We had the good fortune of connecting with Jaime Barba and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jaime, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
The surf, mountains, and snow is where it all started. My humble beginnings started out in these terrains that were beautifully touched by mother nature and it is where I made close knit connections that have persevered over 20 years. I was born and raised in Southern California and at the age 17 I took a chance and made my way to the mountains of North Lake Tahoe. It was there where I made lifelong friends and discovered my love and passion for photography. I worked very hard to save up for my first camera and spent my free time learning all I could about the industry, developing my own prints in a local camera shop and connecting with local photographers in the area. After trying my hand in various photography mediums, I stumbled into my niche doing maternity photography after one of my best friends became pregnant. From there, I established return customers and I expanded into shooting babies and families. I moved back to Southern California 8 years later, working full-time in the LA fashion industry, but like a magnet, photography always pulled me back. It is through photography that I can allow my creativity to take center stage. After my daughter, Berlin was born, I decided to focus heavily on my photography, and it has since snowballed into a thriving business where I feel fortunate every day. Over the past 20 years I have been blessed to document the most precious, intimate moments of the families who put their trust in me. I have been a private witness to the timelines of their lives, from maternity, births, newborns and growing families and continuing through birthdays, graduations, and weddings. My real love lies in family work and I can credit this directly to those early days where even when times were tough, I never gave up hope. I credit my success to love of my family, faith from my friends, and conviction in my photography craft.
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.
With my approach to photography, I focus on connection, following natural light and documenting those emotive, honest in-between moments. My style is unique and down to earth with low pressure. My aim is to capture beautiful, natural, and raw moments. If there are children, I encourage natural play and exploration, which allows me to capture the most candid, beautiful moments, even if that includes tears! If you’re nervous about what to do with your body, I’ll guide you. As an artist with a diverse professional background, I am equipped to take care of my vast array of wonderful clients. I recognize that everyone is unique in their own ways and my aim is to capture your personal story. As a mom of a six year old girl, I know how important it is to document these moments in time to cherish forever. As we enter a new normal with the overwhelming uncertainty of COVID, I’ve had to think outside of the box by adding “The Front Porch Project” to my services, a way to document families during these crazy times and from a safe distance on their front porch. In addition, I’ve also created an outdoor space which allows my clients to feel more comfortable. I had a wooden backdrop constructed, complete with seasonal and tasteful props in order to allow me to bring a creative personal space for every occasion, including Christmas, Halloween, and birthday sessions. My goal is to share stories that elevate the simple joys around us and bring positivity and light to our human experience. As they say “a picture is worth a thousand words,” so let’s capture those.
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?
Long Beach has a thriving arts and food scene like no other. I would start my day on a hike at El Dorado Nature Center, an oasis of natural habitat, offering a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of the urban environment. After a nice hike, we would jet over to The Attic, a cute little 1920’s craftsman house on the corner that has been converted to a restaurant and bar. Their food and drink menu is amazing, from their Bloody Mary’s to their crazy concoctions, made with the best garnishes and yummy flavored vodkas. After we are sufficiently fed and hydrated, it’s shopping time! We will head to 4th Street Retro Row, which is packed with boutiques, vintage stores, varied restaurants and other independent businesses. This is the beating heart of the funky, creative spirit of Long Beach. One of my favorite hidden gems for affordable yet unique clothing and accessories is Hobo Jane boutique. Next, we would head to the Pike for a quick history lesson and visit the tattoo shop Outer Limits, ran by my mother-in-law, Kari Barba. This is the oldest operating tattoo shop in America that has been artfully restored to museum like quality. The inside of this gorgeous shop is a feast for those who appreciate history and vintage details that highlight the old Pike from the early 1900’s. It is a world class tattoo shop, historical site, and tattoo museum collection. After a super fun day, I would end it at, Panxa Cocina, a Southwestern Restaurant with modern, Latin-inspired cuisine, influenced by the flavors of Mexico, New Mexico, South America. Hands down, the margaritas are the best in town. They’ll most likely flow all night and turn any newcomer into a loyal customer.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to give a huge recognition to my husband. I know that sounds cliché, but it is absolutely true. He’s been by far one of my biggest supporters through my photography career. As we embark on 15 years together, he has always encouraged me to go after my dreams and turn my passionate hobby into a profession. As a reputable tattoo artist himself, he understands the importance of never giving up, especially in such a competitive industry. When we opened our art studio in Sunset Beach, we wanted to create a visionary space for where we could both flourish in our art. Fast forward 7 years, and we’re still going strong. We are constantly learning from each other and I owe him a debt of gratitude for his unwavering encouragement.