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Art & Life with Jean Marshall

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jean Marshall.

Jean, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I have been on this planet for just over half a century and I have seen a lot of things come and go so brief will be difficult. But I got my start in life as a fashion model. I was discovered in the clubs of LA by a couple of agencies one was East West and the other was LA Models. Which is the one I choose to best represent me. LA Models sent me to Europe, I went to London, Paris and Milan. I stayed there for 3 months to build my portfolio and then came home. After being home for about a year, I packed my bags and moved to Italy and lived there for 11 years. So, I basically got my start in front of a camera as the subject before I became a photographer.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I have worked in fashion, beauty and entertainment most of my life after leaving Europe in 1998 I went back to Los Angeles to be close to my dad and aging grandmother and I got a job working for a dotcom company producing and directing shows for the Internet and directing the Miss Beverly Hills Pageant. But after the tragedy of 911 there wasn’t much happening in LA in the form of fashion or beauty and I was forced to look elsewhere for a job. Unable to find a job in Los Angeles I moved back to Orange County where I’m from and got into the mortgage business like everyone else. Needless to say, that went in the same direction as the dotcom boom and once again I was without a career. My heart yearned for my years that I have spent in some sort of creative industry since I was a teen, I use to beat myself up for leaving the industry that I know and love so well but I had been out of the game since 2003 and didn’t know where to pick up the pieces.

I love to hike and spend time in nature and that was sort of my creative outlet and I would take photos of flowers and landscapes with a point and shoot camera. My friends noticed my work as an amateur fine art photographer and stared asking me if I would take pictures of them and/or their family. With much reluctance I agreed. After all, taking pictures was just a hobby and something I did for my soul. To my shock and great pleasure, I immediately discovered I was really good at it. Even with my little Panasonic point and shoot. The next thing I know people just kept asking if I would photograph them and it just took off from there. I started doing a lot of fashion photo shoots since that is my background and I enjoy being able to have creative control and I love when I find someone who just completely trust my process and my concepts. The results allow my viewers to get a little in my mind and see how it works. I see and think in pictures. I always have been a visual person, I just can’t believe it took me so long to figure out that being a professional photographer was and is the natural progression from modeling.

How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
Well when I decided to make professional photography my full-time business I told myself and a couple of other people just for accountability purposes that I was going to give myself 90 days of just marketing like crazy and if I haven’t produced anything in 90’s day’s I would go back and look for a job. Well needless to say I have never looked back since. I knew it takes 90 days to fill a pipeline having worked in sales and I had already built a pretty substantial portfolio on my spare time with enough variety to be able offer enough to sustain myself it was to take off. So, in answer to your questions you must have tenacity in order to have success. When people would call or email with a request and I had no experience in what they were asking I would always say yes, I can do that. Sometimes worried if I could. But I would just show up give it my all and wait to cash the check until the client would say I love it! As for the essential that kept me going was and is perseverance. I have been knocked down many a times by life but I just keep getting up and keep going and don’t look back!

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jean Marshall Photography

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