Photography interview with Jackie Jean

  • photography interview with Jackie Jean Acosta

Today’s interview is with Jackie Jean!

Hi Jackie!  Could you tell us about how you started your journey as a photographer?

I decided when I was sixteen that I wanted to be a photographer as I had one of the most inspiring photography teachers in high school. I carried my camera along with me everywhere and began shooting some weddings at nineteen. When I was about twenty-four, my husband convinced me to go digital and it was then, business began to grow. I have had a lot of trials and errors along the way but I do feel like I am living one of my biggest dreams, I love so many aspects about photography.

What gear can you not live without?

I just recently upgraded to a Nikon D800 and absolutely love it, so my camera would be one along with 85mm 1.8. I have a lot of favorite lenses, but this one rocks in a lot of situations “for me”.

photography interview with Jackie Jean Acosta

photography interview with Jackie Jean Acosta

Your clients always look so happy and at ease.  How do you go about setting the tone for your sessions and creating those genuine connections in your photographs?

I try to have conversations going prior to sessions, whether it is by phone or email and make sure to ask questions about what his/her interests are and what the family likes to do together. It helps me get to know the family/kids better so I know what I am getting into prior to my shoot. I am extremely relaxed in sessions as well, I do simple posing by setting them up, and they do the rest themselves naturally, I just make sure to have my camera ready at all times and act a bit like a paparazzi.

I am so impressed that as a mom to four children you are also in your ninth year of business as a photographer.  How do you maintain a balance in your personal and professional lives?

I am still learning balance. Each year, I get a little bit better with organization and each year I give myself more projects to work on.  I think anyone will tell you that if you are running your own business, it can quickly run your life. So, I have gotten better over the years to not say “yes” to everything. There are weekends and days now where I turn my computer off and simply enjoy my family.

photography interview with Jackie Jean Acosta

photography interview with Jackie Jean Acosta

photography interview with Jackie Jean Acosta

I love your creative edits and the whimsy that accompanies them.  How did you acquire your editing skills and do you have any tips to share on developing your eye for creative edits?

Everything I have done has been by trial and error and self-taught. Before I learned that balance part, I was on the computer all of the time processing images over and over until I got the results that I wanted. My suggestion is to keep playing and to not give up. Start with clean editing and nailing that first, and then introduce all that fun creative processing.

photography interview with Jackie Jean Acosta

You photograph everything from families to newborns to seniors to maternity.  If you could only continue photographing one of these, which would it be and why?

Oh gosh, that is a toss up between seniors and families. If I would have been asked that question a few years ago, I would have said seniors in a heartbeat! The teen years can be a bit awkward so I love giving seniors that boost of confidence with pictures. Since I now have a large family myself, I love shooting families and go into it with so much joy. I love capturing love and laughter in family moments. It absolutely rocks.

You have been photographing professionally for a long time.  Can you give us some tips for keeping the creative juices flowing and what you do when you are feeling burnt out?

I know for some, having a project helps.  For me, laying it down every once in awhile helps. I did have a six month period of re-evaluating my business and what I really wanted to be doing. I do believe if you are doing what you love, you will have less moments of burn out. The first few years of business, I said yes to everything and put too much on my plate leading to burn out.

photography interview with Jackie Jean Acosta

photography interview with Jackie Jean Acosta

If you could photograph someone in any location in the world, where would you pick and why?

We have done a lot of traveling in the states so I would either say Australia or Ireland. South Africa also intrigues me too and I have some friends there, so that might be a possibility in the near future.

This industry has changed a lot in the last decade.  What would your advice be to fledgling photographers who are thinking about starting a photography business in the current environment?

I would first ask “why”? Why are you starting a photography business? If this is a passion of yours and you want to be a photographer, than while yes, the industry can be tough, go for it. If you put the hard work in, you can make it work. The awesome thing about photography is that it is a reflection of you. There is only one you and no one else can compete with that.

photography interview with Jackie Jean Acosta

Can you share some of your goals for either your business or personal development in the next year?

I never stop learning so my hope is that I am better than I am today.  My hope is to continue to work on personal creative projects and write some e-books on ideas that I have been sitting on for awhile now.

I’ve heard that we can look forward to a Clickin Moms breakout session from you soon.  How exciting!  Please tell us a little about what we can expect to learn from you.

Yes, I am all sorts of excited! In this breakout, I will be tackling some of the issues we face during the growing process of photography. I will be sharing tips on shooting in different lighting situations, post-processing techniques, and my own journey as well as encouraging others to pursue what they are most passionate about.

photography interview with Jackie Jean Acosta

photography interview with Jackie Jean Acosta

photography interview with Jackie Jean Acosta

photography interview with Jackie Jean Acosta

photography interview with Jackie Jean Acosta

Thank you Jackie for the fantastic interview!  Make sure you head over to Jackie’s website, blogfacebook, and instagram to view the rest of her gorgeous work.

About the Author:

Elicia, a long time art lover, began her journey through photography shortly before she became a mother. Drawn to black and white photography in particular, she has a very intimate, peaceful, and earnest style to her work. Her gear includes a Nikon D800 and three prime lenses, a 28mm, 35mm, and 85mm. Elicia lives in California with her husband and two daughters and enjoys running, reading, hiking, the beach, ice cream, the farmers market, and Anthropologie.


  1. Melissa Stottmann Sep 02 2013 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    Great interview! I loved learning more about you, Jackie!!

  2. Tracy Woods Sep 02 2013 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    Beautiful pictures!

  3. Jessica Reischel Sep 04 2013 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    I admire you Jackie!! I look forward to your Breakout too.

  4. Elicia Sep 06 2013 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing with us Jackie! <3

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