I’m thrilled to announce the premiere of #Friday5, a new blog installment where I interview amazing entrepreneurs, creators/creatives, brands and filmmakers in short interviews that are 5 minute reads.
For the first installment, I’m excited to chat with Jamie Poh. An award-winning and Nationally Accredited Professional Photographer of Canada, Jamie has an extensive background in digital film and video.
What is your greatest accomplishment to date?
This is my 10th year in business as a photographer and 3rd year full time. It wasn’t an easy decision and it probably took me at least 3-4 years of back and forth queasy feelings in my stomach before making the leap. A big accomplishment for me was getting my Wedding Photojournalism Accreditation through the Professional Photographers of Canada in 2019. I am currently working on getting my Commercial Photography Accreditation and eventually my Craftsmanship of Photographic Arts and then my Masters of Photographic Arts.
What’s a book you re-read over and over again?
I’m not really a book worm and the books that I do love tend to be business and creativity books. If I had one feel good book I’d re-read over and over it would probably be The Tao of Pooh. It’s Taoism explained through the eyes of Pooh Bear 🙂
If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?
I’m an introvert. This question somehow creates a panic in my gut – haha. I’ve never thought about this and perhaps the pandemic has made me more of a hermit than I knew! There are a couple photographers whose work/message I love and one is Chase Jarvis. The other who inspired me to go in the direction I did in my style is documentary Wedding photographer, Kevin Mullins. I could probably sit down for dinner with one of them and chat photography all night.
A place you’ve never been, but is on your bucket list?
I would love to do a South America trip and go from Ecuador (check out the Galapagos), down to Peru (Hike Machu Picchu if that’s still open), down to Chile, Argentina and Patagonia. Also would love to visit New Zealand and Iceland.
Who was the greatest influence/inspiration in your career?
I feel like there isn’t just one person who influences/inspires me. I really get a lot of my inspiration from my clients and many of my clients tell me that I inspire them as well. Each time I meet with a new client and shoot a session, I learn so much about their passions for what they do and their “why’s” in life and it really keeps me going and wanting to continue to produce great work that tells strong stories.
What’s your greatest joy?
Why is this so hard. My greatest joy(s) have been any time I’m able to get out of the city and spend time with my family from long vacations back to Singapore (where I was born) to simply picking blueberries with my parents on a random Wednesday morning (perks of being your own boss).
Greatest “A HA “ moment?
I’m not sure if I have one great A HA moment. For me, I feel like I spent the first 8 years of my career as a photographer struggling to figure out my why. I started in Wedding photography and currently still offer some wedding and family work. For the longest time I asked myself questions like, why aren’t my photos great like what I see other people producing? What is their secret? Is it the gear? Is it their opportunities? At the beginning of my career I was afraid of photographing people but it’s how I started and there are most definitely people involved in weddings so naturally I had to become good at it. It wasn’t until my grandmother passed away in 2018 (less than a year after I decided to make my leap full time) that I realized why photography is so important in our lives. Life is fleeting and we only get one. We only get this one chance to be with family and those dear to us chase our dreams and achieve our goals so don’t waste it. I bring these thoughts with me to all my client meetings and shoots which helps me dig a little deeper beneath the surface of “this is just a photo session”.
Greatest pet peeve in business?
My greatest pet peeve in business is when people want the great things from business like flexible hours, having a fulfilling career and being your own boss but aren’t willing to work hard, sacrifice or do what it takes to get there.
At this stage in your career, what would you consider to be a dream project/opportunity?
I’d love to be able to shoot for companies like MEC or be able to travel across Canada or to another country (Who knows when that might be a possibility again with COVID). I have a passion for the outdoors and for eco-friendly products and good food. I’d love to be able to help elevate imagery for companies like that. If I could go on assignment to document something for National G, I wouldn’t say no. 🙂
What piece of advice would you give young people just starting out in their career?
I would say to invest your time in really growing your craft. Become the best that you can be in your industry and area and figure out your why. This not only helps you, but your industry and also your clients. Get to know people in your industry, work with them, learn from them, grow with them and be a good person! Work hard and know that good things don’t come without sacrifice but what’s on the other end is worth it.