Glitz, Glam, and the Gift of Art: Creating Luxury Photography Experiences with Jai Mayhew

Creating luxurious, glamorous moments for your clients, ones that let them tell their own stories while feeling beautiful and empowered, all comes down to the details. From the first point of contact to feeling comfortable at the photo shoot to the ease in which they get to choose their photos, crafting an experience that makes clients feel like a super-star on the entire journey is what makes a photography session truly unforgettable.

With a focus on crafting a luxurious session for every single client, photographer and storyteller Jai Mayhew helps her clients channel their self-love into beautiful works of art. At her studio, she offers an experience designed to make her clients feel pampered and empowered through every moment. 

In today’s episode, Jai walks us through the ways in which she helps her clients tell their own unique stories through luxury photography, her obsession with storytelling, how she found herself in the luxury photography industry, why photographers need to be resilient and believe in the beautiful gifts they are creating for their clients, and so much more. Join us for this fascinating and fabulous conversation!

What’s in this episode:

  • [02:00] When Jai first fell in love with storytelling
  • [03:57] How Jai helps her clients lean into their own self-love to create empowering photography sessions
  • [07:00] Why luxury is all about the details, starting with communication
  • [12:04] How Jai’s focus on creating unforgettable experiences and prioritizing kindness positioned her to photograph some of her most famous clients
  • [16:40] How having a team has allowed Jai to create even better experiences for her clients
  • [17:53] Jai’s advice for breaking into editorial photography and the importance of just getting started
  • [23:45] Why photographers should understand the value in what they are creating: it’s art and an opportunity to create and document unforgettable moments!
  • [25:16] Jai’s #1 piece of advice for business and life

If you’re ready to start leaning into luxury and crafting unforgettable experiences for your own clients, tune in to this episode.

SUBSCRIBE: iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher


Resources Mentioned

Listen to Lori Harder’s Podcast

Check out Joe Dispenza’s work

Read Kevyn Aucoin’s book Making Faces

Meet Jai

Jai Mayhew is a photographer, retoucher, content creator and educator located in Dallas, TX. Her work is known for its sensual & editorial style while her custom sessions are marked by luxury and concierge service. Jai’s work is commissioned both by private clients and commercial publications and her love of educating has produced several tutorials, the 2nd of which will be released this winter.

Connect with Kate

Jais website

Follow Jai on Instagram

Follow Jai on Facebook

Did you love hearing Jai talk about the luxury photography experiences she creates? Check out these other episodes from Donatella Nicolini and Joanna Booth

Transcript

[00:00:00] Jai Mayhew I want to show women their beauty and their value. And that has been what motivates me, because I’m passionate about what I do. And I feel like when you empower people, you give them the courage to show more of who they really are. And so that’s my goal. When women walk out of here is that they’re that much more proud of themselves, that they feel a little taller, that they feel a little bit more seen, that they just have a pride in themselves. So on the days when business is hard or you’re just not feeling it, I go back to what do I want the studio to be for women? And that is a driving force for me. 

[00:00:42] Lisa DiGeso Welcome to the Heart and Soul Show, where we dove into heart opening chats on photography, business, life and that messy in between. I’m your host, Lisa DiGeso, a mom, a photographer and entrepreneur. And I’ll be sharing honest conversations and advice for photographers with insight on mindset, entrepreneurship and creativity. The goal of this podcast is for you to be able to gain insights and strategies that will get you real results. Because, let’s face it, having a photography business can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. This is the place you can go when you need a boost of encouragement, a kick in the pants and inspiration to pick up your camera. This is the Art and Soul Show. Hello, my beautiful friends. Welcome back to the show. I am super excited to dove into today’s conversation with Jai. Who? Her work is incredible. It’s luxurious and glamorous, and her brand just oozes pure glitz and glamor. I am beyond excited to get to know her and have her share her insight and her wisdom with you. So without further ado, here’s Jai. Welcome. 

[00:01:52] Jai Mayhew Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to take on all the questions. 

[00:01:56] Lisa DiGeso Awesome. Tell us who you are and what you’re passionate about. 

