Today we’d like to introduce you to Jade Blairs.
jade, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was always a little lost as to what I wanted to do when I was younger. I grew up homeschooled by hippies, so I knew that it wasn’t in my blood to have a normal 9 to 5 job and that I would probably do something in the arts.
I played classical piano for a while and then I acted and was member of SAG but never felt really comfortable in front of the camera. One day my best friend asked me if I wanted this old DSLR camera a boyfriend had given her. From the first time I ever used it I knew that that was what I wanted to do. I went to school and studied photography at SMC, there I learned all about digital and antiquated photography and processing.
I have always been a big people person and I love shooting people. My goal when doing so is to bring out as much of their personality as possible and to hopefully show a certain spark that makes the image unique and tells you a little about the individual. The best way to achieve this I find is by creating a fun, relaxing environment for the shoot.
My work mostly consists of corporate and acting headshot, portraits, lifestyle, weddings, graduations and all that jazz. I also do some fine art film and am currently getting into real-estate photography.
I am constantly looking at classic photographers work, I am a big fan of Dorothea Lange and the way she was able to capture people on such an intimate level. I am also a big fan of the ascetics of the pictorialism period of photography because of its dream like quality.
Has it been a smooth road?
No, haha, most things in my life have been a struggle.
I am currently just getting over a year long battle with cancer that put my work on hold, but I am so happy to be in good health and have my art to come back to.
Who, or what, deserves a lot of credit for where you are today?
There hasn’t been any one person or institute in particular that has influenced me. I have met so many different photographers and teachers through the years that I really admire and I have taken a little from all of them.
I like anyone who has strong, unique, ideas that set them apart from the crowd.
I feel like it takes real creativity to be unique, a lot of photographers I encounter are very technical, but, they don’t have passion and they produce images that are very cookie cutter like. I am influenced by artist that are technical AND creative.
I also love when artist study and learn about the history of their art, there are so many things that you can borrow from history and make new today.
Some of my favorite artist that encompass the qualities that I admire aren’t even photographers, I have always loved everything that Quinten Tarantino has done along with Jack White and Etta James. I love anyone that puts a big part of who they are and all their passion into their art.
What kind of work do you look forward to most?
Because I was involved in acting when I was a child, I have always had a soft spot for actors.
I admire anyone that puts themselves out there day after day in the hopes of achieving their dream.
I know that having a picture that truly represents and shows who you are is so important. Also, I know how stressful it can be getting your headshot done because so much is ridding on it, a good shot can get you in the door.
I also love shooting families, engagements and weddings. Anything where I can capture special once in a lifetime moments, I always feel so blessed to witness them. The last wedding I shot was so beautiful that I cried right along with the guests, nothing makes me happier than being able to document little slices of love and life.
As far as future projects, I have done volunteer work with the homeless since I was a teenage and I feel the majority of homeless people are greatly misunderstood.
There are so, so many homeless here in Los Angeles, I would love to do a really intimate project documenting the day to day life of a few homeless individuals, so that people could get a visual of how difficult it is to preform basic tasks (like washing your hair) that we all take for granted. My goal would be to make people realize that under the right bad circumstances all of us could find ourselves homeless and that they are people too, they are not just homeless people.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I am only now starting to really put myself out there and hustle hard. In the past I had gotten most of my work from word of mouth.
Being so young and having had cancer this past year has really caused me to look at my life and I realized that I have always been scared to really sell myself even though I knew I had a lot of talent. After having made it through all the chemo and surgery and having come out the other end cancer free it has made me realize that there really is nothing to fear in life anymore and absolutely nothing is that big of a deal.
There is no reason not to take chances, be fearless and really sell yourself. We are going to die anyway! I don’t want to be at the end of my life and realize I didn’t take chances and missed opportunities because I was too scared.
I wish I had learned all this earlier in life, but hey, better late than never.
- Headshot sessions are $250 for 2-3 looks. Weddings start at $1,000. My lifestyle and other shoots very per shoot.
- Website: jadeblairsphotography.com
- Phone: 310-710-4117
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: jadeblairsphotography