Hi, I am Jammie Elkins.
I'm a wife, and mother of two beautiful children and three fur babies. I'm a lover of photography, laughing, music, volleyball, fruity candy, dr. pepper and especially my family and God. I am a big believer that God brings people together to celebrate in this life and I consider those I meet family. Welcome to my family! I can't wait to know the details of your story!
Life As A Photographer / cinematographer, Questions & Answer
What camera and lenses do you use? If you could only take one lens traveling with you, for portraits and landscapes, what would it be?
I currently use the Canon R5, Canon 5D Mk iii & Canon 5D MK iv with a Canon 24-70mm 2.8, a 50mm 1.4, and a 70-200. I love to capture all things from family, weddings, newborns, seniors, stock images and other special events. I use different lenses depending on the sessions needs. That being said if I were to travel and only have the option to bring one lens I would bring my 70-200 because of it's versatility.
How do you approach photographing/ filming strangers? How do you make a connection with people?
It's not common for most people to automatically feel comfortable in front of the camera. Through the years I have developed my own techniques (mostly through humor) to help break through this barrier. I use games and movement throughout my sessions to help my clients relax. I also give specific tasks to bring out specific emotions. Within a matter of minutes I start seeing their true personalities shine through. It's beautiful to watch this transformation. The best part of my job is the opportunity to witness and capture the unique beauty that each of my clients possess. To also help them see it. I love people. I'm not shy and have many mom jokes (Dad jokes) that help me break the ice. I am invested in the people I meet which helps me to find their details.
How do you edit your photos/ films? What software and filters do you use?
Through the years I have refined my editing/ branding style. I always begin by choosing the images from the session that support my specific branding style. I have the top of the line editing softwares through adobe. The programs I use most are Lightroom and photoshop CC and premiere pro. I use Lightroom to adjust my base colors, contrasts, and lighting. Once I complete that process I use photoshop to complete my final touches. I create my own recipes through these two programs. As a profession I have studied color profiling to guarantee color correction. I also always shoot in raw to guarantee the best quality for my clients.
What happens if someone sees a picture/ films of themselves and they aren’t happy about it?
I take much pride in being approachable. I know how hard it is to approach someone with concerns especially when it's regarding something so personal as their talents. I always remind my clients how important it is to me that they are not just satisfied with their final product but that they are very happy with their final images.
What do you do for entertainment when you’re editing?
It depends on my mood and on my company. This morning I watched a sappy romance movie, that I didn't really have to pay attention to. You know those movies where in the first 5 minutes you can already guess the ending. Yeah one of those. Other times I shut everything off and enjoy the peace and quiet. I am really enjoying the nice weather right now so as I type this I have the windows open with no electronics on. Spring is in the air.
How do you deal with being away from home and your family?
I believe in balance in all things. It's nice that I get to set my own schedule. I also have the most loving husband who is often home while I'm at sessions. My editing time is typically scheduled during the time my kids are at school and my husbands at work. There are times during my busiest season that I have to edit in the evening hours as well. We typically make a huge batch of popcorn, and watch a movie while I edit away. I am lucky to have such a supportive husband. If I need to edit in the evenings he is more than willing/ capable in the kitchen to provide our family with dinner. I really am the luckiest! It's about team work.
How did you practice and improve your skills as a photographer and cinematography?
I am very self motivated and I'm always learning and practicing new techniques. I am also enrolled in a cinematography college course. It is also always helpful to be in different photography groups to bounce ideas off of other photographers and to receive feedback. In this industry the only way to succeed is to be self motivated in your learning and advancing your skills. Other can't do it for you. One things I've always enjoyed is composite, head swaps, replacement backdrops etc...
How do you gain creative self-confidence and stop questioning your abilities as a photographer/ cinematographer? Have you ever doubted yourself and how did you get over that self-doubt?
HaHa. I'm not sure any of us really master this area. It's very easy to compare yourself to others in this industry, as there's so much talent. For me it ebbs and flows. I always remind myself that not everyone will like my style and that's okay. I stay true to myself and strive to love others. For me it's not just about the pictures, it's also about the experience. If I walk away and recall much laughter amongst those I capture then I hold my head high knowing that I'm not just giving them images, I'm also giving them an experience that goes with those images. There's much joy in that.
How did you know what kind of photography/ cinematography you wanted it get into, and how did you land yourself in such an exciting career?
Many professional photographers will specialize in one area, such as newborns, families or weddings. I feel called to capture love, and as we all know there is love in so many areas of our lives. It also keeps things interesting for me. Again, I see my clients as family members and I love that they can come to me for all of their portrait needs.
Who do you use to insure your images/ films?
I actually had to learn this the hard way. Many years back I only had one backup of all of my images and my hard drive crashed. It cost me a couple grand to get them all back from a specialized company. After that experience I drastically changed how I store and protect my images in 3 ways. (1) Google Drive (2) Online Gallery (3)External Hard Drive (I like Toshiba). I also encourage all of my clients to have at least two backups at all times. It always best to have one in your home, one online and one with a family member. Don't make the same mistake I made in the beginning. It was painful. Once I deliver images to my clients it becomes their responsibility to protect their images. I keep a copy but I don't guarantee after that point.