She lives in an apartment in the 10th arrondissement of Paris. She flits from fashion week to fashion week, making a living snapping street style and taking photos for her blog We The People Style, and she shoots for brands such as Jimmy Choo, Net-A-Porter, TopShop and Calvin Klein. In between fashion shows, she spends one week every year on a yacht in the Mediterranean taking photos for her Instagram account… and getting paid for it.
Yes, even Jessie Bush admits she leads a charmed life. “I get to do exactly what I want, and that’s kind of my career…. I mean… the pure ridiculousness of how great my job can be…” she laughs before trailing off.
That job started five years ago back in Wellington, New Zealand, where Bush - who endearingly still has a strong Kiwi accent - studied journalism. “I’d been reading so many style blogs my boyfriend said why don’t you write one? So I went out and shot street style.”
Back then, there were hardly any other style bloggers in New Zealand, and soon afterwards Bush and her boyfriend (now fiance) decided to move to Sydney - a move that quickly proved precipitous. Within a few months, Bush had landed an ongoing gig shooting street style with Westfield, and was contributing regularly to a fashion website. From there, things snowballed, and within no time she’d joined the global fashion caravan, travelling between New York, London, Milan and Paris twice a year.
Bush, who is likeable and funny, is at pains to point out that her job isn’t non-stop glamour. “My day involves a hefty amount of emails… the planning and organising of shoots.” And she says fashion week can be tougher than it looks. “Paris is just truly chaotic – 50 people chasing one person for a picture, cameras getting smashed on the ground, grown men crying…it’s very dramatic! And it’s very serious business!”
But overall, she feels lucky. “My day-to-day to life is driven by my own creative goals and desires and nothing else. It’s quite freeing to have that realisation on a daily basis so that’s what I’m really thankful for.”
Here, Jessie Bush shares her tips for nailing the perfect Instagram shot:
Look for the light
"I shoot mostly on my iphone. For me, it’s all about natural light. I am definitely all about finding nice, clean, minimal locations. Keep an eye out for clean white surfaces to reflect off. When you go to restaurants don’t be shy to ask for the table near the window!"
Use editing tools
"These days I mostly use the editing tools within Instagram rather than editing apps. So mostly traditional editing tools like contract, sharpening, saturation.
"If I do use a filter, just 5-10 per cent so you can barely tell."
Try a different angle
"Always try to go for the unexpected. If you have a certain shot in mind, take it that way but then go from a different perspective, a different angle. Often the shots you don’t’ anticipate are the ones that are the most interesting and get the most engagement."
This week Jessie is shooting for marie claire at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia.
To see more of her work, visit We The People Style