Jacquelyn Portolese

The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?

JP: Jacquelyn "Jaki" Portolese, 26, Program Coordinator of Curriculum Development at Edmonds Community College. As well as being my own boss in my lifestyle and wedding photography business, Jacquelyn Portolese Photography.

TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?

JP: I love interior design! I spend so much time dreaming of how to make my space my own that sometimes I'll even dream about the spaces in apartments I don't even live in yet. Right now I have all these great dining room aspirations and I don't even have one! Designing and adding my own handmade accents to my apartment is an art form in and of itself. This week I'm building a coffee table and you can bet it'll be in a ton of pictures in the very near future!

Food is also something I really love to photograph, which over the years has encouraged me to experiment with both cooking new things and styling. It's helped me to see color and light like I never had before. Photography has a way of inspiring me to try my best to live a good quality of life, and that life inspires my photography.

Last but definitely not least, spending time with the people I love in general. A lot of my personal work ends up being comprised of moments from adventures with my loved ones. My boyfriend, my friends, and my cat have always been my greatest subjects.

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TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?

JP: Occasionally I can start to feel so overworked between my full time day job and running my business that I do tend to feel a bit creatively exhausted. After a busy week, sometimes I don't have the motivation to spend my free time making personal work because I'm just feeling a bit burnt out. But every once in a while, a really, really good idea pops into my head and it's all I can think about. And that's exactly the type of motivation I need!

TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?

JP: I find I am most creative weekend mornings and early afternoons. It's when I'm well-rested and alone with no distractions and the lighting is at its greatest in my apartment.

Interestingly, I'm most productive right when I get home from my day job. Sometimes I'll just get lost in Lightroom and edit for hours and hours, and suddenly it'll be 11 o'clock at night.

TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?

JP: Mostly just the basics.. Getting featured by a company I admire, a major magazine cover, being hired for a destination wedding or editorial, and making some useful editing tutorials that help a lot of people out. 

But most of all, and as dorky as it sounds, I want to inspire as many people as I can and make them feel something through my work. That sort of gratefulness is what I live for, whether it's knowing the images I captured will still be smiled about by a couple once they've grown old together, or because I secretly inspired some kid on Tumblr to try making eggs in a basket.

TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?

JP: Yes! In addition to creating more cinemagraphs as often as I can, right now I am in the planning process for a ski vacation themed photo/cinemagraph. It will be an overhead view and widely centered around a cup of hot cocoa with a few styled wintry accents surrounding it. Right now, I'm just waiting for the lift ticket prop I purchased from Downhill Threads on Etsy to come in the mail before I get started. This is sort of my way of getting into the whole winter spirit thing.

TCU: What scares you?

JP: Losing someone that I love. Losing myself in one way or another before I get to do all the things that I want to do in life. Looking back as an old lady with 93 cats and regretting the fact I didn't travel enough.

TCU: What does success mean to you?

JP: Being proud of and confident about what I have built, and being nothing but excited for what the future holds. Enjoying myself every step of the way to the point it's not really "work" anymore.

TCU: Anything else you want to add?

JP: Bring your camera and creative eye with you everywhere you go. Whenever you're feeling ill-inspired, look at what surrounds you. There is beauty and light everywhere, and the more you keep an eye out for it, the more it will come to you.


If you'd like to learn more about Jaki or see more of her beautiful work head over to www.portolesephoto.com.