Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Ballerstein.
Jessica, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’ve always been a photographer at heart. I always thought it was a great way to connect to past memories. The ability to just transport yourself back to that moment has always been fulfilling for me. For a long time, photography took the back seat because I was in survival mode. However, when I decided to be led by my passions, it really took off. My world expanded, my confidence grew, my creativity blossomed and my brand by Darius evolved to what it is today. Went from doing it solely for fun to now a fun profession
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Absolutely not! Moving from Boston to the west coast has one of the most challenging times of my life. There were a lot of setbacks, tears, fears and a lot of doubts! Doubts in myself and my capabilities. My identity was murky and I couldn’t really grasp who was Jessica Ballerstein, let alone her photography business. I had to do a lot of introspection to really get to who Jess is at the core. Not just what she wanted to accomplish but who and what she wanted to be. While going through the never-ending journey, I was able to identify my core values and get more clarity on who I am and what By Darius is about.
By Darius – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I grew up in Queens New York City but I was always in Manhattan. I always had immense love for the whole vibe. Everything was always loud! Even something that seems subtle can be made into raw and loud statements! Invoking emotion. Naturally, I always prioritize candid moments in work. The more uninhibited the better. I believe in powerful images because I want my clients to look back and remember the emotion as much as the memory. I also minimize as many distractions as possible so the viewer can focus on what the picture communicating rather than the noise. I am proud of where By Darius is and where it’s heading. I feel like a lot of creators around me follow a trend on what photography “should” look like. Getting caught up trying to fit in. I am guilty of doing that when I first moved here but then I remembered I’m a creator and photography is one of my avenues for artistic expression! People forget photography isn’t just about hitting the shutter, it’s Art! I’m an artist and love is my subject of choice. I capture elopements, weddings, couples and maternities for that reason alone. Occasionally, I do editorial portraits because love also includes love of self.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Fulfillment in self. With the definition of success being subjective, I personally thrive for self-fulfillment. Some would describe Success as earning 6+ figures, driving x car and having a house with a two car garage. For me, success is being able to feel empowered and fulfilled everyday. We live in a world where people get too caught up on comparing themselves or how they size up to everyone else. I want to feel successful on a daily basis not just when I attain one of my goals. Sometimes, people forget who they are and how far they’ve come because of what they don’t have yet. As I progress, I will always set out goals for myself but I want to feel complete even during the process of crushing those goals. Self Fulfillment keeps me humble while I learn and evolve during my journey through life.