Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennings Bowden.
Jennings, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up in a family that documented and photographed everything. As a kid, I used to joke that if you flipped through the albums quick enough, they would play like a stop motion movie. My parents always encouraged me to create and explore. At my core, I’m a portrait artist, but when high school began, I started falling in love with short films. I made movies about everything and nothing, and I loved every second of it. I joined our school film class, where I ended up meeting my creative partner and now husband, Tim.
In college, I shifted my focus to marketing, but still decided to major in BFA studio art. This time taught me a lot. I learned basics like composition and how to handle critique, but most importantly, how to take those critiques, learn, and be a better artist because of them.
In a creative marketing job on campus, I started falling back in love with photography and videography. I used to say I accidentally became a wedding photographer, but looking back, I can see that I’ve always been a storyteller and photography is my favorite medium. For the last five years, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to travel and capture important moments in people’s lives through photography and videography. I absolutely love what I do, and couldn’t be more thankful for the people and opportunities that lead me to where I am.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
When it comes to creative business, I have always believed that starting can be the hardest part. If you actually get started, you are miles ahead. It’s always easy to sit back and say, “well… I could do that,” but it takes courage to actually pursue it.
For me falling to comparison was one of the hardest things to overcome. When you market yourself on Instagram, you’ll spend hours scrolling while mumbling to yourself about how much better everyone else is compared to where you are. In the beginning, my relationship with “imposter syndrome” was real. I was young, in college, and trying to prove I was professional enough to be in the industry. I spent so much time trying to look like everybody else. I didn’t have time to grow my business or as a human. Then my mentor taught me the importance of figuring out WHY I wanted to be a photographer. This gave me a perspective. I took a step back and took the time to find my niche.
We’d love to hear more about ING Studios.
ING Studios is a husband + wife photography and videography duo that specializes in weddings and elopements. The “best day of your life” should actually feel like the best day of your life. We help our couple’s plan and craft a day that genuinely feels like them. Our mission is to celebrate our couples as they are, with all their quirks and little tid-bits that make them unique.
The best way to tell a love story is to actually know everything about it. There is nothing more awkward than posing for a photo in a way that doesn’t feel genuine to who you are, so we take time to get to know and become friends with our amazing couples. There are no rules when it comes to weddings. If you want to grab Taco Bell between your ceremony and reception, we will make it happen. If you want to have the intimacy of an elopement, but the big party that comes with a traditional wedding, we can totally make that happen too! It is all about the two of you, celebrating your love story by doing things that you love to do.
Finding a mentor and building a network are often cited in studies as a major factor impacting one’s success. Do you have any advice or lessons to share regarding finding a mentor or networking in general?
My situation in finding a mentor is a little unique because she actually photographed my wedding! You should never feel like you are going it alone. Having a creative community or a mentor can be the difference in micromanaging a small issue for months and gaining the perspective to grow exponentially. My advice is to not be shy in reaching out to people you admire. Some people might not respond, and that’s okay! Just keep asking, listening, and learning.
- Website: ingstudios.org
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @ingstudios, Portraits: @ing.portraits
- Facebook: facebook.com/ingstudios