In 2012, I launched Jordan Brittley. But it's not as simple as that. There are a lot of things that I haven't told you about the story of launching this business. I haven't told you that my inspiration as a child came from the prints of photos that were archived in in our craft closet. I loved the greens in those photos and I loved the skin tones. I have told you that my mom believed in me when I didn't and that my dad was the one who wrote my first blog post. So today I am sharing the story of launching Jordan Brittley.
My mom bought a digital camera
She walked out of Best Buy, camera in hand. We were just smitten with the thing: the silver box that stored images on a floppy disk. No more disposable cameras for us. We were moving up and storing our images on the computer now.
I took photos of everything: freshly washed grapes, our family trips to the OK farm, and the flowers at our home. I loaded the images onto the computer and my mom printed them. Because whatever medium you are using, prints are always important.
Freshman year of high school
My mom pointed out the digital imaging class in the high school catalog and told me that she thought I would love it. The class was only for Juniors and Seniors so I filed the idea away for another year.
But my mom. She saw potential in me where I ignored it. She encouraged me to take prints of my photos to the professor and request admission for my Sophomore year. And she kindly wouldn’t let it go. She saw right through my fear and gave me the kick I needed to ask Mr Jones to join his class a year early.
I did it. And he let me in. And that whole season of learning in his class is a completely different and beautiful story.
Senior year of high school
My sixteen year old self sat in the living room and told my mom I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t take my senior photos. She told me that she would book a session with a local photographer, but that she believed I could do it. So I started a habit that has survived every season of my photography journey: I practiced on my sisters.
I hung a long white curtain next to the sliding glass door in my childhood home, dressed my 4 year old sister, and took her photos. As I looked through the photos on the LCD, my heart soared. I loved them and my parents did too.
I took that encouragement and asked my grandma and great aunt to photograph me when I visited them in OK that summer. Those photos now hang in my parent’s home and mark a milestone for me: I faced the fear head on and did what I thought couldn’t be done. In many ways that small decision has paved the way to tackle more fears and grow in business.
I remember the night that the first blog post was written in 2008. And my father was the one who wrote it. He uploaded the photos of my four year old sister to a Blogger site and created my first blog. Little did I know that I would one day use blogging as the biggest marketing tool for my business.
My dad was also the one who helped me book my first client. He knew someone from work who needed photos of his one year old daughter. On our drive home from the shoot he told me that he really thought I could make $300 a month doing photography. That seemed too good to be true at the time. How in the world could someone make $300 a month doing something fun?
Soon enough I learned that my dad was right. I would book a couple of senior sessions here and a family session there. I created work hours for myself the summer after highschool and invested in equipment. My mom printed my photos, hung them on the wall, and told everyone she knew that I was taking pictures.
But even though my photography seemed to be blossoming, I still had my mind set on programming for the rest of my life. It wasn’t until the winter of my senior year of college that I decided to pursue photography as a career. So in 2012, I launched Jordan Brittley. It was my first real business complete with grown up dreams.
Launched Jordan Brittley in 2012
Everything changed when I launched Jordan Brittley. I think that’s because I finally knew what I wanted and I wasn’t going to be swayed by what others might think. I wanted to photograph my clients in an elegant, authentic and organic way and I had a distinct vision for the lighting and coloring that I had only seen in photos from my childhood. It’s name was film.
I spent a full year trying to emulate the look of film with digital before I learned that I could just shoot film. Film propelled my business forward even further. I learned to see the light in new ways and it forced me to slow down during sessions. I even started connecting with my clients better.
I only planned on taking 10 weddings this year once I found out I was pregnant. But I was attracting and booking my ideal clients so we are landing somewhere around 20 for the year.
In 2015 I also started blogging 5 days a week with a focus on great content. The transition into blogging has been a challenging one as I look through google analytics trying to figure out what my readers (that’s you) really love and what you could do without. It’s fun to share what I know and I love reading your comments and emails!
The Lord is good and faithful. He is the one who drives my passion for this art and He is the one who gives me great love for my couples and readers. I want to invest my time in the things that matter in the Kingdom. I want to stay grounded in Him when I feel overwhelmed and I want to refocus when I get distracted from what’s set before me.
I can’t really share my story without pointing you to the One who has paved the way and given me immeasurably more. Jesus leads the way in this business. He is worthy of my praise. Not because of what He has done in my business but because of what He has done with my life. After all, I have life because of Him. I don’t credit Him or praise Him for what He has done in this business out of obligation. I want to praise Him. Following Him in this business is one of my favorite things about this life. Following Him is just plain good.