From raising kids in the fast-paced city of Dallas to the outskirts of North Texas, snapping photos is a way for young families to commemorate these early maternity and childhood days. A key figure often manages the memory keeping: mothers. But mom life moves quickly, and smartphones don’t always do a memory justice. That’s why Jayme Okerblom of Miette Photography has offered authentic, high quality photography to North Texas mothers and families for over 20 years.
From Childhood Art Classes to a Side Hustle, a Business Is Born
Jayme was always a self-dubbed “artsy kid,” never without a paintbrush or pencil in hand. Her mother placed her in an art class in second grade that Jayme relished. Every art contest in school thereafter featured her work. “From that point on, I just viewed myself as an artist,” she laughs. In college, along with painting, she picked up a camera and delved into the art of photography. She traveled far and frequently in her 20s, collecting memories by film and navigating language barriers. In the tiny Southeast Asian villages she visited, she had only one mode of communication: smiles and hand gestures. “I would approach people and have to figure out how to communicate with them, put them at ease and show that I was friendly so they would allow me to photograph them,” Jayme recounts.
Depicting faces, rather than landscapes, has always been her niche. As a painter, she painted portraits. As a photographer, she captures people. In her words, “I would rather take a picture of somebody working in a beautiful rice paddy than just the beautiful rice paddy. It’s the people who are interesting to me.”
Like any good origin story, Jayme’s full-grown photography business is one of natural beginnings. Incorporating her knack for visual art, Jayme launched her career as a web designer, finding creativity in both designing and coding. Photography was simply a side hustle. But friends and friends of friends would ask her to photograph their kids, and when she left her dot-com job, those newborn shoots paid the bills. “I thought, I’ll do this while I’m still looking for my real job, you know?” she shares. “But I was great with babies and kids and I really loved doing it. I just never went back to work.”
Her business was birthed in the seven hundred square feet of her first apartment. “I was really just making it up as I went along,” she shrugs. “I knew the photography but there was a huge learning curve in how to run a business. Now, I feel like I’m as good a business person as I am a photographer–but you really have to be both to survive in this business.” Her tiny living room hosted the backdrop, camera gear, and creative space she needed to refine her vocation. She now serves over 24 North Texas communities in her luxury boutique portrait studio.
Art as a Source of Inspiration
With creative roots in drawing and painting, Jayme is more influenced by art than she is by the latest photographic trend. In a saturated industry, she stands upstream; drawing inspiration from modern art in books, galleries and walking the halls of the Dallas Museum of Art. “I approach photography with more of a painter’s eye,” she says. “I understand composition and the balance of light and dark. It just naturally clicks for me. I don’t have to think about it.”
Jayme’s clients speak on her behalf. Says one mother, Suzan, “Jayme established an immediate rapport with our daughter and captured her personality from playful to serious. These are the best images we have of her and we will continue to go back as our daughter grows. Her digital portraits are a work of art!” Jayme was also nominated “Best Family Photographer in Dallas” by D Magazine. When asked what she envisions for the next 20 years of business, she says nonchalantly, “I just really love what I do and want to keep doing it.” Without Jayme’s services in North Texas, families’ memories might go undocumented. Her authentic photography allows mothers, families, and children to play, embrace, and feel beautiful where they belong: as the focal point.
20 Year Anniversary Series
Throughout the Month of June we are celebrating and highlighting the amazing 20 years Jayme has had in business. We will be diving deeper into her process as a photographer, and how she has been telling stories of families throughout the past two decades. Keep an eye out for a couple more incredible blogs that will be coming your way. If you’d like to schedule a session, don’t hesitate to reach out. Please call or text Jayme at 214.390.9524 or use the online contact form. She will get back to you quickly, usually within one day.