Spotlight Academy Jessica Sterling

Meet Jessica Sterling, Our 2020 Spotlight Academy Member

As a professional portrait and interiors photographer, Jessica Sterling has spent her career behind the camera making people and spaces look good. Jessica’s ability to put her subjects at ease during shoots doesn’t go unnoticed. Her work ranges from high-profile companies like AT&T, AVON and the L.A. Dodgers to Hollywood celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, Steven Spielberg and Justin Timberlake.

Visual art piqued Jessica’s interest at a young age. Her mother is a graphic designer, and Jessica loved drawing as a kid growing up in Florida. Photography became a natural extension of her innate creativity. Eventually, Jessica moved to Los Angeles and enrolled in the cinematography program here at The Los Angeles Film School. Jessica’s photography skills lent to other creative talents through film composition, lighting and production while at LAFS.

After graduating, Jessica landed a job working as an assistant for the head of a company she interned at while in school. Over her 10-plus years as a photographer, Jessica has earned a reputation as being extremely professional and down-to-earth. Referrals bring in a lot of business for Jessica and have allowed her to build a network of steady clients over time.

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, Jessica is a masterful wordsmith.” — Client Testimony

A sneak peek at our Spotlight interview with Jessica Sterling

3 Questions for Jessica about Photography

Describe your process for getting clients to feel at ease.

It is my job to photograph a person in their best light, both literally and figuratively, so I want my clients to be as comfortable as possible. And a lot of people hate having their picture taken, so I keep in continuous communication with the person I’m photographing. We’re a team.

When was your first “big break” in your career?

I worked in film production for 5 years and worked for a few directors. That’s where I got a good feel for the flow of the film. My very first break as a freelance photographer was shooting Steven Spielberg, which positioned me to get more work. I recommend making a list of people you know and stay in touch. That helps you get more jobs and stay in touch with clients.

What continues to inspire you every day?

I love that every day is different. There’s always a new person to meet and connect with. Having a human connection is what drives me as a creative.

To learn more about the tools and equipment Jessica uses on a shoot, see inside Jessica’s photography kit. See her discuss working in entertainment on our 2019 Women in Entertainment Alumni Panel.