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My Story: How I became a photographer


When people ask me how I got into the field of photography, my quick response is to explain how I bought a DSLR camera after the birth of my first child and it took off from there. But really my story begins more than 15 years earlier. Looking back I now realize I have always been drawn towards this beautiful form of art. Its as if I've always been meant to find myself in this career. 


One family vacation when I was 10 years old, instead of choosing to spend all day on the rides at Disney World, I elected to sit inside a room and learn about photography. I listened to a lecture, got some pointers, and then was sent outside with a disposable camera to practice what I had learned. I remember having this huge sense of pride when I had the photos developed. In fact it was just recently my father gave me the last of my childhood items from his home and inside the storage box were these photos. Of all the things I felt were important to keep as a child, they had made the list. In high school I took Photography 101 as an elective class, in college I studied its origins, but none of this was ever done with much intent. I didn't walk around thinking, "When I grow up, I want to be a photographer!". I simply found it fascinating and always welcomed any opportunities to learn more. 


So now fast forward to the part of my story where I explain I bought my first DSLR camera when my son was born. This truly was the beginning of my professional experience. Well of course, not quite yet, but it's how it all got started. Yep, I am one of those stories of mom turned photographer. And I love it. I mean how incredibly grateful I am that I live in a time and place where a woman can say one day, "Hey, I love doing this, and I'm good at it, so I'm going to make this happen." And I did. I started watching YouTube tutorials and reading blogs about how to use my camera. I became motivated to figure out how to shoot in manual and to learn what all the tiny little buttons on my camera did. I became obsessed with photographing my son's perfect little face and every single thing he did. Within a year I outgrew my camera and upgraded to a professional grade DSLR. I learned all about Photoshop, actions, and other editing tricks. I started following photographers online and whenever I saw a photograph that I didn't know how to recreate, I googled some more! 


One summer, one of my closest friends, Jamie, and I were talking and somehow convinced ourselves we should start a photography company. Within a few weeks we had booked our first clients, offering free sessions to build our portfolio. Looking back on that weekend cracks me up! How we ever got the nerve to begin, I give all the credit to Jamie. Her confidence and business sense held us together and although we didn't quite know what we were doing, we had officially made the leap and began Jaebird Photography. 


My story of becoming a photographer and running Jaebird Photography spans several years now. At times I've had to completely put it on pause for family and other life events. Other times I have been able to jump in full force and put all I've got into expanding my client base and growing as a photographer. As if the universe again intervened, newborn sessions began falling into my lap over the last several years. I have embraced this with my whole heart and know this is where my passion truly lies. As I move forward my hope is I can continue to pour love and intent into everything I do for Jaebird. I hope my work embodies this philosophy and I hope I continue to be fortunate enough to call myself a photographer.

Thank you for reading my story. 

Jenna

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Newborn & Family Photography for the San Francisco Bay Area & the greater Sacramento Area

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