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Conversations with Jackelynn Powers

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jackelynn Powers.

Hi Jackelynn, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Creating art has always been a part of my life. I was always painting and drawing then photography came into my life while I was in high school. I started with a simple film camera and learned how to roll and process my film and prints. I continued taking photography courses in college but ultimately pursued graphic design as my major because I was not convinced I could make a living in any other art field.

After graduating from college in 2009 I started a corporate graphic design job. I looked for another creative outlet though and came across a craigslist ad for a photography studio one of my friends used for their wedding. I applied then became a second photographer for their company. I learned so much during that time about how a wedding operates from a vendor’s perspective. I really enjoyed it.

In 2013, my corporate company offered me the opportunity to work for them from the East Coast so I took it! This also turned out to be the beginning of my photography brand. After the move, I still yearned to photograph couples but knew I could do better. I enrolled in a mentorship with a photographer based in New Jersey (because now she was so close!). During my mentorship, the photographer reminded me of the basics I was taught in school and how I wasn’t using that knowledge to create photos. It was intimidating and inspiring… I remember that 4-hour drive home being quite the roller coaster of emotion while I realized I had a lot of work to do to turn my brand into what I wanted.

Over the 2 years I lived in Connecticut I shot 30 weddings (around Connecticut, New York, and here in St. Louis). I loved it. I loved that I was finally taking photos I loved and knew my next chapter would include coming home so I could keep building this passion but also to take care of myself.

I returned home in 2016 and started participating in wedding shows to expand my reach. I also moved departments in my corporate job, to a web developer, I had no idea what amazingness that had in store for me! 6 months into my new job and I was dating my now-husband who I was also training to be my second photographer.

After 10 years, I have photographed over 100 weddings, pursued goals of photographing destination weddings, have a regular second photographer (now husband), and a steady flow of amazing couples! I still truly enjoyed being a part of so many wedding teams and the day is so much sweeter now that I’ve experienced my own.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I wouldn’t say it’s been rough… I am so fortunate to have had the journey I had. I have made pivots along the way that I think have improved my work and the experience of my couples. In the beginning, I had amazing guidance so that my company was set up correctly from the start. I joined a group of photographers across the United States that believe in community over competition so we share our resources and experiences, all of that has helped me grow as well as develop a process that allows me to give great service as well as have personal time.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I own and operate a wedding and portrait photography company. I specialize in wedding photography and offer sessions for families that I have worked with for years.

I am most proud of how streamlined my workflow has become. I am proud of the relationships I have built. I am proud of the images I have created that I hope so many are enjoying.

I am known for my work ethic I think. When I am hired to photograph a wedding I consider myself as part of your wedding team not just hired help for the day. I work with my couples leading up to the day with engagement sessions and timeline creation. I show up as a trusted friend so that the couple has one less thing to worry about. I pin boutineers, bustle dresses, set tables, and have sewn-on buttons. Whatever it takes to help make the day the best it can be.

How do you think about luck?
I started working for a photography company where one of the owners was an accountant. When I told her I wanted to start my own company years after working for them she made sure I was set up correctly legally. She was so encouraging and helpful. I feel like that attitude is lacking in our local photography groups so I hope to be able to change that. We all start somewhere and I want to be able to pay my good experience forward.

Another example of good luck was finding an amazing second photographer and partner. Chad is so eager to learn and provides the support I need to keep pursuing my dream (even when covid made me feel like I wouldn’t book weddings ever again). He encouraged me to take time for myself and develop a system for my work so that I can vacation and spend time with him. Without his encouragement and support, I wouldn’t have such a streamlined business that my couples really appreciate.

Pricing:

  • Weddings start at $3400
  • Destination wedding packages start at $2000
  • Family sessions are $400
  • Mini Sessions offered for $200

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Ashley Fisher Photography.

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