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I am a creative person, I love to journal, write, scrapbook, cook, take still life photos as well as people I love nature, I sing on our worship team at church and music has always been a part of my life, I used to teach special education and juvenile delinquents, I journal at least 3 things I am thankful to God for each day, and last month, I reached a goal of 10,000 things Iâ€™m grateful for. I am a follower of Christ; I am a wife, and a mom to three beautiful children.
Jodi, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
My passions are God, Family, church, Photography. I have always loved photography and remember well the first camera I received from my parents at the age of ten. I began my photography by a lot of trial and error, and people began to notice and ask me to take their photos, so I decided to do business out of it.
Who is your inspiration in life Jodi? How do you keep inspired?
God is my inspiration and stays inspired by spending time in His creation/outdoors. As far as photographers, I have always loved the work of Dorothea Lange. Not only because she was a female in a time when it probably wasn't an acceptable career for females, but her work draws me in...it truly tells a story with one single image. I am intrigued and inspired by her.
We all make mistakes Jodi; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Photographer; you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
I can't think of any situations with a colleague, but I learned the hard way with my first wedding shoot to put all the terms in writing. It all turned out well in the end, and the photos were good, it was just the contractual agreement with a client that I should have spelt out every detail so that we were both on the same page.
Jodi, when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritising your clients’ needs?
I take it on a case by case basis. As a photographer, itâ€™s really important to study people. I have learned to get a sense right away if the client needs to be put at ease, if they are in a hurry if they need time to recoup in between shots, etc. I also find out their desires/what they expect. Finally, I do my best to get them the best photos I can and to give them the finished product quickly. Great customer service goes a long way! Finally, if the client is not 100% satisfied, I will go as far as reshooting their session, but I have never had to do that.
Please tell us, Jodi, about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
During my busy season (which tends to befall with graduates), I have to prioritise. My family is always first, which helps me stay balanced in my career. I schedule around my kid's activities so that I can be there for them, but that also means, when I am working, I need to eliminate distractions so I can work effectively and efficiently.
Jodi, please give us an example of a time when you were able to persuade someone to see things your way at work successfully.
I can't think of a specific time, but sometimes, clients don't catch my vision, and I will show them a preview by actually showing them the image on my camera so they can see where I am headed with certain shots.
Jodi, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
I think when my self-designed website went live for the first time. I was so excited to begin my business, and that was a major step for me.
Jodi, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
I was putting together a book for someone whose house we were staying at in South Africa. It was so interesting to view all the little details in their home through my camera lens. I know they thought I was crazy at first when they saw the things I photograph, but they were blown away when they saw the finished product. So, sometimes, being creative means looking crazy/absurd, but in the end, it can be worth it!
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?
Try, try again. When I look back at my early work, I cringe. It's a trial and error career, and the best way to improve is a lot of practice. I have not arrived yet; there is always more to learn...being a perpetual student is key!
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Iâ€™m not sure. I have not thought about that yet. I would need to understand better what that looks like.
Jodi Dirks @facetofacephotograhy