Tuesday Inspiration Tell All

Hi there! I'm promising myself that this winter there will be a whole lot more blog posting. I was inspired by Oprah and the guests on some of her shows (yeah, I've been watching way to much OWN... and QVC, besides the point). Anyways, I wanted to start sharing with you guys inspiring stories of photogs who have taken it to the next level in 2011.

What better way to get pumped up for 2012, right? Here we go! I asked them several questions about their journey. Grab a cup of joe or hot chocolate and be prepared to take it to the next level in 2012. I know you can do it!

Jennifer Wakefield | Arizona

How did you get started? I really am one of those photographers that really has always wanted to be a photographer all my life, you could almost say it is in my blood.  I have several relatives who were photographers and taught photography at the local community colleges and universities.  The only thing that was holding me back all those years was money.  I wanted so badly to take a film photo class in high school, but we were very poor while I was growing up and my mom just could not afford it.  I had almost given up my dream until my father-in-law handed me his Olympus E-300 in 2008 and it just took off from there.  I started reading any and all online forums and text I could find and self taught myself to where I am today.

When did you know it was the right time to jump into this full time? I had been shooting part time for a couple years, but while on maternity leave in early 2010, I was able to take the time to restructure my entire business and become committed to full time soon after.

What were you doing before hand? Prior to being a photographer, I worked as an office manager by day and bartender by night.  In some odd way, both prepared me to be a photographer.

How did your family/spouse/significant other react? It took a while for many to realize this was not a hobby for me, some still have not accepted that this is not a hobby, but my husband has always supported me in following my dream.

What's your fav thing to shoot? Births!  Hands down. There is just something special and magical when you are present at another woman’s birth and have been welcomed to such and amazing milestone in a families life.  I didn’t know how important birth photography was to me (and the families) until I had the birth of our second son photographed.  I was able to see so many things that I had either forgotten or had never noticed.  Newborns are next on the list.

What's the hardest thing about owning your own business? Balancing family life with work.  It has taken a bit of time to find that right groove for our family, but now that it has been found, it’s smooth sailing.

What's the best thing about owning your own business? The best thing about owning my own business is I get to make my own rules!  But by far, the best part presenting images to clients, whether it be their wedding, the birth of their new baby, those precious moments within the first two weeks of life, their high school senior.  Whatever, it’s always the same reaction. Joy.   

If you could give someone trying to start out in this biz, one piece of advice what would it be? Do not jump too soon!  Learn your equipment inside and out, practice on anyone and anything to build your skills. Once you have those things down, start portfolio building.  Also do not forget to have the business side of things together (contracts, insurance, taxes, etc).  As artists we often forget, or choose to forget, these things but they are extremely important.

What/who is the biggest source of inspiration for you?   My peers.  I am a part of a few online photography forums, and whether they are just starting or “da-bomb”, it is such a big inspiration to see my peers develop and to learn and grow along with them.

What's in your gear bag? What was first in your gear bag, what did you buy next and how do you determine which other things you buy as far as lenses/cameras etc? I first bought a Nikon D90 kit, which contained a Nikon D90 body, a Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 VR, and a Nikon SB600 flash.

Currently I have a Nikon D90, Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8, Nikon 85mm f/1.8, Nikon 50mm f/1.8, Nikon 35mm f/1.8, and a Nikon SB600

I determine what I am going to buy next based on what I shoot most.  Since I shoot mostly in natural light, and am often in low light situations, I need fast lenses.  Slowly but surely, I am making my way up to the oh so awesome G series lenses… next to come?  Nikon D700!

Have there been any times that you wanted to quit? How did you make it through?   YES!  I don’t think there is one photographer out there that has never thought about quitting.  I push on by reminding myself that this is what I love to do, it was what I was born to do, and that I WILL do it.

Thank you so much for sharing Jennifer! Questions for Jennifer? Be sure to post them in our comments section! 

Want to apply to be part of our next level group? Email us for details at bp4uguides@gmail.com. 

4 Responses

Jennifer Starcher
Jennifer Starcher

December 06, 2011

This is a wonderful post and I love reading back stories. It makes me keep at it and keep trying. I am in a group with Jennifer and she is a wonderful and helpful person. I think that her personality also contributes to her success, on top of the fact that she ROCKS those images ;)


December 07, 2011

I LOVE Jennifer Wakefield photography! Loved the interview!


December 06, 2011

I love this Q&A! Such great photos, and such a great detailed interview! :)

Kaitlyn Elizabeth
Kaitlyn Elizabeth

December 06, 2011

Jennifer is awesome! She's creative, business savvy, and going about it the right way. <3 Her!

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