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Art & Life with Jennifer Jinkens

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Jinkens.

Jennifer, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
My husband (Gordie) and I moved here from Chicago 3.5 years ago not knowing a soul other than Gordie’s mom, and our employers. However well one knows their employer? But we had one another, and that was enough. At that point my photography career was not what it is now. Back home I was definitely a hobbyist and I was totally fine with that. I worked full time in sales, a career in photography was not even on my radar. I was always known as the person who would have a camera out at almost any get together. (You’re welcome to all my friends and family who now have perfectly hilarious Facebook memories to reflect on.)

I think my generation had an obsession with disposable cameras as kids, and I’d like to think that’s where my infatuation began. In high school I learned how to work with and develop film, and that only further escalated my interest. Not enough to take it seriously though. When it came time for college, while I remained interested in the “Arts” my degree was in Interior Design.

Like MANY other photographers, it was when I had my first kid that my life started to take me into the direction of a serious photography career. First it started with buying a camera, not anything great, but better than the average Joe. Pretty sure it was a Canon Rebel. What initially was just me documenting the life of my new baby, later was encouraged into documenting friend’s newborns, or families, etc. Eventually it got to a point where if I wanted to take these photos I was taking seriously I was going to have to up my equipment game. I put together a business plan (if that’s what you want to call it) and at the end of 2015 after being in AZ a year, I purchased my first Canon 5d Mark 3. That may not seem like a big deal to anyone, but that leap freaked me out! I bought this camera and had a whopping zero clients on the books. Within a month, a new mom had found me on Instagram. Which to this day still amazes me, because my portfolio was not what it is now! She loved her photos and referred me to her entire “birthing group”. By the beginning of 2016 the ball had started to roll in the direction of newborns and families. I still had another job, so I was content riding this small wave. Until one day a coworker had asked me if I wanted to do her friend’s wedding. I was so flattered that she wanted ME to work with her friends, and without much thought I agreed. Her friends booked me knowing where I stood in my career. About a week went by, it all sank in and I started to freak out! I quickly (in 10 months) educated myself through various courses, workshops, and so on, on how to handle a wedding day. When theirs came I was ready, and it went by without any issues. I was so proud of myself, but mostly I was hooked! Everything from the rush of staying as close to the timeline as possible, to the nerves of not missing those key moments, and all the people to people interaction in between – I was HOOKED! In 2017 I put every ounce of energy into networking, and marketing. I made Jen Jinkens Photography my sole source of income. There is literally no going back now.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I am a wedding and engagement photographer for Phoenix, Chicago and beyond. While I do take the occasional family and newborn session, it is mostly with previous clients. I can never resist a repeat client!

I LOVE working weddings, and engagements are right there too. They are both so very different. I incorporate my engagement sessions into all of my wedding packages, and for me there is no other way to do it. It is such a cool way to bond with the couples that book with me. It is also an awesome way to explore all that Arizona has to offer.

I’ve always been a bit of a clown, so instinctively I love to make my clients laugh. At me, with me, I really do not have a preference. At the end of the day if they are naturally enjoying themselves in front of my camera, we are going to have some bomb photos. While laughing is cute, bubbly and obviously always a win it is so important to me that my brides (and grooms too) feel hot in their pictures. I always incorporate a mix of poses, and encouraging words to achieve that. I want them to see how fierce they can be while still having a blast.

I like to think of my work as vibrant and fun, but I also am keen at staying away from labels. As a photographer I am ever evolving and I worry that a label would hinder any growth.

How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
Success is achieving goals you set for yourself. The size of the goal does not matter, but meeting those goals keeps you going.

A super crucial characteristic for any business owner to have whether it lies within the Arts or otherwise, is persistence. As an entrepreneur/business owner you encounter so many nay sayers. You share your work with the world and at times it seems no one is paying attention. You compare what you’re doing to what your peers are doing, the list goes on and on. All of it will make you want to quit. The key is pushing through those feelings, setting those small goals and persisting forward.

I see many of my peers get discouraged, and I get it. It isn’t fun feeling like everyone is doing it BIG, and you’re at home Netflix and chilling. But perception isn’t reality and you have to persist past all of that.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
People can find me through my website or blog, but I have also been published by Pop Sugar, 100 Layer Cake, The Perfect Pallet, Black Bride, Something Turquoise, and The Knot.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jen Jinkens Photography

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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