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Life & Work with Jayne Drooger

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jayne Drooger. 

Hi Jayne, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
As a child my folks gave me a 110 camera…. most people have no idea what that even is! I have been taking photos ever since. I do wish I had been encouraged to stick with it somewhere along the line but in my twenties, I started doing skincare. I enjoyed helping people, especially teens, with skin issues. My career lasted 30 years including nearly 10 with my own salon. 

At some point, I sold my 35mm camera for a digital while raising my babies (those were some of my favorite photos) and started following local music. Being a Blues and Jazz fan, I discovered so much amazing music in the Tampa Bay area. I started to make connections and from there I began getting photoshoot requests. I didn’t really dare to call myself a photographer until 5 years after I started making money but finally realized I had become one! 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
There have been many struggles. After a disastrous first marriage and an equally devastating second, I was unable to hang onto my home (in spite of renting rooms for 5 years to some wonderful visiting scholars from all over the world) while raising my 3 children. 

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I have not been able to truly narrow down a specialty with my photography! I just love it all. There is always more to learn so it keeps me busy and my mind sharp(ish). Many times, I offer complimentary shoots to hone my skills and add to my portfolio such as maternity to a mom who may not have planned to do these photos or newborns which I think are my greatest challenge despite having spent 2 years working in local hospitals with a company specializing in newborn photos! 

I spend the majority of my time following live music especially Blues and Jazz. This connected me with my current position as Photojournalist with an online publication called Tampa Bay Music News! There is so much great music in the Tampa Bay area that I am able to pursue it almost nightly! I think most people would say that’s how they know me. I am connected with a lot of musicians and I have to say that hearing and getting to photograph them while they do what they love is probably one of my greatest joys. 

So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
Something that matters to me besides my top two-family and the environment is that people (most especially women and teens who don’t like photos of themselves) are able to enjoy beautiful memories through my photos, that they feel beautiful. 

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Jayne Drooger

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