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Rising Stars: Meet Jaclyn Bott

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jaclyn Bott.

Jaclyn, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
My story is a little different, probably than anyone else’s, because I didn’t set out to be a professional photographer. I actually went to school for microbiology and chemistry and was planning on getting my Ph.D. in medical microbiology. So where did photography come in?

Here’s the story: I was working as a microbiologist in a research lab when I had my first child, and life took a completely different direction than I was planning. Once my little girl was born, I couldn’t continue working as much as I had been, so I took a step back from the lab. But, being someone who loves to learn and try new things, I found myself wanting to work on something, so I decided to pursue photography as a hobby.

Photography was always something I had loved (we’re talking wind-up cameras and digital point-and-shoot), but I had never really had the time to go any deeper than that. So, once I decided to learn more about it, I drove to Costco, picked out a camera, and started taking pictures. And just like that, a part of myself came alive, a part of myself that I didn’t even know existed at that point, and I never went back to research.

So then, Costco camera in hand, I started shooting for fun. I worked with a few families here and there, started planning creative portrait sessions, and then things just took off organically. In fact, if you would have told me 5 years ago that I would be a full-time photographer, I would have laughed. It was SO not the plan! Gradually I started taking more clients, learning new skills, started building my business, and was like, hey, maybe I can actually do this.

Along the way, I tried new camera bodies, and new lenses, upgraded a few times, fell in love with studio photography, took classes, and mentored other talented photographers, and BAM. Here we are. Now I work mainly in the studio with businesses and brands, capturing commercial photography for local entrepreneurs and businesses. I specialize in capturing personal branding imagery, headshots, product, and personalized stock images.

So yes, the past 4 years have been full of trial and error, discovering a hidden passion, and deciding to learn everything I can about it. They have been full of photoshoots (over 500 to be exact!), failures, hard lessons learned, burnout, getting up and trying again, finding me and my creative style, and ultimately pressing forward and growing into the photographer I am today.

And now along with working as a business and brand photographer, I have taken what I have learned in both photography and working in the field of branding, and I am mentoring others. Mentoring has been so fun for me as well! I am creating a life I love, building a career that is fulfilling, and helping others to do the same.

I couldn’t ask for more than that.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Oh man, has it been a smooth road? Definitely not. Learning a new skill is never easy, and on top of that, building a business is never easy. Anytime someone sets out to learn something new or to create something new, there is SO MUCH to digest, so much to learn.

And honestly, there’s never a set path either, so it’s a lot of trial and error. I’ve figured out what works for me by figuring out what doesn’t work for me. I’ve figured out what I love to shoot (studio portraits and commercial photography) by figuring out what I don’t love to shoot (weddings, family portraits, etc.). So no, it has not been easy. Worth it! But not easy.

Also when it comes to building a business, it is SO easy to burn out. I actually experienced a complete burnout about a year ago. I had been pushing myself so hard to build my business and create my vision, that I was not taking care of myself mentally. I have an awesome drive to learn, create, and get stuff done, which is great! But left unchecked, it’s a sure path to crashing completely. And that’s what I did.

I got to the point where I physically put my camera bag in the closet and shut the door, and I didn’t book a single session for over 6 months. In fact, I didn’t even touch my camera for over 6 months. I even contemplated selling my gear and completely moving away from photography. So for me, learning how to find balance has been so important.

Do I still push myself? Yes! I love to challenge myself and push through my comfort zones, but I have also learned how to check in with myself, take breaks, and balance my career with other aspects of my life.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I’m a professional brand and commercial photographer, along with a brand coach and a photography mentor. I work solely with women to help them actualize their dream businesses, whether that’s through capturing images for their brand, coaching them on how to build a stand-out business, or helping other photographers master their skills.

I am especially known for my fun and outgoing personality, for helping women to feel comfortable in front of the camera, and for having FUN during sessions! Not to mention my work is top quality, and I’m known for my creative eye, my attention to detail, and my editing skills (I have been called the photoshop wizard a time or two).

I am most proud of my ability to empower others, especially women. In many cases, my clients get emotional during sessions because they can see firsthand that we’re actually capturing their vision. It’s such an incredible experience to be a part of this! I’m also very proud of my knowledge as a photographer, both during sessions (posing, lighting, creative directing, etc.) and afterward during post-production (editing).

I think my fun/quirky personality and my ability to work with others sets me apart in my field. Yes, I have great photography skills, but I am also so fun to work with. My clients are comfortable, at ease, and laugh the majority of the session. Not to mention, I leave with a new friend after every session, and I love this.

I’m really invested in helping my clients succeed in their careers (and in life in general), and this really comes through when you work with me.

What do you think about happiness?
So many things! Chocolate, my family, yoga, being outside in nature, chocolate again, and empowering others. Really, life, in general, brings me a lot of joy, and being able to work in a field that is SO fulfilling to me has been incredible.

Pricing:

  • 60 Minute Portrait Session: $295
  • 120 Minute Portrait Session: $495

Contact Info:

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