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Name: Jéssica Felício Class Standing: Senior Major: Photography Interviewed by Torian Hill
When did you first get into photography? In high school. I used to act as Shenandoah Valley Academy's paparazzi.
What was it that drew you to the art? Growing up, my dad used to always take pictures of my family. I really loved modeling for my dad but over the years I started transitioning more and more to behind the camera so that I could take over the whole thing.
What made you decide to do photography here at Andrews University? I came to Andrews because I wanted to study architecture, along with keeping my religious beliefs strong. Over the years I started realizing more and more that I loved the visual arts, and I became particularly drawn to photography, so I tried it out and since then have fallen in love with the program.
How has your Andrews photography experience been? These have been the best two years of my life! They have been fun, but also hard because people do not take photography seriously, so it makes it hard to work with. However, the teachers are very supportive, helpful and honest. This gives me assurance that I am at the right place.
What is your favorite thing about photography? The fact that I can express myself visually. Sounds corny, but I'll explain. Growing up I loved drawing very much. I always drew portraits of people and as I got older, I finally met the love of my life, Photoshop. With Photoshop I able to create things that I once was not able to create and now I feel complete and it has helped expand my work.
How would you describe your photography style? My photography style goes more towards fashion but I do like playing with Photoshop and creating surrealistic work. But I do mainly like working with people.
What the most important thing you have learned? That not all fun things are easy. Although photography is fun it’s not as easy as everyone thinks. There is a whole business side of it that I am still struggling with. I was never great with business, so now I am trying to work myself.
Are you working on a project or anything big right now? Yes! I am working on getting professional portraits for the Angolan Military and potentially taking professional portraits of the Angolan President, because there are none.
Why the specific focus on Angola? I’m drawing a focus on Angola simply because I plan to there live there after graduation and also because people are really closed-minded about visual arts; I want to encourage people to do what they love.
What's the next step after you graduate? After I graduate I want to freelance for about a year here in America, then go back home to Portugal for a while, and then ultimately work on my project that I was just describing.