We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Korff and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jessica, what role has risk played in your life or career?
This question feels a little scary in and of itself! There was a time where I perceived nearly everything as a dangerous risk to be avoided. Thanks to an abusive childhood and later on a verbally and emotionally abusive marriage, I learned to avoid anything that even remotely looked like risk. Because danger lived there. The fear of the outcome surrounding risk kept me self sabotaging for many years in my business. What if I failed? What if everyone saw I failed? What if everyone learned I actually wasn’t as perfect as I tried so hard to convince them all I was? Every single decision was riddled with fear and anxiety, and as a result, if I didn’t have every piece and step figured out in any potential new venture… then it didn’t happen. All the t’s must be crossed, and i’s dotted before I would even consider it. Then something happened. I got really sick and tired of hitting the glass ceiling, I knew everything I needed to know, I knew I did the absolute best I could in all things I did… but I honestly had no idea how to break my way through it. I read every book I could find and learned from every teacher that I thought could help. But I just ended up frustrated, now I had all the knowledge of what was happening, why it was happening and even steps on how to potentially get through it… but the fear was still too big… and it still stopped me every chance it got. In August of 2019, I attended The Landmark Forum. After a 3 day experience that felt like I went through 10 years of therapy, I left feeling completely free of that fear and anxiety. I was like a new person. And permission was just granted to me to finally fly. After that, I saw most risk as a must-take-opportunity. No more missed chances. I was going to take every single one that came my way. In came a brand new problem. With my newfound permission to jump, I found myself jumping in and launching things without “all my ducks in a row”, saying “I’ll figure it out as a I go! By itself, that concept is fine… except when I launch 5 new projects during my busy season and find it hard to stay within my integrity. Taking far more on then I could handle, because the fear now was in missing out. The pendulum had now swung hard all the way to the other side, and sometimes that meant making reckless choices. Balls were starting to drop, and messes were starting to be made. I am now finding myself in a place that is hopefully becoming a little more balanced. Discovering more about what my core values and beliefs are so that I can use that to assess how new opportunities fit in and take a risk on the things worth taking risks on when the time is also right to do so. Risk is not inherently good or bad as I think we often see it. It’s just not that black and white. Instead, I believe it is how we approach it that makes all the difference. Do we approach it like it’s an announcement of impending armageddon? Running from it with fear and dread… or do we approach it like we have serious FOMO as we jump full in, like a cool and murky lake in the dead of summer– without concern of what may be lurking beneath the surface just hoping it will be the solution to our immediate problems. Or maybe instead, as I do now, you see it as a potential opportunity that, if it aligns, becomes an exciting ride. It may not work out, but it also might. Either way, you know it’s worth it when you take it, because you know yourself and what you value.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I started my business, officially, in 2016. The decision came shortly after I had had my 4th daughter. I was a preschool teacher of over 13 years and was attending art school for graphic design. My daughter was proving to be a high-needs baby and working in the room just next to her I would hear her struggle and cry most of the day. After several months of it just not getting better my husband suggested I quit and take my side hobby to the next level. That was probably one of the scariest moments in my life! To leave a steady, comfortable, and creative job and go into something that had zero guarantees. One thing I knew was that I wanted what I did to be important. I wanted it to be something that made a difference. While I had been attending school for graphic design, I had fallen into photography. And the difference between handing a business their logo and a mother the photos of her child fed my soul. That’s when I knew that photography would be where my journey took me next. Nearly 5 years later, I focus heavily on helping women who do not feel photogenic feel beautiful, seen, and celebrated.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
One of my favorite things about Tucson is the wide array of local food and art. We would definitely enjoy dinner at Guadalajara Fiesta Grill, We would also have breakfast at Prep & Pastry, and take a walk through downtown and 4th avenue. We would also visit The Tucson Museum of Art, Mount Lemmon, A Mountain, and The Tucson Botanical Gardens.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Where do I start? I honestly believe nearly every interaction will shape you in some way. The good and the bad. If I had to start somewhere, the success of my business would not be here if it were for BNI Sozona. Without somewhere to go for someone who hardly knew anything about running a business, to grow, and learn and become that business owner, and also being able to connect, build relationships and rely on others to help you get the word out about your business, I don’t think I would have made it past the first year. That was by far one of the best decisions I could have made at that time in my business. Then, The Landmark Forum changed everything for me when I was hitting my glass ceiling. Removing the fear and anxiety that kept me playing small and making space to step into playing big. Finally, the book Everything is Figuroutable by Marie Farleo was the book that I was listening to when I decided to create Success REfashiond Magazine, a magazine that celebrates women in business and gives them a place for their voice to be heard, a platform to be seen and the space to step into their greatness and get inspired by others doing the same.

Website: www.fdlphoto.com ; www.HeadshotsThatWow.com ; www.refashiondmagazine.com ; www.artofhertucson.com
Instagram: @Fleurdelea_JessicaKorff ; @REfashiond_Magazine
Facebook: www.facebook.com/fleurdeleaphotography ; www.facebook.com/refashiondmag ; www.facebook.com/groups/refashiondmag

Image Credits
All images on the second photo page by myself, Jessica Korff at Fleur de Lea Photography my headshot on the first photo page is by Michelle Owens at Artifact Photography Studio

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.