We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica de Oliveira and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I was 15 years old the first time I picked up a DSLR camera and I instantly fell in love. I took pictures of any and everything. I was in photography class in high school and shot on my schools yearbook. I entered my photos in contests and even won a few. I would take friends out on adventures for fun photo shoots regularly and even had the chance to shoot a few small weddings. I charged $150. To everyone. Literally. I think I charged like $300 for the wedding – yikes. I also took a black and white film class at Palm Beach State and even learned how to develop my own film. It was incredible- I lived In the dark room that semester!
When I was about 22 years old I had to make the choice between teaching – which is what I was going to college for – and photography. I chose to be a teacher. I honestly should have just stuck with photography, but I felt the pressure to have a college degree. I taught for 6 years and I made great friends and memories, but I felt like I was fighting a losing battle between doing what’s right for the kids and doing what the county requires me to do.
In March of 2020 I took my maternity leave and never looked back. As I’m sure you recall from the date, COVID was just making its way to the US, and I was 8.5 months pregnant with my daughter. A month later she was born and I had to cancel her newborn shoot, that I so badly wanted to have done. So, I pulled out my, over a decade old, Canon t2i, watched a few YouTube videos and tried my best on my own little model. It’s not my best work, but it got me to where I am now. I would, and still do, shoot her often both for fun and for practice!
Fast forward a few months and my husband suggested I a new camera and lenses so I have a hobby outside of being a mom. Between quarantining for a global pandemic and attempting to navigate being a first time mom, I was definitely having a hard time finding myself. Photography again made me feel like I had an outlet again. Plus, I have the cutest little model at my disposal 24/7! From there I started shooting friends kids, continued practicing, and enrolled in online mentorship’s and classes, In December of 2020 I officially turned my hobby into a business. As much as I love and enjoy being a stay at home mom to my two babies, it feels good to work again. I love being a photographer for many reasons. I love how the creativity is endless, I love being able to capture special family milestones, and I love seeing my photographs turned into wall art. I’d be lying though if I didn’t also say I love it because it allows me to make my own hours, so I can still spend majority of my time with my children.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As a motherhood and family lifestyle photographer, I love to capture the candid moments. The “raw emotion” as many photographers like to say. It’s that moment when you’re giving your baby’s back a little rub and they’re nuzzled into you. Its the moment when you’re sitting there bonding with your baby while he or she is eating. Those are the things I love to capture. It’s my job to make you feel comfortable in front of the camera, so I take pride in forming relationships with my clients. Juggling being a mom of two kids under two and starting my own business has not been easy, it’s been many late nights and long days, but hearing my clients tell me they love their images and they feel beautiful, makes it all worth it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The first stop would definitely have to be Atlantic Ave, since it’s just a few minutes from where I live. We’d have lunch at The Office and walk around/shop then go to Dadas for dinner. We’d spend a day in Palm Beach. I’d take my friend to visit the Flagler Museum, where I got married, walk around the Royal Poinciana Plaza, Worth Avenue and downtown. Restoration Hardware for lunch and then Buccan for dinner – it’s my favorite!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to dedicate my shoutout to my husband, who encouraged me to explore my passion again and has supported me every step of the way in starting my business. I’d also like to dedicate it to my children – I can only hope I make you as proud of me as I am of you. And of course my parents and sister for supporting my photography dreams since I was in high school!