[00:02:00] Jai Mayhew My name is Jai Mayhew. I am officially a fashion and portrait photographer, but I think at the root of all of that, I’m a storyteller. I really give thought to this leading up to this, because on the surface, what inspires me is beauty. On the surface, that’s my brand. But really, you know, if you go below that. Ever since I was little, I’ve been a huge fiction bookworm. I’ve loved, you know, movies that were a little bit of escapism, I think, for me. I love creating beauty, but I love creating beauty that tells a story. So with the fashion editorial, you get to create your concept. With a client, you’re telling not just a story of who they are, but it’s also aspirational. I feel like so if I lost my camera tomorrow, I would figure out a way to tell stories with paint or something. Like, I just I need a way to take what is kind of in my head and create something that I think is pretty with it. 

[00:02:52] Lisa DiGeso I love that. So I actually read I believe you paint and you play piano as well. 

[00:02:58] Jai Mayhew I’m a frustrated piano player. Okay. I love that. I tried it for a minute. I wish I had stuck with it. I was a singer and my voice teacher had said, I want you to learn to play enough that you could accompany yourself. And I really did kind of start to enjoy it. And then I think I went away to the university or something and I just stopped. I wish I’d kept it up because I just love piano, but yeah, no. 

[00:03:22] Lisa DiGeso I love that. Well, we were a similar story. I took voice lessons. I was in piano. Did you do high school theater as well? 

[00:03:29] Jai Mayhew I did musical theater. Mhm. I play all the other things. Same. I love it. 

[00:03:37] Lisa DiGeso So I love that you translate self-love into art for your clients. And I think as women it is something that innately most of us really, really struggle with. Now can you share how you’re able to tap into your client’s vulnerability and use it in a way that empowers them to see what amazing women they really are and how stunning they are? 

[00:03:57] Jai Mayhew That’s a great question. I love that. So I don’t try to tap into my client’s vulnerabilities. If anything, I want them to forget about their vulnerabilities when they’re with me and see the stronger side of themselves. It does help me as an artist and as a business woman to know if there is something that my clients don’t love. So if you if you don’t like being photographed from your left side, if you don’t like your ears, you know, like if there are practical things like that, that sure is helpful to know. But in trying to get to know my clients or understand them, I just want them to be seen in their most beautiful, most confident light. So part of that is taking the fear away. I mean, I understand, you know, you can be photographed and love the results. You can be photographed and be completely horrifying. So they already trust me and my team that we’re going to create something pretty for them, then giving them an amazing experience and giving them an experience that is fun. I think most clients are very surprised at how much they enjoy being here. Like, we’re laughing, we’re having a good time. A lot of my pictures are more serious, but it’s like we have to be like, okay, stop laughing. Seriously, like we have to get shot. Like, we try to just get a really good environment. And then my hope and things that have happened in the past as a client who hated profile shots of herself, her favorite shot from our whole session was a profile shot of herself. Yes. Like I got it. I got it. 

[00:05:16] Lisa DiGeso Love that. 

[00:05:17] Jai Mayhew Snuck it in there. So sometimes I think the things that we perceive as vulnerabilities, I mean, sometimes there’s painful stories behind them. Sometimes maybe you just haven’t gotten a good shot in that direction or you haven’t grown in whatever area of your life. So we try to focus on the strengths here. Yeah. And there’s Photoshop for the rest. I know, right? 

[00:05:37] Lisa DiGeso So when you’re working with your clients, do you ask them specific questions? One question that I’ve been asking my clients that started to make a really big difference was just asking them, when you take a selfie, what side of your face is usually facing the camera? And it makes a world of difference when you’re able to like, just know that detail. So do you have any other little tidbits that you can share with our listeners? 

[00:06:00] Jai Mayhew Yeah, so we definitely do that. But before the shoot, I actually sent them a portrait questionnaire and I asked them things like, What is your favorite facial feature? Is there anything you typically don’t like in photos? How do you want to be seen? And there are checkboxes. Do you prefer your makeup, dewy or matte? You know, I ask all these questions and it really only takes 5 minutes for the clients to fill out, but it makes sure that I’m on the same page as them. I really want to make sure that how they want to be seen is how I’m understanding it. And and I keep notes from every consult call. So by the time we’re at the shoot, I have their inspiration photos, I have their questionnaire, I have my notes from their call. I’m really hoping that I understand truly what it is that they’re looking for at that point. I love that. And then, of course, which which direction do you selfie from? 

