If you’re a Youtube fan, and a fashion photography fan, let’s face it, you probably already know who Jessica is. With over 130,000 subscribers, it’s safe to say she is kicking butt on Youtube, helping to educate photographers around the world, as well as entertaining them with her wonderful humour! We wanted to take a couple of minutes to get to know her better, and we hope you enjoy it too!
Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up?
Hi there! My name is Jessica Kobeissi. I like cats, “The Office”and traveling around the world when I’m not taking pictures. My parents immigrated from Lebanon to Detroit, so I was born and raised there. I had a great childhood in Detroit – spent a lot of time pretending to be Baby Spice from the Spice Girls with my sisters and childhood friends.
When were you first drawn to photography? Have you always been creative?
I really do believe I’ve been creative since I can remember. I drew comics, I wrote stories, I made up skits at home…I always found something to do. Believe it or not, I’ve actually graphic designed much longer than I’ve done photography. I began learning to design and code around age 13 on Neopets, and continued from there. Long after that I went to an Arts college and received a bachelors in Graphic Design. The story gets funnier! I took a photography class during my first year in college, and I was not interested in it at all! Won’t ever forget when our teacher was explaining “f-stop/aperture/ISO” and I was so bored, looking at the clock waiting for class to end. I never understood photography and I didn’t think twice about it. It was only during my junior year in college that it sparked my interest – I just wanted to see what I was capable with and bought my first camera. A close friend tells me that I didn’t find photography, photography found me. I kinda believe her.
What drew you particularly to fashion photography?
Back when I was learning to design on Neopets, I would use a lot of scans from fashion magazines in my layouts. There were a lot of livejournal sites that offered editorial scans from Vogue, Elle, Harpers, etc. so I would use those in my work. A lot of my layouts used fashion photography. I don’t know if that’s something that subconsciously brought me to what I’m doing today. It’s weird how everything’s connected in my life.
You run a very successful Youtube channel – where did the idea to start that come from?
Thanks so much! 🙂 I’ve been making Photoshop tutorials since I was 14, so it just seemed like a natural step for me to take. During my time designing, written articles showing people how to create and design were very prevalent. But by the time I started photography, it was all about Youtube video tutorials. I noticed that no one really wrote tutorial articles as much – and knew if I wanted to continue making tutorials they would have to be in the right format. So I thought, okay: Youtube it is!
What is your favourite part about making Youtube videos?
Receiving mail from people saying I’ve inspired them or made a difference in their life is number one for me. I think it’s incredible and can’t believe I could make such an impact on anyone. It’s really an honor. Another big thing for me is making people laugh. I hate being boring and serious all the time. I’m usually silly and weird, so I just like to be myself on camera.
How would you say your Youtube channel has helped your photography career?
I think it’s given me the ability to meet and connect with so many people, as well as showcase both my work and personality at once. But on the business side of things, I get clients who find me off Instagram now and book me from looking at one photo. Some don’t even go on my website anymore, haha. My social media has grown a lot since I’ve had my Youtube, and I love that I can share my work with lots of people and get their feedback.
We love to discover new Youtube channels to watch! Recommend us your favourites?
Ohhh so do I! I’m not just saying this because she’s my friend but Irene Rudnyk is a favorite of mine. I call her the Martha Stewart of photography because she’s so crafty and does some awesome DYI videos on top of her photography tutorials. I’m really bad with crafts and that sorta stuff so I admire her for that.
Another channel is Kayleigh June, who I am also close with and was actually a fan of her photography before I even did my youtube stuff. I sent her fan mail once. HAHAHA.
Where do you get the inspiration for your work? Both photography and videos.
Traveling, looking at fashion magazines and lots of Pinterest scrolling. For videos I get random ideas throughout the week and just write them down. I’m constantly thinking of new things to try. This is where my weirdness helps, hahaha.
Who are your favourite photographers?
Oh goshhhh!!! I HAVE SO MANY. But okay if I’m going off the top of my head, Lina Tesch is probably one of my favorites. I just love that her personal style matches her photography style. Billy Kidd is another favorite of mine. He’s a natural light shooter too, his style is so great.
What goals do you have for the next few years?
I would love to have an editorial published in a magazine this year. That’s one of my goals for 2017 🙂
Where can our readers keep up with you and your work?
Too many places, hahaha. So many things to keep up with!
Stop by anytime and say hello!!