Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Sterling.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Jessica. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My mom’s a graphic designer, so I grew up around the visual arts. I’ve drawn my whole life and photography is a natural extension of all that.
In school, I studied cinematography but then cut my teeth working for both a superb portrait photographer and a veteran event photographer. It was a great training ground. I learned all about running a business, all the nuts and bolts. BUT I also learned the technical and creative nuances of lighting people AND how to always do great work under pressure, getting the best shot possible no matter the conditions. The best of both worlds: controlled studio lighting and shooting on location where everything is constantly changing.
I’ve been working now as a freelance photographer for over 10 years.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been a steady build. Most of my business comes from referrals: it is really a kick to have someone that I photographed go and tell their best friend or boss that they need to shoot with me.
I’ve gotten to work with some of the most influential people and companies in the world — all from referrals.
Personalities like Ashton Kutcher, Steven Spielberg, Hugh Jackman, Vince Vaughn, Michelle Branch, George Lucas, Chaka Khan, Serena Williams & Justin Timberlake.
My work has appeared in MTV.com, the Huffington Post, CNN.com, Fortune, Back Stage, Popular Science, Angeleno Magazine, Dermatology Times, Sports Business Journal, Yahoo! & the Wall Street Journal.
Jessica Sterling Photography – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I specialize in helping businesses and individuals tell their stories. I love being a part of someone else’s world, to help them show people what they care about and what they love.
It is my job to photograph a person in their best light, both literally and figuratively, so I want my clients to be as comfortable as possible. And a lot of people hate having their picture taken, so I keep in continuous communication with the person I’m photographing. We’re a team. And that way they know that what they’re doing is working: they know they look good.
I do a lot of planning before a shoot. And with all that done in advance, a shoot is painless and way more creative. Once you get all the heavy lifting out of the way, you can be pleasantly surprised by the nuances of what’s happening in front of you and get a fresh take on the concept you’re working on. All because you have a strong foundation in what the heck you’re doing.
My clients often comment on how fast, calm, smooth and easy my shoots are. Oh… and I’m a goof.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
One super fun thing I got to do was go up in a 60′ tall crane and photograph several hundred construction workers on and around a newly completed power plant. It is a super-efficient plant, and they’d worked on it for several years. I loved getting to get all suited up: steel-toed shoes, long sleeves, helmet, harness, etc. and I had to work super-fast. I think I took a total of 11 exposures, because the time was very limited. I had to be in position before they all came out, it cost several hundred dollars each minute all those people were being photographed. They ended up ordering 500 framed copies of the photo to give as gifts to all the workers; they had to be delivered on a pallet! AND the multi-billion dollar company used the image when they were honored as one of Fortune’s Top 100 Companies to Work For. Pretty sweet!
- Website: http://www.jessicasterling.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jessicasterlingphoto/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jessicasterlingphotography
Copyright 2017 Jessica Sterling
Photo of Jessica: BradBuckman.com