On a recent trip to California I got to meet Jessica Bamber (this is her stage name and will be used here). There are many unexpected dimensions for Jessica. Her enthusiasm brings to mind The Unsinkable Molly Brown. And like Molly, Jessica is a bit unconventional, but at the same time quite conventional.
She’s got a conventional, highly respected job as City Attorney for Susanville, CA. She just happens to love being in front of the camera, and since OJ Simpson is not on trial in Susanville, it is easier to be in front of the camera as a model than as an attorney. A clue to her unconventional side is her stage name on a model website: “thecuttiepoo1”. Add that she trains for ultra-marathons and bikini contests, and you begin to get the picture of a Northern California individualist. Perhaps as much Katy Perry as Perry Mason.
I found Jessica to be a whirlwind of energy. We started with some very standard photos of her with her newborn son. Then the babysitter took over and we headed to the nearby town of Milford and up the Milford Grade. The Milford Grade is a gravel road that climbs and climbs. I had scouted it the day before, going all the way up to a fire lookout, Black Mountain Overlook. We stayed a bit lower elevation, and started at a grove of trees with white trunks.
I liked the trunks because they fit with the white dress in our wedding theme shoot. I had a wedding dress available, but Jessica had found her own and was ready in no time. There were also big boulders, fields with lots of dried flowers, and more. We also drove an additional 10 miles of gravel to get to a large clearing with willows. Here it was beautiful, but very windy. She put out her arms to “fly” in the wind.
After the shoot up Milford Grade, we went to an abandoned, small church in Doyle, CA which is nearby. That was an obvious location for a bride. As a bonus, across the street was a very colorful old truck, also abandoned on the roadside, so she changed into a new outfit and we got some photos there and in a nearby barn before wrapping up.
Not only was Jessica energetic and talented on the location, after the shoot she was full of suggestions and ideas to maximize social media exposure. She is much more pro at that than me, so I found that helpful. If you shoot with her, expect to see all your photos posted and tagged in short order. She is not only a whirlwind in person, but also on the web. Shooting with Jessica Bamber was a great pleasure, and not one to be soon forgotten.