It’s no wonder renowned wedding photographer, Jessica Turich is a creative genius when it comes to capturing love stories! Absolutely besotted by her husband Pete, this incredible talent lives and breathes her own love story every single day. When she is not shooting weddings, she is working alongside her husband to raise their beautiful daughter Isabelle, manage the cattle property they live on and train campdraft horses (her other great passion). With a bright sparkle in her eye, Jess spoke of Pete and his influence with such fondness during our interview that I couldn’t help but experience goosebumps from head to toe.
Having launched Jessica Turich Photography just two and a half short years ago, Jess has successfully grown her business, refined her style and committed to helping others learn her craft. It was this commitment to pay her knowledge forward that afforded me the pleasure of meeting the incredibly down-to-earth Jess at a photography workshop she hosted. Aimed at helping people of all ability levels know their cameras better and increase confidence in taking photos, Jess conscientiously set about helping each and every individual. She was determined to ensure everyone left more empowered to take photos, even the technically imperfect ones. Her focus on magical moments instead of mundane technical terminology is one of the reasons her photos capture such candid and raw emotion.
I thoroughly enjoyed our chat and hope you too enjoy learning a little more about the loveable lady behind the lens. Another shining example of a rural woman making waves in her field and across Australia.
What prompted you to pursue photography?
I’ve always taken photos. I love taking photos of cattle, animals, everyday life and things at home and found it easy. It was just something I did on a daily basis and didn’t think much of it. Through the horse and beef industries I had a lot of contacts and people started asking me if I would photograph their families or weddings. After constantly saying no, I eventually agreed to do a wedding and it scared me so much that I was too frightened to do anymore. But it motivated me to go away and learn more about my camera. I think it was the constant pestering that pushed me into it. Once I started my business (officially launched at the end of 2014) and specialised in weddings, I think it’s safe to say I quickly became addicted.
What is your favourite part of the job?
Meeting new people; especially rural families. I just love seeing families interact and real love - I go into people’s homes and mum is baking the goods in the morning to feed to the girls later that day and dad is having a beer on the verandah while the boys are having a shave. It really is very special. I get to capture people in their most raw moments and create memories for them - something that will hang on their walls for the rest of their lives. I think it’s so special that I am asked to capture so many celebrations. I get goosebumps watching people get married and watching father and daughters have their first dance. I feel very privileged to do what I do.
Photography allows you to travel to many places. What’s your favourite place you’ve been?
I’ve done a bit of travel photography on my overseas trips with my husband. You can’t beat landscape photography in Austria and Switzerland. It blows your mind. However, I shot a wedding in Weengallon this year which was very close to my heart. I love it so much down there in South West Queensland. The sunsets, the red dirt and the people. I spent six years working in an accounting firm and met my husband when I was living in St George, so I have this connection to the place. Pete and Isabelle were at the wedding also and when I came home that night I had this immense feeling of satisfaction. That was big because I usually come home with some form of self-doubt, but this time I thought if I never shot another wedding again, my heart was full.
Where to next?
Continue to capture amazing love stories, breed beautiful horses, work hard and love my family. I don’t really have any grand plans at the moment but I don’t really feel like I need to. I’m extremely happy where I am at, however, I would love to capture a wedding in New Zealand. The scenery, snow capped mountains, soft luscious fields… it’s a photographer's heaven.
Photographing weddings give you a unique ‘fly on the wall’ perspective on a really special day. What advice would you give to brides-to-be planning their wedding?
Stay relaxed and get what’s important right. If you’re marrying the right person, the rest of it doesn’t really matter. Yes, your flowers might be amazing and your table decorations may be brilliant but the look in your eye when you look at your husband, that’s what is going to give me goosebumps. Have your dearest, favourite people there. Don’t worry about the rest.
If you weren’t working as a photographer what would you do?
I am actually a qualified accountant, I worked in two accounting firms in Dalby and St George before relocating to Gladstone where I was the Financial Accountant for NRG at the Power Station. I do love crunching numbers and I guess it’s given me a world of knowledge when it comes to running our own businesses, but my photography and life with my little family has taken front seat for now. Pete and I love breeding horses and try to get to as many campdrafts as we can. We also love seeing fat cattle in the paddock, so I guess it’s safe to say there really isn’t much else I would rather be doing at the moment.
Who’s had the biggest influence on your life?
My husband. He really is just the best person I have ever met and is so supportive of everything I do. If I’m lacking confidence, he boosts me up, if I’m getting ahead of myself with big grand plans, he grounds me. I feel extremely lucky to have met Pete, he has made me a better person and to have him as my husband makes me incredibly proud. My father is an incredible man; he’s an extremely hard worker, astute businessman and exceptional cattleman and I thought if I ever found anyone half as good as him I’d be doing well. I guess you have an image in your head when you are young and single about what your husband will be like, Pete blew all those preconceived ideas out of the water. I never dreamed that a human could be so perfect and honestly, I thank my lucky stars every day.
What’s been your biggest lesson? What has it taught you?
I think one of the biggest things I have learnt in life and photography is to just keep trucking. When things are getting you down; just keep going. There may be this amazing opportunity just around the corner that you don’t even know about. Keep trucking through the bits that wear you down and have some faith because it will turn out for the best. And sometimes even better than you ever thought possible.
What’s the best thing about being a mum?
The way Isabelle looks at me. And seeing her with Pete. Children are so innocent and raw and Isabelle’s little jokes, cuddles and kisses really do make my heart melt. She can hear the motorbike as Pete heads in for lunch and starts running around squealing with excitement. Or there will be 50 blokes cantering around in an arena at a draft and she will see Pete a mile away and sing out to him. It’s just beautiful.
What’s the hardest thing about being a mum?
The guilt. The constant am I working too hard? Should I be doing things differently? You’re trying so hard to build a life for them but you’re constantly second guessing yourself. I am lucky because Pete and I work together all week, so I can go and shoot a wedding on a weekend and feel like I haven’t missed out on seeing them. Definitely the hardest part about being a mum is managing the self-inflicted guilt but I’m sure all Mums out there can relate to this.
How do you balance everything with your busy schedule?
Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning and other times I feel like I am nailing it. I find that the earlier I get up in the morning, the better I am. On an average day, I’ll get up at 5am to trot camp horses or ride young ones and then it's Mum duties for a few hours. I’m lucky Isabelle is such a good sleeper so I feel I can get a lot of house work and editing done while she sleeps. I aim to have dinner prepared by lunch time so I can give Pete a hand in the afternoon, this might involve pumping water, fixing fencing or processing cattle. Then I’ll go for a run or do a quick weights session on dark. It’s not uncommon for me to be up until 1am editing photos or replying to brides. I definitely don’t get as much sleep as I used to, but I love being busy.
I also just have to cross some weekends off on the calendar. Being a wedding photographer you’re booked 12 – 18 months in advance so you have to predict what you want to be doing and make some time for those other things. I think I’ve done seven or eight weddings in a row now, last weekend was a campdraft, this weekend is my workshops, next weekend is a wedding, then another campdraft. I do wonder sometimes if my balance is right, but I do think I am getting it better.
Name three inspirational women you admire.
- Danelle Bohane – inspirational photographer and incredible storyteller
- Emily Tapp – a truly beautiful person who finds the good in everyone, she always has the biggest smile and is one hell of an Australian athlete
- Gayle Shann – an amazing lady who I admire for her ability to pull through the toughest of situations and not just survive, but flourish
If you could only keep five possessions what would they be?
My engagement / wedding rings, my hard drives with all my photos, Isabelle’s keepsake box, my camera and our truckload of horses.