Local Photographer Receives Starter Company Grant

Jessica Blair’s lens seeks to reveal her subject’s essence in her new photography business.

Jessica Blair was one of twelve entrepreneurs who completed Peterborough and the Kawartha’s Economic Development business training program in June, and earned a $5000 grant based on the strength of her business plan.   It was a huge step towards turning her passion into a business.

The business is called Follow Me Photography, and “follow me” is a tag line she uses to describe the different types of photography sessions she offers.  It also implies action as opposed to static poses.  She invites customers to focus on living while she focuses on them – with her camera.

She brings a unique perspective to some of her projects.  Her years of Personal Service Work (PSW) with the elderly gave her an appreciation for the later stages of life.  The last years of one’s life are rarely photographed, she explains. People are often reluctant to record the impact of aging in photos.  She sees aging differently.  In her years of PSW experience, she witnessed beautiful moments with her elderly patients that she wanted to capture with her camera.  She sought ways to commemorate elderly loved ones in their final years.

She does not shrink away from recording the last stages of a young life, either.  While helping her husband deal with a cancer diagnosis in 2015, she met other cancer patients who were often receiving end-of-life care.  Many of them were children.  In these patients she witnessed attitudes that were life-affirming.  They were reaching for life and maximizing the time remaining.  Jessica was eager to record these moments of life filled with joy, however fleeting they were.  Life’s End photography is one of her specialties.  Honouring loved ones in this way she believes it is therapeutic, promoting healthy grieving and acceptance of death.

Follow Me Photography also provides more traditional photo services, covering events like weddings and concerts and providing family portraits and Brand photography for businesses looking for images that reflect their business services and values.  In all projects, she adopts the “follow me” mantra, telling her subjects to “focus on living and I’ll focus on you”.

The grant is being directed to her own branding exercise and making a professional website.

She’s come a long way from that seven-year-old with a disposable camera having pictures printed at Walmart.  To see some of her work and learn more about her services, visit www.followmejnb.com.  KG


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