[00:06:43] Lisa DiGeso And that really just comes down to having great communication and really asking the right questions and listening to your clients. And I think that’s like a gap where many photographers, you know, they don’t realize the impact that has on the session experience for the clients, but also the results in the photos, too. 

[00:07:00] Jai Mayhew Absolutely. Well, and luxury for me really is about those details. I mean, you can buy $1,000,000 car. You can buy a $20,000 car. What’s the difference? It’s the details. It’s those little things. It’s, you know, so just the client knowing that you remember, oh, they have two kids are oh, they don’t like their ears or what whatever. Just that I remember that sets them apart already and lets them know that they’re being seen and heard. So definitely I thought that communication love that. 

[00:07:27] Lisa DiGeso So when I was reading through your onboarding firm, I had to smile because you mentioned your love of Kevin Aucoin’s book Making Faces, because I was a makeup artist at one point in my career, and his book was really my first glimpse on how makeup could change. You look so much. I really pored over this book and spent all my extra money on the stock. 

[00:07:48] Jai Mayhew Guilty of that. 

[00:07:49] Lisa DiGeso I was guilty still. Can you share how those experiences, those initial first experiences have made an impact on your style and your photography? 

[00:07:58] Jai Mayhew Yeah. So I found his book at the library was not I think I was like 12. I wasn’t looking for it. I just thought it was cool because I flipped through it and saw that he had turned someone into Marilyn Monroe. And I just I loved Marilyn Monroe. I was like, Oh, I want to look at this. So I took it home and it was just it was fascinating to me, these transformations and some were just of, you know, women being a slightly different version of themselves, but truly transforming people into movie stars just using makeup. I just thought that that was so fascinating. So I actually, my best friend at the time, I used her as a guinea pig with like my dollar store cosmetics and and tried to recreate some of these looks with her. They were terrible. But that kind of gave me this interest in what makeup could do. And I would take, you know, the film camera that my parents let me borrow and go out into the backyard to take photos of her with this terrible makeup. We’re not going to share those ever her. 

[00:08:50] Lisa DiGeso I just got. 

[00:08:51] Jai Mayhew Interested in the glamor and in all of that. And I don’t think I’ve ever left that fascination because I mean, that’s why I love working with women, too, is because we have so many sides that I can bring out on camera. You can have a darker look or just really sensual image. You can do something light and airy and soft. There’s just so much versatility there to play with. And I love it. 

[00:09:13] Lisa DiGeso I love it. Now, have you ever done a marilyn Monroe shoot? Because I swear you would be a perfect Marilyn. But have you ever been photographed as Marilyn or have you ever done a marilyn Monroe inspired shoot? 

[00:09:25] Jai Mayhew Well, I haven’t, but now I feel like it’s a little bit of a challenge. I realize I would love to do a marilyn Monroe shoot. That would be amazing. 

[00:09:33] Lisa DiGeso Do you should I would love to see that even like like how you mentioned like you could do the dark stuff like you like the real like like Hollywood, the fifties glamor. Or you could do the ones where she’s like in the bed just in. Just in the sheets. Right? You’d be fun. 

[00:09:48] Jai Mayhew Yeah. She’s so timeless. So timeless. I know. 

[00:09:52] Lisa DiGeso So what would be your dream session and why? 

[00:09:56] Jai Mayhew Like in front of the camera or behind it? 

[00:09:58] Lisa DiGeso Behind. 

[00:10:00] Jai Mayhew Behind. It’s on my bucket list to go to Paris with a client and just create a ridiculously editorial shoot. I shoot in studio for the most part, which is very much on purpose because of the way my shoots are laid out and having things here in privacy for clients and air conditioning because we’re in Texas and all of those things. But ever since I was little, I have wanted to take photos in Paris, even before I was a photographer. Like, it was just, I don’t know, I’m in love with it. So at some point that will happen and it will be amazing and stunning and there might even be a marilyn Monroe moment. Who knows? 

[00:10:34] Lisa DiGeso I love it. Well, I said to my husband, I’m turning 45 this year in November. And I said to my husband, I was like, I. What would you do if I just took off and went to Paris by myself for my birthday? He’s like. 

[00:10:45] Jai Mayhew Well, if you can’t do that, like, I just might, right? It’s right. 

