We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Claire Militello and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica Claire, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
When I started my photography business I was still in high school but after studying Business Administration at Ventura College, I knew I had to make a plan. I started with the basics like a business license, DBA, liability insurance, and a lawyer-drafted contract! I never imagined becoming a photographer or getting paid to take photos of people– so the process involving the start of my photography business is almost two decades worth of learning my craft and building a brand before I even felt comfortable taking it to the next level.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I can’t say getting to where I am today was easy. I’ve certainly had my share of personal challenges and natural disasters that have caused setbacks in my career. As an artist and as a business person, I choose to overcome these obstacles and continue to practice my craft for myself. Simply put, I love what I do and I love seeing the smile on people’s faces when they see the photos I’ve captured of them.
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.
I would invite them for outdoor dining at Downtown Ventura’s reimagined six-city street block where all the restaurants have table service out on the street– very European. 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’d like to shoutout, Courtney Dailey aka my mentor of 18 years. Courtney was the first makeup artist that I ever worked with at a photoshoot back in my early career. Soon I started modeling in front of Courtney’s lens and within a few years, we had both moved out west to California. Courtney is a Los Angeles Photographer/ Product Stylist with a knack for finding a brand’s visual voice. Over the years, I’ve modeled for Courtney at least a dozen times and have had the pleasure of attending her workshops.
The photo with the AM watermark is of (me) Jessica Claire Militello and my horse Westley in Ojai, CA by Ashleigh Magnus Photography All other photographs are by me, Jessica Claire Militello