My Story: Jackie Jean Photography
Hi, I'm Jackie and I'm glad you're here visiting my site. We have an awesome community of 400,000+ photographers and growing daily. Our community group is helpful with critiques and tips to help you grow as a photographer and artist.
I have always been passionate about photography and remember taking photography back in high school. In my early twenties, I was working as a medical administrative assistant and shot weddings and portraits in my spare time. I always dreamed of pursuing photography as a full-time occupation, but I had a small family and it just seemed so far out of reach at the time.
One day, the doctor I worked for retired and the hospital decided not to continue with his program so I was out of work. The job was good and allowed me the flexibility to work from home part of the time. We have 5 amazing boys now, but then we only had two and I had my heart set on staying home with them as much as possible. With my work situation, finding something that flexible again would be nearly impossible.
It was that tough situation that pushed me to take the small amount of money I had in savings and invest it in new camera gear. I still remember feeling really excited when I went to purchase the camera. It was a Nikon F100 and a 50mm 1.8 lens. My husband had also sold one of his high-end guitar amps (his Mesa Boogie Nomad 55), to help me purchase the equipment. He also built me a new website to show off my work.
It was a struggle at first to get good paying clients. I did a lot of promotion and really worked to put myself out there. I'd like to tell you that everything went smoothly and I was a success right out of the gate but that simply wasn't the case. Our home was foreclosed on, we had both of our vehicles repossessed and we struggled for a few years but we did land on our feet.
My husband was supportive and continued to help me work to expand my business. A few years later he decided to make a career change that sent us traveling all over the United States living in places like Woodland Park Colorado, Jupiter Florida, Detroit Michigan and Portland Oregon.
We also traveled all over the place staying in different states for weeks and months at a time. It was quite the adventure. We have a lot of great memories with our kids from those times. We still love to travel but it is harder to do now with the older two in high school and all our boys being involved in various team sports.
One of the hardest things about moving around all the time was I kept having to start my business over from the ground up each time we would move. This also presented an incredible opportunity. My clients loved my work and because we traveled so much I began to build a national client base of regular customers.
Every year we would travel from Oregon to Montana, to Colorado, To Texas, then Atlanta, Florida and all the way back. Each time I would always get calls to book from my clients and their friends. My network grew and provided opportunities to begin teaching and putting on workshops for other photographers.
I have met some wonderful families, models, and other photographers because of this work and it has been a remarkably rewarding experience. I have some amazing friends I've been blessed to meet while on my travels and putting on workshops. For me connecting with people and mutually pulling out the best in each other is the absolute best thing about being in the photography business.
When I first started I was an extremely shy and introvert person. I still am, but I no longer let that get in the way of enjoying what I do and I don't let it hinder me from truly connecting with others. My passion is encouraging others to do what they love and I'm blessed to live that passion every day.
I used to shoot weddings and anything else I could find, but for over a decade now I have focussed solely on creative portrait photography. I do family, children and senior portraits since those allow me to connect with clients on a regular basis and build great relationships with my clients. It also allows me a lot of freedom which I need so I can juggle being a mom of five boys.
That's a little piece of my story, lots of funny, heartbreaking and inspiring details left out. I hope you'll give myself and our team here a chance to get to know you and hopefully encourage, challenge and inspire you to do what you love and do it at the highest level!