Jennifer Oakes of J. Oakes Photography Shares Her Story of Balancing Career and Family

19 May
Readers, you are in for a treat today! I am very pleased to introduce you to a fantastic guest blogger who just happens to be my younger sister and a very talented photographer from upstate New York . Would you please help me welcome Jennifer Oakes of J. Oakes Photography!

Jennifer has been successfully working from home for a couple of years as an on-site portrait photographer, while simultaneously raising two beautiful children. What’s so wonderful about Jennifer is that she is able to experience a career that allows her to have more balance as a wife and mother, plus do what she loves best – capturing once in a lifetime images of people’s most cherished memories. From maternity and baby photos to stunning family and wedding portraits, Jennifer is making a big name for herself by giving others a glimpse into her point of view. Today, let’s read more about how Jennifer got her start in the world of photography and what inspires her….
I started taking photos of friends and family members when I was about 11 years old. I remember using those wind up disposable cameras and buying a new one every week when I got my allowance. I loved photographing my friends on the playground and the different ones dating in junior high. I also have many memories of the sleepovers my girl friends and I had, dressing up in silly ways and trying to become the next model for “Glamour” magazine. What fun we had!
Friends and family members would comment along the way as I laid out my scrap books from the “old times” and continued into the present years with photos of my son and husband. “What a great shot,” they would say. Well, I never thought anything of it. I just loved being behind the camera to capture these moments I wanted to remember. There is one photo of my son’s second Easter (one of the first he began to understand), that particularly stood out to me. That is when I really started thinking, “hey, I could do this for other people.”
Now, I would be lying if I took all the credit for my idea to go pro. I was greatly influenced by an old high school friend of mine who had been performing private photo shoots for fellow army families. Brianna A. Showerman was stationed in Colorado with her soon-to-be deployed husband and their one year old son. I envied the work she performed and her amazing editing skills.
So, I began to ask questions.
I figured out real fast that coming up with a professional name, setting up a web page, doing research for photo ideas and poses, taking the photos, and finally editing them, was the easy part! It was finding the free time between working as a certified nursing assistant at a local nursing home, my husband’s work schedule as a logger and forester (never having set hours), and taking care of my toddler.
In October of 2010, we got the added news of a new baby on the way. It was then that I knew something would have to change! After the birth of our daughter in June 2010, I went back to work part-time at a local mini-mart thinking I would take on just enough hours to help our income. WRONG! So, to keep a long story short, in January 2011, we made the decision for me to become a full-time stay at home mom.
It’s been tough, but being able to be home with my two children has been the greatest blessing God has given me. Adding to this blessing is the time to concentrate on my business, J.Oakes Photography, and having the extra free time to perform more photo shoots for families around the area. It has been great and I have begun to expand into a wedding photographer as well. I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunities that I have received through my love and passion of photography.
The future is bright for Jennifer as she continues to grow her home based business and expand her portfolio, but the main thing is that she followed her true passions and talent to build a business from scratch. I’ve had the priviledge of watching her blossom over the last few years, as a photographer and a young mother. What impresses me the most is that she has dedicated herself to learning all she can about her craft, pours her heart and soul into her photography, yet always remembers to prioritize her family life.
If you would like to learn more about Jennifer Oakes at J. Oakes Photography, you are welcome to visit her at   and you can also find her on facebook ! Right now she has a special deal going on (but hurry as this is a limited time only offer) for a FREE framed 5×7 photo when you book a photo shoot from now until 8.31.11!

2 Responses to “Jennifer Oakes of J. Oakes Photography Shares Her Story of Balancing Career and Family”

  1. Erin Medovich May 19, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    Truly beautiful! Loved every moment of reading this new article, it was very captivating. Deserves an A+ in my book.

  2. Lisa Carter May 20, 2011 at 12:40 am #

    Very inspiring… I couldn’t agree more, Tess, that if we do what we are passionate about and have some talent in, the sky’s the limit. I’m actually looking to have an author portrait done, but I’m far away in Ottawa. 😉

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