We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Vallia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, as a parent, what have you done for you children that you feel has had the most significant impact?
I am parent of a blended family, my husband and I each have our own child and we have two together. We have tried our hardest to make sure that none of the kids feel like anyone is a “step” or part time kiddo. As parents, as well as running both of our small businesses, we work as a team to support one another in everything we do. We have family portraits all over our house (even though I hate getting my own portrait taken) as well as portraits of each individual kiddo in their own special way. We always want them to feel like they are part of a big family no matter how near or far they are.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve been a photographer on and off for 20 years! I say on and off because there’s several times I have quit because it’s not the easiest industry to excel in. It takes a ton of perseverance and dedication to the craft. I have struggled with finding my happy place in all the different genres in the great big world of photography and have finally found my calling in Family Portraits. As a mother of 4 I know that one day I will pass something on to my own children and I hope that is not only family memories but gorgeous albums filled with smiling and silly faces. I love the in between moments of family sessions just as much as everyone smiling at the camera. Each of these moments has it’s own unique quality that makes it special. My brand is heavily saturated with both posed portraits right alongside silly & sweet moments! I have started teaching this past year for PPA & Summerana and love every moment I get to share knowledge with those just starting out or looking to learn more about family portraiture. It’s often hard to find other artists who truly want to help people learn and grow so I feel like it’s very important to be an instructor.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Living in Colorado I have a ton of really cool places to show off around me! When my dear friend Olguta comes from Cali I for sure start with food, I’m a food-aholic! I would start off with some amazing Italian food followed immediately with tacos (why wait?). I have an unnatural obsession with small batch root beer as well so we’d have to visit some our local amazing breweries. For fun we’d likely go hiking somewhere amazing like, Garden of the Gods. I might roll my eyes a bit every gasp of each equally amazing mountain view. I see it so very often I find myself forgetting how epic it truly is! Having her come visit is always a good reminder that I live in a mountain paradise. I would probably also have to tell her to be on the lookout for my friend, Big Foot. There’s always an opportunity to scout either photo locations or big foot here in Southern Colorado. Lastly we’d likely have to eat again, for sure a food truck this time. We have so many amazing places to get food from the most amazing small businesses!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give a huge shout out to my family over at Professional Photographers Guild of Colorado Springs & Professional Photographers of Colorado! I looked long and hard for “my people” and for an organization that would not only support my business but embrace my ideas and unique voice in the industry. The people in both of these groups could not be more supportive if they tried, and I think they do! My dear friend and studio-mate Shannon Toews took me on this grand journey of making a mark on our industry and also deserves the biggest shout out for believing in me as an artist and human and also for letting me talk her into silly projects. She’s a huge part of the family at PPC & PPGCS and I couldn’t be where I am without each and every person in these groups.
All Images Jessica Vallia Photography