If you missed the spotlight last week on an awesome Realtor, please check it out here. You won’t be disappointed!
Also, if you are interested in being spotlighted, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We would love to show off your talents!
Today I have a very special spotlight for you! Jessica Neumann Photography is based out of Frederick, Maryland. She is one talented lady! I have known Jessica for 4 years when we met during out journey to motherhood. She has been a wonderful friend and support for me over the years. Now that we are both photographers, she has also been a wonderful business friend and always has awesome advice or ideas to share with me. You could say we kind of live parallel lives across the country. Why are you spotlighting another photographer you ask? Well I honestly believe that her work is worth sharing and that anyone who lives on the East Coast should try to get a session with her. You won’t be sorry and will have memories to cherish for a lifetime! It would be one of my dreams to do a photo shoot together with her…we would have so much fun!
The photos shown are some of Jessica’s amazing work. Welcome Jessica of Jessica Neumann Photography! (Make sure to like her Facebook page and check out more of Jessica’s work by clicking on the links at the bottom of the interview! Oh, and if you like her work, make sure to leave her some love on her FB page or leave a comment here!)
Jessica Neumann Photography
How long have you been in business? How did you get into photography?
I have been in business for 1.5 years. I got into photography like a lot of other photographers have . . . after the birth of my first child. There is something about your first born that makes you want to capture every fleeting moment, expression, milestone, sparkle of the eye. . . I became so involved in wanting to capture his personality just perfectly that the technical side of photography became a must. I then engulfed myself in learning the most I could from anyone willing to share a tidbit. I read a lot online and began practicing all the time. It really becomes not just a passion but an obsession (in a good way of course).
What is special about your business or how do you stand out?
Well, there are so many amazing photographers out there right now that it is hard to say “I am awesome because . . .” I am extremely humbled every day by other’s talent and in awe of their creativity and drive to do and be more than the photographer sitting next to them. So for me I think that what makes me special is that I am never complacent with my photography. I want to be always learning, growing and evolving as an artist. I think that my clients feel that from me and they can tell how passionate I am in capturing the essence of each individual newborn, family, child, etc.
What type of business do you run?
I am a portrait photographer specializing in maternity, newborn, child and family portraiture.
Are you a studio or on-location photographer?
I am both. I adore working with natural light and travel to do outdoor sessions during the months we can get outdoors as well as utilize natural light for some of my newborn on-location sessions. I also have a studio in which I use studio lighting.
Do you have a favorite subject matter or specialty?
Newborns. I LOVE LOVE LOVE newborns!
What is your dream shoot?
Any grouping of individuals who show a true connection with each other. That is all it takes for me and it shines through in the images. I will say that there is something really special about shooting first time parents with their newborns because I know they are sleep deprived and teetering on clarity, but you can always still see how in love they are with their new little baby.
What is your gear and go-to lens?
Nikon d700 and my 50mm, 1.4G . . . though I am really learning to love my 85mm as well.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
It excites me, challenges me and makes me happy. What more could you ask for?
How did you come about doing what you are doing? How did you decide to make the first step and create a business out of your passion?
Well, as I explained before I was just drawn to it in the beginning. Then, I asked my very best friend if I could do a few maternity shots for her just for fun (please don’t ask me to share these?! Haha). She was very sweet and let me practice on her and then once the baby was born I did his newborn pictures when he was 14 days old. From there, it just became friends and friends of friends, etc until it got to the point that I needed to organize what I was doing, pay taxes and start charging for my time. I did A LOT of free work and portfolio building before I really felt comfortable saying “I am a photographer” and charging others for my work.
What was the BEST decision that you have made for your business?
To charge my worth. I thought long and hard about what time away from my family meant to me and what I brought to the table when it came to providing images to my clients.
What is your best form of marketing to your customers?
Facebook and word of mouth.
Are you married? Do you have any children?
Yes, a wonderful and supportive husband who picks up my slack when I have shoot or editing to do. Two children . . . 3 and 10 months. Busy, busy J
How do you find balance in life/family/work? When you get stressed out, what is your favorite outlet?
Hmmm, we are still working on this. I feel I am getting better at this all the time, but it was really hard when I had a new baby. My favorite outlet when I am stressed is mindless, reality TV. There I said it.
What are three things that you couldn’t live without as a business women?
1. My Dad, the CPA and my assistant at more than one shoot. 2. A supportive husband who encourages you and trusts your decisions. 3. A background in business.
What is one thing that totally surprised you about starting a business?
How much I would love being the boss. I love being the only one that my clients hold accountable for praise and/or mistakes. I have always like owning what I do, so this really fits me.
What is one mistake you have made or lesson you have learned from running your own business?
Do not let others walk all over you or take advantage. There is a difference between being kind and being a doormat.
And finally, what 3 pieces of advice would you give someone starting out in business, or someone just trying to balance their business/ family lives better?
1. Lay it all out ahead of time. Don’t try to just jump in without all your ducks in a row (insurance, tax info, child care, pricing structure, etc)
2. It is ok to say no. I say no all the time. I have been asked to do a few weddings recently and my answer is always a swift “no”. I know where I am right now and where I am going so I will leave that to others for the time being.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I have probably asked every stupid question in the book and you know what . . . so what? This also means asking for help from your husband, family, etc. Use your support team around you or else you will find yourself stressed and feeling like you are on an island by yourself.
Facebook link: Fan Page
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Thanks so much Jessica! You rock!