Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Pierce.
Jessica, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
As a child, I was always interested in pictures. My Grandad used to always have a camera with him and he would let me play with it around the house. As I got older, I became the kid that would always ask for a camera. I had every Barbie camera and finally got one that allowed me to develop pictures. I loved taking pictures but thought of this as a great hobby. I was shy and didn’t really know what my passion for life would be but in my senior year of high school; I enrolled in a photography class that would forever change my life. I became more interested than I expected because now I was actually learning new things about something I and everyone else considered a hobby. It was after that class, I realized being a photographer could be more than that. I shared my desires with my mom and she was 100% supportive of my dream to tell a story through pictures.
While I was pretty certain I wanted to be a photographer, I didn’t want to waste my time or my parent’s money by going to a university and studying something that wouldn’t hold my interest. I enrolled in Washtenaw Community College and soon learned this was my passion and my path. I think that is most important that you have a passion for what you do. I learned everything about the of fundamentals of art and photography.
After graduating from community college, I transferred to the College for Creative Studies (CCS). There I fine-tuned my skills receiving my BFA in photography and later moved to LA. After three years of living in LA, assisting other photographers, babysitting and freelancing I’ve been able to work as an e-comm photographer for Forever 21 and Fashionnova while freelancing on the weekends. I’ve been fortunate to meet some amazing artists, work on major sets, grow professionally and personally.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Some of the biggest struggles in the industry is being myself, I’m a Black female photographer and sometimes that’s enough. People don’t take you or your ideas serious and you can be looked down on.
Please tell us about Jessica Gail Photography.
My business name is Jessica Gail Photography. It is connected to fashion; so I do a lot of freelance whenever I have free time. I not only shoot, but I edit or retouch. Freelancing gives me the opportunity to try new things and be creative with the shoot or simply put a smile on people’s faces. I love when a client gets their photos back and they have more confidence about themselves. I am most proud of being a successful black female photographer in this industry and letting people know they can follow their dreams.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
As a photographer and a person in general, I’d say it’s just important to stay true to yourself. This industry can get overwhelming at times, but you have to focus on what it is you’re put on this earth to do. Personally, I say a prayer before any shoot that I do, that allows me to take some of the stress from myself and just allow things to happen. You can manifest the life you want if you truly believe you deserve it then it’s ready to be yours. If I were to do something different, I would focus on the business side a bit more, you don’t realize how important that is until you’re done with school and you’ve moved on with life.
- Website: jessicagail.website
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @nostressjesss
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