Meet Jamie Delaine :: Women in Business {SERIES}

JAMIE DELAINE PHOTOGRAPHY, Located in Vancouver, British Colombia

First of all, thank you for taking the time to share with us all! How long have you been in the business, and how did you know that this profession was for you?

I’ve been in business since June of 2007, which is the month I “officially” launched my first website. I was in the summer between Grade 11 and Grade 12 at the time. I never went into this business thinking, “I’m going to be a full-time wedding photographer” but it kept growing and growing and one day [probably the day I dropped out of university] I thought, yep, this is what I want to do.

Where are you located?

I shoot all over the greater Vancouver (British Colombia) area, though my studio is located in a cute little town called Fort Langley.

Your work is simply stunning! How did you learn what you know? What was your favorite class/workshop/online course/forum/ book/ or source of information?

Thank you! A lot of what I have learned about the photography industry and running a business has come from trial and error. When I first started learning, I spent hours reading on Open Source Photo Forum: I swear I read every thread I found that year. Since then I have taken a few workshops, including Liana Lehman’s Business Boot Camp, Jasmine Star’s The Workshop and Image is Found’s Shootshop. All have been such enlightening experiences.

What do you do for fun that has nothing to do with photography?

Ooh! I love to run: I am one of those crazy happy runners—it makes me feel alive. I go crazy if I’m not living an active life. I also love reading. I read a lot of business books, books about random stuff like “What the Dog Saw” by Malcolm Gladwell or “Freakonomics.” I occasionally read a good fiction book, but definitely tire of them!

Are you married? Do you have any children?

I am not married, nope. And single. Ha!

What are your favorite types of sessions?

Engagement sessions for sure. I love photographing couples because I find the interaction between two subjects a lot easier than directing only one person.

How do you get your clients to be so comfortable in front of your camera?

I feel like if your clients have the opportunity to see you being REAL, they will be real with you in return. I talk a lot about my day, things we are passing, laugh often: work on your people skills by becoming a chatty person. Ha! Your homework: start talking more.

What is your favorite editing program? Do you use any particular actions in your work flow? Do you ever outsource your work?

I do all my edits in Adobe Lightroom and use Photoshop for my logo action and resizing. I don’t sharpen my images. I definitely outsource all my wedding images to my brother, who runs the company called The Album Design. http://thealbumdesign.com – he’s super reasonable and a superb designer.

Pricing is a tough category for lots of photographers out there~ Do you have any advice on how or why photographers should charge what they are worth….or maybe how they put a price on their worth?

Oh boy, I could get pretty passionate about this one. Even as a seventeen-year-old when I started my business, I wasn’t into working for free. I know that I have spent way too many hours in the office, in front of my laptop, losing sleep at night because I’m thinking about new ideas, promos, etc, etc, to do this for cheap! I value my time. My pricing has been a careful balance between judging the current market value [what my work looks like compared to others, pricing accordingly] as well as taking risks. I’ve taken a lot of risks with raising my prices, sometimes you have to jump!

What are the top three things that you did, when first starting out, to help bring in clientele?

  1. I set up “portfolio shoots” with cute couples or families I knew. I’d take them out for an hour, give them some great images on a disc, and then blog the session. I’d also add the images to facebook with my website. This helped spread the word about my business in the early stages!
  2. Creating a website that made people want to stick around. I’ve always been aware that there are tons of photographers in my market & the need for differentiation is key to success. My website has been through Showit for the past three years + I love the product David Jay has created. I’d highly recommend it!
  3. BLOGGING. I’ve been an avid blogger since the beginning of my business. I love sharing my heart and my life on the blog and getting personal really helps readers/clients connect.

What three products or things help keep you the most organized?

1. Google Calendar [I love that I can access it anywhere I have internet, including on my phone for on-the-go updating!]

2. Remember the Milk. // online to-do list
3. ShootQ // signed up over a year ago & this website keeps me so organized!

What are you the MOST proud of as a business woman?

I’d say my blog. It’s growing in readership all the time and it’s my favourite part of my business. I love writing so much; I feel like writing is something I will be doing my whole life in a big way.

If you had to name one thing that you’d say was your BEST business decision or BEST thing that you’ve done to better your business what would that be?

Oooh I feel like I already answered this a bit with the “top three things I did” question, but it would be blogging for sure. A personalized website with Showit as a close second.

And finally, what should women in the business definitely DO and what should they definitely NOT do, all for the sake of bettering themselves & their businesses?

DO: start your day with some alone time. I try and start every day with a full breakfast [I loooove breakfast] and a cup of tea. I read my bible and prayer before I get started. This is one of the hardest disciplines for me. I’m the type of person who wakes up with a “to-do list” & I can hardly wait to get started. It kills me to slow down—I have to admit I don’t always. BUT: I’ve never got to the end of a day and thought, man, I wish I hadn’t spent that hour, I really need it right now. I’m always glad.
DON’T: overschedule yourself. I’ve been learning how to say “no” more in this past year, and not only in business. I opened an office outside of my home this summer and it has been the nicest break. To really GO to work and come HOME from work is incredible. However, I still find myself slipping back into working 24/7 and it’s constantly something I’m checking myself for. Another thing, being TOO connected. I have a terrible habit of being on facebook, twitter and email [my three biggest enemies!] multiple times a day. It’s totally embarrassing. I’m trying to implement one day a week where I avoid all three of these things. I did it a few weeks ago successfully and it felt amazing.

THANKS AGAIN JAMIE! It has been my pleasure featuring you in this week’s “Women In Business the {Series}” !

images in this post are (c) Jamie Delaine Photography


Did you enjoy this “WOMEN IN BUSINESS” special? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please leave your comments for Jamie & thank her if you enjoyed her words! I know she’d like to hear from you as much as I do! If there is anything else that you’d like to see discussed in this series, please leave your comments & questions below and I will be sure to incorporate them in future interviews! Look for another WOMEN IN BUSINESS post soon!

Thanks for stopping in ~Heidi

  • Jeannie T - I have to say that at Jamie’s age her photgraphy is simply elegant and amazing. I am 31 years old and have a canon xti (my first big girl camera and there is so much to learn on it. I am hoping that one day I can full fill my dream and do weddings but for now I will keep practcing on my friends families, vacation outings and my friends children.

  • Leslie - I loved it! More More!

  • Ashley Swallow - Awesome feedback as always Jamie!

  • Alicia Candelora - I LOVE this post!! Thanks for featuring Jamie, she’s a doll!

  • Melissa - Ohhhh Jamie Delaine. What an inspiration she is!!

  • Rebecca Jeanne - What a great interview!

    Jamie, thanks for being so open and willing to share who you are with the world. It’s one of my favorite things about your blog!

  • jamie delaine - thank you again for this, heidi. i had fun answering these. 😉

  • VeLvet OwL Photography - Thank YOU Jamie!! It was my pleasure to have such a talented artist featured! <3

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