[00:10:52] Lisa DiGeso So, have you been to Paris? 

[00:10:54] Jai Mayhew Yes, I grew up in Germany and I love Europe very much and miss it. And I miss how easily you can travel to other places. And just the beauty of that area is so, so mesmerizing to me. 

[00:11:05] Lisa DiGeso So I love that. So what brought you to the Americas? 

[00:11:08] Jai Mayhew My parents were American, and it was my father’s job that had us over there. So eventually we came back. Yeah. 

[00:11:14] Lisa DiGeso So did you go to school and, like, get your education over there? 

[00:11:17] Jai Mayhew I started there and I finished there. I finished my university in Salzburg. So, yeah, eventually I thought I’d go back to Vienna and maybe live there one day. And then you have kids and your family’s here and, you know. But what love is it? Well. 

[00:11:31] Lisa DiGeso I love it. Well, you know, that makes so much sense with your work and how glamorous and glitzy it is. Like having that experience of growing up. You’re in Europe really, because like Europeans are. 

[00:11:43] Jai Mayhew Pretty glitzy, glamorous. Right. Their sense of style is is quite stunning. 

[00:11:48] Lisa DiGeso Absolutely unreal. Yeah. So you’ve positioned yourself as a luxury brand with impeccable concierge service, with celebrity clients and public figures. Now, can you share how you positioned yourself in this market and also what it’s like working with famous clients? 

[00:12:04] Jai Mayhew I positioned myself there on accident. I try to give that celebrity experience to every single person who walks in the door. And I was fortunate enough to have worked with a client who knew someone, you know. Like, for me, it’s been all word of mouth, all word of mouth. You create a good experience in a safe environment, which is huge. If you are someone whose images might need to be guarded or who might have to be worried that if they did, you know, let’s say boudoir with you, that it would get shown and then they know that you’re trustworthy or, you know, something like that. So once you’ve created some of those relationships, it’s been word of mouth for me. I have had the very fortunate experience of only having wonderful clients when it comes to name recognition. I can’t say a negative thing and I wouldn’t say anything, but I’ve just had really wonderful and they’re kind and kindness is a huge thing for me. I don’t care what you do. I just I want we’re going to give you the best of what we have to offer. And when you get kindness in return, then I love you as a client forever. It doesn’t matter who you are. So I would say networking is really what has gotten me into some of those opportunities. But what we do and what we create is definitely what keeps the word of mouth going. 

[00:13:13] Lisa DiGeso I love that. So did you find that the process is a little bit different with more well-known clients like signing and deals or anything like that? Yeah, just curious about that. 

[00:13:23] Jai Mayhew So my team has all signed non-disclosure agreements such that the set is a locked down and secure space. I have not had to sign additional nondisclosure is may have to at some point in the future, but the fact that legally we are locked down over here has so far been enough. 

[00:13:39] Lisa DiGeso So can you share what you did before you were a photographer? 

[00:13:44] Jai Mayhew Yeah. So I was a public relations major. I worked on the hill in DC on the political side of things, and I didn’t know I was a creative. I had no idea why I was dying inside, trying to try to write, you know, paperwork every day. And I quit with really no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I thought about becoming a fashion designer like I can’t sew or draw. I would have been a short lived career. I thought about makeup because of those, you know, those roots with the transformations. And I kind of stumbled into photography quite by accident. So now I feel like I use my PR degree mostly to write nice captions on Instagram. Yeah, but I’m grateful. I have had a lot of regret that I didn’t go to art school, that I didn’t start earlier, you know, that I could be somewhere else in my career if I had gotten a different education from the get go. But I’m really finding peace in the fact that I think you’re where you’re supposed to be and you bring all of those other experiences with you. And maybe the fact that PR was an interest for me has helped with some of the client experience or some of what we do, you know, in the studio. So I have to believe it all just works together to make you a really unique, unique place for your clients to be. 

[00:14:54] Lisa DiGeso I love that. So do you work with specific hair and makeup stylists that are working for you or do you work with multiple just to make sure that it works with everybody? Schedule? 

