At just 16-years-old, Jessica Pernikoff knew she would spend her life taking photos. "I entered a photograph into a photography contest and won," she explains. "I knew then that’s what I wanted to do with my life, but it took me a while to realize I could do it for a career."
After nine years working in the advertising and film spheres, Pernikoff returned to school bent on pursuing photography in earnest. "I can only imagine where I would be if I had followed my heart in the beginning," she muses.
Of course, the remarkable work she's accomplished thus far is nothing to shrug at. Her gift for revealing the hidden soulfulness or sentiment in a given moment makes her images as emotionally affecting as they are beautiful.
"An amazing photographer told me once that photography is like cooking," she explains. "You add something, you taste it, and then you can add something else -- or not. How brilliant. Everything made sense after [hearing] that. I love to cook and I cook from my heart, just like my photography."
In the next year, Pernikoff plans to devote the same passion and talent to photographing her native country: Colombia. "I'm obsessed with my culture!" she exclaims. "I love the stories, the warmth of the people, the landscapes and the language. I'm passionate about showing the other side of Colombia and Colombians that the rest of the world doesn’t see."