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Meet Samantha Jacob

Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha Jacob.

Hi Samantha, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I grew up in a very small, rural town – Le Roy, Kansas. My parents gifted me a DSLR as a gift for receiving good grades. I have been in love with photography ever since. As I studied Psychology at Emporia State University I also worked as a photographer in the marketing department for the university, where I received so much knowledge regarding working with cameras manually (ISO, Aperture, exposure, etc.), how to manipulate light, how to properly set up studios.. everything I needed to go from an amateur photographer so someone that had a solid foundation of knowledge. After college, I moved to Kansas City where I worked in many fields with my psychology degree while doing photoshoots on the side, more so as a fun hobby, not so much as a job. When the stress of the mental health field finally hit me, I decided to get more serious with my art, giving myself another source of income to change my circumstances.

Summer of 2018 comes around and I decide Kansas City is not for me anymore and decide to make the leap over to Las Vegas. Moving to Las Vegas took my photography career from side hustle to a full-time career. I love shooting anything involving humans. Whether it is a fun portrait or grad session, a stylish editorial, a romantic wedding, an adventurous elopement, a surprise proposal, a newborn shoot.. you name it. Anything involving capturing emotions and the human experience drives my passion for what I do. I started out taking any and all shoots I could just to get by, and now I am able to pick and choose which sessions work best with my style. Luck had nothing to do with it, I worked day and night outsourcing new clients, doing fun sessions with friends around Vegas just to create new content to get more outreach. So much sweat and tears were involved in growing myself to be comfortable with it, and I am very grateful to be where I am at today.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The road was very scary at first. I honestly wasn’t even sure what I was getting myself into when I decided to go full-time. I am very confident in my ability to capture amazing photos, but so much more goes into running a business than just capturing beautiful images. Needing to understand marketing methods, how to reach clients, how to properly write contracts and proposals, how to budget, create invoicing and manage bookings. How to properly organize and track the entire process, from the first email with the client, to the planning of the shoot, to the sending of the images, to the follow-up and so forth. There was definitely a learning curve for me when it came to the POS side of the business, how to professionally and properly manage the deposits and contracts. Again, I received a huge slap in the face realization of “OMG there really is so much more to having a photography business than just taking beautiful photos… truly” I went to school for psychology, NOT business, NOT marketing, NOT accounting, NOT law… so catching myself up on ALL of these topics as a Make it or break it mentality was very nerve racking. But I managed and luckily, I feel that I work best under pressure.

I was definitely in over my head in the beginning, but my drive and passion to wanting to make my art my full-time career surpassed my fears. The inconsistency of bookings was hard to grasp in the beginnings. Learning the ebbs and flows of when busy and slow seasons were. Understanding permit laws, which venues allow freelance inside, which venues you need to partner with, which wedding planners to contact. So many small details that make such a huge difference in managing a business. Staying positive, continuing to research new platforms to get my name out there, and not being afraid to ask any peers or fellow photographers that I admire for advice were all important in overcoming the beginning obstacles.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I photograph a variety of things: weddings, elopements, engagements, portraits, family, newborn, studio, editorial, and nightlife. I am a hopeless romantic at heart so I absolutely adore shooting weddings, elopements and engagements. Being able to hang out with clients that are obsessed with each other is such a beautiful thing to capture. Vicariously living through the love my clients have for one other.

I also LOVE fashion and editorial, so shooting fun studio and portraits sessions also hold a special place in my heart. This is where I can get creative and have fun with it.

When it comes to my style, I feel that I shoot very candid and relaxed. I use a lot of symmetry and creative angles to capture unique shots. My editing style is rather moody. I love earth tones and making the image show emotion – I do that by using a darker, lower-light edit that sets the ambiance.

I feel that was sets me apart from others is the in-between shots that I typically use as my final photos. I like the raw emotions to come through. I also feel that my personality as a whole sets me apart from a lot of other photographers. I am a very laid-back and go with the flow kind of person so I like to connect with my clients to make them feel comfortable with me. I play music to set the mood and crack jokes throughout the entire session so that the photoshoot is memorable for how FUN it was, not awkward or intimidating.

Can you share something surprising about yourself?
I grew up in a small rural town of 300 people. (LeRoy, Kansas) I graduated high school with 18 kids in my class.

A very, very, very small, close-knit community.

Now I am traveling city to city, exploring the world. It is just insane to see where I grew up, and the sheltered-style way of living, to now being where I am and more curious than ever.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Image taken by Zena Negron Photography

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