Hello and welcome!
My name is Jackie Boldt and have been in the photography industry for 7+ years. Let me start from the beginning, so you can really get to know who I am and why I’m doing this.
I was another one of those photographers who’s father was a photographer. Well, he is more a landscape hobbyist, but nonetheless, he is a talented photographer. He had an old Pentax manual film camera I used in high school and college during my photography classes. This was the photo I turned in for my very first assignment. Not bad, eh??
Logically, I kept pushing my dream of being a photographer to the back of my head. I am a very practical person and this was not a safe and guaranteed career choice. So, I went on to a small liberal arts college in central Minnesota and majored in two logical and practical fields: psychology and business management.
I graduated, got an office job, got married, bought a house, etc. All of the usual things a logical and practical person would do during the natural course of life. Next on the list was having a baby. This was where the natural course took an abrupt turn.
My son, Nicholas, was born in July of 2006. I was over due nearly 2 weeks, and he was a very healthy weight of almost 11 pounds! When he was first delivered, the nurses almost immediately knew something wasn’t right. To make a long story short, he was diagnosed with a condition called a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH).
I was still recovering from the delivery when the doctor came in and explained to us what it was. As far as birth defects are concerned, it is actually quite common: 1 in 3,000. However, it is one of the most life threatening. All I heard was “survival rate,” and that’s when it hit home. “He could die?!” I exclaimed. We were in shock and completely unprepared for something like this. After a long 3 months, 4 hospital transfers, 3 surgeries, and numerous scares, we were finally ready to bring Nicholas home.
Once home, life was far from the normal newborn life we were expecting. He required a feeding tube, 7 different medications, oxygen, and a several monitors. We had daycare all set-up for him, but there was no way he was in any condition for that. Nicholas needed someone to be at home with him full-time. Thankfully, my current boss was more than accommodating and allowed me to work part-time from home, going into work one day a week. This was the new normal for us, until…
One day, I was sitting in our office, browsing through an old classmate’s photography business. I thought to myself, “I can do this. I should do this.” My husband walked in, and I told him what I was thinking. “Go for it. Let’s do it,” he said. I figured I would start slow and if it takes me a few years to be able to quit my job and do this full-time, then so be it. My photography business took off so quickly, I ended up quitting my full-time job 7 months later.
Having a business management major and having a natural eye for photography, I thought I was ready to start my own business. Wrong. Running a business is hard and complex, even one that seems simple like photography. I made mistakes and lots of them. I look back at my old work and think to myself, “What was I doing?!” Somehow, I made it into the successful business it is today. Looking back, I do wish there had been cohesive information out there for people who need guidance when starting out their businesses. At the very least, a reality check that it isn’t as easy as you would think to start your photography business off the right way. By the way, here’s a link to my business page, if you want to take a look! Live and Love Studios
You may be wondering, how is Nicholas now? He is a beautiful and amazing young boy. You would never know he started his life off the way he did just by looking at him, even though his body has the scars to show it. Since we left the hospital, he has required 3 more surgeries to repair his diaphragm, one even as recent as Christmas of 2012 when I was 9 months pregnant with my daughter. We don’t know if he will require another surgery down the road, however I’ll take this life to be able to have him alive and with us today.
These past few months, I have been doing a lot of soul-searching regarding my business. I love what I do and wouldn’t trade it for the world. However, I feel as though something is incomplete or missing. I know there is more I can offer than just great photos.
I realized that in the past, I have thoroughly enjoyed helping people learn more about photography and the business. They ranged from the mom who wanted to take better photos of her kids to helping people with a natural eye for photography grow into an established photography business. I even had the pleasure of speaking at a local art school a few times, which was definitely enlightening! I’ve always had a desire to assist people learn and grow, especially if it was something I was passionate about.
The Photographer’s Dream House is born! I have taken my psychology, business management, and photography knowledge and experience and developed a learning website for new and established photographers. Not only is it your dream to be a photographer, but I’m hopefully going to help you build your business like you would your dream house. It takes preparation, time, and planning to build a house, just like it should be for your business. If you build a house with a solid foundation and walls, it will be stable and strong. My goal is to share what I have learned throughout these years with you to assist you in fulfilling your dream of being a photographer and building your business the right way!
Thank you for visiting and reading!