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[I] was watching the U.S. Presidential debate live last night, in bed with a glass of red wine, around 4am French time. As I listened to Hillary Clinton speak (looking chic as F in Ralph Lauren, IMO) I was so impressed with how knowledgable and studied she is. Dedicating your life to anything, especially in her case of public service for 30 years, is a huge statement to passion, purpose and incredible knowledge on the subject. I was contemplating how that related to my own purpose.

Change makers start by first learning, then with doing. The power is in knowledge. The expertise is in experience. That’s what I took away. If you have been following my Snapchat this week I have been sharing what I’ve learned about photography. Quick little daily tutorials on knowledge I’ve gained either in the class room or from experience in my breathe thus far as a photographer which is and will be my life’s work.

On Photography

My journey started when I was 13. My mom handed me her 1970s Pentax 35mm film camera. The kind that is so basic and manual all you can do set the shutter and aperture. A far cry from the endless options and controls we now have with digital.

My first lessons in photography started with basic balancing of the camera’s built in light meter and a LOT of trial and error. I learned quickly that I like to overexpose my images by a stop, especially when shooting faces. I learned how slow I can set the shutter before the image begins to reveal the shake from my hand, or breathing. I learned how to communicate movement, not just freeze it. This is knowledge I still use today when I want the image to feel alive. From there I read books, I took every class I could for the next 10 or so years. Post college, I still study. I watch youtube videos, I take classes in alternative photography, I buy random cameras and learn how to shoot with them. I play, experiment, challenge myself and discuss daily.

The Continued Study

I’ve studied photography. I loved photography. I still love the history of photography, btw THIS is the best podcast on the subject. We are now all photographers. We all take pictures, communicate through imagery and share with the world. For those of you who want to make it a profession… take a lead from what inspired me about Hillary. Be studied, do the work. Take your time on the journey. Here I am 20 years later and I am still doing just that. She makes me excited for who I will become as an artist (and business woman) in the later years of my life.

Please, this is not a political post but one about being inspired about another human’s knowledge and commitment to what they belive in, if you belive in it with them or not… #ImWithHer

Above self portrait, in Baukjen dress & wrap coat,

inspired from the painting “San Gerolamo” by Caravaggio


  • I have never stopped being curious about the why’s? who’s? and how’s of life. I try to live by my favorite quote…

    “I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma.”

    Eartha Kitt

    I think something equally valuable as learning though, is to teach. Teach what you’ve learned and know that a piece of your shared knowledge will stay in the hearts and minds of others. I still have people come to me from my college days tell me how there are certain things they were learning from school (design) but some lessons were learned from my critique of their work. Sometimes it takes a little love for sharing to make all the difference!


  • Nicole Ziza Bauer

    It’s a rare thing these days: time. Taking the time to learn and the patience to develop a real skill behind the passion. I love this post. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Dee

    Is it me or is your writing different in France. France looks good on you. More please.

  • I love your dedication to photography as a craft! You really know your art, which makes you so much more amazing than people who pick up a camera because it’s the cool and trendy thing to do.

    Keep on inspiring!


  • Dallas Curow

    Jamie, you are always inspiring, but I concur with Dee’s comment – France seems to be an extra special place for you and your creativity. I completely agree with your habit of (and passion for) perpetually studying. Keep learning and shining brightly for all of us who so enjoy following your work and your writing. Also, I’ve been loving your snapchat tutorials this week!

  • Deb

    Simply stunning. I think many of us are living vicariously through you at the moment! Would you consider reposting the tutorials elsewhere for those of us without access to snapchat?

  • I loved learning about how you started with photography. I also got into it at 13 but with disposable cameras :).
    Thank you for the reminder to continue studying every day this passion of mine. I’m on my journey to creating my photo business so it’s easy to get swamped up in learning the biz aspect and shelving my creativity with my camera.

  • Bronwyn Burnett

    This photograph is inspiring.

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