Jessica Kobeissi is a young fashion photographer. Her honesty and generosity have built a strong following of over 400,000 people, who watch her adventures and listen to her advice on Youtube. We asked a few questions about her work, the importance of social media, and more!
Hi Jessica, can you introduce yourself for people that don’t know you already ?
My name is Jessica, I’m a photographer from Detroit, Michigan. I also make photography tutorials on my Youtube channel to help people learn new things 🙂
How did you start photography ?
I grew up using Photoshop and loved to edit and retouch, so really I started to photograph to be able to edit my own photos (hahah). In the end I really loved taking pictures, so I just stuck with it.

Why fashion photography ?
During my early years online graphic designing I used a lot of fashion magazine editorial scans from Harpers, Vogue, Elle, Nylon, etc. so it was something I had always been exposed to. I also love fashion and conveying attitude in my photos – which seems to fit in perfectly with this genre.

You are also a wedding photographer. Do your wedding shoots inspire your fashion shoots ( and vice versa ) ?
I think it’s only one way in this case, haha. My fashion shots definitely inspire how I shoot my weddings. A lot of my clients book me because they want some of that fashion photography attitude mixed in with their wedding photography – so it definitely works.
What pushed you to start a Youtube channel ?
I’ve been writing tutorials since I was 14 years old – so it just seemed natural to me. Before photography I was into graphic design and would be asked how I got a certain effect or how I designed something, so I wrote a tutorial and people loved it. Ever since then I’ve just been used to creating them for people to learn!

How important do you think social networks are in a photographer’s career now ?
For photography I don’t know if it’s extremely important, but it definitely helps in some cases. I wouldn’t say it is a make or break kinda thing – at the end of the day it’s your work that matters. You can have a million followers but if your work isn’t that great – then it’s just not that great. You can only go so far until your work has to stand on its own.
Does having a channel and an important following push you to produce more than if you did not have such a big presence online ?
Yes of course. It’s half and half. Having all this support from my family, friends and people who follow me really motivates me even more to create new and better content. However if this weren’t the case I would still be working twice as hard because that’s who I am as a person. I never let myself give up, and I like to push myself to try new things.

You are doing something that is hard for a lot of young artist : talking about their own work. Did that help you to push your creativity further ? Do you find inspiration in what your subscribers ask you ?
My subscribers always recommend ideas they’d like to see me do, and I try my best to switch it up and challenge myself by doing them. So yes it is inspiring for me to go out of the box and out of my comfort zone!
Where do you find your ideas ? Who are the photographers you look up to ?
When I travel I become inspired, so whenever I have time I will book a ticket and go on an adventure. I love to meet new people and sometimes while we talk an idea will pop into my head and I’ll have to pause them and say, “wait a second! You just gave me a great idea and I have to write this down before I lose it!”

My favorites..hmm! I absolutely love Lina Tesch, she’s one of my favorite photographers. I love the attitude and feeling in her photos. I also really love Bonnie Hansen, her work is phenomenal.

What advice would you give to a young photographer ?
Don’t give up. Keep going.
Which of your pictures represent you the most ?
[caption id="attachment_3735" align="aligncenter" width="2500"] ©Jessica Kobeissi[/caption]

I really love this photo because we woke up very early to catch the light in Downtown Detroit. The colors, the location and the model (my stylist) represent my style very well.
You can follow Jessica on Youtube, Instagram, and see more of her work on her website

Cailin is a Canada-born model turned photographer that is now building a career in Tokyo. She mainly captures female models on film, playing with the background and natural light. You may know her through her blog ModelBurnBook, a very funny insight on her life as a former model.
We talked to her about her love for photography and film photography in particular…

When did you become so passionate about photography?

I think I always have been, it’s something I studied long before modeling. Now that I’ve given up modeling, it just seems like a natural path for me.

You seem to love analog photography. Does it add to your creativity?
Yes, in so many ways. I shoot film, but I always back it up by shooting digital, in case the film photos don’t work out. But I hate to see the digital. There’s too much information. There’s no beauty in it. It becomes very technical. I don’t think photography should be about post-production skills. It should be about the moments.

So, you were a model for a long time. Does your experience in the industry impact your work in any way? Do you feel like it feeds your photography or do you try to separate yourself from it?
Yes! Sometimes it’s a bit difficult because I sympathize a lot with the model. I think I also project a bit too much regarding what she’s feeling during the shoot. Like, oh no she’s bored! She hates the photos! She’s tired! She doesn’t want to be here! But, it’s also an advantage, I can anticipate what the girls are thinking, when they will get hungry, when they will need to recharge their mood, and what they need to hear to get thru a long day of shooting.
You are now living in Tokyo, which has a strong aesthetic. How did the change of environment impact your art/style?

I became more in love with film photography here. And magazines. There’s so many magazines. Actually, my overseas friends coming to visit made me realize that magazines might be a thing of the past elsewhere, but here they are still cherished. Japan is still very concerned with the craft of magazines, u can feel it in the paper…the design. I feel like Japan will revive the magazine, it’s still an art form here.

What is your creative process?
Lately, it’s changed. It used to be about good lighting and beautiful women. But when you want to be employed as a photographer you need to be able to moodboard. Put together a presentation. Show the exact locations where you will shoot, give examples of makeup and hair looks that you want, show the stylist what direction you want to go in for clothing. Then you need to be able to email a model agency and negotiate pay, how many (clothing) looks there will be, what the usage is for advertising. The creative process is such a small part of photography. The creative process is just me being with a beautiful human, and me getting extremely excited by being around them to the point that frantically take photos to stop the moment in time for escaping.
Which picture of yours is the most representative of yourself?
This picture is of Natalia Leite, a Brazillian film director whom I met a couple years ago working on a project. She recently came back to Tokyo and we had the chance to catch up. I had no idea how this photo would turn out, but I wanted to capture her after a really supportive and inspiring conversation about our career paths.

For the past year, I’ve been meeting up with women in the creative industries, asking them about their experiences. I want to soak up every bit of knowledge these women are willing to share with me. Everyone has been so kind and I feel so inspired by their stories. So when I look back at these photos, it’s documentation of women I admire but it’s also motivation for me to follow the advice they’ve passed on to me.
What advice would you give to young photographers?

People want to look at your work and know that it’s YOUR work. Find your personal style, and stay true to it.

You can see more of Cailin’s work on her Website and her Instagram

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