One of our own coming from West Vancouver, B.C. comes Jessica Haydahl Richardson. A trained and talented photographer who puts action into each shot. One not to be missed... without further ado here's the next installment of our "Interview with a Photographer" series featuring Jessica Haydahl Richardson!
Cotton Carrier: Where do you call home?
Jessica Haydahl Richardson: I grew up in West Vancouver, B.C. Canada, but now call the Bitterroot Valley in Montana my home.
CC: How long have you taken photographs for unprofessionally and professionally?
Jessica: I have been photographing for over 20 years, but professional, I have been running my photography business for over 11 years.
CC: How would you define your style as a photographer?
Jessica: I come from a photo journalistic background. I think my style is dynamic/candid. I try and use winder lenses which put me up close and personal with my subjects.
CC: Have you ever gone to photography school?
Jessica: I played division 1 Womens Ice Hockey at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. There I earned my B.S. in Business Administration, specializing in Marketing/Advertising. I then went to photography school at Langara Collage, where I earned my diploma in Professional Photo Imaging.
CC: Where is your favorite place or thing to shoot?
Jessica: Haida Gwaii in British Columbia is one of my most favorite places to shoot. I primary photograph in the Sports Fishing industry, but my passion in photography is pretty layered. I love the photo journalistic side to photographing and I love everything from photographing landscapes to portraits to lifestyle.
CC: What Camera(s) / Lenses do you use?
Jessica: I am a Nikon Shooter. I have had a wide variety of Nikon cameras and also have been loving their new Z mirrorless cameras.
A couple of cameras that I own are:
Nikon D4s, Nikon D850, Nikon Z7, Nikon Z6
-I also collect and shoot with Film Cameras. Currently owning more than 40 film cameras. My Most favorite camera I own is a 1952 Leica M3.
-For lenses I love the Sigma Art Series Glass and have been photographing with their products for a couple of years now. I also love shooting at super shallow depths of field. My most favorite lens is the Sigma 24mm f1.4 Art lens and also my Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 lens.
CC: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to get “The Shot”?
Jessica: Posting myself up at the back of a Sports fishing boat, while taking waves upon waves over my camera equipment and myself as we back down full speed on a Marlin. It can get super intense trying to stay balanced, not drop your gear, not ruin your gear and not get hit by a fish or even get in the way of the angler. I have had some close calls with Billfish. Sometimes they will jump pretty close to or even smash into the side of the boat. Their Bill’s can be really dangerous and I have been very lucky to have either moved at the last minute or even have someone step between me and the fish to make sure it didn’t hit me while I was looking through the lens.
CC: Who has inspired you as a photographer?
Jessica: I am a big fan of Ansel Adams work. He was able to not only take incredible images, but his film exposures and printing process was incredible.
CC: What advice would you tell an aspiring photographer?
Jessica: Running a full time photography business take’s a lot of hard work and hustle. I always tell new photographers to learn there cameras inside and out and shoot shoot shoot. Practice makes perfect. If you don’t have a shoot lined up then create your own. The more you shoot and practice your craft the better you will be.
CC: Can you share a photographic resource you personally use?
Jessica: YouTube is my continuing education!
CC: How has photography shaped your day to day?
Jessica: Its hard to not have a camera in my hand, but I love capturing life unfolding in front of my lens and just feel naked without a camera in my hands.
CC: Where has photography taken you and made you experience?
Jessica: I have been incredibly lucky to have traveled the world with my photography. From the high mountains of Machu Pichu in Peru to the far seas of Malta, Scandinavia and the South Pacific. Photography has opened the door to so many incredible experiences and I am incredibly grateful to have found my passion/ profession in life as a photographer.
CC: Any exciting photographic events in coming up you’d like to share?
Jessica:This summer, I have photo-shoots lined up in Venice Louisiana, Haida Gwaii and South Africa.
CC: Anything else you’d like to add?
Jessica: As a busy “on location” photographer I am always searching for products that can make my job as a photographer more fluid especially when it comes to the gear side of things. The cotton carrier system has allowed me to carry my gear safely and also allowed me to free up my hands when walking in harsh environments. I recently took the system with me to Christmas Island in the South Pacific, where I was walking in water and 20knot winds all day long. I honestly don’t think I could of photographed and filmed the fly fishers effectively without the system.
Jessica Haydahl Richardson