@jordanrisa | 'Let the creatives do their thing'
Jordan is an LA-based creator who embodies the idea of style outlasting trends. As Studio’s exclusive interview will reveal, she creates content that resonates with her - rather than following industry categories.
Looking at her content, you can quickly see the meaning behind’s Jordan’s words. There is no particular pattern, but it undoubtedly works and has attracted significant brand attention. She highlights the importance of taking risks, not getting bogged down if every piece doesn’t perform as well as expected and how we should all use our circles of influence for good where possible.
How and why did you get into content creation?
It's so funny when people ask me this because to me I just take photos on my iPhone and that's that.
I mean, ever since I was young I LOVED taking photos. I was that friend in middle school who always had a disposable camera in her purse. In high school, I always had my digital camera with me and would take "profile pics" with friends for MySpace - lol.
In college, I always had my little digital camera - I probably went through 1 a year because I would always drop them drunkenly. I was the girl who posted 100 photos the next morning from last night's party... No matter how inappropriate.
But professionally, I guess when I started working. When I first hit 10k I was like, "ok, I guess I should probably be posting better photos" and started thinking more about what I was posting. I also started working at a social media agency called SWIM, where we would manage social media platforms and create content for various clients so I had to learn how to take cute flat lays, make mood boards, etc.
It all was really a natural thing - I've just always liked capturing personal moments. Working in social media since I graduated from college kind of fine tuned that.
How did you find your niche?
I still feel like I haven't! Whenever I go to events, people always ask, "so what do you do?" and I'm always like, "I do social media managing for my clients full-time but I guess I'm here because I post photos of myself on Instagram - haha."
I often get referred to as a fashion blogger, but I'm not one. I feel like in the social media industry when it comes to "Influencers" everyone has a category - photographer, fashion blogger, foodie, etc. I am just a working girl with an iPhone 8 who posts random photos of herself - and that's really where I fit in best. I guess I'm a lifestyle "Influencer" but calling yourself an Influencer is a little cringy.
How do you decide what to share and what to keep private?
It's tough - I'm not sure. It's honestly what I'm in the mood for. I usually keep my professional/personal life more private. You don't see a lot of my family, friends or husband on my Instagram because it's nice to have those people who don't talk about social media or care about it. At the same time, if Ben and I take a good photo or if I'm making fun of him, I'll post it to my feed or story.
What I do share, though, are my thoughts and opinions. I know people try not to get "political" but I often don't even see it like that. If I see an article or story that makes me mad or happy, I share it. I also share random thoughts I have through my captions. I love the IG Questions feature because it allows me to share more about who I am and what I think and how I feel with my followers.
What rules do you follow when creating branded content?
When creating branded content, I ask myself; "Is this cheesy??"
I don't like when photos are too contrived or posed or thought out, which does get difficult with branded content because you have guidelines you have to follow. I “try" my hardest to keep it light and casual and effortless as much as I can. I also REALLY try to not take cheesy photos. There's so much cheesy content out there and I don't want to contribute to that.
What is your favourite city to work in?
Los Angeles because of the weather and the community. If London had LA weather, I would move there in a heartbeat.
What improvements could be made to influencer marketing?
Fewer guidelines :). Let creatives do their thing. The photos will come out more natural and organic and the followers will appreciate and buy into that more.
Any tips and tricks you'd like to share with other creators?
I think social media can go in so many different ways, you might as well just experiment with different things. See what YOU like. See what filters look good with your skin tone, style, environment - you don't have to use someone else's. If you like food or interiors, post it. Don't be afraid that it won't get likes. I don't want to see 80 photos of you in a row. I want to see who you are, what you're interested, where you're going. Idk maybe that's just me :).
How would you describe your aesthetics?
(Just looking at my feed....)
Tumblr! I want my content to look like you could have seen the photos on Tumblr. When someone comments "this is so Tumblr" that's such a compliment.
