When did you create Jessica Lea Photography and how did you move into the wedding industry?
I created Jessica Lea Photography in 2009 and moved in to the wedding industry after photographing a few weddings for friends and family. I have been a photographer for over a decade now and have worked for many different organisations providing images such as the Courier Mail, Brisbane Times, Channel 9, Defence Force Recruiting, Skylighter Fireworks, Bird Life Magazine and Aust Safe Super to name a few. I also worked as the stills photographer on the Great Australian BBQ television show that aired on 7mate in 2015. I have photographed hundreds of families over the years across Australia.
You get to see a lot of wedding images from around the world. What makes for a great wedding picture?
The most memorable images I have come across are the ones that capture true emotion. My personal preference for wedding images is natural, documentary/photo-journalistic style images. Jeff Ascough is one of the first wedding photographers I was inspired by and still admire his work today.
What changes in technology are making wedding images better?
Technology has certainly allowed for faster image processing, clearer, sharper images due to improved lenses technology and much higher quality digital images.
What tips do you have for couples seeking to engage a photographer for their wedding?
I always say it is important to meet a number of photographers in person. An in person consultation can tell you a lot about how the person will be on the day, allows them to show you what they offer in person and also start to build a rapport. It is very important that you not only like the style of images taken but that you have been able to build a good rapport with your clients. I like to meet with my clients a few times before the wedding to ensure that we have all of the details worked out. I often shoot an engagement, bridal and wedding session for each client and therefore get the chance to build an excellent rapport with my clients. Another reason I advocate for consultations is that some of the products that we offer such as various album styles, materials and image prints vary significantly in terms of quality and there is nothing better than being able to see and feel those items in person. If you are investing in photography for your wedding, you want to ensure that you are receiving prints that won’t fade and albums that will stand the test of time. Also make sure you read your contract carefully before signing. I cannot stress this enough.
You’ve met many SEQ couples and families. Which ones stand out and why?
The families that stand out the most to me are the ones that have a great rapport with each other, show a lot of support for each other and know how to have a good laugh. One of my favourite families to photograph was when a family dressed up in Steampunk clothes and we took a heap of really fun photos around at Heritage Park in Pimpama. One of my favourite photo-shoots to date.
What wedding day preparation tips do you have for couples?
Make sure to eat and sleep well before your big day, drink plenty of water, pack a survival kit such as first aid items, tissues, bandaids, safety pins, hair ties and panadol. For the Bride I always tell them to have a comfy pair of shoes on hand. For the Groom, make sure he tucks a handkerchief or a few tissues in his pocket.
On a lighter note ….
Where was your last and what’s your next holiday destination?
My last holiday was a short break to stay down at South West Rocks. My next holiday destination is Iceland in the new year.
When you arrive home after a wedding what do you like doing?
The first thing I like to do when I get home after a wedding is to load the images on to the computer from the card and browsing through what I have captured from the day. Depending on how long a day it has been, I often enjoy a good glass of red wine as I scroll through the images for the first of many times as I process the images. I genuinely get a kick out of looking at the images I have caught for the day.
When hitting the kitchen what is your hero dish(s)?
I really enjoy cooking and one of my hero dishes is from a recipe from Jamie Oliver. It is one I often make for Christmas get togethers. They are called Mountain Meatballs and they are so incredibly delicious. I also love to try my hand at baking and made macarons for the first time last Christmas. They didn’t quite work out as planned but I had a lot of fun making them.
What bricks and mortar retail outlet(s) do things well?
Excellent window displays that draw attention. That always gets me and is something I am working on in the studio over the next month.
What is your number one online retailer for personal shopping?
I don’t have a particular one as I still prefer to go in to a brick and mortar store for a lot of items. It is difficult to determine quality online unless you have bought from the retailer previously.
Favourite Brisbane restaurant?
I enjoy the Lady Marmalade cafe, the Martha St Kitchen and I also visit the Camp Hill Antique Centre Tart Cafe a lot. I have also just discovered Laneway Green in Daisy Hill which I also like to visit.
Favourite non-work web site(s)?
Youtube, BOM and BSCH during storm season. I love watching and learning about all sorts of things from Youtube.
What is the one thing you always pack when travelling (apart from a phone charger)?
My cameras are always with me, I never leave home without them. This is more than a job for me, there is nothing I love more than having a camera in my hand.
If you could drive a dream car what would it be?
A fully decked out Range Rover Velar so I can go four wheel driving in style! Although I also absolutely love the old Toyota Landcruiser or a an old FJ. My favourite car from my 20’s was my old HJ60 Landcruiser. I would love to take a Toyota 79 series around Australia one day.
Something others may not know about you?
I took up needle felting about 2 years ago and I am currently talking to a few galleries at the moment about running classes and selling some of my needle felt work. I also create gorgeous, bespoke needle felt items for newborn shoots. I am also a qualified bookkeeper, at the total opposite end of the spectrum from a photographer!