The MISSBISH Photography Workshop | Jessica Foley
Photographer: Jessica Foley
Location: I’m from Los Angeles but now based in Brooklyn as of last month. New York is the perfect home for me right now because everything feels fresh and inspiring. I’m learning my way around while experiencing all these unique characters. Something interesting happens every day.
Style: It’s hard to pinpoint a particular style to be honest; I like to shoot whatever makes me feel something. What I hope to achieve through a photo is a composition that makes you feel like you’re there, or the feeling of the subject, or to just capture a moment that embodies the environment and situation.
Equipment: I currently use a Nikon DF. My holy trinity is the 14-24mm, 50mm, and 24-70mm – a wide, prime, and zoom. Post-editing, I use Lightroom and only bring it into Photoshop for more technical things if needed.
Photography is all about capturing that moment. What’s the secret?
Don’t hesitate. When you see something that gives you that feeling of jumping out of your seat, shoot it fast. Moments are literally momentary.
How did you get into photography? Tell us about your first experience.
I’d say I got into photography initially because of my dad. He’s a tech guy and always had the newest gadgets, so he provided me with my first DSLR. I was always the girl with the camera since I was a kid, but I started taking it more seriously after a trip to Thailand in 2009, which I shot almost entirely on film. It was a great learning experience and really showed me that this was something that I loved to do.
Tell us the story behind one of the most memorable photos you’ve shot.
One somewhat recent and memorable photo that I’ve shot is the one below. I was with my mom and my cousin in Thailand a couple of years ago, and I begged my mom to go to this cave that I had found online. The journey was several hours from Bangkok to the trailhead, not to mention the weather was bad and the trail was the toughest I had ever done at the time. My mom decided to stay behind because she thought it might be too hard for her but surprised us all when she showed up 20 minutes after we had arrived at the cave. The cave was breathtaking, like an underground rainforest that held this vibrant temple, which shone only by the light that leaked through the top of the cave. It was just a beautiful experience, and rarely do I get to share those experiences with my family. I’ll never forget it.
“Experiment. Dabble. Try different styles, subjects, mediums, tools, and genres of photography. Find unorthodox items to create textures in portraits or play with light in ways that you’ve never tried. You will undoubtedly learn something new."
What is a constant source of inspiration for you as a photographer?
Overall, the environment is probably my biggest source of inspiration. Lately, I’ve been extremely inspired by movies and TV. I suggest Stranger Things, Mr. Robot, and HBO errthang.
Who has been a great influence or mentor to you and what did you learn from them that you still carry with you today?
My dad is my greatest influence and mentor. He raised me to be an independent renaissance woman of sorts and I think it carries over today in my mentality to basically make it work, no matter the circumstances.
Tell us three photography tips.
1. Experiment. Dabble. Try different styles, subjects, mediums, tools, and genres of photography. Find unorthodox items to create textures in portraits or play with light in ways that you’ve never tried. You will undoubtedly learn something new.
2. Bracket. Take photos 2 stops above and below the leveled meter to ensure that you got your shot. Some cameras have settings now that automatically bracket for you.
3. If you’re shooting fast moments like street photography, save time by using shutter priority if you can’t adjust quickly enough.
Finish the sentence..
If I weren’t afraid I would... learn how to surf.
I wouldn't be where I am today if... I didn’t trust myself.
I've been listening to... Gucci, NoName, Miles Davis, and a fun Darkchild playlist this week.
Kids these days... are making waves younger and younger, it seems. And for the record I feel extra old starting a sentence with “kids these days.”
I look and feel my best when... I’m happy.
When no one is looking I... animorph into the Nutty Professor.
Traveling... is key.
I respect... you, but don’t lose it.