We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Baker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I am from a small East Texas town named Wills Point. I usually just describe how I live as just a hour east of Dallas, because everyone knows where Dallas is. I was raised in Wills Point, graduated from there, and still reside there. My family was a small one just me, my parents and one little sister. Our father passed away when I was 13 and since I was the oldest I was assigned the one to take care of my mom and my sister. I have always loved nature, it is very peaceful. I can take a walk and just listen to the leaves and birds all afternoon. Every once and awhile a pretty flower or gorgeous tree would catch my eye and I would stop to take a photo of it. Growing up we didn’t have a lot of money so most of the time it was normally with a disposable camera. One year I received a Barbie themed polaroid camera and thought it was the coolest thing. I can’t remember how many packs of film I went through, but I know it was countless. Along the years I have had the wonderful gift of having great influences come into my life to help guide me. My stepfather besides telling long stories of when he was stationed in Germany, reflects sometimes about how he used to go out and photograph. My husbands grandfather, who passed this year, and was my biggest influence would be my go to for questions. Anytime I would find something neat to photograph I would always send it his way for advice or comments. My sister in law shares the same love for photography as I do. I am very grateful to have all of the great influencers in my life. Growing up not everything was given, and I have learned that if you want to pursue something, that instead of waiting for a good time to decide to start, why not just start?
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started with nature photography. With a simple point and shoot Kodak digital camera, I would take off on walks to see what I could come across. Mid-pandemic, after some encouragement from my sister in law, I decided to start dabbling in portrait photography. People are must different subjects from flowers and trees, most of them don’t talk back or move a whole lot. I just hit my first year mark of portrait photography and I am so thankful for the clients I have met along the way. With the help of all of those lovely people, I actually could afford a full frame camera of my own this year. I currently work full time in retail, where I have for the past ten years. I look forward to the day that I can go full time as a photographer. I am still perfecting my style, but I am so excited for what the future will hold.
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?
I am not from Dallas, but I am constantly in awe every time I visit. The arts district is my favorite for obvious reasons. I recently discovered Klyde Warren Park, through a suggestion from a client. It is a beautiful open park with views of the tall skyscrapers behind. I am still discovering the beauty that Dallas has instore for me.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I could not be where I am today without the encouragement from my beautiful sister in law and best friend, Ashlee. I am so grateful to be able to photograph beside her. I know that I can count on her for any advice good or bad.