January 10, 2018 we hardly celebrated our 1-year anniversary. In fact, I forgot it was the anniversary until a love one brought over a card and sunflowers to congratulate us. It's been a trying year of trials and tribulations; business lows, contracts that didn't fall through, partnerships that never kicked off, clients that backed out, and a 15-year collection of over 1 million photographs and videos damaged (but not beyond $1,100 of repair). Meanwhile, the technology the we use in post-production is aging and outdated, I've already quit my 5-year career in finance to devote all of my energy into creating photography, and our business lending source is no longer dependable.
Since as far back as I can remember I've always planned to stage a black Santa Claus during the Christmas holiday for portraits. Well before hashtags like #MelaninMatters and black culture was trending. This isn't something I wanted to do because the timing was right since the popularity was there but because it was past due. As a child I wondered why my mom kept giving this white man credit for this amazing Christmas that she gave me year after year. I recognize the struggle, her hard work, and our economic status in our single parent home. She was my Santa AND SuperSHEro but for those who believed that it was Santa that delivered then they should at least believe he's the same complexion as they were. "Keep it in the family!" Unfortunately our funding source didn't come through as promised so that was another lucrative opportunity missed. To add salt to the wound, I saw ads for a local mall that was hosting its first black Santa.
Fast forwarding to today, it's been a year, we've made it and that's a celebration within itself. Mentally I've tapped out a couple of times, my subconscious has attempted to call it quits, and my bank account has said it's over but my heart and passion and purpose says otherwise. This year you can look forward to our monthly newsletters, faithfully. We have plenty of projects stewing in the pot including Goddess, The Greater Globe: DC and Baltimore, Black Girl Magic, and personal documentaries from Jakiera's perspective. In addition, we've taken a different approach to the expense of our services and have decided to make Everything $125 across the board. Consider us the Walmart of culture, business and brand photography! Lastly, we'll be opening a merchandise store this year with products including handmade and one of a kind camera straps, wall decor, mugs and phone cases. We have a lot to be excited about and I'm hopeful that you're as excited as we are to join us on this journey and give back along the way.
Branding is the story you tell a consumer to influence them to choose you or your brand over someone else. Customers recognize and remember consistent brands, which can only be done when you stay on brand with your message and presentation. The message has to hit people and stay with them. People won't remember what business message and purpose are if it isn't consistent at all times. Presentation Matters across the board including themes, logos, fonts, colors, and images. When you present yourself in a professional manner you separate yourself from the amateurs. Present professional images with quality and clarity and people will associate professionalism with your brand.
Business ownership requires one to wear many hats and many times we forget to allocate the work or DIY becomes second nature. However, entertainers can not model, put on a comedy show, recite poetry, or perform while capturing their brand. Businesspersons can not realistically run a business, reach sales goals, present at events while attempting to capture head shots and product photography. Even the best multi-tasker or DIYer doesn't have the adequate time or skill to capture its brand efficiently while servicing its consumers.
Start-ups and small businesses are on track to outnumber corporations. Social media plays a huge role in that creation and growth and acts as the largest communication tool between brands and consumers through audio and visuals including images, illustrations, and graphics. Within seconds, social media can provide viewers with information and this has resulted in decreasing attention spans. Branding has become easier to deliver but more complicated to produce. The presentation is the focus and the message is the support. Companies have to use images to persuade the viewer enough to read the first few words of the caption or body, which will have to then influence them enough to "click" or "read more." Brand strategy matters, my team and I going to use our Back to Business series to show our viewers how. Subscribe, follow, and like our social media platforms to learn, be inspired or share.
In addition, we'll be featuring many of our clients and exposing their brands. We have a variety of businesses and brands that come from different industries so it will allow our viewers to get a wide look at different approaches to branding. The series will kick off with Jakiera's Eye Photography and spotlight up to 10 others. Be sure to leave comments or questions as the series goes on. We'd love to assist or hear your feedback. Thanks!
Authors: Brand expert, Antonisia Baynes and Business photographer, Jakiera Daniels
This isn't just June, just Pride month, just the start of summer, it's the month that marks the start of my life. New beginning! I finally freed myself. I 'womaned up'! I's a free woman now! My two weeks are in and as of June 7th I no longer worked for the man and my newest nephew was born. Now I have a total of 14 nieces and nephews.
