Today we’d like to introduce you to Jocelyn Jones.
Hi Jocelyn, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Photography just happened. But know that there are levels to this! And I didn’t get here overnight.
I started taking pictures at church just for fun. I enjoyed it so much that my pastor loaned me his Canon DSLR. At this point, it was just a hobby and I really wasn’t interested in doing more. Then I had a not so great experience with a photographer which still lives rent-free in my head to this day. That experience led to my husband buying me my first DSLR camera. He handed me the camera on my 28th birthday, and said “here do something with it”. It was definitely a learning experience, I Youtubed a lot of “how to” videos.
One day I stumbled upon a photography group for women of color called “Queen Photographers”. Little did I know that this group would change my life, it was a safe haven for women of color to collaborate, learn and grow. I joined the Facebook group and started some one-on-one with one of the founders, Latoya Dixon. I met my first mentor in this group, Stacey Gardin, who taught me a lot about natural light and posing. After a few groups met up and mentor sessions, I was able to fully grasp the idea of what it takes to a professional photographer.
So around 2016/2017, I decided that I want to actually do photography as a side business. That’s when Ladibugg Photography was born. I went through this 14-week business training program called StartMe. This program provided me with the necessary tools and connections necessary to build and grow my business. I worked on my business plan and goals for those 14 weeks and by the end, I was seeing my baby (business) blossom. I used the next couple of years to grow and execute those plans.
At this point, I was actually booking gigs and portrait appointments. One opportunity I was afforded was to take pictures at SpiritFest, an annual gospel concert featuring the best gospel Grammy & Stellar award winners. The second year of me being a part of it, I was able to work alongside and formally meet a phenomenal photographer by the name of Chris Kelly. I had been following his photography business on social media and was a fan of his work. After that night, I reached out to him to see if he was open to me shadowing him or helping me grow. He was open and willing to mentor me on studio lighting. We had a couple of sessions and I was able to tell him my aspiration and dreams with photography. During this time I was looking for a photography studio because I was currently using my best friend’s dance studio as my photography studio.
I get this call one day from Chris asking how did I feel about doing a partnership with him. I’m like sure, give me more information. He went on to say that a place that he was on the waiting list for just offered him a space for rent and this just so happen to be the same place I inquired about a month earlier. So this was a no-brainer, I talked it over with my husband and he was okay with it. From that point, we became business partners, and all of this happened in the middle of the pandemic.
Brings us to today. Celebrating two years of partnership in July and it has been an amazing learning experience, I have grown a lot in business and definitely in photography. For the last year, I have been a part of this Momentum Mastermind course taught my Dr. Tomayia Colvin, which has helped me understand and charge my worth. With that, I was able to rebrand to what is now, Jocelyn Janel Portraits. The ride has been a wild one but it has been worth it and I’m excited about my future.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It definitely hasn’t been a smooth road. There were and still are days I want to quit. But I hear my aunt in the back of my head saying “YOU GOT THIS”.
Starting out the biggest struggle was finding someone who was willing to help and teach. If I’m being honest, Now my biggest struggle is me. Sometimes I get in my own way, thinking I’m not good enough or I don’t belong because of various things. Being an entrepreneur isn’t for the weak.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a Portraits, Branding and High School Senior photographer. I specialize in birthday portraits. Simply put, we make magic, I love to create one-of-a-kind vibe experience that will get my clients feeling free and empowered. We focus on celebrating every moment, capturing every dream, and making sure you can frame those memories.
The experience is what set me apart from others. I’m most proud of my ability to create and re-create visions.
We love surprises, fun facts and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
I thought I was an introvert but I’m really an ambivert (someone who exhibits qualities of both introversion and extroversion and can flip into either depending on mood, context and goals).
- Website: www.jocelynjanelportraits.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jocelynjanelportraits
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jocelynjanelportraits
Image of me: Sure Shot Shun