My Super Awesome Photographer Jessica O’Neill

Good morning gorgeous

You know what beautiful summer days are perfect for?

I’ve got the BEST Girl Talk interview for you today….
Cue, my super awesome photographer

Jessica O’Neill.

photographer jessica o'neill

Today I’m interviewing photographer Jessica O’Neill and we’re asking her all the juicy details on getting the perfect photos. I’ll also be including some fabuluxxxxe photos she has taken of yours truly…. #Necessary.

Girl Talk with my Photographer Jessica O’Neill


Hey girl, so a little birdie told us that you like to take photos and are preeeetty fabulous at it. What’s your background?! How did you start?:

I was always one of those kids who attempted to take a million photos on every family vacation.

If I had to pinpoint a moment in time when I began to take photography more seriously I would have to say it was in 2011 when I volunteered to go to South Africa. I asked for a “good” camera for Christmas so that when I went on my trip I could document each and every amazing moment. My Dad got me the Rebel T2i. At first I had no idea what I was doing; to be honest I couldn’t even attach the lens to the camera body. I decided it would be a good idea to take some photography courses and this is where my simple love for snapping random photos every 2 seconds on a holiday blossomed into analyzing landscapes, face angles and interesting viewpoints of objects.

I also have another reason photography has grown to be an integral part of my life; a few years ago my Grandpa was diagnosed with Alzheimers. His health has deteriorated rapidly over the past few years so photos have been my way of making sure that when my family and I age we will always have something to look back on to spark any kind of memory.

When you aren’t taking photos what do you typically spend your time doing?:

I absolutely love learning new things, whether that be through taking courses at University or just reading a fascinating book, I love it all. I am also a travel bug. I love going different places, learning about other cultures and seeing the world. My husband and I try to go to a different part of the world at least two or three times a year.

When my nose isn’t stuffed in a book and my head isn’t in the clouds {airplane I mean} you can usually find me in the kitchen trying out new recipes, working out or taking long walks with my hubby and dog.

Okay, back to the pictures. Any tips on how to take a killer selfie?:

I think it depends on the type of selfie. Some people love the off the cuff, goofy shots, while others look amazing doing the proverbial “duck lips,” or “smizing” with your eyes. Me personally, I like it when people smile, big or small. I think selfies should be posted when you have a statement to make, whether that is to show how confident and beautiful you feel that day or to promote awareness for something important to you. Finding good lighting is important; look for a shady place that isn’t directly in the sun. I prefer to take selfies where the camera is eye level or a bit above eye level so you are looking up. When you are looking down at the camera you can get some weird double chin action going and up the nose is never flattering. It will also make your look thinner if the camera is above your eyes rather than angled up from your chin.
Above all, be yourself, have fun and exude confidence.

What kind of camera do you use?:

I use a Canon Rebel T2i…an oldie but a goodie.

Favorite Instagram filter. Go:

It makes {most of} my photos brighter and the colors are more saturated.

As an experienced photographer what are your top 3 tips for taking awesome photos?:

  1. Take as many photos as you can, try different angles, lens lengths {go closer to your object or farther away} and walk around the object or subject to find interesting perspectives. Photos should illicit an emotion when viewed so if you are able to photograph something in an unusual way that makes people see the object differently then you have done a good job.
  2. Find a place that has the right kind of lighting for the photo you want. Perhaps you want lots of light, or you want the light positioned behind your subject to create a lovely silhouette. You may want a darker, gloomier look for your photo so find a space with less light.
  3. When taking photos of people I think it is imperative to listen to what they want and the vision they have. Marrying the photographers technical skills with a clients fantasy photography shoot will help create gorgeous photos that everyone will be proud to show off.

What are your best tips/angles/witchcraft to help me look 5 lbs lighter in my next photo?:

One simple trick that one of my instructors taught me was to use a longer lens and then zoom into your subject. So tell your photographer to stand back and zoom in, rather than standing super close to you with a short lens. Also, angling your camera down your body will help you look slimmer as things that are farther away from the camera tend to look smaller. Standing up straight will also help {to some degree}. Having a hunched back in photos makes you look rounder. The longer you can make yourself, the leaner you will look in the photo.

Where can we find your work?:

Some of my work can be found on my Instagram account. I normally do a collage of the photos I love the best when I do a photo shoot for someone so you can find these on Instagram or message me to see more of what I have done. I also love taking photos of rings, some of which are featured on my Instagram account.

I am also frequently in the Edmonton Journal in the Gastropost section, which comes out every Wednesday. In this section I get to showcase my cooking skills that coordinate with each weeks food challenge.

Now, how can we reach you. You know…incase we need some pro photos done?:

You can reach me through Facebook. My account name is Jessica Slamko. I also have Instagram @jessoneill9.

 Lastly, what is [the spark] in your day you just can’t live without?:

I love being married to my husband.
He is my everything. We work so well together and always support each other. He is definitely the spark in my day. I am so excited to see him when he arrives home from a long day of work and we always try to do something fun and interesting.



xxoo Drea Marie

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