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Meet Jessica Santo, Local Business Owner and Inspiration « Back to Search Results

“Everyone deserves to have a good photo.” That's the philosophy behind Jessica Santo’s Falls City photography business.

Jessica's heart is big, and it shows. Her belief in the power of photography, the power of images, is what drives her to create beautiful pictures of people throughout the community and throughout the country.

She believes that everyone should have the ability to freeze special moments in time, regardless of their financial capacity. This belief has led her to donate time to community members who could not afford to have professional photographs taken. For example, annually she offers high school seniors the opportunity to visit her studio for Senior Click Day. Each senior receives three free head shots that they can use for the yearbook, scholarship applications, etc. She also conducts Battle Sessions free of charge. These are for community members who are diagnosed with a terminal illness, are entering hospice or facing another life challenge. Similar sessions are offered for free to those who are having to put down a pet due to an illness or disease.

When Jessica is not busy taking photos in Falls City, she goes on the road, capturing pictures of terminally ill children and their families for Go Shout Love, a charity she started with Kristin Estok. Once a month, she meets with families, taking pictures to document what their life is like, a child's daily struggle and the joy that families find in these difficult times. The charity raises awareness and raises funds to help those families.

The studio

When Jessica initially began her photography business, she is primarily focused on shooting weddings. As such, her weekends were mostly spent on the road. When she had children, she realized that she wanted to work closer to home. After analyzing her business model, she decided to open a studio and focus on taking pictures for local families and seniors instead. She created a business plan, put additional efforts into marketing her studio and the community has been very receptive.

Jessica lives her passion

Her story is an inspiration to women who want to work and pursue their passion, give back to the community at large, and still have time for their family. Jessica has proven that it is possible to do it all if you are willing to be creative, flexible and open about your priorities. For example, customers know that if she has a sick child or plans a family vacation, their photographs may be delayed a day or two. Still, she finds that local parents appreciate her being open and vulnerable about her own role as a mother and that her vulnerability can help to put them at ease during family photoshoots.

Jessica has discovered that success as a business person and parent comes down to supporting one another and being an integral part in the community, something that she certainly is.

To connect with Jessica or to schedule a photoshoot, visit http://www.jessicasanto.com/.