I was asked to interview for Times News: Got a Minute – Published 3/1/11
Here is a link to the online article on BlueRidgeNow.com
Got a minute with Photographer Jared Kay
Jared Kay, 26, of Fletcher, opened his videography business right out of college. Today he owns JK Photography and Amplified Media at 1823 Asheville Highway in Hendersonville with his wife, Sonia Kay. See his work at www.jkayphoto.com and www.amplified-media.com
Jared Kay, 26, of Fletcher owns JK Photography and Amplified Media and enjoys focusing on nature.
How did you get started with photography and videography?
My passion is nature photography. That’s really what started my photography pursuit. I had a camera in high school, and I was shooting film. I was also shooting videos in high school, at Fletcher Academy. I went to the camera store and bought a camera and I don’t remember why. That was before digital. I went to college at Isothermal for broadcast technology and worked in video production at a local TV station that shut down. The current clientele had nowhere to go, and that’s what started my commercial business, Amplified Media. I’ve always enjoyed multimedia. And I enjoy the photography business too. Digital can be a crutch – you can really overshoot. But I really try to observe instead and capture the moment. Most of what we do is location-based. We try not to confine subjects to the studio. A lot of what we do is outdoors — relaxed, fun and creative. And unobtrusive. We don’t pose people; we interact.
What is Amplified Media?
Amplified Media is mostly commercial video production. We offer a business profile video — we produce a 60- or 90-second HD profile for local businesses. We display the videos on their websites and Facebook, YouTube, and iPhones or smartphones as well, so they always have their video in their pocket. Not everyone is marketing savvy, or they have a hard time telling people what they do, and they can just show them. It’s a way for the business to highlight their products and services and put a face on it. I also take head shots for companies, and yesterday I filmed a concert in Brevard. I do a lot of work with Park Ridge Health. I wear a lot of hats and it keeps me busy.
When did you decide to launch your photography business?
We opened the photography studio here last year. My initial fear was that in promoting my business, I would lose my love for photography, and it would become a job. People do tend to lose that passion, that motivation. If anything, though, I’ve become more obsessed with photography. I’m shooting about 20 percent of the time and the other 80 percent I’m handling the business end. So I’m excited to pick up my camera when I can.
Which do you like better, photography or videography?
It depends on whether I’m pursuing a paycheck or a creative outlet, but I prefer photography.
Was it hard opening a business at such a young age?
I came across the opportunity to start my commercial business when the TV station shut down and the clientele had nowhere to go. For me, having all these clients fall into your lap was a no-brainer. We were a team of two then — that was the start in 2005. The biggest challenge was that I was so young; I was 21. I’ve always accepted the responsibility of running a business, but convincing businesses of your ability and responsibility at that age is harder. Initially, having that client base and being able to display that client base was helpful. I worked out of a place on Howard Gap Road, and I moved to this location last year. As for the photography, I was doing a lot of weddings, doing a lot of work for people I knew, and it snowballed from there. It’s been a challenge working for yourself and working in this economy.
What’s your favorite subject?
I love nature photography, but I’m not a hunter — I’m not out stalking animals and birds. I do enjoy working with couples. I can relate to the fun and energetic side that a lot of couples portray. Weddings can be a challenge in a good way. I do enjoy a good challenge, and weddings offer that. It depends on your approach, and the bride’s mother.
How do you keep up with all the changes in technology?
Technology changes rapidly and it’s almost impossible to keep up, but at the same time, technology can be an advantage. But I don’t like using it as a crutch. My goal is to capture the best possible image in-camera. A lot of time that means dragging more equipment outdoors. I do use studio lights in the field. That’s one way I can produce vivid, quality images. There’s been many changes in photography and photography management software, online exposure, video editing software. … That’s hard to keep up with, like YouTube, Facebook and all the websites. I’m also constantly critiquing my work. You’ll always strive to do better in this field and technology does help, but really, it has to be in you.
What do you do when you are not working?
My wife and I are big outdoors people. We enjoy hiking and backpacking. I always have my camera. There’s a lot of neat places in Pisgah and on the Parkway. Even just by my house in Hooper’s Creek, there’s a lot of pastures and animals and nature. And I love shooting fog, foggy mornings. We’re really fortunate to live in such a beautiful area.
What’s it like working next to Papa’s and Beer?
My wife is Hispanic. We were high school sweethearts at Fletcher Academy. She loves Mexican food. I’ll come home and she knows when I’ve eaten from Papa’s and Beer. So I don’t tell her anymore. It’s the only thing I hide from her. I had lunch at Papa’s and Beer the other day and she knew it, she found out.
What does the future hold for you?
I like community involvement. I enjoy helping other businesses grow and succeed, and I enjoy creating memories for the personal clients. That’s a tough question. I’m just taking it as it comes.