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Meet Jacqueline Estrada of Bella Morte Photography

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jacqueline Estrada.

Jacqueline, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My story is like many others; my passion for photography began at a young age. At six years old I’d use a Canon point and shoot film camera. I would photograph anything that would catch my attention, especially when I would travel to nearby states. In middle school, I upgraded to a Sony digital camera. It was the only digital camera I owned until I bought my first DSLR in college. In high school, I bought a Canon Rebel SLR Film camera. I took Photography 1, photography 2 and yearbook in my senior year. I learned how to roll, develop, enlarge, mat the picture and everything in between.

During middle school, I moved to Utah for two years. I grew up in a more tranquil environment that allowed me to ride my bike as transportation to school, friends’ house, the mountains, and hills. I would shoot with my Canon film point and shoot. I would love to go hiking locally and at Zion National Park and take pictures of the ever changing creeks, rivers and seasons.

Moving to Utah gave me a different point of view in my daily life and has also shaped the way I take pictures. Eventually, in 2009, I bought a Canon DSLR and got into fashion photography. My first model was Calipso Aranda, who is also an on-air Radio Host at Dash Radio, works at iHeartRadio, and is a producer and voiceover talent. A second talented woman I have worked with since my early beginning is Elvira Zamora of Wardrobe Divas and Fashion Gangsta. They are both talented woman I look up to very much and have enjoyed seeing them grow.

I eventually joined an art collective called Konsept who’s shaped Downtown Santa Ana over the years. We would plan monthly art walk events, fundraisers, curated galleries, create local events, art shows, mixers, media days, pop up events and I would set up at our events. I curated my solo show through Konsept during the monthly Santa Ana art walks on the East End at a location now known as Eat Chow.

Since then, I have been shooting engagements, small weddings, baby showers, baptisms, birthday parties, families, senior portraits, pet photography, published editorials, runways, behind the scenes, bands, promotional, events and have worked as a second shooter for other photographers. Also, this is my second year volunteering to help make and photograph the school events for the yearbook at a local elementary school. I enjoy doing pop up events in different cities here in Orange County and Los Angeles County. When I do travel, I set up notices on my website and social media sites.

While vending, I enjoy making connections with people on a personal, professional and artistic level. My art ranges from prints, pins, jewelry and alternating art for a limited time. I often vend art at my shows from my partners at Arts At Works LLC, which is a group of artists who can do different things from metal art, welding, fabrication and photography. Look out for new services in the future. Check out our beginning on IG: ArtsAtWorksLLC.

I volunteer at my daughter’s school and help make the yearbook which includes and is not limited to taking pictures, vending, making banners, keeping a tally of sales/names, meeting deadlines, making parent newsletter reminders (print/e-mail), manage flyers and more. I enjoy seeing the kids happy with what I do, and that is a great payment. Little do they know, they have taught me things too.

Two semesters ago, I decided to go back to Santa Ana College to learn new subjects. One is sewing, in the future will make garments and shoot with selected models that fit my current inspiration. At the moment, I am continuing to take courses with the help of a few professors and my mentor.

For now, I am shooting my bookings, future fun projects, vending, creating my website and will be selling my creations along with my partners at Arts At Works LLC.

I try to capture nature, flowers, mountains, and subtle darkness if appropriate on my shoots because it is something that has always kept me inspired with photography.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Sometime in 2008, I had a change in my life and fell into depression. I used photography as a creative outlet to release pain. It has not been a smooth road; in fact, I took a year off photography and everything artistic to reflect on myself to be able to give better to those around me. Healthy choices that have worked for me are school, visiting creeks/outdoors, my family, my best friend Fabiola, volunteering, spending time with positive artistic friends, running and mostly keeping busy.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Bella Morte Photography – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am happy to listen to backstories to create a visual story in my mind. This helps to get on a personal level with my clients. I am always happy to answer any questions and help with ideas for props and locations. I do not make any alterations on pictures that could majorly alter the way people look. I love putting hints of nature in my shoots. I am proud to see clients satisfied with my work and to continue hiring me. It brings me joy because photography has always been a fun outlet. I am proud of myself this year for returning to school to be able to create more services I can provide.

I am also working on a shop on my website where I will sell mixed media art, clothing designed by me, art by my partners at Arts At Works LLC. I am excited to continue growing and learning.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My plans are to continue going to school, shooting, working on various mixed media fun projects I will release throughout the year. I will be taking on a new hobby since I am being offered to be mentored in Los Angeles. I am grateful for this new opportunity and thank my mentor for helping me break out of my shell. I can’t wait to start this new journey and continue learning new things.


  • Bella Morte Photography from $150.00+
  • Jewelry $20.00+
  • Prints/Pins/Stickers $2.00+
  • Arts At Works LLC $40+

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Arts At Works LLC

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