[00:15:05] Jai Mayhew I have several that I work with. A long time ago I only worked really with one stylist and while that can be great if you have a good relationship, I think from a practical standpoint, if anything were to happen to that person, if if that relationship terminated for any reason, if your client just wants a different style, there’s just practical reasons to have multiple stylists. So I like to have two or three that I pull from at all times, and then I can match both the personality of the client with the personality of the makeup artist, the style that I think they’re going to want to go for. And then of course, the availability. So I’m very select. Given who I work with. But I do want there to be a few people that that I have the option of requesting. 

[00:15:45] Lisa DiGeso I love that. Now, with your client experience, how many images do you typically delivered to your clients and what’s the process with that? Are you doing IPOs or are you doing. 

[00:15:57] Jai Mayhew That was your process. So we do the reveal right after the shoot. And during the shoot I shoot tethered and I’ll call it down to about 200 images so that they’re not having to look at all at, say, 500. And then we do it immediately after the shoot so that it is in person. They don’t have to come back when they leave for the day. They are done. They just have to sit back and wait for pretty things to arrive. I’ve tried different ways of doing it in the past and this has been both the most relaxing for clients and the most financially beneficial for me of that. 

[00:16:26] Lisa DiGeso Now what I love is you’ve mentioned that you work with a team and you’re working with a stylist. Do you have an assistant? Do you have someone to run the studio for you as well? And tell me a little bit about that luxury experience for the client having all those extra hands. 

[00:16:40] Jai Mayhew Sure. So I have two assistants. I have my booking coordinator who is still in St Louis, and she’s wonderful. She’s the one who handles all inquiries from the website coordinating with my schedule. Anything after the shoot the clients need. They have my cell phone. They’re more than welcome to text me. But she’s kind of that first point of contact. And then I have my assistant who’s in the studio with me who is incredible. She’s also a videographer. So we have all kinds of added benefits and options there. And it’s wonderful for clients because they’re literally just getting pampered from the minute they walk in the door, you know, we’re bringing their luggage and or helping them. We’re steaming their things, we’re fetching their champagne, we’re refilling their glass, you know? And it’s things that when I was by myself, I couldn’t do. I mean, I was trying to do all of that, but I was really tired. Now I can I can sit down with clients and talk for a little bit once we’ve kind of gotten things set up because she’s able to handle some other things for me. And that’s important because I want to get to know the clients and I want them to be comfortable because the minute I lift that camera up to my face and my face is more obscured, the nerves come back. So the more that they’re just kind of familiar with me and feeling comfortable with me, the better experience it is. So it’s invaluable to me to have that extra set of hands, even though I could do it alone. I won’t. I won’t do it alone ever again. I love it. 

[00:17:53] Lisa DiGeso I love it. Now, you mentioned that you also do editorial work. And what advice do you have for someone who might be wanting to break into that industry? 

[00:18:01] Jai Mayhew Assist if you can. I think there is nothing like the experience of assisting a photographer who’s doing either something different or at a different level if that’s not an option. I would say collect incredible inspiration. Get a model from an agency whether you have to pay for them or they’re willing to send them and try to moodboard out some things that you want to try. Editorial photography to me where it because I like to say that I take editorial portraiture, but it’s still portraiture. It’s not a fashion editorial where you have all these stylists and scene builders and props and all these other things. You are storytelling. So being able to do it in a way that is both elaborate and shows restraint is, I feel like the core of editorial work. You’ll see photographers. I was laughing because someone that I follow who now shoots for Vogue and all these other incredible magazines. I remember when she started like the feather lashes that she had on. Like she would be horrified. I remember that. But her work now is just so incredible and you see that growth. And so I think your own personal style evolving and your understanding of what’s on trend and what is acceptable and what limits can you push and which ones are you going to kind of knock yourself out of the running if you know, and some of that is just your style and what you want to do and who you know. And you know, there’s so many layers to what makes a career successful. But I would say start with pulling images that you love and start shooting. You just have to start shooting. 

[00:19:31] Lisa DiGeso And love that. So when you find yourself in a creative rut, if you do, how do you put yourself out of that? 

