Every month I will highlight a Black artist, form of entertainment, business, or social media personality to help to spread awareness of Black Excellence. Be sure to check here on the 2nd of every month!
As I have said before, being at Alcorn and being a Sigma has introduced me to a number of people with big goals and the drive and determination. I met people like Jamie Hall; a young entrepreneur with intriguing ideas about photography and what it can do for us in our day to day lives. Thanks to his "magic eye" and prices starting at only $50 for a solo two hour session (and $10 for every additional outfit change), J. Hall Photography is sure to become the premier photography business for you or your next event. Check out my interview with the photography specialist and see how he feels about his work, and be sure to direct your business inquiries to email@example.com to get one of the quality photos like you see below!
M Haynes: How you doing bro?
Jamie Hall: Great! Blessed and highly favored (laughs)
MH: Amen. How are things going for you on “the yard”*?
JH: Pretty good. Nothing much but trying to get gone and get here*
What are you up to these days?
Learning, going to class, and just normal stuff. Plus of course starting this little side hustle.
Yeah. Remember when we talked**? Well after that I went on a trip to a beach and I took some pictures with my iPhone. Everybody loved the pictures I took so much that I got to thinking that maybe I could do that professionally. Plus working at Media Relations at Alcorn helped me too since I already have some experience with photography.
Explain Media Relations.
Media Relations is like the face of Alcorn. We monitor social media about Alcorn and advertise the university. We send out pictures, videos and commercials to various people to get the word about Alcorn out. I’m training in Graphic Design, which makes flyers and other stuff to put out in and out of the university.
Yeah Media Relations was fun when I was on the yearbook staff. But they also took a video of me and some other Greeks that I never saw again (laughs)
(laughs) We always say that we may or may not use all pictures and videos you participate in. Sorry bro.
It’s cool. Did you ever think about being in photography when you were younger?
Not really. I mean I did like taking pictures in high school, like just randomly snapping shots, but never anything serious. We never really had money for advanced cameras so I never thought about it professionally. When I got to Alcorn and started working I got exposure to these expensive cameras and I realized how much I love taking pictures, it’s so much fun.
Since you just recently got into photography, do you think it’s hard to be a professional photographer?
No. Well, not really. I think everybody has some skill in taking pictures. I call it the magic eye; basically everyone can see good shots and angles but not everyone knows how to use it. That’s the only thing, it takes time and effort to master that magic eye and not everybody takes the time to practice it. Since taking pictures is something I enjoy I’m taking all the time I can to practice it.
What do you think makes you and your business unique? What stands out about J. Hall Photography?
I use my magic eye to look at like random places and transform them into beautiful images. Like say for example, I look at this corner and I can see how I can make this look mysterious and inviting at the same time. I’m really good at that and making people feel comfortable. I think it’s important make the people who pay for my business to feel confident. I tell people that by the end of our session that you will not be disappointed. There is no leaving here with a bad picture, and they don’t.
A lot of what you’ve said seems like it has to do with image. What do you think about image in today’s society?
(laughs) Okay. Well like I said I look at the environment and people and see amazing images; I think everyone wants to do that. I think people Instagram and even Photoshop are used to help people practice that; to make them into whatever they want to be. Filters like Valencia, Grayscale and Sephia*** make you feel like you’re in that moment; almost like you’re in a different world. Photoshop fixes blemishes and makes people into what they want to look like, and that’s what I try to do with my photography. Everyone wants to feel “popular” and beautiful; they want something, whether it’s a person or Photoshop to boost their confidence. Everyone wants that “King of the World” moment to make them feel good. That’s what Instagram does and I want to recreate that with my business.
That is awesome. Really cool. So you think good photographers can help to fix self-esteem issues?
Yes! It’s important to focus on a person and make them stand out, to give them that feel good feeling. People laugh at me because I always give them compliments when I’m taking their pictures, but they like it. It makes them feel better about themselves, and it makes them wanna come back to me because I gave them that feeling. It even makes me feel really good. I look back at some of these pictures and say “Wow. I took that”.
I’m glad that it helps all around. Do you know what your endgame is? Where to do you want J. Hall Photography to go?
It’s so crazy because this started off as a hobby and now it’s a business. I just want it to be a viable career for me. Knowing that I’m starting this business from the ground up is good. I just want it to go places and be great.
Okay last thing; anything you want to leave the readers with?
S/O to Alcorn State University, especially Media Relations! Much love to Tanya Carr for putting me on and Andre Marshall for putting me on putting on (laughs). I just want to tell everyone that J. Hall Photography is on the rise, so “Ratchedemics” be on the lookout, because I will be back!
* = “The Yard” is a nickname for Alcorn State University, since it is a very rural area. By “here” Jamie is referring to his desire to move to the Atlanta area after graduation.
** = Earlier this year Jamie and I had a conversation about our futures. I of course mentioned this website and my goals and as he said after a while he realized he wanted to go into photography professionally.
*** = Photography filters used popularly on Instagram. Valencia and Sephia give photos an “old-timey” antique feel and Grayscale of course gives a black and white feel. As Jamie said, these filters transport the person to another time which plays into their appeal.