We are so thrilled to welcome the amazingly talented Jayme Ford to the Blog. Take a moment to learn more about Jayme’s amazing Lifestyle Family Photography and be sure to visit her website Paper Deer Photography .
The best news… Jayme will be featured as our “Celebrity Mentor” in the Pretty Forum for the entire month of April so come on over and ask her anything you like. Thank you so much Jayme for sharing your work with us today!
Where did your inspiration for photography begin?
My Dad had a canon A-1 when I was a kid and it rarely left my side. I guess you could say that it was something i’ve always been very interested in and when I was old enough to harness the ability, my obsessiveness took over and that was it!
How would you describe your photography style?
My style is very honest and organic. I strive to create photographs that tell stories of individual connections, emotions and love. I want my clients to feel these emotions long after the photos have been taken, years into the future.
Did you study photography in school or are you self taught?
All self taught for the most part. When I bought my first professional camera (2006) I tried to teach myself by reading ALL the books but being more of a hands on learner, I found that very difficult. I have zero patience and wanted to learn everything immediately, so I decided to take an intro course at our local college and that helped solidify everything for me. I also did a few online courses, and lots of internetting! which I totally recommend for any aspiring photographers. After I nailed down shooting in manual, I started doing a couple in person workshops. Some are hit and miss and some are completely amazing. Make sure to do your research and read reviews before hand so you can make sure you are taking the right one for you. I did Joy Prouty’s (Wildflowers Photography) workshop in 2012 and all us girls that met at that workshop get together every year for a little photography retreat/inspiration renewal.
Do you shoot Canon or Nikon, and what is your favorite lens?
Canon for my digital gear and for film I have plenty but my main babies are my Leica M3 & Mamiya 645 Pro TL. My favourite lens has to be the 85 1.2, but a close second is my 35 1.4, both of those are my go-to session lenses
Do you have any tips for photographers on how to find the light?
This is something I struggled with a bit when I was first starting out. With loads of practice, I managed to figure out the sunrise/sunset light but that darn midday sun was tough. Now it might sound silly, but my phone really helped me….we all have cell phones and with communities like Instagram (@thepaperdeerphotography – shameless plug haha), finding that swoonable light was a driving force and pushed me to look for it in any situation. Once you start chasing that light, you will never stop.
What is the most challenging thing about photographing lifestyle/film?
Patience. And like I stated before, patience and I are not the greatest of friends, but both of those elements of photography require A LOT of it, so we’re working on it 😉 Film has really forced me to slow down and in doing so, i’ve to really learn and hone my craft.
What is a good lesson you have learned this year in photography or in your business?
This year I really started coaching my clients. I made a little magazine exclusively for them, filled with information about their upcoming session; from what to wear to what to expect after the shoot, it’s all in there …and let me tell you, it has helped TONS! Coaching my clientele was the best thing I could have done for my business and brand.
If you could encourage a new photographer in one area, what would it be?
Don’t get too caught up in trends. When I first started 8 years ago, I thought I needed to have every actions, texture, this and that and then realized that that wasn’t the style I wanted to convey through my work…be patient (there’s that word again) and understand that everyone started somewhere, even your favourite photographers were not the greatest when they first started out. I found this quote a while back and it completely resonated with me.
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners. I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, its just not good. Its trying to be good, it has potential, but its not good. But your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have the special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close the gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone i’ve ever met, Its going to take while. It’s normal to take awhile. you’ve just gotta fight your way through” – Ira Glass
What do you love most about being a photographer?
Being able to experience genuine connections between loved ones. Showing those images to my clients and watching their eyes swell up is probably the most rewarding feeling….oh and the fact that I pretty much own a time machine and can travel back anywhere in my life, any time I want!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully we will be back in our home province of British Columbia (currently in Alberta) doing what I love, building our own repurposed barn and enjoying time relaxing by the lake with my boys.
About the Artist: HI! My name is Jayme Ford and I am a Lifestyle/Film Photographer based in Red Deer, Alberta. I am a married momma of two of the sweetest (yet lively) little boys; Jensen, my free spirited muse and Hudson, my little heart warrior. Growing up in British Columbia, I knew no other lifestyle than that of a creative one. Time was spent running through the forest, making forts out of tree branches, riding horses up the mountains and documenting it all with my little “camera bug” 100 camera (that I still have to this day!). Photography was a big part of my life when I was younger and continues to be, even more so now as a mother.
And don’t forget, you can ask Jamie anything you like in the Pretty Celebrity Mentor Forum for the entire month of April!!