JOB TITLE || Creative story teller
START DATE || 2018
YEARS LIVING IN NEW YORK || 2
SOCIAL HANDLES || @jalch11
COMPANY WEBSITE || Jessie Alcheh
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I just wanted to be Pablo Picasso. I was drawing in restaurants from age five until 15, just drawing what I saw and not being able to focus on the meal. I had a dream to just be like him and paint and draw for a living, and that was my main goal when I was a kid.
Whats the best piece of advice you were given when you were starting out?
So I worked for this photographer who works for Getty and he said, make as many connections as you can and take every creative opportunity you could possible get. Say yes to a bunch of different opportunities because you never know when you will get that chance again so say yes. Doing a lot of different types of work and being in a lot of different environments is helpful.
How did you get into photography?
I studied photography in school but I didn't really have any connections to a gig or anything like that. I also majored in communications so I was like maybe I'll try out the communications side of things and then advertising just wasn't for me. It was very quantitative, very numbers based, and it wasn't very visual or artistic or creative. I was doing a lot of analysis and that’s not how I think really. But I made a lot of connections. I met a lot of great people at that job, but I definitely wanted to transition into more of the creative and artistic field, and somehow did that afterwards.
How do you define success?
I definitely don't define it as how much money you can make. The people that I see as successful are the ones that are doing what they love and also being role models for the younger generation coming in and giving them advice. That is how I define success: that you are able to have enough experience to give advice to other people and raise them up. Also, you're doing exactly what you love and you're being passionate about what you do. You have purpose everyday and you're making an impact. That’s how I define a successful person. Someone who is not all about the money and the materialistic things.
What is your creative process?
It’s different for each type of category of photography. For sports photography it’s very on the spot, you never know what the day is going to bring. I just try to capture as many moments as possible throughout a game. I look for expression in the face or just big moments in the atmosphere, or the game space, and then just celebration wise that’s what I look for. Then the post production work comes after that. It’s the same kind of deal working with bloggers. I like to be creative with them and I don't like to direct them in a way that the shot looks generic with over posing and things like that. I let them walk and be natural looking in their body language. Then the post production work happens afterwards and I send the photos to them in Dropbox and try to give them a big batch of photos for each job. I do that so they have lots of options.
What is your favorite type of photography to shoot if you have one?
I think my favorite is street photography. I like telling a story. So if I can do that with my photos it makes me feel joy that I was able to create a very clear storyline in my images.
How can people work with you?
A lot of the times I'll get jobs and work through Instagram. I get people messaging me to do a shoot for them. I also customize shoes and things like that and I do more traditional creative art. I think for me, right now, the jobs that I have been getting are word of mouth and social media. It seems to be working well. But, the more connections you make the more opportunities that will come.
What has been the most rewarding thing since starting out?
The most rewarding is just having the opportunity to make a career out of something that doesn't feel like work. There isn't one specific thing that has been the epiphany moment. I don't feel like I am working anymore and that's something that I am proud of. I am loving what I am doing and I don’t count down the hours they just fly by.
What do you like about shooting with women?
I work with a lot of female bloggers and I think that has been really interesting because every blogger I meet is different. They all have their own brand and their own story and voice. I think it’s really empowering to see how creative they can be and how we can work with each other and collaborate. I think that's very important in this society that females should be helping each other out and no one should be dragging each other down. We’re trying to be progressive and be successful in life and trying to be taken seriously. I think that the more women collaborate and work together and create then the better their lives will be.
Which women inspire you?
What is the hardest part now that you're your own boss?
Being more organized. I think this was the first week where I really just saw that I am going from one thing to the next. I really have to write things down and what needs to get done. I really need to prioritize and compartmentalize. That’s a big switch for me because with a full time job you're doing mostly routine type work. But now I work for a bunch of different companies and they have a bunch of different tasks, priorities and events. I think I need to get better at writing down what needs to be done ASAP and what can be done later, and really prioritizing like that.
Do you have a personal motto?
Just be as confident as possible because if I am not confident and I am not believing in myself it shows in my work. The work doesn't feel as strong if my heart and soul isn't in it everyday. It’s important to know that everyday and it’s something that I have struggled with in the past, just knowing that you're meant to be in a certain spot and not doubt that.
What advice would you give other women trying to get into photography?
Especially for sports photography, just hold your own, I think that’s important. I have definitely run into people not taking me seriously just because I was a female and I look innocent or a certain way. Prove that you belong and just focus on your work and block out all of the people that want to bring you down. Just stay positive, hold your own, and harness your craft, because you deserve to be where you are and you should never be torn down just because you're a female.
What are your goals moving forward as a photographer?
Continue doing what I am doing and making those connections. Also what I really want is to be able to travel with photography and take that and go around the world with it. I want to work with companies everywhere and build a story, not just in the United States, but around the world. That’s something I am very passionate about. I think that cultural immersion and just growing through other cultures is important and I think that being able to travel and do what I love is something that I really want to do in the future.
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.