Inspiring Interview | featuring Jackie Jean Photography
Our Inspiring Photographer Interview for this week features the amazing and super creative, Jackie Jean Photography, based out of Portland in Oregon. You can follow more of her gorgeous work by liking her over on Facebook! Please meet Jackie…
A few words from Jackie Jean Photography
My name is Jackie Jean and I specialize in children and family portraiture in all natural light. I have been in business for over eight years. I am currently located in the beautiful Northwest (Portland, OR). I am a mom of four boys and lover of music and coffee!
If there was one thing you would want us to know about you, what would it be?
I am musician and love playing and singing as much as I love photography. My husband is a writer, singer, and can play anything he touches and I am proud to say I can carry a beat with a bass guitar and am getting better at playing the acoustic! One day I aspire to actually start writing!
Share with us your favorite image and why.
I have so many favorites from different sessions but I chose this image because this is where taking portraits of families really clicked for me and I fell in love with it.
What inspired you to be a photographer?
I’m not too sure, I have had a camera in my hand since I can remember. I had a cheap 35mm and 110mm camera I took everywhere with me and was always taking pictures. I took a photography class in high school and that’s when I decided I wanted to pursue a career with it.
How long was the transition from hobbyist to paid professional and how long have you officially been taking paid clients?
Hobbyist lasted from kid until about 24 years old. I had done free work and a couple free weddings but it was at 24 years old when I “officially” went into business. I was laid off at my job, so my husband said it was time to really pursue what I wanted to do and this next Spring will mark 9 years!
What type of session do you look forward to the most (maternity, newborn, child, family, senior, wedding, engagement, etc) and why?
Any session that requires me to stretch my creativity, I am over the moon about. I will say though, I get excited about family sessions now because I think it’s so important to get those moments of family togetherness. Children and Seniors come at a close second!
On average, how many sessions do you have a month?
I just relocated back to Portland a month ago after being gone for a couple years, so I am somewhat starting over again. Ideally, I only like to take 4-5 a month.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
It would be my first paid session! I laugh and cringe at the same time when I think about it! A dear friend of mine said she wanted to pay me to do her family photos. I was so nervous, I made my husband come along with me and he ended up doing all the talking and posing for me because I could barely utter a word of instruction! My husband actually had to help me the first year because I am not naturally a talker so if you are a shy person by nature, know you can grow out of it! I now look forward to chatting with and meeting new people!
Are you formally taught or self taught? And what has been the best source of information along this journey (workshop, online forums, classroom, mentor, etc)?
I am self taught. Lots of trial and error in business and photography. When I switched from film to digital, online photography forums were a good resource.
What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
Mostly people and just getting to know them. After having a conversation and getting a feel for who they are, that is when the ideas start to come in. I also love antique shops, as I might come across something I may want to use for a future shoot.
Nikon or Canon, other? Favorite lens?
Nikon though I do still have a little Canon AE-1 (Film). Favorite lens would have to be the 135mm, I love the creaminess of it!
RAW or jpg and why?
Jpg because I like to get in and out of photoshop!
Do you use Lightroom, Photoshop, both or other?
Photoshop for sure! I’ve tried LR a couple times and still can’t seem to fall in love with it.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Have confidence in who you are, read books on marketing and business, know you camera and your craft, and then go from there!
What is your favorite and least favorite part of owning your own photography business?
Favorite part is meeting new people, developing new friendships, and stretching my creativity. Least favorite, would be the behind the scenes paperwork, the tedious business end.
Who is the most inspirational photographer in your life?
Oh gosh, it varies depending on the styles but I have always loved Jinky Art for her creativity, Pastel Photography for the emotion she captures, and Erin Drallos, founder of ACPCG. In person, would be my high school photography teacher. He was so honest with his critiques that it always pushed me to work harder and he always took his time to encourage me.
Do you see yourself as a photographer many years down the road?
I hope so!
Finally, please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
Real, Fun, Simple, with a bit of Imagination
A few fun questions:
1. what is your favorite food? exactly my problem, I love ALL food
2. what is your favorite beverage? coffee
3. your favorite item of clothing? my hoodie
4. your go to pair of shoes? my pink nike sneakers, the only pink in my wardrobe
5. what is one word you catch yourself saying too often? dude