Jana Bishop | Twigy Posts
Jana is a southern girl living in sunny California with my amazing little family. Her number one goal is to create beautiful, yet affordable stock images that can help small business owners achieve a cohesive look online. She loves helping other entrepreneurs free up their time so that they can focus on connecting with their clients.
Tell us about the path that led you to where you are today.
Well, in 2014 my husband and I started a wedding company. I was officially my own boss and I was thrilled! I poured my heart and soul into that dream. It was during those start-up months that I took an interest in Instagram and the power of social media. I used Instagram on a daily basis in order to help promote our growing brand. However, after several months of posting and working hard to keep our feed fresh and interesting, I found myself beginning to hate the pressure of posting a quality image every single day. My supply of gorgeous pictures was running out! It was during that time that I began taking stock images for Instagram. I didn’t even think about selling them at first! I simply wanted to build up my own supply of pictures, so that posting content could be fast and easy. Over time, that sweet little wedding company died out, but the inquiries about my stock images were flooding in! That business failure actually led me to start Twigy Posts. Even though it was not easy, I am thankful for that journey. It taught me that hard work will always pay off, even if it looks a little different than originally planned.
Your photographs are gorgeous. How do you cultivate your creativity? How do you push yourself to think outside the box and stay fresh?
I make it a point to take a photo of something pretty or inspirational every single day, even if it is on my phone. Not that everything is good or something to sell, but I find that when my camera is in my hand, ideas just come to me. It may take a month or two for me to really translate that inspiration into a stock image, but I have learned to be okay with the process. In order to push that creative side I do not allow myself to copy what other stock image companies are doing. I know some things are inevitable. I mean, we probably all shop at Target for items to photograph. But, some of those amazing photographers are my friends. I value them and their hard work. I love to cheer them on and they always inspire me, but I make it a point to steer clear of copying their style, ideas or props. In order for me to stay fresh, I actually go shopping! I will pick out an idea or color scheme and then I shop around town for items that fit that style. I go to goodwill and thrift stores. The mall, my friends houses…mother nature! I pull anything that I think will fit my idea and then I bring it all home and arrange it. It’s like decorating a photo. I absolutely love it! That process is so much fun and it really brings me to life.
When working, do you photograph with a client in mind? Or stick to what you like?
I always stick to what I like. It is hard for me to do photos for one person or brand. So many things inspire me and when I feel boxed in, it really kills the momentum. I work well as a free spirit.
What practical business advice would you give to women interested in stock photography?
I would definitely suggest that you photograph what you love. I am drawn to neutral colors, metals and simplicity. When someone wants me to work outside of that realm, I feel lost and then I end up dreading it. You cannot offer what you do not understand. My brain feels overwhelmed by clutter and bright colors. It doesn’t really register those things as pleasant to look at. I find myself rushing to finish that kind of photoshoot. Yet, I feel at peace when I shoot neutrals. I could take pictures of that stuff for hours. But, you may be bored to tears with neutrals. Look around your house. What do you decorate with? What color are your walls? That all represents your style and guess what? If you like it, other people will to. Make a commitment to only shoot what you love and a little piece of your heart will make it’s way into what you create.
What’s your idea of a perfect Saturday?
Spending time with my family. We live in California and we love being outside, enjoying the sunshine. Sometimes it is as simple as going for a walk or spending time at the beach. I love it when a Saturday is unplanned and full of quality time with the ones I love and treasure.
Favorite photo editor when you’re on-the-go?
I have two! ColorStory and the Studio App. They are staples and I use them all the time!
You can find Twigy Posts on Instagram.
Interviewed & Edited By: Jane Kim