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Meet Jess Robertson-Photographer and an AMAZING “Mommy-to-Be”!

wendy

Meet Jess Robertson.  She is an a fantastic  photographer and is soon to be an AMAZING Mama!

Jess is a wedding and lifestyle photographer from southern California who has followed her dreams and passions and now has a full-time photography business.  And yes my friends, IT ALL STARTED WITH ME RA AND A CONFIDENCE WORKSHOP!!  She and her hubby are expecting their first child and we are so excited for them.  Tune in tomorrow, June 23rd from 5-7pm PST, on the Soarority Forum,  as she shares how she got her business not only off the ground but into a full-time career!  She has also started “The Artist’s Way” morning pages.  I love reading about this on her blog!  She is amazing!


Q.  When did you start your business and what was the turning point of taking it from a hobby to a business of charging people?
I just started my business in April of 2010.  I attended Me Ra’s workshop in Orange County and had the “a-ha” moment I had been waiting for my whole life 🙂  My husband still talks about me calling him after that first day of the workshop, and how he has never heard me talk that passionately about anything in the 9 years we’ve known each other.  I called a friend the next day who had just had her baby, and I scheduled my first photo shoot for that week!  I ended up doing about 5 more sessions over the next month for friends (free of charge) in order to build up a portfolio and design a website, then I immediately started charging people.

Q.  What inspires your photography?  What made you fall in love with photography?
It’s always the people that I work with that ultimately inspire my photography.  I love stories.  I’ve loved stories since I was a little kid.  So, I can’t think of any greater honor than getting to know the stories of the families and couples that I work with and help tell their stories through images.

Even though I’ve been taking pictures since I was very young, I specifically fell in love with photography while backpacking across Europe in 2007.  I spent so much time just watching people and became fascinated with capturing these moments that were happening all around me.  A little boy running through a sea of pigeons in the Piazza San Marco in Venice.  An old man playing the clarinet in Dublin, Ireland.  A mom walking with her little girl around Buckingham Palace.  Sure, I probably looked like I stalker, but I didn’t care 🙂 When I got home, I purchased a few books on photography and shared my experience with people, but life got in the way.  It wasn’t until October of 2009 that photography came back into the picture (no pun intended!).  My husband, also a wonderful photographer, got the Canon 5D at work and brought it home for my birthday weekend.  We took a little road trip and stopped at spots along the way so that I could practice, and I fell in love all over again.  But it wasn’t until I attended Me Ra’s workshop a few months later that everything fell into place for me.

Q.  What inspires you as a person, artist?
Beauty, Love, Authenticity, Relationships.  Capturing a new mom breastfeeding her one week old baby.  Capturing one of the most important days in the lives of a couple.  Capturing life’s everyday moments as art.  I could not love what I do more!  I am constantly inspired by the amazing artists that I look up to, my photographer friends, and the people that I have the joy of photographing.  I am so thankful for the relationships that I have as a result of pursuing my passion.

Q.  What is one or two pieces marketing/self-promotion ideas that you can give our newbies?
Tune in Thursday on the SOARORITY Forum from 5-7pm PST, where I will answer this one 🙂

Q.  If you are not behind the camera photographing fantastic people, what might we find you doing?
Well, I’m currently 11 weeks pregnant, so I’ve been too sick to do anything lately!  But any other time, you would probably find me at a coffee shop or hanging out with my awesome husband & puppy.  I also love to write, and I’m currently working on a couple of scripts with my younger brother.  And I’m a major movie buff, so I like to be at the theater on opening night for most new releases.  I realize this obsession will need to come to an end soon, but it will be replaced with spending time with our son/daughter so I’m okay with that 🙂

Q.  What is one of the best things you have done for the success of your business?
Tune in Thursday on the SOARORITY Forum from 5-7pm PST, where I will answer this one 🙂

