We recently connected with Sarah Jane and have shared our conversation below.
Sarah, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Let’s start with the story of your mission. What should we know?
As a boudoir photographer, my end goal is to empower women to LOVE the skin they are in. I want every woman of every shape, size and color to look at themselves in the mirror and see a woman they LOVE. A woman they are proud of. A woman they feel privileged to be. All of those things start with the path of self love.
I mean can you imagine? Instead of waking up in the morning, as another woman in America who checks whether or not she has bags under her eyes, looking closely at her face to see if there are any blemishes or new fine lines… weighs herself on a scale and judges her body and self worth on what numbers come up…
Instead of waking up like her (lets be honest we’ve all been there)… Instead, what would it be like to wake up one day as a woman in America, looking at yourself in the mirror for maybe the first time. Makeupless. Tousled bed head hair. Sleepy eyes. And the moment you look back at yourself you are filled with this sense of love, acceptance, belonging, comfort and confidence. You smile, because you’re reminded that today, again. You get to be HER. You to get to love HER. To feel safe with her. And you get to experience your day in the perfect body – perfect because you know it all yours.
The reality we face as women in America is often times we’re the first description instead of the second. We aren’t all full of self love the way we should be. And it may be a life long journey for many of us, to unravel the things we were taught by others as we became women. To truly love every part of ourselves. But that is why I run my portrait and boudoir businesses in the way that I do. I want to help women on that path of discovery to self love and acceptance.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
Since the age of 8, I’ve often found myself as a memory capturer. Back then it was with those disposable kodaks you’d take to the local drugstore to be developed. By college it transitioned to a simple point and shoot digital camera, and what started as a hobby, quickly turned into a business as my friends portrait sessions would be shared online through social media and also word of mouth. The funny thing is, I actually wasn’t supposed to become a professional photographer. I was going to school with the intent on becoming a medical practitioner, but my photography business started growing so quickly, and the idea of setting my own hours – never having to work nights or weekends unless I wanted to became so appealing that I switched majors, and threw myself into my photography business fully.
This year I celebrate 10 years as a portrait photographer based in Texas – 14 years total of creating what became my career. All because I started using a simple point and shoot, unprofessional camera as a tool to create beautiful portraits.
I currently focus on boudoir, though I still book 10-12 weddings each year within the Sarah Jane Bride collection, and what I value the absolute most these days is being able to connect with my clients, guide them on the path of loving who they are, what they look like, and confidently embracing and LOVING the skin they are in. The entire process starts when a client reaches out to me and inquires about a boudoir session. We meet virtually to not just talk details about the session process. but also to get to know each other. I want to know what women love most about themselves and what they struggle with. I want to get to know their stories of who they are, what they love, what inspires them, and why they are coming to me specifically as a boudoir photographer.
My sessions are like hanging out with your girlfriend, where we pop a bottle of champagne or vino, listen to the BEST music, and you just sit and relax while you are pampered with hair and makeup by a professional hair and makeup artist before we even start the session. After hair and makeup, we’ll go over the outfits you brought for the day, that I help you choose beforehand, and figure out what you are feeling most sexy in that day, and then we start the process of creating art pieces through boudoir portraiture.
I offer albums, prints, canvases, high res digital downloads, and privacy on a level the majority of boudoir photographers don’t actually provide their clients anymore. I won’t use my clients images for marketing unless specifically given permission to do so. The printing company I use only works with portrait photographers, and privately prints each order. My social media pages and groups are female only – anything posted in there won’t be seen by men, husbands, boyfriends or creepy guys online. It’s all private from the moment they reach out to me, to the day they receive their products.
How did you put together the initial capital you needed to start your business?
I wanted to answer this one because I know it’s a vital one for anyone who aspires to turn their dream into a career. As a portrait photographer, I kept this mindset from the beginning that I would learn how to utilize the most out of every camera I purchased before I would “upgrade” to better equipment. Keeping that mentality through the first few years of my business allowed me to purchase gear from excess profits, instead of going into debt, putting it on a credit card, or asking for sponsorship in any way.
The process may have been slower than if I just got an amazing, expensive pro camera right off the bat, But taking the route I did gave me time to develop my voice in portrait photography, to really understand creative portraiture, and to understand light, both natural and artificial on a level I wouldn’t have had to learn so quickly if I had bought something more expensive right off the bat. It gave me the opportunity to experiment the most with the least amount of risk.
It also taught me to macgyver in situations that weren’t that favorable for a simple point and shoot dslr. And it also required me to understand how cameras work, and how to shoot in manual with every piece of gear I own.
And probably one of the lesser spoken about, but still important aspects – it allowed me to really know for certain that this was the career path I truly wanted.
We often hear about learning lessons – but just as important is unlearning lessons. Have you ever had to unlearn a lesson?
This was a lesson I learned early on in my photography career – as someone who was going into medicine, I had this mindset that everything was empirical in a way and I started out thinking art and creative portraiture should be the same. Everyone was photographed the same way, all the same poses, all the cheesy directing I would do instead of truly connecting with each client… While my friends were extremely supportive early on, and clients still came through the doors trusting me with their portraits, I look back at my early works and see how portraits were technically correct, but they didn’t have the level of creativity, or story-telling my work does now.
- Website: https://www.sarahjaneweddings.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sarahjaneweddings
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarahjaneweddings
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarahjaneweddings/
- Yelp: Sarah Jane Weddings
- Other: My boudoir Instagram Page is https://instagram.com/sarahjaneboudiebabes
Laura Beth Photo