We had the good fortune of connecting with Jen Fairchild and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jen, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
It was a culmination of knowing from a very young age that I wanted to do something creative, and the fact that after trying so many other jobs and creative outlets, I continued to come back to photography. As someone with an addictive personality who’s always seeking novelty, the idea of working in a project based line of work that allowed for constant creativity and exploration was really appealing to me (vs a task based job that was more or less the same thing every day). After a few years of growing my skills as a photographer while still holding a day job, it came to a point where I noticed myself really eschewing my day job and only ever wanting to work on my photography stuff so I thought at that point it was time to take the plunge and see if I could swim! It’s been 7 1/2 years (somehow) and still a constant rollercoaster that I enjoy riding.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am in a bit of a creative transitional phase at the moment in terms of the direction my business is taking so you’ve caught me at a good time lol. Black & white imagery has been a cornerstone of my work (and will continue to be so) since the beginning — I’ve always loved the raw, classic, emotionality it evokes — but I’m finding myself wanting to play with color more and more these days, so that’s been fun and new. How did I get to where I am today professionally? Honestly by simply not giving up when I wanted to (all of the times). I still fall prey to the idealistic destination fantasy (once I do THIS or get THERE then I’ll feel xyz) and will probably fall prey to it for the rest of my life, but I’ve learned through simply continuing to show up for this work, that there is no ‘there’, there’s only here, now, and rising to the occasion of the moment is the most important work we’ll ever do. I’ve never thought of myself as particularly disciplined and am proud of getting myself through the tough times with this mindset.
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?
Oof, not sure I’ll be much help here since I’m newish to LA myself (June 2020) but I’ll do my best! I actually am currently riding a set up in Malibu and have been thoroughly exploring this area. The best breakfast places I’ve discovered so far are Le Cafe De La Plage (the most decadent pastries) and Sunlife Organics (acai bowls fit for kings) both at the Point Dume Plaza. They have a nice outdoor area that’s fun for socializing as well (and good for low key celeb sightings)! For something more savory I suggest the El Juanita breakfast burrito at Malibu Kitchen. For hiking I’ve really liked Zumirez Canyon for it’s nice steady incline and stunning views (if it’s not foggy). The beaches around here are some of my favorite in all of SoCal — Zuma, Broad Beach, Point Dume Beach, Westward Beach. All top notch! Shopping at the civic center is always a good time, Surfing Cowboys is a favorite for their selection of Antiques, and Aviator Nation’s Dreamland is set to be an instant icon (it’s not quite open yet but worth a view from the store side). Other than that you can’t go wrong with fish tacos from Malibu Seafood across from Corral Beach, or a scenic drive up Corral Canyon Road (the vert so close to the ocean is truly breathtaking). Finishing off with dinner/drinks at Soho House or Nobu is obviously a treat, and my absolute favorite thing is watching the sunset from the top of the Point Dume Nature preserve — nothing has been more truly spectacular since moving here.
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?
Oh man, so, when I was bouncing around from job to job before I decided to take a stab at a full time job with photography I used to work at a place called Inkley’s in Riverdale UT. It was a photo processing lab that also sold cameras and such, and a couple of my coworkers were really supportive of my dreams of ‘making it’ as a photographer. One of them (I can’t remember his name for the life of me and am so bummed) gave me a book that explained the basics of exposure in such a way that it clicked in my brain and finally made sense. I sincerely credit that exchange as the foundation from which I’ve created everything since, and it’s also helped me form an analogous way to describe exposure to others which has been fun.
Myself! jenFAIRCHILD Photography