Today we’d like to introduce you to Jade Sharp.
Jade, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I got my first camera when I was a Senior in high school. I just shot around for fun and took some photos of my friend around town in Columbus, IN.
Once I was a freshman and Indiana University, a friend of a friend reached out to me to do her senior pictures! I was extremely excited and it was my first paid job. She ended up getting engaged that year and asked me to do her engagement photos. Once I delivered her gallery over, she was thrilled and asked me to shoot the wedding. I was very intimidated and told her I had never done a wedding before but she said she trusted me.
From then on, it became word of mouth in my hometown and I was getting bookings fairly regularly in college. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Telecommunications, focusing in video production and just thought of photography as a hobby. Once I graduated, I applied to so many production companies and never heard back from anyone.
I lived at home for a year before my move out to LA, serving, bartending and taking photos for our local newspaper to save as much as I could.
To tell you the truth, photography has been a battle for me. Moving to a much larger city, not knowing many people and no friends of my own was extremely difficult to kick off new photography bookings. I went back to what I knew and got stuck in the restaurant industry to afford rent out here.
It’s been four years now and I have progressively gotten more bookings, still not enough to be full time unfortunately. Almost two years ago, I left my serving job and attempted to just do photography. It was by far the hardest year of my life. Mentally and financially. I poured my time and finances into investing in myself, building my website and it was getting plenty of inquiries, but those bookings weren’t sticking and I kept getting “ghosted” in a sense.
It really took a toll on my mental health.
To this day, I am proud of my work and how I’ve continued to push through and I don’t know if photography will ever work out for me full time, but I do love it and I love capturing moments and memories for my clients because that’s what it truly is about.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Not a smooth road by any means. I love shooting and editing, but marketing and the business side has been a huge struggle for me.
Alright – so let’s talk business. What else should we know about you and your career so far?
I shoot mostly engagement photos, weddings and families. I really would love to start specializing in small intimate weddings. I am most proud of being able to get the bookings that I’ve had out here and the referrals from word of mouth because I know I do not thrive with marketing.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I plan on always shooting, no matter if its full time or part-time. I am looking forward to getting out of the restaurant industry and hopefully going back to school for a new career change, perhaps interior design.
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @jadesharpphoto