How It All Started.
When someone asks me how this all started there are so many different ways to answer that question. How my love for photography started? How my business started? How I began photographing weddings? There are so many different things that have become since the “beginning” but in this blog I am going to start at the very beginning and answer all those questions!
My love for photography actually started from a place very opposite of love and appreciation. When I was a teenager, I went to more then one high school. When I started grade 11 at my new school, I didn’t know very many people, so I had to think of a way to get to meet people. So, I decided to join the yearbook. One of the main positions they needed help with was photographing events and things that were happening around the school. So, I carried around a camera with me and got to meet people by photographing the “daily” things that were happening around the school as well as attending sporting events and other extracurricular activities. I enjoyed it and decided to be on the yearbook committee the following year (my last year in high school). At the beginning of the final semester in grade 12 my guidance counsellor came to me to tell me that somehow during my move my art credit had been overlooked and that I needed to complete an art credit to be able to graduate high school. Unfortunately for me I already had a full semester and art is definitely not my strong suit. So we were able to get me enrolled in an online photography course were the professor agreed to use some of my work with the yearbook as credit towards the course. The course allowed me to learn basic skills about working a camera and photography! After graduating high school in 2012 my mom bought me a camera of my own. A Canon Rebel T3!
I took that camera everywhere with me and photographed so many things! Nature, my pets, animals in the wild, my brother and his girlfriend, my friends, college sporting events, literally anything I could photograph. During college I took thousands and thousands of pictures but I didn’t have a ton of time to dedicate towards learn new skills or better techniques (I studied nursing).
During my final year of college, I decided to focus more on photography. I knew it was something that made me feel really happy. I knew it was something that never felt like work and it constantly felt exciting. I never felt like I was forcing myself to learn this technique or having to find the energy to try something new. I full heartedly enjoyed every aspect of photography. So, during my final year of college I decided to start asking people if I could photograph them. I did SOOOO MANY FREE SESSIONS! I photographed my friends, their families, their nieces and nephews, their pets, I did head shots for friend graduating, sporting events for friends looking to get athletic scholarships, anything I could to build some kind of portfolio! I wasn’t sure what I was going to do once I had a portfolio but everything, I read said that I needed to have “examples of my work”. I remember one specific photo shoot I did that still to this day makes me and my best friend burst out laughing! I wanted to try to do a boudoir shoot and she had graciously agreed to be my model! I have this TINY 2-bedroom upper level apartment that I shared with another college student. There was barely enough room for the two of us let alone to do a photo shoot in it but we made it work! When I look back on those photos it reminds me of how far we both have come since that day! But I continued for MONTHS taking photos of anyone that would let me.
During this time, I met a guy. We fell in love fast and hard. I had never felt the way he made me feel. We were young, fearless, adventurous, spontaneous and thought we could do anything! Our relationship went from 0 to 100 really quick haha. After dating for 4 short weeks we moved in together. It was amazing. Sometimes people come into your life and you don’t know why or how long they are meant to stay but you know without a doubt that they make your life better. That is what he did. My entire life I have always been painfully shy, I have always doubted myself and I have always felt like there was someone better then me. Justin is the complete opposite. Justin is the life of the party. He is funny, caring, and adventurous. Justin always made sure I had a smile on my face. Being with him helped me gain the confidence I didn’t know I so desperately needed.
I was working full time at a nursing home and juggling my desire to start a photography business but also the need to pay my bills and student debt. I was working sometimes 21 days in a row without a day off. There were lots of small conversations about my desire to have a photography business and what that would look like. At the time I had never accepted any money for photos I had taken for people. I was doing it all out of passion and to build my portfolio. Being understaffed and other changes at the nursing home were making it increasing stressful and I was getting burnt out. One night I came home from work and said “I think I’m going to do it; I am going to try and start a photography business!” The first words out of Justin’s mouth were, “Where do we start?” I kind of laughed and said “Well I don’t mean right now this minute!” to which he replied “… why not?” And that is how Jade Lines Photography officially became a business… at 11:30pm at night in July 2015, in a tiny 1-bedroom apartment in downtown Windsor in my scrubs, with my kitten curled up at my feet and Justin practicing taking pictures so that he could be my second shooter haha.
The following few years seem like a crazy blur most of the time! I still worked as a PSW part-time but I moved to homecare because it gave me more flexibility with my schedule. I started photographing events, sports, animals and lots of families! I fell in love with photographing families and thought that was what I would do forever! In 2017 a close family friend asked if I would photography their wedding. I had told myself a million times I would never photograph weddings. I had heard horror stories of the stress, long days, time spent editing, etc. I was very hesitant. That August I photographed my first wedding ever…. and I loved it! But I wasn’t sure I was ready to accept wedding clients yet so I did online workshops, read books, magazines, anything I could to learn more about my camera and about photography. After becoming a little more comfortable and confident I started accepting wedding clients for 2018. That first wedding season I photographed 4 weddings, then the following year (2019) I photographed 10 weddings… and this year, my third wedding season, I currently have 20 weddings booked! To say I am living a dream is an understatement – I have never been so happy and I feel so blessed to be invited into some of peoples most intimate life moments!
My journey to becoming a photographer or starting a business has not been a straight path. It has lots of valleys and peaks, lots of twists and turns but most of all it is filled with so much love! The people in my life have been such amazing supporters and cheerleaders through this whole crazy journey! From my parents who have bought me endless equipment and props, to friends and family who share my posts, to everyone who has allowed me to use them as models, and all the amazing clients who have continued to support me and recommend me long after their sessions are done! The past 5 years have been incredible and I honestly can not wait to see what the next 5 have in store!