Jean Perry Writes
How did you come to photography?
“By accident. I loved taking pictures and discovered I was actually good at it and there were good benefits. I took a photography class just for fun. I took pictures of families, kids, weddings and found out that’s what I want to do. I loved it. With weddings you get paid travel. We’ve gone to Jamaica, Hawaii, and Las Vegas. My husband wasn’t thrilled when I decided to specialize in high school senior portraits. But now that’s the bulk of my business.”
What’s the difference between shooting individual and group photos?
“When there’s one person I look at their face, hair, and posture. I can focus on every detail down to their fingernails. I play music and I talk to them. I ask them to do silly things like look off in the distance and laugh, then look right back at me. I get them to relax. I talk through the whole shoot. I keep them moving. When the body is moving the mind doesn’t have a chance to wonder ‘What does my face look like?’ If you’re moving your brain doesn’t think about what your face is doing. “In group shoots there is usually one person who is more comfortable with the camera than the others. You spend time with this one and that one. By the time you settle one the other one has moved.”
What cameras do you use?
Canon 5D Mark III
Cannon 70-200 2.8 lens
Cannon 50 mm 1.4
“The biggest challenge is staying fresh and relevant in an industry where you can throw a rock and hit a photographer!”
How long did it take to build your business?
“First year I photographed eight high school seniors. Second year sixteen or seventeen. Third year thirty. Fourth year seventy. This year, year five, over one hundred.”
What obstacle almost stopped you?
“My biggest challenge is me. Nailing down and figuring out how much I can work. Getting out of my head. I get overwhelmed because there are so many options. My anxieties are through the roof. ”
“I am pretty much unfiltered, an open book. I am not a hide-r. I talk to strangers. I love or hate, there’s not much in the middle. I wear yoga pants. I eat in the morning then not much all day. Ansel Adams is my favorite person. I remember the first time I had a huge sale. The session was incredible!”
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“I’ve always done it. About three years ago I set dedicated business hours.Since both of my kids were born, they have learned that when Mommy works that is their time to occupy themselves with toys, games, or cooking. Now my son is in school but my daughters sit at a desk next to me and color.”
“I have a degree in Medical Transcription and did that for ten years.”