So today is the day when I finally do what I've been saying I'll do for about 2 years now... Start a blog! I'm a little clueless to this but sometimes you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone and see where it takes you.
So just to introduce myself for those of you who don't know me... Hello, I'm Jade, a qualified newborn photographer in the Leicestershire (UK) area. I've had my business for almost 7 years now, and I absolutely love what I do! If you're at all interested in my story and how I became a photographer, here it is...
I've always been artistic and creative but I bought my first camera at 14, absolutely fell in love with photography and my camera soon became my necklace, bringing it everywhere with me and I started taking photo's of absolutely everything and anything. There's only so many photo's you can take of buildings, ducks and leaves so I started taking photographs of family and friends as a hobby, adding them to an online portfolio to showcase my work. This is when the good bit started, people started asking me to take their family photo's for money! I soon realised being paid for something I love doing was a great idea, so I set my business up officially at 17 alongside my graphic design college course, offering mobile photography at the weekends which I did for 2 years.
At 19 I went on to study graphic design at University, and although I enjoy designing, photography was my absolute passion and I just wanted to pursue my business full time rather than sit in lectures waiting for the 3 years to be over until I could. Luckily my Dad knew how important my degree was and made me a deal, if I stuck at University and got good grades, he would build me my own studio. This was all the motivation I needed so I knuckled down, doing the odd wedding and photoshoot here and there, but there was hardly any time for anything other than Uni work as it was so intense (it's not all partying like people think, honest). Finally the 3 years were over, I graduated with a 2:1 and became Jade Dowling - Bachelor of Arts. I was super proud of myself for completing Uni, but the only thing I could think about was my new studio. My Dad stuck to his promise, and 6 months after graduating I had my very own studio!!
Two years after the studio being open, I made the concious decision to specialise in just newborn photography as this is what I loved doing most of all. I transformed it from the standard white backdrop look, into a creative newborn photography studio filled with (way too many) props and all things baby. If you don't already know, you have to be trained in newborn photgraphy, you can't just decide to do it, so I took part in many newborn training sessions, joined the Guild of Professional Photographs and was then approved by BANPAS (Baby & Newborn Photography Association and now I have been a qualified newborn photographer for a year!
That brings us to now, finally where I want to be, photographing newborns, although the downside is that I get pooped on A LOT. I'm hoping to grow my business, get even better at what I do, expand my studio and my client base, and meet lots of new baby's.
It was so hard starting a business, and if anyone tells you it's easy, it's really not! But if you are truely passionate about something and know that's what you want to do, then just go for it, never give up on a dream just because of the time it takes to accomplish it. It's taken me 7 years to get to where I am now, and there's still room for improvement. And yes, there will be knockbacks, and you may fall down 7 times but as long as you get back up 8 times you're okay!