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San Clemente Journal

Zoom, Zoom Her Camera Does the Talking

Aug 18, 2014 09:58AM ● By Maggie Zeibak

Jamie loves to silhouette her subjects creating an artistic take on the typical family portrait.

by Maggie Zeibak

There’s nothing like a powerful zoom lens to make a statement in the world of photography. It’s like bringing out the big guns ready to shoot - the picture, that is. 
Wielding this impressive piece of equipment is friendly photographer Jamie Brinkman, whose creative eye picks out the details to conjure up a beautiful memory for her clients. And in her newly opened studio, Jamie B. Photography, she is inviting San Clemente residents to come and capture the special moments in their lives.

Born here, but raised in San Diego, she’s a returnee and has lived here eight years, having experienced that pull we all feel to our hometown. After studying Communications and Journalism at UCSD she was drawn into the addictive surfing world working with Billabong, yet when the opportunity to photograph an event in El Salvador was presented to her, she became convinced that this was what she really, really wanted to do. Then, her life-path became less straight when marriage to Jeff and three babies slowed her down - just a bit.

Like every mom she spent a lot of time taking photos of her children, not wanting those precious moments to escape, all the while building her expertise and trying out different equipment, settings and poses. She owns three full-frame, professional grade cameras with underwater capabilities, plus point-and-shoots, iPads and iPhones so that nothing is going to escape her. The darling of her group is a Nikon D800 which she feels gives her the results she wants.

When a friend mentored her, Jamie was able to ‘shadow’ her at a wedding function and found that she loved being part of the ceremony through the viewfinder. Working in a ‘U’ formation from the back, she is able to move discreetly into position, avoiding the held-high camera phones from the audience. Witnessing a wedding from a different perspective she’s able to harness the special moments and feelings so that her photos provide unique artistic images.

Part of the wedding package includes some time away from the wedding day, which Jamie calls the Engagement Setting. It’s her personal favorite because she spends a relaxed time with a couple in love, and she feels that their happiness is reflected in the photos when there is no pressure away from the bedlam of preparation and rehearsals. Let’s face it; wedding days give everyone the jitters. Calling on her knowledge of the beach and sunsets, she can time the photo shoot to the best advantage of a setting sun. As Rachel Carson, biologist/ecologist/ writer said, “The edge of the sea is a strange and beautiful place” and one where brides and grooms love to be.

Jamie B. Photography is in its fourth wedding season and Brinkman feels that she can provide all of the elements needed for an affordable, competitively priced, professional wedding package.
“I have experience in the editorial side of it, certainly with action shots, and I can relate to many of the couples as we are in the same age bracket. I know what they want. I’m also up-to-date on social media and provide rapid service and information. Part of the enjoyment of this job is through my clients and I always treat them as a person first – I love the interaction and being with them in an intimate setting as I can help them sort out tangled thoughts and get the best pictures.”
Before the finished artwork is ready there is much to be done on the computer. Jamie aims to edit cleanly and systematically to give a soft romantic touch, which means she can spend around 25 hours enhancing and organizing the shots prior to finishing the perfect pictures. About 30% are in black and white tones providing a clear crisp image.

Leaving aside the inevitable disaster moments, such as snapping straps, failing zippers, falling brides and inebriated guests, there have been unrehearsed moments that provided weddings to be remembered. 

Caught up in the festivities, one bride jumped, fully clothed, into the pool only to be saved by her groom - what could Jamie do but keep clicking, especially when the rest of the guests did exactly the same. Must have been a fun wedding - all in a day’s work, she says. It’s all part of her Wedding Tri-Fecta; a beautiful couple, a great location and lots of details.

Providing her subjects with an instruction list, she recommends clothing, settings and poses so that they are comfortable. Invaluable advice when it comes to photographing a newborn baby, families or a boudoir setting. Yes, they are very popular and as Brinkman found out, she can learn a lot about life especially when a mature 65-year old lady decides she wants to do that. Also, she’s asked to do modeling portfolios and head shots for business purposes finding that much of her business is by word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied clients.

Doing what we love is everyone’s dream and Jamie Brinkman is living hers. Like a gentle waft of wind she transitioned from working in a cubicle to working face-to-face with people, ideally suited to her personable demeanor. When the wedding is over there are more opportunities for her to shoot, the babies, the family, special occasions - she wants to be a generational photographer for life. For your next photographic commitment zoom right over to Jamie B. Photography - she’s only a mega-pixel away.  Tel:(949)429-9534

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