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Life and Work with Jess Legaspi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jess Legaspi.

Jess, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I began my photography journey 7 1/2 years ago. I was a new mom and I wanted to stay home with my daughter. However, the thought of being home 24/7 made my extrovert heart hurt. Photography was something I became interested in after graduating with my business degree and I decided to try it out for fun.

I didn’t know that I would grow up to become a photographer when I was young.

But this. This is what I love. I love that I have the chance to be so close to people’s souls. I love that I have the chance to get to know people who are so gloriously made. My people. “My people,” you’ll probably hear me say that to you if plan a consultation or if you hire me.

When I first started, I photographed anything; maternity, babies, weddings, special events – whatever I could get my lens on! I was learning, experimenting, and having fun. I learned very quickly that the moms, the women, the girls hated being in front of the camera. This is what brought me to focus on photographing women and helping them feel beautiful in their own skin.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It hasn’t always been a smooth road. Being a creative, work-at-home mom is not easy. My work day is influenced by my childrens’ schedules. I have to go with the flow sometimes. As a creative, I can sometimes feel things too deeply and allow things to hurt me easily. I have to stick to what I’m good at and focus on that. My advice for anyone starting out is to find what you really love. Learn it well. Do it well. Become well-versed in what you want to do, so you can become an expert at what you do.

Please tell us about Jess Legaspi Photography.
I specialize in photographing women + weddings. I have most recently been having fun with brand collaborations and content creation. It has been a blast.

I learned very quickly how uncomfortable all of us women are in front of the camera.

“You can ‘Photoshop’ that, right?”

“You can take 20 pounds off when you edit!”

“Ugh, I hate my smile.”

And, it broke my heart. We hate seeing ourselves in photos. We hate seeing the one thing we’ve focused on for years; the extra weight, the not-so-perfect skin, our smile, and the list goes on.

So, we stay out of photos or we hide in the back. We demean ourselves in front of others. We can’t take a compliment well. These things are so pervasive among us, and I am fed up with it. This self-esteem issue is much deeper in our hearts than we realize. In mid-2013, I realized that I had to do something to help women feel beautiful. So, I set my sights on photographing women beautifully, teaching them how to take a good photograph (whether with me or at a family dinner), and allowing them to experience the astonishing light of their own beauty.

Am I lovely?

This is a question we long to have answered… I see it in myself, my friends, the women I photograph, and especially in my young daughter. Because of this, I want to empower everyday women to feel BEAUTIFUL in their own skin through stunning portraits and imagery. Now, I know that beauty is not just what’s on the outside – it is about who you are as a woman. BUT the two are very closely linked. We must acknowledge both the inside and outside. Our perception of beauty has been distorted by how we were raised, how we’ve been taught about self-confidence, what we’ve seen in social media. Some have experienced sexual/physical/emotional abuse, and so much more.

I want to know your story.

I want you to feel beautiful in your own skin and not feel like you have to look like someone else. For this reason, I do minimal retouching and I do not alter the shape of the face or body. I want to teach you how to pose and look good in front of the camera, not just “photoshop” you. We shouldn’t, CAN’T, wait until we reach that “desirable” weight or feel better about ourselves. What if we never get there? What if we don’t live to get there? We must BE in photographs not just for those we love but for ourselves as well! Please don’t avoid these times that will make you feel vulnerable. Choose to embrace the beauty you have in the here and now because that is what will truly open you up.

Are there any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve benefited from using?
I love listening to the Lead Stories Podcast + Jenna Kutcher.


Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jess Legaspi Photography

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