There are over 16,000 freelancers in the Capital Region’s Creative Economy. In celebration of “Freelancer February,” for the next four Fridays, we will be highlighting four talented individuals from different backgrounds, with different stories, and different visions. We hope you will take inspiration from their stories and use this as a potential opportunity to collaborate and support the freelancers in our communities.
First up: Jayana LaFountaine of Jayana LaFotos
- Where are you from? Where do you live now?: I am from Springfield Massachusetts and I currently live in Troy, NY.
- In what year did you start freelancing? I began freelancing in 2010.
- What inspired you to start? Losing my foster mother at 13 years old painfully reminded me that I didn’t have many photos with her. It has since been my mission to never miss a moment again.
- What’s your favorite thing about freelancing? I am my own boss. My success is not about climbing someone else’s corporate ladder but about building my own. I’m in control of how successful I can be.
- What’s the most difficult part about freelancing? Money. People don’t always want to pay you what you’re worth.
- What’s your advice to a freelancer just starting out? Ask for help and drop your ego. Know that you don’t know sh*t, so ask for help and be a student. The worst thing you can do is be unteachable.
- What’s one thing you wish you knew before you started freelancing? The backend aspect of running a business. I dove in head first and didn’t know about insurance, bank accounts, pricing etc.
- Your most exciting project to date? My most exciting project to date is my book. Book of Jayana has been in the works for about four years now and I’m finally working towards releasing it in 2020.
- Any helpful “freelancer friendly” resources you recommend using? I would say Collectiveffort and Power Breakfast. Without those two resources I wouldn’t be where I am. They have all helped me in my venture as an entrepreneur by giving me tools such as space to shoot in, marketing and media tips, lessons in life, one on one mentoring, and SO much more. If they can’t supply something I need, 9/10 times they know someone else that can. They’re both for the betterment of our professional and creative community.
- Why is it great to be a freelancer in the Capital Region? For me it’s seeing people that look like me and feeling supported by them. They genuinely want to see you succeed and will always lend a helping hand to make sure you do. It’s all love.
It brings me a great deal of joy to capture families and friends of all colors, shapes and sizes because those memories are forever even if we’re not. I am also a Birth and Postpartum Doula, babysitter extraordinaire & DJ. I make it a point to do all of these jobs with love and an immense amount of intention. I thrive off of meaningful connections with people no matter how long or short they may be.
Facebook: @Jayana LaFotos