Hip, Hip, Hooray for Jenn Young!

One of our Ruby Crew members, Jennifer Young, just published her first book! Picture Perfect Social Media is a simple how-to for budding photographers and social media-lites alike, covering camera basics (how to even pick the right camera for you!) to styling secrets with food, travel and portraits. 

We couldn't put it down, and already feel the photography bug biting! Three cheers for our girl Jenn Young: hip, hip, hooray!

We decided to get the story behind the book from our ever talented friend, enjoy:

photo from I ART U blog

How did you get your start in photography, or were you born with a camera in hand ;)?

Photography has always been a passion of mine, but I actually didn’t start pursuing it as a career until about four years ago! I think it was bound to happen as becoming a photographer has been one of my many dreams. :) Prior to photography, I studied music my entire life and ended up earning my Masters in Clarinet Performance, so I didn’t have a lot of time to pursue other passions. The short version to how I got into photography is that I started an art and lifestyle blog that I shared my personal photo work on. I’ve been really lucky to have met a lot of people that have helped me and mentored me to be in the place that I am today. I am so thankful!

photo from I ART U blog

What's a typical day for you look like?

I usually start my day with a hot cup of tea and some kind of mind-clearing activity. This could be anything from reading, flipping through a magazine, taking my dog Dexter for a walk, rearranging furniture or cleaning (yes, call me crazy but I love to clean!). After this down time, I’ll typically go to the gym or my favorite yoga studio, Spark

I find it so important to carve out time in the morning for myself, doing the things that I love and being active. I function the best this way and it gives me a good foundation for the day so that I can then focus my time and energy on my business and others.

After getting some sweat out, I tend to schedule meetings with clients (or meet with a friend for tea!) in the late morning. Being around people fuels me so I find this is another very important part of my day. I then head to the office (which used to be my home until very recently)! A lot of admin work, replying to emails, and editing happens in my workspace. I’ve been particularly excited for this part of the day as I am now working out of the newly opened Huckleberry Market! Being around other creatives while working has been an amazing experience. It keeps me on task more too. :)

I try to leave work by 6. Try being the key word! The most beautiful thing about the freelance life is the flexibility that you have, so I am always open to starting and ending my work day at different times.

My evenings are simple—spend time with the husband, cook dinner, go to the dog park, visit with friends, watch a film...

What motivated you to write Picture Perfect Social Media?

I think I got really lucky. :) My publishers found my work on Pinterest and contacted me from there. Social media can be really great sometimes!

Who do you hope picks up a copy?

Anyone and everyone who is interested in taking better photos not only for social media, but for themselves personally. My hope is that this book approaches photography in a simple, not-too-technical way that is comprehensible by a wide range of people.

Are there more books in the future; what's next?
I don’t foresee any more books in the near future…unless it’s a personal project! I’ve been scheming...

photo by Jennifer Young

If you were stuck with one camera for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Although I’ve learned mainly on digital, I think I’d have to say a Contax G2 (I don’t own one…yet!).

Ok, you have a camera in hand, the day off, and a free ticket to anywhere in California. Where do you go and what do you shoot?

If you asked me this question every day for the rest of the year, I think my answer would be different from day to day. Generally speaking, I would buy a ticket to somewhere I’ve never been before. I’m inspired to shoot in new places! I love photographing people, places, cultures, food, nature…the list goes on. You can pretty much put me anywhere and I’ll find something I enjoy shooting. :) I’ve been considering a trip to Albion…

photos by Jennifer Young

How do you stay inspired as a full time creative? What's your secret?

I don’t think I have any secrets, but my top 5 things that help me stay inspired are: travel, exercise, experience new things (learning a new skill, explore a new place, finding a new hobby, etc. etc.!), be outside in nature/disconnect from technology, and connect with others. Basically anything that helps me grow, maintain current relationships or build new ones, or expand my outlook on life!

A word for aspiring photographers and fellow dreamers?

It’s so cliché, but pursue your passions. I can’t express that enough!

photo by Jennifer Young