We had the good fortune of connecting with Hayley Jackson-Weber and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hayley, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
For as long as I can remember, I have loved photography. I was gifted a small point and shoot film camera when I was a child, and I would take endless snaps with it. I’d also spend hours poring over those “A Day The Life” photography books that were so popular in the 80’s. I got my first proper camera when I left for university, and from then on I was hooked! During my college years I took several photography courses which included learning how to develop my photos in the darkroom. There was something mesmerizing about watching images magically appear as they developed. After I graduated college, I put photography on the backburner, and over the next decade I dabbled in a variety of different fields – radio, television, marketing. However nothing ever made me feel like it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It was only after I had my first child that I started to feel like perhaps the obvious career choice had been staring me in the face all along. I decided that I would focus on raising my daughter and work on honing my photography skills. Over time I discovered local photography groups, as well as a wealth of photography tutorials on YouTube covering almost any topic I could hope to learn about. My work began to drastically improve with this newfound knowledge, and I began feeling more confident in my skills. When my husband and I decided to move back to the United States, it seemed like the right time to start my own business. At first, it was just word of mouth and some local advertising, but slowly things started to grow, and this year will be my fourth year in business here in San Diego.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My photography is light, bright and COLORFUL! I specialize in family and maternity beach photography, and I love using San Diego’s unique coastal light to create magical images. It doesn’t matter if it’s a glorious sunset or a stormy gray day, there is beauty to be captured in every setting. Photography isn’t an easy industry to succeed in. The market is very saturated and it can be difficult to find your niche. I started out shooting whatever came my way, but I eventually found that working with families and children gave me the most joy, so that’s what I focus on. I learned that when I photograph what I love, that’s when I create my best work. Like any artist, I put my heart and soul into my photography. I know how precious photographs are, and I love knowing that the images I take will be treasured for years to come. That’s what brings me the most joy and makes my work so fulfilling.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
When I go on vacation, the two main things I look for in a place are good food and gorgeous scenery. Fortunately San Diego checks both those boxes. From amazing seafood, to awesome joints in Little Italy, to authentic Mexican food, we are definitely spoiled for choice! As for places to go, you can’t go wrong with the beach! Even though I spend a lot of time on the sand for work, it’s always one of the places I take my out of town friends. Favorite beaches include Windansea, Terramar, and Sunset Cliffs. If you want to check out the San Diego coastline from a higher vantage point, I’d suggest going for a hike along the cliffs in Torrey Pines Reserve. Other great can’t-miss places include La Jolla Cove, Balboa Park, and an awesome way to finish off the day is taking a trip to Coronado to watch the sunset.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First and foremost, my husband has always been my biggest supporter. He has encouraged me from the start, and cheered me on when I first decided to start my own business. He pushes me to step out of my comfort zone, learn new techniques, and goes along with whatever crazy idea I come up with to shoot. My father also played a large role in my passion for photography. A keen photographer himself, he taught me the basics and gave me my first camera. We often go out together to shoot, and like to swap Photoshop tips and tricks. Finally, a big shoutout to the community of fellow photographers that I have come to know on social media. We regularly support and encourage each other, and it’s wonderful to see so much community over competition in our industry.