Midwest Fashion Mogul Jackie Bertolette Leads on Inclusivity
HELLO JACKIE BERTOLETTE! SO GLAD YOU’RE HERE, THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO CHAT WITH US! CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF?
With over 30 years as a professional photographer focusing on fashion, as a graphic designer focusing on marketing and an entreprenuer focusing on retail, it was a natural progression to launch my own fashion magazine. I am the Founder, Editor In Chief, Creative Director and Lead Fashion Photographer of Haute Ohio Magazine. I am Executive Producer of Ohio Fashion Week. I am manager at DMSM – Discovered! Model Scouting & Managament Group. I am Designer of my line, RJ Luna Haute Clothier. I am Editorial Fashion Photographer at jacqueline j photographic arts. I am Co-Founder and Fashion Producer of FashionALLIANCE and Founder Great Lakes Fashion Network.
JACKIE PLEASE TELL US, WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
I became interested in photography because of a conversation with an aquaintance just out of high school. She was attending art school and was taking photography. I hadn’t considered a career in any type of arts and it sparked passion in me. I enrolled and graduated with a degree in Applied Science of Commercial Photography from Antonelli Institute of Art & Photography in Cincinnati, Oh at the age of 20
WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR ARTISTIC INSPIRATION?
I find inspiration all around me, every moment of every day and even in my dreams sometimes. It could be a pattern in fabric, a phrase someone said, a color in the sunset, etc. but usually it’s my creative mind that never stops churning out ideas-more than I could ever act upon. Inspiration for me is everywhere.
WHAT PEOPLE HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR CAREER?
As a commercial photographer, my influences have been iconic photographers like Ansel Adams, Richard Avedon, Annie Liebowitz. As a fashion photographer, Im influenced by fashion insiders like Anna Wintour, Iris Apfel, Rachel Zoe, etc, and fashion icons like Jackie O. and Audrey Hepburn. When it comes to composition in images, I am inspired by the posing of models like Linda Evangelista, Bella & GiGi Hadid and Tyra Banks and conceptually by designers like CoCo Chanel, Versace, Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Jimmy Choo and artists like Picasso, Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol.
FROM YOUR POINT OF VIEW, WHAT MAKES A GOOD PICTURE?
Having been taught all of the “correct” principles of compostion, I find myself in contradiction because I seem to be drawn to composition that breaks nearly every rule that was instilled in me. I prefer imperfection over perfection every time. Imperfect, heavy light to shadow ratio and drastic mood lighitng are my goto. I prefer ambient light in almost every instance, especially when it is strong and harsh. I like extreme perspective and unusual posing coupled with controlled distortion. Basically, I am definitiely not fulfilled performing studio portrait sessions, although I can certainly execute a perfect rembrant when needed.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO GROW YOUR PERSONAL BRAND?
I am comitted to continually growing and learning. I will never stop seeking out photographers that I feel are better than me, as I can learn from them and their technique. I also continue to push my own envelope. I try to keep within the range that I feel is my brand, but I also try to infuse new life and freshness into each session.
WHAT IS THAT ONE THING THAT YOU ALWAYS KEEP IN YOUR MIND WHILE PREPARING YOUR CONTENT FOR SOCIAL MEDIA?
Is it my best work and is it all audience appropriate. It needs to be a striking image that will make the viewer stop and linger even if for just one1—3 seconds. Best case scenario is the image spurs them to click through to my website!
WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO BUDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS?
Know your equipment inside and out. Spend hours and hours testing different settings, bracketings, lighting sources, effects, etc. so that you will always know what the camera will produce under any lighting situation. Also, I don’t subscribe to the accepted truth that the price of the equipment determines a successful/good photographer. I believe that the ability to create intriguing compostion and “eye” of the photographer are the traits that determine real talent.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?
Find inspiration in others but fixate on your own experiences, successes and image output.
WHERE CAN OUR READERS FIND YOU ONLINE?
IG, TW, YouTube: @ohfw_official