We recently caught up with our good friend and bad-ass Female Artist/Photographer Barbara. Get to know the chick that will be all over your feed soon!

What is your name, how old are you and where are you from?

My name is Barbara; I’m 23 years old and I currently reside in San Francisco.

How did you find your passion for Photography and Art?

I can start getting deep into a retrospective of how life is art and what not, but I never would have imagined myself focusing on art as a career while growing up. I picked up the pencil and created illustrations here and there as I developed my interests, but these past few years in college are what ultimately drove me towards my passion. For me photography can be rooted to the early traces of film my older brother used to practice while I was a kid. Whenever my brother bought a new camera I was right behind him picking up his old one. It started out with the point and shoots; one day he stopped having interest while my interest kept growing. I purchased my first Nikon in tenth grade & took it everywhere I went. I finally took a step towards purchasing a professional camera in college but was very tight on funds so I left the idea of photography up in the air for a few years. Those years in between I focused on developing myself as a traditional artist, practicing painting and printmaking. Painting developed my eye by creating a stage for my subject and created a newfound vision that I realized could only be seen through my perspective, the canvas began to feel like it was not enough. My resources might have been cut off for a few years, but just over a year ago I was gifted the chance to continue to pursue my passion by receiving a camera for Christmas.

What Camera & Lens do you use, what makes this camera special above all others? 

I currently use a Canon T5i, the main lens I use is a borrowed 50mm which has helped me capture almost all the headshots I have shared to this day; but I rely heavily on my stock lens as well as my new 24mm for editorial images and scenery. This camera holds a lot of sentimental value since it is a special gift, but I do believe I will outgrow this camera very soon. But it is not about the equipment it’s all about what you decide to do with what you have. Eventually I will take the next step and move onto a full-frame camera but for now this Canon works perfectly for me.

As a Female in this industry, do you find it harder or easier to work for certain events or venues?

“A female photographer!?” Not surprisingly enough I have still gotten this reaction. I’ve gone to photography meetups where probably 95% of the people there are men. Women are “known” to not speak up in a large crowd of men; and it will surprise these photographers when they see me come towards a shot with initiative and creativity. The industry still has a lot of work to get done when it comes to the acceptance of female photographers; but when it comes to working with models I find that being a female photographer comes to my advantage. Most women would rather book a female photographer that will not aim to solely sexualize the idea of her body (not saying all male photographers are this way) and feel much more comfortable expressing their wants/selves in front of another woman. Being a portrait photographer I don’t do much event photography, the artist/event photos I typically share are of artists I enjoy and decide to give a shot at. Surprisingly I’ve gotten good feedback from the artists or no hassle with security if ever I decide to throw myself in the front of a crowd whenever I need to get that shot.

What were some of the Highlights of 2016?

Reigniting the passion I have for photography has to be the main one. Not only has photography allowed me to meet plenty of artists, and creative minds like myself, it allowed me to have a year of growth and development that continues on.

What are you looking forward to in 2017?

A busy schedule, the launch of my website, graduating from SF State, and developing a niche in photography beyond portraiture. There’s a lot on my plate but only so much I can share without giving away too much.

Are there any people that inspire you in your photography or just in general?

Definitely! I have plenty of inspirations within the industry that I constantly look up for inspiration: Bukunmigrace, Sasha Samsonova, Marcelo Cantu, and so on. Personally I am inspired everyday by Chris- Mr. 8bit himself, there’s a new challenge every day when running a growing business & as his partner I see the struggles he takes on hand. Being so close to someone who is as creative and motivated as he is allows me to learn and reflect more about myself and how I can create so much more of what I share.

We’ve noticed that you are affiliated with 8BitHipHop, how have you contributed to it?

I play no specific role when it comes to 8BitHipHop; as a developing business I don’t partake in one specific area but contribute to the team in any way whatsoever that may spark interest to both the business and its consumers. You can say I take part in the ideation and finalization of products, as well as being in charge of product photography. As of now I hold no formal title, but who knows what is in store for us in the near future.

What is your dream job that you want to have one day? 

I honestly don’t have a dream job title. I do hope to continue to grow within fashion/portrait photography to be able to share my work. Ideally work from my own studio and be able to sustain myself through art; both in photography and my traditional practices.

Is there something you would like to tell people about yourself that nobody knows?

I’m an artist, I’m reserved and keep to myself. I don’t share much, that’s just in my nature. I am a very social person, but I am also a very anxious introvert. Even though I might know a lot of people or have a good amount of friends, I love being alone. I do very well when it comes to sporadic/ intense situations but when it comes to being around a crowd every day, that is when I start to feel overwhelmed. Nonetheless I love meeting new people, preferably in smaller settings.

“I’ve gone to photography meetups where probably 95% of the people there are men. Women are “known” to not speak up in a large crowd of men; and it will surprise these photographers when they see me come towards a shot with initiative and creativity”

“Most women would rather book a female photographer that will not aim to solely sexualize the idea of her body (not saying all male photographers are this way) and feel much more comfortable expressing their wants/selves in front of another woman”

To keep up with Barbara Jayy you can check out her Social Media and be on the lookout for when her website launches.

IG & Twitter: @Barbarajayy