[00:19:38] Jai Mayhew You just shoot even though you don’t want to. I mean, you have to, because if you stop moving, you stop growing, you stop progressing, you stop trying. You get afraid that the next time you do it, it’s not going to work. Right. And I think that’s one of the hardest things in the entire world, is for a creative to create when they’re not feeling it. It’s hard. It’s hard to manufacture inspiration. So for me, things that do help to inspire me are definitely self-care, you know, making sure I’m taking care of myself. But going to art museums, literally just closing my eyes and listening to music that inspires me. Going back and looking at art or even album covers from back in the day. Just anything that you find interesting, anything that lights that fire within you and then do it when you don’t feel like doing it. I was listening to a snippet. I think it was Joe Rogan who interviewed like a jiu jitsu champion recently, and he was saying he does the same thing every single day. His schedule does not vary, and I think I might be butchering this, but from eating to training to all of it. And you have to you to be successful because on the days that you feel like doing it great, but there are days when you don’t feel like doing it, and if you don’t do it, you’re not going to be that champion, you’re not going to be successful. And I think it’s that much harder when it’s from an inspiration standpoint, because I feel like a lot of my best work does come when I’m inspired. But I’ve also had really amazing pictures come from times in my own life. In my own personal life when I am not inspired and I don’t want to be there. I mean, clients are never going to know that. But you pull from your technical skills and then you bring the energy of the moment into it and beautiful things happen. 

[00:21:09] Lisa DiGeso I love that. That’s so great. Movies. You mention movies. Any favorite ones that are super inspiring to you? 

[00:21:17] Jai Mayhew So I grew up on that golden age of Hollywood. We were in Germany. That was what was available at the library. So all the old musicals, gentlemen, prefer Blonds is like my absolute favorite movie of all time. And I love the costumes and I love the colors. And just the glam was just so wonderful back then. I mean, I’m really grateful for leggings and the ease of that, too, but. Right, I love watching those old movies and the gowns and all the things. So those are fun, too. I mean, I’m an American in Paris just watching that ballet scene. How can you not get inspired creatively? 

[00:21:51] Lisa DiGeso I love it. Oh, my goodness. You have to do a marilyn Monroe. I was like, oh. 

[00:21:56] Jai Mayhew We have even like where. 

[00:21:58] Lisa DiGeso She’s in that pink dress after that one. 

[00:22:00] Jai Mayhew Oh. Oh, yeah. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. 

[00:22:03] Lisa DiGeso Oh, yes. What are some of your biggest sources of inspiration or mentors that you. 

[00:22:08] Jai Mayhew May have had? So I would say right now, most of my inspiration is not coming from photographers. It’s coming from very successful entrepreneurs and motivational speakers slash business owners. There was a time when I was more so looking for the inspiration to come from creatives. But when you’re running a business, as much as I love my artistry, as much as I am forever trying to improve my craft, if I’m not a business first, I don’t have a studio, I don’t have a team, I don’t have a camera, I don’t have new lenses or have anything. So listening to entrepreneurs like Steven Bartlett and Jordan Peterson and Andy Frizzell and is it Mel Robbins? Like, I just I love them. I love them and I love how they’re breaking down because you can just say, I’m tired. Are you tired because your business is stalled? Because you’re not sure of your purpose? Because, you know, like there’s there’s so many things to that. And so in the past, for me, when I’m stressed, I would just really kind of want to read a fiction book or something like that and just not think about my life for a second. And now I’m more so proactively, What can I do? How can I grow? How do I move past this? What’s the next level? And I think what you fill your brain with, you know, you’re going to take action on. So those are the people that right now I’m really giving attention to because I just I like to say. 

[00:23:25] Lisa DiGeso I love that. And if you haven’t already, you should check out Lori Harder’s podcast. 

[00:23:29] Jai Mayhew Oh, okay. 

[00:23:30] Lisa DiGeso She’s that she’s got a really good amount and she’s funny. Like, I take her on my morning walks and she just makes me laugh the whole time. So that’s one. Yeah. It’s fun to check out. 

[00:23:39] Jai Mayhew Yeah. 

[00:23:41] Lisa DiGeso So what do you wish more photographers knew? 

