Please welcome the super lovely Jamie Lucido of Jamie Lucido Photography (Facebook) to our Friday feature! I stumbled across Jamie and her work by accident when chatting in a group one day. Boy am I glad I did, her work is incredibly eye catching with delicious light, clean crisp colours, beautiful composition and emotion. Check out and delight in her interview and images below!
Thank you for asking! How fun, to be included as your feature ❤
It was a love of art that led me to photography. My grandmother was a watercolor artist, wet on wet abstracts- crazy beautiful, the stuff of dreams, and from a very young age I would join her on her long walks by the sea, sketching the rocks and ocean, and the skies. In her studio, she had a very large tabletop to paint on, and always made a space for me right next to her, to paint and experiment with my own versions of the day…usually that just meant trying to get a hold of whole tubes of Vermilion or Cobalt, and make some crazy abstracts of my own. Did I mention I’m an enthusiastic, but horrible painter? 🙂 One of the things she showed me early on, I was 6 or so, was the concept of negative space, and leading lines- how straight lines sometimes look like triangles depending on your perspective.. it really rocked my world. Things aren’t always what they seem–what??!! She taught me so much about shape and movement and color and light, it permanently changed the way I see the world. She planted seeds of curiosity in me, and a deep appreciation for the natural world, movement, shadows and light, elements of design. As I grew older I continued the daily walks, every one a treasure hunt all its own. I now walk with my children, and we stop often, pointing out the amazing elements of nature. Since I can’t paint worth a hoot, I photograph. I like to think a little of my grandmother’s eye was imprinted on my own, because my personal work, the stuff that makes my heart sing always has elements of the abstract, and colors or negative space she would love. I believe photography, as all Art, is an exploration. A journey that has no end, as long as you remain curious about the world. I know this is a lifelong pursuit, and I will continue exploring through the lens, and grow more attuned to the emotions connected within the elements I capture. I hope to one day be blessed to hang some of my own images in one of the galleries my grandma was a part of, and in that way, complete a bit of the circle she started when she would take me to galleries as a child, and I now do the same with my own children, to honor her. I’d also like to continue to grow my business in a way that adds value to the community. I’m offering ‘day in the life’ sessions this year and working more spontaneous elements into all of my sessions- whether that’s families, children, or weddings. Artfully capturing documentary moments of spontaneous emotion is something that I absolutely love, and I believe to be very meaningful for families. Even when I’m hired for more traditional portraits, or to recreate a piece of artwork with a model, I always work in the ‘out takes’ or in between moments, when people are naturally interacting and being silly- its my favorite thing to capture.
Are you working on any personal projects and can you tell us a bit about them..
I’m a huge fan of the discipline of 365 projects, so I’ve always got that going on in the background. I love spontaneously capturing ‘moments’ with kids, it is so fun to see the world from their perspective. I’ve also gathered a few small groups together, for collaborative artistic projects this year. We’re still in the midst of our storytelling with each other and I have no idea what we’ll do with the end products, but it is a joy to be inspired and elevate each other!
What’s in your camera bag?
Canon 5diii, sigma art 35, canon 70-200, speed lights, an old quirky Helios lens, a 50mm, a baby rattle from Germany (it never fails to interest my baby subjects!), smarties (bribes for kids!) and some wintergreen mints to break the ice with my engagement and wedding couples (I’m gonna ask you to kiss, so you might as well have fresh breath!), and a Larabar and water for myself if I get hungry on long days/weddings.
What has been your biggest challenge thus far in your journey and how did you work through it?
The first three years I would say my biggest challenge was the disconnect between what my mind and heart ‘see’ and the product I am actually able to create. Knowing your equipment is such a huge thing, and is so easy to skip right over. For a few years, I really was disappointed when I couldn’t get an image to feel the way I wanted it to, it was luck when it happened, and that wasn’t okay. There was a gap in my fluency with equipment. So I stepped back and studied images from photographers I admire. I also reminded myself to cross-pollinate with other ‘art’ that I love (watercolor, sculpture, theater, cinema, and dance). I dedicated myself to trying to understand and anticipate the way light and shadow would interact. I read and re-read, and re-read again my camera manual. I built a personal reference library for inspiration and personal mini-projects. I started reaching out to people whose work I admired, talking to them about their own journey. I learned to use my camera like I learned to drive a stick shift when I was 16 — until the equipment was so familiar that changing it on the fly was second nature and I didn’t have to look or fumble around through the gears (or buttons and menus!). Becoming fluent with my equipment allowed me to start focusing on other aspects of an image, and I began to close the gap on what I ‘saw’ and what I produce. It’s still evolving, I’m totally humble and nowhere near where my mind sometimes goes, and I have so many inspirations that sometimes there’s just too much I want from a single moment… but learning to be fluent with my equipment was really the puzzle piece that allows so much more to fall into place.
Also, I cannot thank my mentors enough. Some of the truly candid conversations we’ve had are exactly what my spirit needs when its feeling a little deflated. I could literally talk about photography, with other photographers, endlessly.