Q.  What are the classes/workshops/DVDs/books or websites that you’ve watched or read to teach yourself photography? Were they helpful?
Wow, where do I start?!  The list has gotten pretty long over the year 🙂  I started with Me Ra’s DVDs, which were a huge help! Her Confidence Workshop, as I mentioned earlier, was the kick in the rear I needed to get my business going.  Chase Jarvis’ creativeLIVE (http://www.creativelive.com/) is AMAZING!  He has workshops available that you can view live or download, and all of the courses feature awesome people in various aspects of the industry.  In addition, I constantly network with other photographers, both locally and internationally.  Facebook, Twitter & the B School (http://www.thebschool.com/) are all great resources for networking. And the group of women that I met at Me Ra’s workshop last year have all been an incredible help and inspiration. Those of us that are local still try to get together once a month and catch up, do a photography exercise & share new things that we’ve learned.  Recently, I’ve been using Me Ra’s book “Your Baby in Pictures” to supplement the photography lessons I teach, and it’s another great tool!

Q.  Can you tell us a fun back story behind this GREAT  photo!

I actually took this photo almost a year ago, but it’s still one of my favorites 🙂  I was doing a session with this little girl, Eden, and her adorable brother in the backyard of their home.  Mom was inside making dinner and dad was doing some yard work.  I had brought bubbles along (something that works great for shoots with young kids!), but I was having a hard time keeping the kids attention, blowing bubbles, and capturing any good photos.  Haha!  Dad saw me struggling a little and came over and offered to blow the bubbles.  And this was the very first image I captured.  I just love the action & the look on Eden’s face!

Q.  What type of camera equipment did you have when you first started shooting portraits? And what have you added to your camera bag since then?
Tune in Thursday on the SOARORITY Forum from 5-7pm PST, where I will answer this one 🙂

Q.  How do you know about Me Ra and the SOAR! community?
I first found out about Me Ra from a friend that used her as her wedding photographer.  I still remember the first time I saw her blog.  The way she captured life made me look at photography differently than I ever had before.  I became an avid follower of her blog.  When she announced one of her first workshops in Seattle, I wanted to go SO bad!  I had no way of affording it at the time, however, and I didn’t even own my own camera so I couldn’t justify going.  I continued following all of her adventures and just knew that one day I would have a chance to go to a workshop. A few years later, I was sitting with my friend/co-worker (also a photographer) when Me Ra announced her latest Confidence Workshop dates. One of them was only an hour away from us!  We both went home and talked to our husbands, and they both agreed that we could go 🙂  And the rest is history!

I am so completely inspired by her passion! WOW!!!  I can’t wait for her to answer your questions on tomorrow night’s Ask and Learn Session on the Soarority Forum.  See you all there.  5-7pm PST

Have a good day!
Wendy, your SOAR! Coordinator

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  1. Kris

    June 22nd, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Jess, Wow! Congratulations on expecting your first baby!! What an exciting time! You will be an amazing mom! You are such an inspiration and encouragment to me. I love your photography and I feel blessed to have met you at MeRa’s workshop last year! Thank you for sharing yourself with others!

  2. Lynda Kennedy

    June 22nd, 2011 at 8:08 am

    So thankful we attended MeRa’s workshop together … only wished we lived closer so we get meet & chat over coffee!

    Love you Jess & your contagious spirit!

  3. Christina

    June 22nd, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Jess!!! YAY, I love you girl. You are so inspiring. I am so excited for you in your journey as a photographer and MOMMY!!
    So blessed to have met you and the workshop and developed a close relationship with you (& Stephen ;)).
    Congratulations!!!!!

  4. Amanda

    June 22nd, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Way to dream big and make it happen! I was also at MeRa’s workshop with you and it’s so exciting to see how far you have come in only one short year. You are inspiring!

  5. Diane

    June 22nd, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    Congratulations Jess!! I’m so happy for you and your husband, and look forward to many inspiring photos!!

  6. Christine Barker

    June 23rd, 2011 at 7:04 am

    So excited to have you on the forum tonight! I cant wait!

  7. Jess Robertson

    June 23rd, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Thank you all SO SO much for all of your love & support! It’s been such an honor & joy to get to know you all over the last year and I couldn’t be more blessed 🙂