The Los Angeles Spotlights: Jessica Sample

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A good photographer invites you in; a great one convinces you to stay. Jessica Sample’s travel photography resonates with our collective wanderlust. She’s a compassionate guest, invested in her subjects and married to the moment. Sample’s work is part intentional design, part divine intervention. Her work relies on spontaneity, on the inexplicable gems that reveal themselves through faces and fleeting daylight: the last sliver of light in Santorini, for example, or a mariachi band in Valladolid tres sheets to the wind. There’s a sense of discovery in Sample’s work that lends itself to intimate portraits and unconquerable landscapes alike. After five years as the Deputy Photo Editor at Travel + Leisure in New York, Sample embraced her inner pioneer and made the move back to LA, where the freelance life beckoned. There are, after all, worse places to have a free Tuesday. But her repertoire is no joke.

Sample’s work can be found everywhere from local publications like Los Angeles Magazine, C Magazine and LA Confidential, to international big-hitters like Conde Nast Traveller UK, National Geographic Traveler, Travel + Leisure and The Wall Street Journal. She takes FOMO to the next level, transporting you to a coffee house in Vienna or the tail end of a swell in Mukul. When she’s not on the road, her photography captures the light and space of LA interiors, leaving the viewer with room to breath. Even her celebrity portraits share a down to earth quality, emphasized by the organic nature of her shoots. Of course, it’s no surprise: Sample’s spirit is as light and inclusive as her photos. With each image, we see the reflection of a generous artist—one who seeks to share the moment, rather than dominate it.

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