Jessie Webster is a self taught lifestyle and interior photographer whose romantic aesthetic was shaped in part by the beautiful locations in which she grew up, living in Ojai, California, and spending the summer months in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Her father, well known rock and roll celebrity photographer Guy Webster, served as a mentor to Jessie, as she developed her photography skills and a distinct style all her own.
Now living and working out of Los Angeles, Jessie has a passion for sharing the finer things in life, running the successful blog Sweet Thing, which showcases
her love for fashion, interior design, and food. Sharing her own photography on Sweet Thing has brought exciting photo opportunities & jobs, as a broader audience has been introduced to her talent. Read on to learn more about Jessie’s photographic story and the delightful details behind her blog.
All of the photographs below were taken using VSCO Cam™.
My father is a photographer, and my mother was a fashion model; so, I grew up surrounded by photography. When my father gave me my first camera at age eleven, I used to dress up my friends and take photos of them. I began scouring fashion magazines and old modeling photos of my mom to try and emulate. My love of photography continued through high school, where my camera rarely left my side. I started to experiment less with portraits but more moments and landscapes. In my early twenties, I started assisting my father on his photo shoots. He really encouraged me to start my own photo business and started sending some of his clients to me. I began my photography career taking mostly actors head shots and portraits, because many of my friends were actors, and it seemed natural living in Los Angeles. It was a good way to break into photography and also pay the bills. Eventually, I grew uninspired with the lack of creativity involved and knew I needed something more. I have always been obsessed with aesthetics more so than the average person; so, it felt natural for me to shoot interiors and food. Combining that with my years as a portrait photographer is how I began shooting lifestyle.
Even though I am from Southern California, I never saw myself living here. I always thought I would end up in a city like New York or London, but LA has grown on me over the years, and it’s hard to imagine living anywhere else. Los Angeles is a city full of people needing to be seen. I have always been a little shy and more of an observer. Together, I think we are a perfect marriage. LA keeps me inspired because not only is it full of creative people, but we are surrounded by so much nature. The ocean, mountains and the desert are all a quick drive away. I am also a lover of architecture, and LA has some of the best deco and midcentury buildings/houses in the world. You just have to seek it out.
Yes, absolutely. I can’t tell you how many times my food or coffee has gotten cold while I’m busy photographing it. If people only knew how many photos I take before there is one I like enough to post. I am definitely my worst critic. I try to stick to photographing food only in the day, when the light is good. Dinners are my time to enjoy my meal and my friends and leave the iPhone in my purse.
It sounds funny to say, but in 2010, I actually had a dream one night that I should start a blog, and it would be the greatest decision of my life. The very next morning, I started Sweet Thing, and I guess the rest is history. At first, I had no idea what I would blog about. It was more of a place to share beautiful things with friends and family. As time when on, it became a place where I could share my photography, as well as my love of fashion and interior design. Starting a blog truly was the best decision I have ever made. It has challenged me to be a better photographer, brought me job opportunities and has opened me up to a creative, supportive community of kindred spirits.
We love the images on your blog & Instagram feed, processed with VSCO Cam™. What makes VSCO Cam the right tool for you?
VSCO Cam is by far my favorite photo editing app. The filters are the closest I’ve seen to emulating film, which adds a cinematic quality that I love. Not only are the filters my favorite, but I like that I can adjust the lightness, saturation, etc. all in one app. The less time that I can spend editing photos the better.
I’m not going to lie, juggling all of those things is difficult. There are times when I’m too tired or just don’t have time to blog, but I do it anyway. I am committed to it because it has been everything for me in developing my photography career. I also work with The Glitter Guide part time, doing graphic design and photo shoots and also with my dad archiving & editing his photo collection. The best tool for me has been creating an editorial calendar for Sweet Thing. I use Google calendar, because I like that everything can be color coded, and I can access it from anywhere. I try to always be at least a week ahead in blog posts so that when photo shoots come up, I have time for them and my other responsibilities. Having certain days designated for certain posts has also helped me immensely. On Monday, I do Sweet Sweeter Sweetest. Tuesday to Thursday are reserved for alternating fashion, interior design and photography, and Friday, I alternate between Lately and a Happy Weekend post. This is much easier than trying to come up with original ideas each and every day. It’s easy to let blogging take over your life, and I have been guilty of that from time to time. I've learned that for me to stay happy, I need time away from the computer and my camera. It’s especially hard to disconnect since I work from home, but having a nightly cut off for responding to emails or editing photos is important for my well being. Of course, I don’t always honor that cut off; it’s a work in progress.
Favorite places to shop:
Madwell, Creatures of Comfort, West Elm, Steven Alan, Terrain, TenOverSix, Jayson Home & Garden, Urbanic, Satine, Haus Interior