[00:23:45] Jai Mayhew I think I wish more photographers understood the real power of what they’re creating for people. We’re in a weird time. It’s a weird time because photography has been devalued in the sense that everyone with an iPhone is now a photographer. Every influencer is now a model. Every visual content is so saturated that there are some people who just feel like, why would anyone pay for photos? Like why? At the same time, you have a lot of art and artists who are being lifted up and valued and people who do understand the value of this experience. It’s not just the photos, it’s the experience. And so try trying to market and figure out your business in this time, I think is multilayered, but I wish more photographers just understood, especially when women are standing in front of their camera just because that’s my that’s my passion. That’s what I do. You’re giving them something that is an interpretation of them. And there’s work attributed to that. And and as someone who when I was younger, had some male photographers, just be absolute jerks to me and say horrible things that left long memories and scars. I just hope that they understand that it’s a responsibility and it’s an honor to photograph someone who’s entrusting their vision and themselves to you. And you don’t take that lightly. 

[00:25:09] Lisa DiGeso I love that. That’s great answer. So what advice do you have for someone who is just getting started into photography? 

[00:25:16] Jai Mayhew Be resilient. Be resilient. Don’t be a perfectionist because you’re going to fail a lot before you figure it out, both in your work and in your business and how you deal with clients like you’re going to fail first. And I think you just have to keep getting back up. And that sounds simplistic, but I think the hardest times for me when I didn’t want to get back up were when I was struggling with my art, not as much struggling with clients or business or something like that. As long as I’m passionate about what I’m creating, I can deal with a lot. But as an artist, as a temperamental artist, when I’m not loving what I’m creating, that’s when it’s been the hardest to keep shooting and to keep going. And even when clients. We’re happy if I’m just sitting there thinking like, why can’t I break through to that next level, you know? And the truth is, you just keep shooting. And then one day you’re like, Oh, that’s how you do that. And you get, you know, you keep going. I think resilience for every every big entrepreneur that you follow has been a key. So that’s something that I would I would praise if someone were starting out. 

[00:26:17] Lisa DiGeso I love that. One of the hardest times for me was actually I shoot outdoors. I used to shoot orders a lot with the 200, which is like that big heavy lens. And I had my camera on my car seat and I there was a deer and in front of me I was way a girl and my camera and my lens flew on to the floor. So after that, the lens was fine. But but what had happened is because of the impact, it had shifted, like the connection point. So every time I was shooting, everything was out of focus. I couldn’t get it to calibrate and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I was like, am I got like, I am doing everything right and I’m not getting the right result. I was so frustrated. I was it went on for about three months. Finally, I was just like, I’m shooting over 1500 images in a newborn session just to get like 75 that are in focus. And I’m like. 

[00:27:12] Jai Mayhew That’s so frustrating. 

[00:27:13] Lisa DiGeso He’s so brutal. So finally I said, It is an icon. And they’re like, Yeah, this is what’s wrong with it. And ended up getting a new camera. 

[00:27:20] Jai Mayhew But Holy Cross. 

[00:27:22] Lisa DiGeso I’m like when like that point when you’re just like, so it was solo. It was such a dark time. 

[00:27:28] Jai Mayhew Yeah. Just sucked. Sorry. I’m sorry. That’s the worst. 

[00:27:33] Lisa DiGeso And I just didn’t know. And I’m like, you don’t know what you don’t know, right? Right. And even, like, you’re even calibrating your lenses. Like, when you’re new, you don’t even know you need to do that. 

[00:27:41] Jai Mayhew That’s where resilience comes in. Exactly right. Get back up. Yes. 

[00:27:46] Lisa DiGeso So what has been the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given? 

[00:27:50] Jai Mayhew So it wasn’t given directly to me, but I listened to something or read. I don’t know that Andy Fasulo said, where he said, You know what you think about, dream about, talk about and focus on will become your life. I think that’s huge. When you are building something and it’s in its infancy or you’re having to rebuild. Like I’ve moved my studio several times and this last time was really, really hard and I thought, okay, you know, six months and I’ll be right back to where I was. And it takes time when you’re in a whole new market to literally build your studio, to rebuild your reputation. And, you know, it takes time. And so what I think about constantly and focus on constantly is just building this into exactly what I want it to be. It’s not creative, specific advice, but right now I really am about like business and bigger picture and mindset and focus and manifestation and just all the things I want to show women their beauty and their value. And that has been what motivates me, because I’m passionate about what I do. And I feel like when you empower people, you give them the courage to show more of who they really are. And so that’s my goal. When women walk out of here is that they are that much more proud of themselves, that they feel a little taller, that they feel a little bit more seen, that they just have a pride in themselves. So on the days when business is hard or you’re just not feeling it, I go back to what do I want the studio to be for women? And that is a driving force for me. 

