Entrepreneurs, especially Iowa entrepreneurs, have a place in my heart to share their stories. They are out there hustling, burning the midnight oil, often working two or more jobs to fit the need to pay bills, and wanting to fill their creative brain bank. They are the ones with awesome posts, travel stories, and work that you wish you were secretly good at. I am here to bring Iowa entrepreneurs to you so you can get to know them, and more about their trade. I’m so proud of them, and I’m cheering them on! I hope you will too!
Wedding and Elopement Photographer: Jamie Tobin Photography
I’ve had the pleasure of watching Jamie’s business evolve throughout the years. I always think her pictures are gorgeous, unique, full of life and love and really capture the essence of who the couple seems to be (even if I don’t know them). I have had this pleasure because Jamie and I went to the same high school! I wouldn’t say I really ever knew Jamie really well, I just always knew there was something about her that intrigued me, she always had a unique style, and didn’t care if people didn’t see things the way she did, because what she had to say was valuable and important. I still see that today through her photography!! She continually blows me out of the water with the awesome pictures she takes, amazing places she visits, and I’m so impressed with the quality of work she puts out daily!! Without further adieu, let’s get to the interview with Jamie.
Interview with Jamie of Jamie Tobin Photography
Where are you located? What does your family look like? Humans and not.
Cedar Falls, IA – Me + Hubby (Mark) + My toddler (Mercer 2YO) + 3 cats (Raichu + Pikachu + Pichu)
But we also spend half our time in New England because my hubby is from MA / ME! So you’ll catch me on the east coast constantly.
Iowa State Cyclones or Iowa Hawkeyes? (Or favorite team?)
We’re a house divided – I grew up supporting the Hawkeyes so naturally my husband picked ISU just because.
What made you decide to start this business?
I always knew I was meant to be self employed, I don’t handle being micromanaged very well 😉
But also I’ve known this (photography) was for me for as long as I could remember. I did my first wedding at 18, and here I am almost 30 still completely obsessed with photographing couples + their stories, and now teaching other photographers AND mom-togs alike in my online courses.
Why has this been a good fit for you?
I’ve always been the creative side of the brain, more the art + English. Math + science just wasn’t my thing. I get to just make weird art, be my own boss, and help others along the way. My love language is acts of service so whenever I get to help people by photographing them or teaching them my soul is set on fire.
If you could choose one treat what would it be?
Twist chocolate / vanilla cone from Cedar City Creamery in Cedar Falls — haha I have been craving that cone all winter and they open for the season soon!
What have been some struggles with starting this business?
Sometimes it’s just the business things – taxes, spreadsheets, payroll — you now the things that no one wants to do but that get you to the next level by understanding and keeping on top of!
What has been the most rewarding part of your business?
I think the most rewarding is every time I get a letter or card in the mail thanking me. It’s usually from a parent or someone close to my client and how the way I served them touched them. It really gets me in the feels knowing it’s a ripple effect with my clients to their family + friends.
Beach or mountain? Why?
I’m a mountain girl hands down! I live for sweater weather and crispy air. Fall is one of my favorite times and feel like it never is long enough.
How do you do what you do with your photography business? How does it work?
Well I do what sounds really fun first — I don’t do things that I think you’re ’suppose’ to do. If it isn’t a hell yes then it’s a no. Clients have multiple ways to work with me whether they want me to be their photographer or their teacher. I have online photography courses teaching my students how to use their DSLR or teaching mamas how to use their iPhone to take amazing photos AND get in the shot with their kiddos!! (Because MOM really was there you know – not always taking the photo!)
My passion is working with couples + their weddings. I only take on 10 weddings a year now, and they are all elopements or small weddings (no more than ~100 guests). I also take full advantage of outsourcing certain chores in my business (SEO / PINTEREST / BLOGGING) so that I can keep focusing on the tasks that I love doing instead of the tasks that I need to do, but I am not the best at.
What have you learned now that you didn’t know before?
I have learned more of doing online business and making sure my business is running as a business. Yes, I am a photographer and an artist but by getting my systems more automated I am able to be more in my creative zone because I am not freaking out about the logistics anymore.
Favorite thing to do in your free time?
I would say being outside. I love traveling and seeing things, eating all the foods, trying all the drinks. Just hanging out with my humans, having those conversations, and just experience the magic of being human.
What piece of advice would you give to yourself when you started this business?
Don’t give up – keep striving to learn new things, new techniques. It’s okay if people are mean to you, they don’t matter anyway. You’re going to make it because your drive is what makes you, you.
What is the next thing you are wanting to pursue?
I have plans to start another business in the next 3 years! But it’s more on the DL for now, but a little hint will be it’s going to be packed full of my personality (+ my families) and for the humans who want to connect with each other and unplug.
Favorite thing to make for dinner?
Currently whatever take out — haha I am so busy lately that cooking is not for me. My hubby is actually the chef in our family, the only thing I can make successfully is breakfast food.
How do we find out more about you? Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Etsy. Give me all of the ways to see your business/products!
You can find me on insta @JamieTobinPhoto / @education.jtp
My website: jamietobinphotography.com
I am very active on insta and love chatting with people in my DM’s or in my email list! My email list get’s all the best news of my digital products, online courses, and session release dates!