Featured Photographer • Jamie Bosworth Photographer
September 18, 2014
This week, we are featuring a local photographer to Portland, OR, Jamie Bosworth Photographer. Rooted in photography at a very young age, Jamie has been shooting professionally in town since 1987. As a glass half full kind of person, we love Jamie and her work. Another factoid about her: she used to run road rallies and auto-crosses in Virginia with her dad and has owned a MBGT for 33 years. Thanks to Jamie for sharing with us today on the blog.
How did you get started in photography?
My parents were both photographers. Mom started as a PR photographer in the Navy and Dad took it up later in life and became a portrait photographer. There was always a darkroom in my house growing up so I was introduced early and never discouraged by them. They never said do something different with your life.
Early in my senior year of high school, my mom brought home about seven bags of groceries and asked me to put them away. Of course, my tortured teenage self began to whine and protest but I began to put them away. I don’t know how she managed to keep a straight face but at the very bottom of the last bag there was a Nikkormat with a 50mm lens. She and Dad both had Nikon Fs so this was my chance to move out of my Yashica TLR days, especially since I was shooting sports for the yearbook! I will never complain about putting away groceries again.
Photography was a serious part of my everyday life from about 15 years old, but I certainly didn’t jump into it on a professional level very early. I spent 20 years tending bar and waiting tables before I hung out my shingle at the ripe old age of 35. The restaurant life gave me a chance to move to a few interesting cities where I could work in the evenings and shoot during the day. You can bet that it taught me how to talk to people, too.
My professional career moved directly into portrait and wedding photography. It was something I did for a couple of friends and then the phone started to ring. If you had asked what my goal was before that, I was planning on combining art and newspaper work since I had done both in my hobby years. The wedding work quickly took over and I’m still in the thick of it today. Weddings are the major driver in my business, so all of the images in this post are wedding images.
What has contributed to your success?
I’d be willing to bet it was a certain naivete on my part.
Since I was mostly self taught, I didn’t learn to worry about some of the things I probably should have worried about.
On the flip side of that, I have a pretty easy time connecting with my subject matter and that seems to work in return business and solid referrals.
I think that my work has a day-to-day authenticity that catches some people… they usually turn out to be my clients. They “get” me if that isn’t too much of a cliche.
What is the most important thing for your continued success?
I think it’s mostly a matter of staying visible and current. In Portland we have a gazillion photographers and while that creates a good community to hang out with, it also means I have to make my voice heard.
In the technological end of photography, I try to stay tuned in to the new processes. It’s not about trends for me, it’s about having the best way to do things, about knowing how. It’s a constant learning experience.
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
Networking works. I’m getting better at it.
What is most important in your photography?
That depends on whether we are talking about client work or personal work. In working with people, I’d say communication is the key to all of it. With a client, it’s a 50/50 thing. I have to be able to figure out what they want and then deliver it. They have to be able to convey their ideas and then trust the process. It will always be a dance.
In my personal work, the most important thing is to take the time to do it. It renews me in ways that nothing else can. If I ever win the lottery, I will go in that direction full time.
What do you love most about your work?
Seeing…the act of seeing feels complete to me. Being able to pull a chunk of that feeling into a frame is magic. I have been at this for most of my life and in each image, I can usually call up some of the other parts of that day. It’s like a well-traveled journal.
Is there anything else you’d like to add, workshops or products to recommend?
In my personal work, I’d highly recommend the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops as a way to get out of your ruts…a spendy but wonderful way to introduce yourself to a much bigger world.
Lensbaby gave me a whole new way to see… there are subjects just made for that sort of imagery.
For people just starting out, I’d highly recommend taking Kevin Kubota’s Digital Bootcamp… it will help them navigate the workflow habits that they will need.
In my business world, I can’t say enough good things about Adobe Lightroom and Google Nik Collection for being such a good fit for me. And, not to make you blush, but Fundy Album Designer has kept me from total despair on more than one occasion.