What I’ve Been Up To Lately

I disappeared from the blog! I’ve been busy working on my photography business and unfortunately the blog had to take a backseat, but I wanted to pop back in and just catch up and chat about what I’ve been up to as of late. I love blogging and even though I can’t always keep up consistently, I never want to stop, so even though I may disappear for a bit I will always be back! So here’s what I’ve been up to, if you’d like to know!

Photography

As mentioned, this is the biggest thing going on right now and what I’m most excited about. I had a great session with my mentor Kate and she advised me to split my photography business into two -so now I have Jacqueline Clair Photography for my interiors work and Jacqueline Clair Families for my family photography. As Kate explained (and I agree) – you can’t do it all and do it well. Typically as a photographer (or blogger, or probably other professions) it makes the most sense to really focus on one thing. Right now I’m really enjoying both families and interiors so for the moment I’m going to keep pursuing both and see what happens down the road.

I’m really excited to be ramping up my photography business. After talking to Kate consistently for the last few months and really pouring a lot of time and effort into it, I’m feeling really good about the progress I’ve seen both in my skills and in the inquiries I’ve been getting. It feels like I could constantly be working on the business because there’s always something you could be doing. My SEO person advised me to start a blog for both photography businesses since blogs are super important for SEO – so now I have three blogs, hah! But let’s be real, I’ll only be posting on the photography ones sporadically, when I have a shoot I want to post about or a great tip to share. Then there’s also the two Instagram accounts (@jacquelineclairphoto and @jacquelineclairfamilies) in addition to my @yorkavenue_ one, and those are super important because these days Instagram is basically your online portfolio. And you could be on Instagram constantly as an entrepreneur – commenting and engaging are two great ways to grow on there and get connected with likeminded people and/or new clients…but who wants to spend 24/7 on there? I also have a new Pinterest account and that’s important to pin to, to get my work out there and to share work that inspires me.

Aside from those things there’s also continuing education. I’ve recently purchased two bundles from The Bundle Co. – one for photography and one for entrepreneurship. If you guys have ever considered buying a bundle from them, I wholeheartedly recommend it. Both were $99 for a ton of online courses and guides that totaled to thousands of dollars full-price, so literally if you get something out of one of the videos it’s worth it…and I’ve gotten a lot out of many of them (not all, but the majority). Each bundle came with a ton of courses – I haven’t even gotten through them yet! So I could always be watching Creative Live or Master Class or youtube videos or other photographer’s and entrepreneur’s educational materials…there’s always more to learn!

And then there are the expenses…good god. You could spend until there’s no tomorrow, and not for fun or anything…there are tons of things as a photographer and entrepreneur that you actually genuinely need. Just in the last few months I’ve had to get a new lens, a new tripod and gear head (which omg were they worth it, and giant thanks to Erin Kestenbaum who is amazing and told me which one to get), new website hosting fees, new business cards, the SEO person, the mentor sessions…it truly doesn’t end. Which is why I’m glad I have a full-time job in order to fund it!

Then there’s obviously the actual shooting and editing and putting together of galleries for clients and the delivering of galleries…the fun stuff! (well editing isn’t super fun but it’s not bad). I just booked a big interiors job and I truly couldn’t be more excited and grateful. So it’s a lot and it’s definitely time-consuming and hard to know where to put the most effort and time (Instagram? Pinterest…marketing in different ways?…etc). But somehow I still find time to nap after work and watch Handmaids Tale so don’t feel too bad for me ;).

A Favorite Recent Instagram Follow

Onto other topics! Gwen from The Makerista recently posted an Insta Story about Park and Division, an account (and blog) I wasn’t aware of and which I’m very glad to know about. The founder, Jessica, just bought the most incredible, somewhat dilapidated circa-1795 house, and is going to be renovating it with her husband. You MUST go watch the tour that she posted in her Story highlights and read the blog post about it here. It’s sooooo amazing! The house is just incredible, with Italianate details from a renovation in 1870, built-in bookcases, marble fireplaces, a beautiful curved staircase in the foyer, former servants quarters…it’s really amazing how much of the house has survived this long! I truly can’t begin to imagine the time, effort, and money that’s going to go into renovating this place but I am very excited to follow along through the process.

New Bedding

I took advantage of the Rebecca Atwood sale to pick up a new duvet cover in the Marble Cloud and the crescent moon pillowcases I’ve been obsessed with for a while. I can’t say enough good things about her bedding – it’s so pretty and soft and just really different from anything else out there. My sister also got a bunch of items for her new apartment which my mom and I are helping her decorate, and which I hope to share on the blog as we progress! I can’t wait to put my new duvet on my bed although it’s way too hot to really contemplate that at the moment. I’m actually thinking of trying a new duvet insert, the Buffy Breeze, which claims to actually be cool and not leave you waking up sweaty (which is what I hate about duvets, they’re way too suffocating).

Books

It’s been so hot in NYC and all I want to do is stay inside and read! I recently raced through The Chain, which is getting a lot of buzz and is already headed for film adaptation, and I’m currently reading my last Book of the Month pick, The Gifted School. On Audible I’m listening to The Night Circus and it’s really wonderful with Harry Potter vibes. I’ve been getting tons of book recommendations from Ashley Spivey on Instagram and really all of #bookstagram as of late, in addition to Bad on Paper podcast. In fact, I’ve been getting so many great recs that my TBR pile is truly out of control!

Podcasts

Speaking of podcasts, I recently discovered The Worst Bestsellers and OMG it is SO good! They basically read bestsellers, like Twilight, The Shack, Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus, etc, and share their thoughts on them – which oftentimes involved ripping the book apart and is hysterical. But a lot of the time, they actually end up enjoying the book and saying good things about it so it’s honestly just funny and real, not negative. They even ripped apart a book I really enjoyed (Ready Player One), and it was still fun to listen to. The two hosts have great chemistry and are just super funny and entertaining. They had episodes on Sweet Valley High, The Babysitters Club, and Nancy Drew, which were staples of my childhood, and it was delightful to revisit those.

Cooking

I made this Bon Appetit recipe for Orechiette Carbonara with Charred Brussels Sprouts three times a row last week…it’s that good.

So that’s what I’ve been up to! I hope you’re all having a great summer and hope to be back here sharing more soon.

Leave a Comment

  1. Monica wrote:

    So, so excited for you and the growing photog biz!! Next time I see you I’m going to stop being lazy and be photoshoot-ready πŸ™‚

    Published 7.21.19 · Reply
  2. Thank you so much for mentioning our project! I’m so happy to know about your blog, it’s beautiful! <3

    Published 7.22.19 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thank you Jessica! So excited to follow along on your renovation πŸ™‚

      Published 7.26.19 · Reply
  3. I’ve also just started following Park and Division based on the recommendation of Susan Brinson from House of Brinson. Fun.

    Published 7.27.19 · Reply
  4. Katharine wrote:

    Congrats on growing your photography biz! It’s wild how much time (and money!) you can spend on the learning/equipment/social side of growing a business, nevermind the part where you actually have to work! It’s tough to balance, especially when you’re just starting out. Having a good mentor to help you navigate the process is such a game changer!

    Also, The Night Circus is one of those books that people either love or hate, I think. Sounds like you’re enjoying it!

    Published 8.8.19 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thank you so much Katharine! Yes, you’re exactly right! It really has been kind of crazy…so much to learn and do and spend! It just never ends but it’s been super fun and I can’t wait to keep going. And agree on The Night Circus – I think that’s why I never picked it up. It is definitely not like anything else I’ve ever read and I am really enjoying it! xoxo

      Published 8.12.19 · Reply