Featured Photog: Jamie Rubeis

Jamie Rubeis

Jamie Rubeis Photography

Fan Page : Site

Q. Tell us a little about yourself in just two sentences.
I am a mother of two crazy little boys Antonio, 4, and Christopher, 2, and one teenage girl, Ariana,  who will be 16 this year. YIKES!  I am HUGE perfectionist, so I am very critical of my own work and I am always trying to improve just a little more with every session!

Q. What do you shoot with and what is your favorite lens and why?
I shoot with a Nikon D7000. My favorite lens is the 105mm 2.0 without a doubt! The creaminess is just delicious. The 50mm 1.4 is a great go to lens, as well, and a must have.

Q. When did you start shooting for fun and then move to shooting professionally?
I purchased my first DSLR in 2008 because I was just sick of my point and shoot. Like a lot of photographers, I started with wanting to take better pictures of my kids, and then I found that I really had a passion for photography. I started practicing and reading tutorials every chance I had. I knew I wanted to open up a business “one day”, but it was actually my husband who pushed me to do it sooner. So in June of 2011, I dove in head first. It has not even been one year yet, but I feel like I have come so far already and have definitely been working really hard at all aspects of it.

Q.  Are you formally taught or self taught?
Mostly self taught. I took one class from a fellow mom photographer to learn how to shoot in manual mode. From there, I joined photography communities and started reading every tutorial and book I could get my hands on. I think I learned the most just through consistent practice. As soon as I read something I want to learn about, I pick up my camera, almost immediately, and start practicing!

Q. What is your specialty and how did you decide to specialize in that area of photography?

I have tried several different aspects of photography and I now know what I like to do and don’t like to do. Although, I try not to turn down any work,  I recently decided to start focusing more on what I like, Families, Children & High School Seniors, and developing my marketing strategies and processes around that. I have also been getting a lot of requests from women entrepreneurs wanting unique portraits for their business or blog. So, I am in the process of putting together a new session called the Beautiful You Portrait Experience, celebrating established women and their accomplishments. It’s a work in progress, but what woman doesn’t deserve to feel beautiful for a day and celebrate that with some fabulous portraits!

Q. How many sessions are you shooting a month?

I am limited on how many sessions I can take, because I am fulltime mom first and foremost. Having two small boys that are still at home does not leave a whole lot of room for anything else! I try not to book anymore than two a week, with the exception of mini sessions which I can schedule back to back.

Q.  On average how long to do you spend editing each session and do you listen to music while editing or just enjoy the quiet?

Oh my goodness. I get so distracted when I am editing, it is hard to say. I am always sitting down for 30 minutes here or there to work on editing. If I was able to just sit down and finish a session all at once, with no distractions, my guess would be somewhere around 3-4 hours. It really depends on the type of session too. Sometimes I listen to music, if I have some time alone to really get into it. I mostly listen to the sounds of my kids fighting in the other room.

Q. What is your favorite part of the process? Shooting, editing, etc.

I always LOVE shooting. I really try and tap into my creativity and come up with unique ideas. I love the whole planning process, but I still get nervous before every session. As far as editing…initially, I get really excited to edit a new session and then I get about half way in, and I start getting bored and it feels redundant. Then I am ready to move on to the next session.

Q. What is the best marketing tool that works for you or was a total waste of time?  Do you advertise in print?  Do you offer referral bonuses?  If yes, please share a little.

I think word of mouth is the best advertisement. I spent hundreds of dollars in printed marketing materials and never really saw any return. Now I focus more on staying connected with my current clients so they keep coming back and referring me to their friends. I just implemented a referral program this year. Facebook has also proven to be an awesome marketing tool. It’s a great way to get your name out there and have people actually see you and what you do!

Q. What do you do to “stand out” from surrounding photographers that you’re competing with?

I really try not to focus on my competition and put all of my focus on my client. I spend a lot of time trying to develop an experience for my clients. I want my clients to feel like their portrait session is completely customized and that they are comfortable and have fun! It’s also about relationship building for me. So many times, I come out of a session having made new friends and I know they will come back to me because I care.

Q.  What do you do to help a client come out of their “shell” during a session?

I think talking to your clients is the best way to break the ice. For instance, for my senior clients, I can ask them questions like what they plan on doing after High School, or what their favorite music is. With families, I like to have them make silly faces. Especially kids! It’s a great way to get those natural smiles!

Q. What do you struggle with the most?

Trying to balance everything in my life is such a struggle. I have laundry list of things I would like to accomplish in both my business and personal life and it seems impossible, at times, to find the time to even complete one thing!

Q. How did you find your style? Any advice to new photographers on how to find their own style?
With time, patience, and practice. Stop comparing yourself to others, and do what you love. In time, you will find that your style develops naturally on its own.

Q. Please share your favorite image and tell us what makes this your favorite?

I think my most favorite pictures are always going to be pictures of my own family! I take a different approach when photographing them. I try to take the time to capture them just as they are, in that moment. I want to remember how dirty my boys got from playing that day, or how they played together. That is the whole reason we get portraits, is to capture that memory of our family and our love!

Q. Can you show us your shooting space?  If you are shooting inside can you show a simple pull back shot or lots of images if you have a large studio.  If you shoot on location please share an image of you favorite location.

I shoot primarily on location, and living in the desert, you are limited to how many “green” areas that are to shoot at, but I am learning to embrace the desert. I actually love our dry lake bed! The light is so incredible and the vast open space makes for an awesome portrait setting.

Q. Is there anything you would like to promote?  Maybe a mentoring you offer or any side projects.

Nothing at the moment.

Q. Please share an image of your Prop stash!

My props were literally stashed in every corner of the house. However, I have been inspired to reorganize everything into one place for picture purposes. Thank you!

Q. What is the best piece of advice you would give to a new photographer?

Practice as much as you can, whenever you can. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Set up personal sessions so you can step outside your comfort zone without fear of screwing up a paid session. Do your research, if possible, before opening up for business. There is a lot more that goes into running a successful business than just shooting and editing. Don’t rush into anything. You will appreciate it more in the long run, if you are better prepared.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful images with us, Jamie!

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Kim Peterson - April 17, 2012 - 12:06 am

Wonderful inspiration and wonderful photos!

Heather Baldwin - April 17, 2012 - 1:27 pm

I love me some Jamie Rubeis!
She is so honest & down to earth!
AND FUN!!!!!!!
I’m so glad I get to call her a friend!
You inspire me girl!!!

Kat - April 19, 2012 - 8:05 pm

OOO I JUST LOVE HER!!!!! I’ve been following her pinterest photography for months!

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