Jordana is one half of a husband and wife photography team ( gee that sounds familiar 🙂 ), and they shoot everything. Scrolling through their blog you get a great sense of these two, who just like to shoot. Good on them I say. Anyway enjoy!
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Jordana. I’m 27 years old. I grew up in NYC, where I had the ability to explore inspiring places like the Metropolitan Museum of Art regularly. I’ve always felt an artistic impulse, so my first “calendar shoot” was of a one-foot tall Norfin Troll in a variety of seasonal construction-paper outfits. Yes, I still have the pictures. No, you can’t see them. I went to college for theater, but always kept photography as a side pursuit. Upon graduation, my boyfriend, now husband, suggested that I consider photography as a career choice. The rest, as they say, is history……
Now, I am half of Jordana Wright Photography, the business that I own / operate with my husband Cassius. We base from our home in central Illinois, which provides easy access to most major Midwestern cities. We still visit the East Coast several times a year to photograph events, weddings, restaurants, and the like. Cassius maintains a thriving side career as a theatrical lighting designer, which affords me the opportunity to shoot live performances like plays, musical acts, and dance.
When we’re not out shooting, we’re in shooting – whether its the variety of elaborate meals we cook from scratch, abstracts around the house, or getting up close and personal with our 65lb blue pitbull, Dutch. Between that and the travel, we’re pretty busy people…..
What made you get into photography?
I’ve always enjoyed the creative and artistic outlet that photography provides me without needing to be highly skilled with a brush, pens, etc. I draw like an infant 🙂
How did you get started?
I was 6 or 7 when i got my first camera. I always loved souveniers, but my parents just wouldn’t buy me all of the things I wanted, so I started taking pictures to capture the memories of family trips. Just before a family trip to Europe, my parents got me my first slr, a canon rebel 2000. I was 17 years old, and i came back from that 10 day trip with 23 rolls of 36 exposure film. My dad was so pissed…..and then I ordered doubles.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
We shoot everything. Nothing is off-limits. Landscapes, food, abstract fine art, portraits, pets, weddings, hotel interiors, products, etc etc etc. One of the number one mistakes photographers make is thinking they need to specialize. That’s after dabbling in everything to see what you not only like, but are also good at. Its interesting that modern photography classes teach students to go for the money shots without truly considering if they will enjoy what they shoot. Photography is like anything else, if you hate what you’re shooting, your job sucks. This is to be avoided at all costs. We try to be the Matt Stone and Trey Parker of photography – a little bit of everything, never taking yourself too seriously. We try NOT to be the Michael Bay of photography. Don’t get me wrong, he makes awesome explosions, but sometimes, you really need some dialogue.
What gear are you using?
I have always shot Canon and have always been happy with it. Right now I’m using 60d’s. That doesn’t mean I won’t shoot with anything else, just that i prefer what feels familiar to my hands. For macro work I have a vintage Carl Zeiss fixed 58mm I hook up with a Pentax screw-mount adaptor ring….. it was my grandfather’s dentistry lens.
Whats your favourite lens and why?
Canon 50mm 1.8. The most versatile lens for abstracts, nature, portraits, basically anything. It also excells at faster shutter speeds in low lighting situations. For $120, how can you beat it? It’s always on one of the two cameras I use at shoots.
How are you marketing yourself?
I’m really bad at self-promotion, but fortunately my husband is great at it – he has amassed an enormous following on the Google+ network, simply by posting my images. So on a national and international level its all internet marketing – social media, websites, blogs, even things like this interview 🙂 within our local community its almost entirely word-of-mouth. We work tirelessly to keep our clients happy and returning for more. We take great pride that nearly 100% of our clients return to us.
Sadly, bad news travels fastest, so we make sure that we explain to our happiest customers how important it is to have them be vocal supporters for future clients.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
My favorite photograph changes all the time — often it has less to do with the image itself, and more to do with the experience of taking the photograph. My father is very interested in photography (more so since I took up the career) and we recently went on a sunrise shoot together at the Mer Bleue Conservation Area, near Ottawa, ON. Between waking up early, bizarre traffic patterns and road closures, and an onslaught of unrelenting deer flies, we had our work cut out for us just to get to our location for the shoot. Once we made it out into the boardwalks of Mer Bleue, we were witness to some pretty spectacular conditions — fog, dew, spiderwebs everywhere, etc. The sun rose so quickly, and the conditions were so fleeting, we really got lucky with our timing. I’ve rarely experienced a place that feels so magical. The image attached, entitled “Mer Bleue Plate 8”, really captures the atmosphere of that morning.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
Decide if you want to go pro because you want to create a career from your own efforts and get to explore your own artistic pursuits, or if you want to turn photography into a job. It is not a job. It is a lifestyle choice. The hassles and responsibilities of operating your own business take away from the amount of time you spend with a camera in your hand. If you can accept that and it still sounds good to you, then seek advice from anyone that will give it to you, not just photographers. Decide what your art means to you, what you’re willing to put up with, and how far you’re willing to go to make your career work. One of the most motivating forces I experienced in the past 10 years was my complete and utter dismissal by a renowned NYC photographer, who’d forgotten that people need to be given a chance to learn without paying $5000 per workshop. Don’t get me wrong, there are definatly things to be learned from workshops and classes, but the most important things in your development as a photographer are experience, trial and error, reading books, studying work you like, and understanding that failing is learning too. In retrospect, I’m really glad that I figured out so much of the world of photography on my own. There are far better uses for that $5000 than hanging out with an arrogant old photographer, who as it turns out, shoots on the “P” setting, with auto ISO 🙂
Thank you for the opportunity to discuss my experience in the photography industry. anyone who would like more information, advice, feedback, or suggestions of any kind, I can be reached at email@example.com