why it moves you.
OK, one of my very favorite photographs is this one from a senior session last year.
I absolutely adore this image of Mikayla that I took last year. There is a deep connection in her eyes. It really stopped me right in my tracks. The catchlights in her eyes, the tones, the sunset glowing, the sunflowers. Everything! This picture actually placed in the top 100 for Senior in the Shoot & Share Contest last year.
What do you do to make sure people identify you with your images, and I don't mean watermarking, I mean putting your own personality to your photographs? Is it editing, shooting style, sass or other?
I’ll be honest, I’m not really sure what it is that might be my signature for people to recognize my photos. I’ve had people tell me from the beginning of my photography journey that I can bring out their personality in a photo. Maybe that is it. Although, it’s only recognizable to those that know the subject!
What is a real day like in the world of you? Be honest, are you in jammies til 2pm like me?
Ok, a real day in my life as a work at home mom of a 2 and 7 year old... I don’t get much work done until the late morning because my daughter starts school at 9:15. I’m NOT a morning person. My goal is to get to emails, communications, important + urgent things that need to be done right away after school drop off. Then, I spend some time with my little boy until lunch and nap time. Nap time is work time for me. This is when I get the majority of my work done! I spend a lot of time working in my underwear unless I really have to be somewhere!
What is the number one piece of advice that you would give to someone just starting out?
My number 1 piece of advice to photographers that are just starting out is: get legit from the beginning! Get your business license, tax ID, pay your taxes!, and be professional.
(Colorvale suggests thelawtog for contracts, business advice, tax info & more)
What changes have you had to make over the years to stay at the top end of the industry?
Some changes I’ve made to stay at the top of my game are education and specialization. It’s important to always be growing, learning. There is always more than can be done to better my craft, my communication skills, and the experience I offer to my clients. I specialize in photographing women and weddings because that is what I love and am most passionate about! It spills out through my social media and interactions with my clients. This gives them confidence in my abilities, and they trust me to do my job well because I am not a jack of all trades - master of none.
Would you change your style if given the opportunity or do you feel boxed in to what you have always done?
I believe my style gradually changes over time as I continue learning new skills. I think it should change as a sign of growth!
Check out more of Jess's work here