Jacalyn is the owner of JMM Photography and she gave us a WONDERFUL interview today. You’re going to want to read this one start to finish, because the end is filled with some really great advice for photographers!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company
I am Jacalyn Mains- sole owner of JMM Photography. Meaning, I am not a wedding photography conglomerate that spits out a mass production of images every single weekend of the year. I offer a modern and fashionista approach to wedding photography. No stiff posing stuff over here- PUH-LEASE! I specialize in wedding and boudoir photography. What I am not is a photographer that will jump at the chance to photograph absolutely anything. I’d rather excel in one area than mediocre at many. I find that I am inspired by the energy surrounding a wedding as well as the essence of a woman celebrating her beauty and thrive on woman power- so I’ve chosen to hone my skills and focus on those two types of photography, wedding and boudoir, because they stimulate my creative juices and keep my job fun!
2. How did you get into wedding photography?
Like many female photographers, the birth of my son inspired me to pick up the camera for the first time. When I decided to turn it into a career instead of a side gig, I said one thing to myself that remains true today. If I am going to be away from my family and the ones I love most by working, then it will only be at a “job” that I love, plain and simple. So, for me, that is photography.
3. What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?
I know this may sound really silly, but I LOVE the start of the day- the “getting ready” portion of the day. For me it is an excellent way to begin photographing a wedding for a few reasons and I’ll explain. Typically this part of the day is a very relaxed atmosphere- the girls are futzing around fixing themselves up or having their hair and make-up done, sipping champagne, chatting, laughing, and enjoying each other. I love entering into such a very calm and serene place. Then everything changes when the bride gets into her dress- the anticipation and excitement in the room escalates to almost bursting! Tears trickling down faces, friends gasping at their gorgeous bff, and smiles from ear to ear- It is so fun! Such an extreme scale of emotions in such a short period of time- I love it!
4. What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?
I actually had a groom who decided to hit downtown Louisville the night before getting married and he was miserably hung over the entire wedding day. He actually had to leave the alter two times during the ceremony to get sick! I don’t think nerves of the day helped! It was awful and awkward for everyone!
5. What’s the best thing you ever ate at a wedding?
FILET!!! I am a huge fan of a super awesomely prepared filet steak and that with a shrimp cocktail starter at a wedding in May at the Millennium in downtown Cincinnati a couple years ago was fabulous and unforgettable!
6. What is your favorite venue and why?
Gosh that is a hard one! I am a super huge fan of any venue that is unique, artistic, and has fabulous light! One of the most unique I’ve had the experience of photographing at is called The Inn at Oneonta in Melbourne, KY. It is a gorgeous property with lots of fun quirks and is a hidden gem!
7. Nikon or Canon?
Canon all the way baby!
8. What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?
Hands down, without a doubt, ITALY! I am Italian and my grandparents came to America from Bari and Salerno. So, if it was in one of those cities- then it would be literally dream come true.
9. If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?
My grandparent’s wedding. I know they aren’t celebrities, but I look up to them far more than any celebrity couple. I would rather have had a glimpse at a traditional Catholic Italian wedding that lasted longer than 50 years than a celebrity wedding that rarely surpasses 5 years.
10. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?
Despite what you may think, a lot of the photographers in this industry (especially the woman) are friends! So, get to know your fellow photographers! Think of them as a resource more so than as competition. I meet with 3 other female photographers once a month for breakfast or lunch and we talk shop (and about our personal lives too). We might be in direct competition with each other, but that totally doesn’t matter. All four of us realize that there are enough brides to go around and that not every bride is for me! I love knowing other ladies in the industry well enough on a personal and professional level to be able to confidently refer them to brides that have contacted me and their date is already booked. Getting to know other photographers is an EXCELLENT way to get bookings! When they are booked, guess who they refer…other photographers they know and trust. Not only that, but the brides that they refer are typically more motivated to book because they have already reached out to their first choice and they were already taken, so that puts a sense of urgency in their mind.