When I decided to choose my second interview for #BeyondTheGram I wanted to connect with someone I didn't know. I started following @rusticbones a while ago and was so blown away by her photos. They are absolutely breathtaking. I noticed in a lot of the photos she kept her identity mysterious. Her face either concealed by an angle or hat and chance glimpses of her coffee brown eyes and olive skin. I needed to know more about this woman. At first glance she reminded me of a modern Pocahontas. Her location was serene and rustic. She gravitated toward boho style clothing and aesthetics. I hope you enjoy getting to know Jessica #BeyondTheGram
IG handle: @rusticbones
Nickname: Some people call me Jess, but that's about it! I don't have a cool nickname haha.
Zodiac sign: Gemini
On IG I express myself as a.......Although I model and style all my shoots, my main love will always be photography. I was originally a photographer and would shoot other people. I stopped doing photography when I was in college but when I dropped my major I started my "fashion" blog, where I set up all the shoots and style for myself. I mainly like the photography aspect of it. I love expressing myself through clothing, so it's sorta like my props!
When I was younger I spent most of my time........ When I younger I was the kid that played sports (field hockey & basketball) but I was also the art kid. I enjoyed painting and taking pictures (of course) the most!
A talent or skill most people don't know I have: I do love baking, but I'm not sure if I would consider myself talented at it! When I was in college I was studying nutrition, so I try to bake "healthy" desserts. Let's just say it can be a hit or miss :)
Three words I think explain me best are:
Creative: I live and breathe creativity. I have to be surrounded by creativity or I will feel so drained! That's why college unfortunately wasn't for me, where I felt I couldn't be expressive.
Introverted: I used to hate saying this. In a weird way I always wanted to be extroverted, but I have gained a lot of confidence in myself over the past few years to admit this. I'm the type who would rather just have a few, close relationships then vaguely knowing everyone around me. I'm also just an independent person. I need to be by myself to be the best I can be, if that makes sense!
Funny: Okay, I don't consider myself funny, but I like to laugh! I wasn't sure what word to use. I absolutely love being around funny people who don't take life to seriously. We only live once, why not embrace life and be happy!
A simple pleasure I enjoy/little things that put a smile on my face and why they help me feel better/relieve stress: This relates to my love for laughter but whenever I'm stressed or in a bad mood I watch Impractical Jokers! They are seriously hilarious. I'm obsessed with my cat too so playing and cuddling with her always makes me feel better! :)
My biggest inspiration for my photography is: My surroundings and personality definitely shaped my style of photography. I live in Upstate NY, which is very rural and scenic (completely different from NYC) which you can see in most of my photos. I have a very free spirited, non-conformist personality but I'm also very reserved- kind of an oxymoron but I think the reserved part of me is why some of my pictures appear "mysterious."
I feel most like myself when I'm wearing: This really depends on the season for me. During winter I live in ponchos, I think I wear too many actually. When it's warm I love white flowy dresses with a pair of gladiator sandals. And when I'm wearing my hat!
I started my IG account because: In the past I kept my artwork pretty hidden, it was something I just enjoyed doing for myself. My instagram is the first time I really put myself out there. I wanted to connect to other artists and brands and hopefully inspire others!
The biggest compliment I have received from a stranger via social media is: This comment really stood out to me. Someone told me my photos look like a Free People magazine, and I think I died a little after this. I LOVE Free People and everything they create and stand for, so it was such a compliment.
The best/worst day recently for me was: My best days happen when the sun is shining, I'm feeling creative and I'm just surrounded by a positive atmosphere. I have a tendency to absorb the energy around me so if the people who surround me are negative or depressed it rubs off on me. I actually feel like I've had a lot of good days recently! So I can't complain :)
My biggest advice to others: To follow their own path, their own calling in life. I know I'm not living a "normal" life, working a 9-5 job but I'm doing what I feel is right for my own sanity. Think about what you consider your dream job, and just go for it. It may not be easy but at least you'll be happy working towards something you're passionate about!
Why I think social media is important and why I use it to express myself/push my career: Before I studied nutrition, I actually did start off my first semester studying photography at FIT. This was back in 2012, and I remember when my roommate just made her first instagram. It was basically unheard of. Photography at that time was all about connections, there was no such thing as exposure through social media. It's amazing how much social media has changed the business of photography. I think it's the most important/powerful platform a photographer can use! It definitely helps me connect with other brands, shops, and artists.
I also asked Jessica to attach a photo that is not connected to her IG persona. I wanted to show one photo of her in her true element and one photo that was staged. I hope to show that between the two very different photos is the same beautiful person.