Interview with Jamie Schultz | CELEBRITY PHOTOGRAPHER
Jamie was raised in a very small town in Nebraska where her passion for all things creative developed. Her grandmother owned a charming flower shop and she spent countless hours watching her design works of art. As a child, Jamie dabbled in art but didn’t find her niche until she picked up a camera. At that point it was evident that photography would serve as her creative outlet.
Her signature style in portrait photography consists of simple, yet strong composition resulting in images that are both honest and highly emotive. Forgoing stiff poses and forced smiles, Jamie interacts with subjects in such a way that unveils their distinct personalities.
A childhood dream was realized when Jamie opened her studio loft in the quaint downtown area of Hudson, Wisconsin. Inspired by the charming details in her grandmother’s shop, her boutique style studio offers the capability for unique custom photography indoors in addition to personalized on-location sites.
Jamie’s client base includes many local and national celebrities. Her work has been featured internationally in publications such as Better Homes and Gardens Scrapbooks, etc. magazines and the book, Better Homes and Gardens Photography. She has also photographed ad campaigns featured in regional publications of Vogue, Lucky and Allure. She has been a featured photographer and columnist in both Digital Memories magazine and Scrapbooks, etc. Her photography has also been published in the Minneapolis/St. Paul magazine. Jamie has also enjoyed speaking nationwide at various professional photography conventions including PPA sponsored events, Imaging and WPPI.
Jamie owns and operates Jamie Schultz Designs, creating graphic design projects used by photographers worldwide. Jamie offers a product line exclusive to her portrait clients
Jamie, what camera do you use and what is your favorite lens?
Canon 5d Mark II, 85mm 1.2
Why do you think honest critique on your images is important?
As artists I truly believe one of the most important things we can do is subject our work to critique. This not only allows us to understand what outsiders see in our work, but it also often brings to surface areas of strength we may not have recognized on our own.
What has been the most helpful critique you ever got on an image?
Cheryl Jacobs once reviewed a series of pictures I selected to show her and made note about the emotion displayed by my subjects. It helped me realize my style as a photographer and its something that continues to be the foundation of my artwork.
What 3 words would you use to describe your style?
honest, emotive, authentic
Where do you pull your inspiration from?
My inspiration for each and every session comes directly from my subjects.
What is one specific way that you balance work and family?
I have very firm boundaries with myself when it comes to my work/family time. My studio hours are set and any work that needs to get done needs to get done during my studio hours. If there is any work leftover at the end of the day I wait until my kids are in bed and do what I can from home.
Best biz/photo advice?
Taking the time to understand my client’s expectations prior to going into a session has truly transformed my business. I would encourage any photographer wanting to grow their business to consider finding a way to gather the information you need from your clients so you can exceed their expectations.
What have you learned the hard way?
You don’t need to buy every action, prop, lens, camera, etc… to be successful in this industry. Over the years I’ve learned to be a minimalist as it not only helps me stay focused on my craft, but also helps keep my overhead low.
How does your business deal with the rise in photographers. What have you done to standout and compete?
Luckily, I have a very loyal client base. I truly believe that my clients come back because they value the experience of working with me. Prior to their appointment I collect information about what they hope to get out of the photo session and work through ideas on how they could preserve and display their favorite images. By providing my clients with a variety of keepsake products that are timeless and purposeful they leave my studio confident with their choices and their decision to hire me as their photographer.
Where have most of your 2012 clients come from (besides WOM)?
2011 was a unique year for me as I was taking referral clients only. Because I have a number of clients who come back every year, I had to limit the number of new clients entering the studio.
What has been the best workshop or convention you’ve attended so far?
Cheryl Jacobs workshop was very inspiring! It’s been 6 years since I attended her class and I still find myself referring back to my notes.
What is your most popular product?
Coffee table books and custom image boxes
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