[00:29:20] Lisa DiGeso I love that so much. Have you heard of Georgia standards? I know Jody said that. I think you’d probably like him, especially if you’re like into the manifesting meditation. And because basically he says your personal reality becomes your personality. 

[00:29:36] Jai Mayhew Really? 

[00:29:37] Lisa DiGeso Yeah. It’s he’s just honestly, if you have an if you have not heard of him, I would like I find his it’s like really, really juicy stuff. He’s got a book called Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself. 

[00:29:50] Jai Mayhew Which is the now. 

[00:29:51] Lisa DiGeso And there’s a lot of there’s actually like a lot of like quantum physics and stuff in it, which makes my brain hurt. 

[00:29:57] Jai Mayhew But I mean, I’m an artist. I don’t do well. I know I don’t do math. 

[00:30:02] Lisa DiGeso I’m like, but honestly, if you if you get through the first like three chapters, it is a phenomenal book. You’ll I think you will love it. 

[00:30:09] Jai Mayhew I will look that up. 

[00:30:10] Lisa DiGeso You will make sure that’s in the show notes for you listeners out there to you. Are you ready for our lightning round? 

[00:30:18] Jai Mayhew I’m ready. Let’s do it. Okay. 

[00:30:20] Lisa DiGeso Coffee or tea? Tea. Most luxurious vacation you’ve ever been on. 

[00:30:25] Jai Mayhew Spent a month in Europe. 

[00:30:27] Lisa DiGeso What was your favorite TV show as a kid? 

[00:30:29] Jai Mayhew I love Lucy. 

[00:30:31] Lisa DiGeso Last thing you did for yourself as an indulgence. 

[00:30:34] Jai Mayhew Really good facial. 

[00:30:37] Lisa DiGeso Morning person or night owl? 

[00:30:38] Jai Mayhew Morning. 

[00:30:40] Lisa DiGeso What did you want to be when you grew up? NEWSCASTER Oh, go to karaoke jam. 

[00:30:47] Jai Mayhew Ludacris Anything right. 

[00:30:51] Lisa DiGeso Now? Where can our listeners learn more from you? 

[00:30:54] Jai Mayhew So on my website, especially for photographers, there is an education section and we will be linking to my new tutorial that’s going to come out this winter, which I’m so excited about. All kinds of other content is length there my backdrop lines and welcome packets and just, you know, all the things, all the things. So if you’re on the website, that’s a good place to start. 

[00:31:13] Lisa DiGeso Love it. So I love to end my interviews with this question. And it is a what are you currently curious about or artistically curious about? 

[00:31:22] Jai Mayhew I see the world in a lot of shadows, like a lot of my work is moodier or more dramatic. And I think because that’s how I see, I’ve been very drawn to work lately. That is, I don’t mean light and airy in the sense of like when we think about outside photography, that’s that’s retouched to be light and airy, but studio work that is really, really diffused and really soft and kind of the opposite of how I see and because I’m an artist and have to be perpetually frustrated. So now I’m in the studio playing with, you know, some different ways to create set ups because I’m not enjoying what I do unless I’m perpetually learning and challenging myself. I also create frustration for myself because I’m always like, Oh, what else can we do? So yeah, but it’s what keeps it interesting and fun and why I never get bored. 

[00:32:10] Lisa DiGeso I love that I’ve been shooting through a tool lately. Like, Oh yeah, I mean, just kind of making it just on the corners, just to make a haze, just on the edges. 

[00:32:18] Jai Mayhew I love it. 

[00:32:20] Lisa DiGeso Fun. Yeah. 

[00:32:20] Jai Mayhew It’s a beautiful, beautiful way to play. 

[00:32:22] Lisa DiGeso Well, Jai, thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been wonderful having you on. 

[00:32:27] Jai Mayhew I can’t wait to see this. And check out all of the authors that you were telling me about. So thank you. I appreciate it. 
[00:32:33] Lisa DiGeso Oh, my beautiful friends. Thank you so much for joining me today. I know you probably adored this conversation just as much as I did. And seriously, my beautiful friends, I am sending you so much of my light and love today and every single day. We’ll see you next time.

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