Tell us something no one knows about you.
I was in tabloids all over the world about 10 years ago because David Beckham took a photo with a fan. That fan was me.
Also, I'm REALLY messy. People always come over and are shocked by how messy I am. Clothes, bags, shoes - everywhere. I'm trying to be better but I've always been like this.
What's been your favourite piece of work to date?
Whenever I travel - those are my favourite photos I've taken. More specifically the ones from Milos, Greece:
I think I also have an emotional attachment to those photos because it truly was the most beautiful place I've ever travelled to.
Brand collaboration wise - a few photos I did for Gucci Guilty that @adrianmartinn took in a random Chinese grocery store. I thought those were cool.
And my wedding! I knew exactly what I wanted from location to the cake to who would sit next to who. I'm super proud of that whole weekend and the months leading up to it. It was so much fun and so beautiful - the best weekend of my life. It was perfect, you can see photos of the wedding here:
People that inspire you on Instagram (or generally)?
@emmawatson @zoeisabellakravitz and anyone who uses their Instagram to share shit that actually matters. Clothes and travelling are cute, but what do you stand for? I don't think people use their influence enough for good.
@_yanyanchan - she's so cool and fun and effortless.
@josefinehj - beautiful clothes. cool vibes. never cheesy.
@nycbambi - beautifully curated without trying too hard.
How can social media be a platform to encourage social awareness for good causes?
It's just as easy to share what social issues you're passionate about as it is to share what you're having for brunch or a new pair of shoes. Instagram stories are so great for it, especially if you find it difficult to share on a feed that is generally curated. Instagram stories should be a place where you're more candid and peel back a layer in showing a different side of you than what people may get from your feed. It's so easy to share a screenshot of a story you read, or a tweet you agreed with or maybe some copy on a plain background of your thoughts and feelings, paired with a link to give your audience an option to learn more.
I honestly don't understand why more "Influencers" don't share more about what they care about. I think sometimes people get intimidated delving a bit deeper and talking about things that are below the surface, or maybe feeling like they don't know enough. But isn't social media about conversations and dialogue and connecting? We're all here learning more about the newest moisturizer or the coolest places to eat and travel... why not use social to learn more about a great organization that's doing good for an under-resourced community? Or the dangers of texting while driving?
Jordan utilises her influence to discuss social issues in her parallel account @baddlosangeles, in which she addresses the dangers of drink driving within youth culture.
You may be the expert on travel or fashion or interior design, but no one expects you to be an expert on this social issue or that upcoming election. This is where you can connect with others and encourage people to inform one another respectfully on these types of topics.
On the other hand, if you have an experience or are very knowledgeable about a certain issue or organization, share it! When I began gaining a following, I felt compelled to share a story of what happened to me in hopes that it would benefit the lives of whoever is listening. I was a passenger in a drunk driving crash and broke my neck in 2 places. It's a miracle I'm alive and mobile and forming the thoughts to type these words out. As kids, we always hear from our parents to not drink and drive, but we often times don't take our parents as seriously as we should. When I was injured, I got so many messages on Facebook (pre-IG days) from students who said they often drink and drive but because they've seen what it can do through my experience, they won't ever do it again. I saw how important it was to talk about the dangers of drunk driving to people who actually will listen to us - people our age, people we can relate to. That's why I use my platform to talk about my experience and to remind people how dangerous and selfish drunk driving is and my audience has been super receptive to it.
Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?
I'll be 32... scary. I'd like to be happy. I'd like to have travelled to a lot more places than I have today. I'd like to have financial stability. I'd like to have personal freedom. I'd like to see myself in a cute home that I own.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Stop drinking so much!!! It's not as fun as you think it is. It's making you fat.
Something you couldn't live without.
LA weather. Constant love and attention (lol).
What words sum up your job title?
Let me make your social media cool.
Keep update to date with Jordan's shifting aesthetics and for general good vibes here.