For the last 2 years I pondered, dreamed, and fantasized about life outside of a 9 to 5. Then 1 year ago my lovher signed me up for a workshop at the Greater Washington Urban League and I met Ms. Vicki Davis and company. Changed my entire mindset! Thank God for my willingness to be ready, open, and fearless enough to take on the unknown. Thank God for my lovher for signing me up rather I wanted to or not. Thank God for Ms. Vicki for recognizing that the business plan that I presented her with for real estate was nice but not my passion. She has be the confidence, support, and knowledge that I've been in search of, all-in-one!
So in the last year of the past two I've been planning and plotting on the low. Getting my ducks in order, making sure important things were aligned, making sure I could hold my own, help my family, and live my purpose. Now here I am! I'm ecstatic! I feel so true, so Jakiera, so valuable, so inspired, liberated, and accomplished. Yes, accomplished, and I haven't reached any monetary goals or made any promising partnerships but I have taken the biggest, most bold, brave, and forthcoming step ever in my such and such years by leaving my "good Corporate America job of 5 years," in finance. Even if I reach sales goals that I can't even imagine before the years end, that will still be my accomplishment of the year.
Crazy thing is, soon after I resigned my laptop caught a virus (not from my porno sites so cut it), my desktop stopped working (turns out that was only the power source, praise God), and my external hard drive with over a million photos and videos from my life collection of photography broke. So major scares, MAJOR. And expensive ones too. The laptop has a $2400 value, desktop $2100, and even though I don't need new ones yet, I do have an expense on the hard drive. The recovery will costs me $1148 but I guess a lifetime of photography is worth it (hehe!) at least they're able to be recovered. PRAISE EM!
The reality is, first impression matters because everyone is judged. This still remains to be a determining factor for a lot of business transactions, or lack of. Many people or businesses aren't given a chance solely based on image. Their business model, innovative ideas, or values don't stand a chance if the source isn't professionally and visually represented.
Even on this professional platform there is a large number of people who do not have a professional head shot or a photograph at all. Take 45 seconds to browse through LinkedIn and you'll see for yourself. As a result, professionals have lessened their chances of being sought out. Secondly, the viewer hasn't even seen or considered their brilliant resume or extraordinary business model.
One minor adjustment, a 30 minute sacrifice of time, and small investment in yourself can have a huge impact on your professional development. Yet, head shots are often overlooked and undervalued despite how vital they are for business success. Simply put - professional head shots will set you apart and influence engagement.
NEW** Product Alert! To show our appreciation to our loyal clients we've designed a new product called, The Lifestyle Membership. We love repeat customers and we're dedicated to building long-lasting relationships. Everyone is happier in the end once the relationship is established. Even better, it photographs like MAGIC! The comfort shows, authenticity beams, and I'm able to capture the essence of it all.
This offering is customize-able, a combination of 3 different services including Head shots, Product photography, and Service photography. Each member is allotted 6 hours of service to use at their convenience, within a 3-month term. Some perks of being a member includes discounted costs, a personal photographer, and prime time booking, Plus, business exposure on our website!
We have partnerships with graphic designers, marketing professionals and brand experts who can easily turn your photographs into a complete business revamp; marketing tools, presentation material, social media ads and more.
This product may be ideal for Business owners - boutique, caterer, housekeeper, caregiver Entertainers/Performers/Artists - poet, singer, dancer, model, comedian and Entrepreneurs - consultant, private teacher, designer, adviser, agent, creative, stylist. Check out our brochure and get started today! The JE Team is ready to help you propel you business!
"Making your professionalism visually evident!" - Jakiera
The papers are in! As of January 10th we are officially, official. We took a leap on faith and legal ownership of the name of Jakiera's Eye Photography, LLC. Now, some may think this just means we sold ourselves to the devil, the IRS. Nope! What this means is, we have opened up the doors of opportunities for our business and positioned ourselves to service a larger market; all while filing our taxes legally. Next, we'll apply for any proper licenses and consider getting bonded for business security.
Personally, taking this step is affirmation to myself that I've outgrown the "hobby" of photography. It means that I'm blocking out family members who have questioned my efforts as a late-teen, "why waste money on registering a business, more equipment, and college education when something like photography is just a hobby?" It means that I believe in myself and my passion more than my need to be supported by friends and loved ones. It means that I'm ready to overcome fear and live my true authentic life. Lastly, it means that I'm ready to feed my purpose. by serving The Greater Globe and contributing to the greater good.
So, let the festivities begin. I hope that my supporters and devotees are excited about this journey that we're entering because I am ecstatic! When I look into the future I envision many things. but I'm most excited about the day that majority of media sources recognize The Devalued as people of The Greater Globe (women, children, homeless, queer, minorities) and society treats them as such.
If I had one gift, one purpose, then I'd like to believe that one was to contribute to society providing unity and love through the art of photography.