The Six Degrees Creative brand is all about connection. With the Connecting Creatives segment, the goal is to highlight creators in our community and share their journey. No matter the outlet, it is important we support each other’s growth. Together we can make being a creative or small business sustainable and successful.
This week we highlight the designs and photography of Jess Bernstein. In her concert photography, it's clear to see Jess has a knack for reading the vibes of a live show and is able to transform her photos into otherworldly edits (just take a look at her insane ever-growing Instagram collage). Also a spirited adventurer, Jess is able to channel that energy into every photo and edit while showcasing the beauty of mother nature.
Hi! Thank you for taking the time to be part of Connecting Creatives. Can you tell us more about your background and how you got started on your creative journey?
I was quite a lucky girl and had a very creative mother. She loved photography, and from the time I was 5 years old, she handed me a film camera and set me free in the garden of our home in Southern California. The camera became an extension of myself, and a huge connection for my mom and me. I maintained an intimate relationship with photography my entire life. Merely as a passion and creative outlet. I never imagined it would become my career.
When I graduated college, I treated myself to a beautiful DSRL Canon camera with a sexy 35mm prime lense. I would bring it with me to festivals, to the beach, on hikes, anywhere that sparked that inner joy. I just practiced, over and over, for the love of shooting. I started to harness my own look and style, colorful and bright. Emotive. Captivating. Focused on the human connection. And low and behold, my passion took over, and became my career.
What keeps you engaged and passionate about your small business and creative endeavors?
I get to work with every walk of life. My “office” is different every weekend. I get to bring on hungry new and upcoming photographers as assistants, and show them the ropes. Their passion reignites my own. The network of people I meet, and get to continuously work alongside warms my little heart every single day.
If you could give advice to your younger business self what would it be?
DO IT NOW! Stop waiting for permission. The time is NOW! You don’t need a 9-5 corporate job to be “safe and successful”. I look back, and my only regret is that I didn’t quit that corporate job sooner. The amount of days and hours I could have focused on my passion is just motivation to work harder and make up for lost time.
What is a challenge you have faced as a creative/small business and how have you overcome it?
That saying “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”, is actually hilarious to me. Really, it should read “Choose a job you love, and you will think about your work every hour of your life”. Running your own business feels like you’re raising a child. All you want to do is nurture it, give it attention, watch it grow, and do everything you can to make it successful.
Thus, my new understanding of work/life balance. You can’t work every day, all day. You have to rest, switch gears, refresh your creativity, refill that well of inspiration, and give attention to the other important aspects of your life (like friends, family, exercise, rest, nutrition, etc). I travel for work a bunch, and the best thing I’ve found, is to travel with my loved ones, and just turn off for a chunk of time. Work will be there when I return.
What do you want people to take away from your small business?
If you love something, and you find yourself doing it all the time and enjoying it, imagine what it’d be like to be making money, doing that thing. Then go for it! Taking risks is what being a human is all about. Lean on your friends, brainstorm with them, let them help you, because if they truly are your friends, they would probably do just about anything to support your dream.
What is the next milestone for you?
I’d like to do an international tour with an artist. It’s been on my bucket list, and I can feel it coming soon (get outta here COVID!).
Want to be featured on Connecting Creatives? We want to support you and your small business! Send an e-mail and lets can get started.
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