Friday, 3 August 2012

Mompreneur Photographers Series: Jess Phillips Photo (Toronto On)


Jess Philips  is the absolute perfect person to wrap up this series on Mompreneur Photographers in Ontario. I had one last spot to fill for this series and googled "family photography Ontario" and the magic of the internet brought me to her site. Her bio picture is of her behind the lens while wearing her baby. And just like that my search was over. The spot was hers! 

Below our interview Jess will be giving away a free studio session, 3 gift prints 8x12 and smaller and 1 12x18 Gallery Print or $100 product credit (total value of $615). 

Thanks for joining us Jess! Lets begin with the basics. Where are you located and what areas do you cover.
I am in Seaton Village/West Annex in Toronto. I typically shoot in my home studio, but also shoot outdoors on location throughout Toronto and will travel out of town for an extra fee.

Why don't you tell me a little about your family. 
We are currently a family of 3 living in the big city. I am originally from out west so life out here in Toronto is a bit different! We travel home as often as we can but also try to enjoy the city. My husband and I both work from home so we get to spend lots of time together (with our babe) albeit mostly with computers in our laps!

I love a good life/work balance scenario! What is your first and/or favorite memory of being behind the camera?
My dad gave me an SLR camera when I was eight. I remember that in the first picture I took with it, I cut my dad’s head off. I should look for that old picture someday!

What great foresight on your dad's part! And fortune on yours! How long have you been a photographer?
Shooting professionally since 2005.

How would you best describe your style?
I like to collaborate with clients to create personalized family photographic art. I certainly have a “style” but I love to listen to the clients ideas in order to create that one-of-a-kind piece. I see photographs as stories; sometimes you are able to tell the story in one image and sometimes it is better told in a few. I love composites of multiple images and collections of images placed together to create one larger display of love. My shooting style is very much low key and laid back. I do most of my shooting from my home studio so when we book a session, I invite you into my home which lends itself to a relaxed atmosphere. 

Love that answer. What are your favorite subjects to shoot?
Babies, families, people in love.

How does being a mom influence your photography?
I love providing others with images that they will cherish forever.  I love the challenge and joy that comes with every shoot, being in the creative process.  But the thing I love most about photography is that it allows me to be the mom I want to be. I plan my work day around her. I feel as though being a new parent has narrowed my focus (pun intended) and although it seems like I’m working ALL of the time, I appreciate that I know why I am doing it.

Love that answer too. How does being a photographer influence your mothering?
When my daughter was born, I thought I would be in the studio with her every day or at least every week. That was just not the case. All I wanted to do was hold her and feed her and drink her in. There was no room for a camera between us. So the photos I do have of her first 4 weeks are not the polished images I had hoped for, but lots of iPhone pics, mostly with my boob out!

Ha! I have a lot of boob out pictures from those first few weeks too! What inspires your work?
Love and connection inspire me. And the reaction of a client when they absolutely love an image we have created, when they feel a sense of involvement and ownership of the final piece.

If you could give one piece of advice to Momarazzis what would it be?
Learn a bit about lighting; it’s a wonder what full shade can do for your image. And an SLR is a fabulous tool. The faster your camera is, the more satisfied you will feel when trying to “capture the moment”.

Good advice! How much of your time is dedicated to editing photos after a shoot?
Lots and lots.  I like to make each image a work of art, and that usually takes a bit of post production time. I still deal in reality (no photoshopping onto different backgrounds and such) but I want an image to evoke a feeling, and the tone and temperature of an image (among many other things) can assist with that.

How do you feel when you are in front of the camera?
Awkward, but our family does it at least once a year.  I think it’s important that professional photographers get their own family shots done.  I have learned a lot about being empathetic and making someone feel at ease and natural through that personal experience.

OK, It’s Saturday night at 10 PM. What are you most likely doing?
Editing photos in bed, next to my baby and husband.

That sounds perfect. Is there anything we can do to help grow your business?
I’m just getting started with the whole social media for business thing, so liking me on Facebook would be a great start!

Consider it done! 

You can contact Jess at, check out her website or visit her on Facebook. 

And with that we have finished this series. This project has been a labour of love for me and I'm so honoured that I was able to work with such talented photographers and inspiring sponsors. Please enter the Jess Philips Photography giveaway below, share all of these posts to help support mompreneur photographers in Ontario, and visit with our generous sponsors. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please take a moment to visit the wonderful sponsors of this series!

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