"Photography is nothing. It's life that interests me." -Henri Cartier-Bresson
I was on a backpacking trip across Europe when photography transformed my life. I was searching at the time. In fact, I feel like I’ve been searching most of my life. And it wasn’t until I left everything that I knew that I discovered a part of myself I’d always been looking for. In the Piazza San Marco in Venice, I found myself more drawn to the beauty of the relationships around me than of the famous Square itself: a little boy sitting and eating lunch with his grandfather, two siblings running through the pigeons, laughing. I wanted to capture these moments. I wanted to tell their stories.
I was born and raised in the beautiful (read: smoggy, hot, season-less) southern California, where I spent most of my free time going to the movies or visiting the sets of my dad’s TV shows. From about the age of 4, everyone could tell I was creative. From cutting my own hair to painting the driveway, there was no doubt about it! I guess I just always thought I’d be in front of the camera, not behind one.
I went from acting and singing to working in various positions in the entertainment industry. In 2005, I started a non-profit organization, called Reel Angels, that brought movies while they were still in theaters to children’s hospitals across the country. I had the honor of being featured on The Early Show on CBS, followed by a full page article in People Magazine.
I thought I had found the perfect outlet for my various interests & passions, but something was still missing. In 2007, I took my little 4 MP Sony Cybershot with me on a backpacking trip across Europe. I spent most of my 3 months abroad not taking pictures of the amazing cathedrals and beautiful countryside, but of strangers. And that’s where I first remember falling in love with photography.
As well as I knew my point-and-shoot camera, I didn’t know a thing about photography. I would have looked at you cross-eyed if you started rattling off things about ISO, aperture and shutter speed. But my husband (fiance at the time) saw something in me and gave me a beautiful gift on my birthday in October of 2008…his old Nikon SLR camera. It was a film camera, but it gave me the opportunity to begin getting familiar with all of those aforementioned scary words. Honestly, I think only one or two of the pictures I took on that first roll even came out, but we all gotta start somewhere, right? I bought a couple of books on photography, and even received some as gifts when my family started to notice this growing passion. And, in October of 2009, I got my hands on a DSLR camera for the first time and I was hooked!
I finally attended a Me Ra Koh Confidence Workshop in April of 2010, after following her blog and longing to go to one for years! It was the most empowering weekend! I left the workshop and literally started my business the following week.
Over the last two years, I have expanded my business to include photographing weddings and artists, in addition to families. My amazing husband, Stephen, is not only my cheerleader, but my business partner and 2nd shooter extraordinaire!
In January of this year, Stephen and I were blessed with the most amazing gift, our first son, Zachary! We waited for him for a long time and he has turned our world upside down. I have had the joy of falling in love with photography all over again, as I capture him and his world on a daily basis.
Jess Robertson Photography is a Los Angeles lifestyle portrait photography studio offering unique, one of kind, on location, custom designed portrait sessions.