We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer D. and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?
I believe, aside from all technique and talent, having consistent communication, response time, camaraderie, and fun with my clients has kept my business going for 10 years. There are so many amazing photographers in the world and in San Diego, to have someone repeatedly choose you says more about your ability to show up for them and give back to them, as much as the beauty in the images you produce. If you take great photos, but can’t return them in a timely fashion or respond to their requests, you will not hang on to those clients longterm. I am proud to now call so many clients friends, and I believe they return year after year and refer their loved ones on my dependability and making things fun, as much as loving the images they receive.
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.
Photography for me goes a long way back, as my dad was a combat cameraman for the Navy, then a wedding photographer, and now runs the media department for his longtime corporate job. We grew up with nonstop cameras and video recording gear around the house, and I loved being the subject! Before I opened my own photography business, I carried the bags and fluffed the gowns assisting some amazing photographers at over 100 weddings and events and shoots, and learned to use a camera and all the tech gear that goes into this job. I didn’t wake up to a thriving photography business one day, it was a process of building clientele, getting better at my craft, and steadily retaining business while also seeking new ventures within the field. I learned that you need to be on time with your promises to clients, you need to give back to vendors that treat you well, and that once I had a family, I needed to set some boundaries between work time and home time. If I could share anything with a photographer starting out, it would be to never underestimate small jobs. One of the biggest jobs I ever got came from a simple family mini session for a couple that happened to be involved in a business venture that needed a photographer. If I had ever felt too busy for the smaller shoots, I’d never land the big ones.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My favorite spots in San Diego are every spot in San Diego! I love this city! I love eating the incredible food at Peusto, riding the ferry to Coronado and bicycling the entire island. I love visiting the zoo and Sea World with my children, and dancing all night in the Gaslamp with my friends. I love climbing the cliffs at Windansea Beach for incredible photos, and taking a mountain weekend trip over to Julian for the apple pie and small town cuteness. I love when Barrio Logan is decorated for Dia de Los Muertos, and I love when Carlsbad Village has their holiday lights up. I love ice skating at the Hotel Del and watching my daughter surf at the beach after. I love the nightlife in PB and the view from George’s at the Cove over dinner. There is nothing I don’t love in San Diego, and there is always something for everyone! The weather keeping us all outdoors all year round is such a lucky way to live. I will forever be in a love affair with this city!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people that helped paved my way into business and staying here! My friends Kimberly Bee and Melissa Koehler, two of the most amazing photographers I’ve ever known, gave me all the support to start my first business in photography. My husband gave me nonstop support when I ventured out on my own and believed I would have much more success than I believed I would! My return clients that keep things moving for me year after year, especially by always referring me to their loved ones are huge, along with the vendors I am lucky enough to work with at every event that pass on my name all make a business like this happen. This is never a solo show, it is always the collaboration of amazing people!
Plain Jane Photography