I am so energized by all the opportunities to shoot every day- whether they go as I hope, or not, I ALWAYS learn something. And that’s really the trick, to not let your ego get in the way, to not take yourself too seriously, to play, to fail, to dust yourself off and understand what went wrong, and to keep shooting! This clip is one I refer to, often: Be patient, create an enormous body of work, and purposefully learn, to close that gap each click of the shutter… https://vimeo.com/24715531
Tell us about your dream shoot?
Hmm.. I have a polar opposite thing going on when I think about a dream shoot. On one hand, I’d love a deserted tropical island, populated by a dozen or so children. Wild and unselfconscious of themselves. Getting to photograph their exquisite childhood in nature- all dirt and sticks and contrasty black and white moments. Day-in-the-life meets Lord of the Flies kind of thing. Alain Laboile is one of my inspirations for that dream.
On the other hand, I’d love to shoot a wedding full of lace and details where I grew up, along the coast of Big Sur.
Is there a type or style of photography that you haven’t tried yet but would like to venture into one day?
I want to start freelensing more. I have seen some beautiful images that were created that way, and I’m drawn to that dreamy and quixotic world. Right now, I just do it on personal projects, and what I get is a surprise, but I’d like to eventually offer it as a part of my sessions for clients.
What is top of your photography wish list?
I try to keep my equipment to a minimum, because it’s so easy to go down rabbit holes, but I always have my eye on new ways to use light, and prime lens upgrades. Top of the list: 200mm f/2.
What kind of tools do you use for post processing? Explain your work flow. (Photoshop? Lightroom? Actions, presets?)
I use ACR, PS6, and sometimes (Mastin Lab) Portra or Fuji for a film look on my lifestyle and wedding shoots. I try to keep it simple with hand edits, but am not afraid of some heavy lifting when it comes to head and body swaps for family portraits with little kids, if the parents really want it.. Sometimes it’s just impossible to get what the parent is hoping for, and they appreciate a little ‘magic’ *and their secret is safe with me 😉
How do you educate yourself to take better pictures and improve your own work?
I am constantly interacting with a community of peers and mentors. I invest more in in-person workshops and online education than anything else. I am building a personal reference library, and mentor relationships, and I take ‘time outs’, to step back and reflect upon my journey and goals. I want to keep a pretty steep learning curve, but I don’t want to burn out, so I branch out every year and dip my toes in with elements that are not my norm. It keeps me excited, interested, and aware of what other people in our community are doing.
Among your images, do you have a favorite? Why? (Please show us)
My favorite image is the one I’m going to take tomorrow. I literally have not taken it yet, but get a fire in my belly every time I go to a new shoot I am super excited about. I have a few I consider my ‘true north’ because it was an ‘ah-ha’ moment, or a particularly meaningful interaction, and I print those. They’re on the wall in my home office, to keep the lessons fresh in mind. But my favorite is always ahead!
Whose work has influenced you most? Who do you regularly stalk? (Please link us up!)
Jeanne Bellmer (my grandma) hands down has influenced me most. On social media, I enjoy following: Murad Osmann (travel photography), Monet Nicole (birth documentary), Alain Laboile (black and whites of his children), Kirsten Lewis (day in the life), Crystal Stokes (my favorite local wedding photographer). I love seeing new posts from anyone in the Fearless group (weddings). Also, Richard Israel, Asa Sjostrom, Christine Kapuschinsky, Iwona Podlasińska, Lilia Alvarado, Janske Kaethoven, and Lisa Holloway, love when their new work pops up! My social media account feeds are ALL photographers, writers, and motivational speakers.
What is the one thing you wish you knew when you first started taking photos that you feel is invaluable now?
There isn’t a ‘right way’. At first, I took so many workshops and was torn in so many directions and tempted to pigeon hole my own process with certain types of light or editing, but the truth is, everyone eventually hones in on their own True North. Everyone told me, ‘specialize!!!’ but I knew that I couldn’t, not yet, maybe not ever, because there are so many elements of photography that I love and wanted to continue to explore. I understand the value of specializing in order to grow your business, but personally I think the world is our oyster. I don’t think you have to join the Academy of so-and-so-professionals, or call yourself one type of photographer right away. People learn at their own pace, in their own ways, and what works in one city won’t always work in another. Just pick and choose elements of inspiration and wisdom from whatever source calls to you, and create your own beautiful tool kit of skills. And then, at some point, stop looking around and just do your own thing. Find your stride, and your consistency. Stew in your own inspiration for awhile, be a Galapagos and evolve in your own way, to keep the fire alive in yourself.
Describe your style in 3words..
curious. thankful. evolving. Those are the words I would pick to describe my approach to photography, and life in general..
Thank you! It is an honor to be asked- you are building such an amazing and inspiring group of talent! Looking forward to following you all and so tickled to find new artists to fall in love with! Jamie. ❤