We had the good fortune of connecting with Jerome Shaw and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jerome, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor behind my business is practice, patience, and persistence. Over the past 12 years, I have learned my craft as a photographer from constant learning from trial and error and being persistent with the idea of leaning to get better. Without these, I would have not survived as a photographer.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am 35 Year Old Harlem Native who got my photography start when I was laid off from my corporate job at Goldman Sachs back in 2008. Before the layoff, I was shooting photos of my friends at industry events for fun for my lifestyle blog at the time. Once I was laid off, I took my severance package and invested in a camera and decided that I didn’t want to work for anyone ever again and make my own money and destiny. It wasn’t easy. I survived off of unemployment for 2 years, several overdraft fees, and a lot of bad shots. I went from charge nearly nothing for photoshoots to shooting high end budgeted shoot for major brands. I’ve grown to learn that you have to constantly raise your rate as you progress in your career, everyone is not your client and that you may not lock in a client but that doesn’t mean that they are your last client. I’ve also learned that you have to separate you from the others. Find a niche and stick with it. You can’t be a jack of all trades and a master of none. my main focus with photography is Beauty, Portraits. I’ve started shooting some commercial product Images as a way to supplement the halt in work during Covid-19. in some cases, it may be necessary to extend your range and that’s perfectly fine. I also am a Director and have shot for multiple brands including BET, The Recording Academy and more.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Before COVID in LA, I would suggest hitting up the CAAM, Getty Museum for some dope art and views. To eat I would head down to Leimert Park to Ackee Bamboo for great Jamaican Food. I live in the Arts District in Downtown and there are plenty of spots from breweries, barcades like EightyTwo, Little Tokyo, and more. It’s a calm area to just chill out on the weekends and have a good time. You can take a drive up the PCH to Malibu and just chill out on the side of the highway and look out into the ocean.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to shoutout my family and friends in NY who have supported me from the day I was laid off, the day I decided to become a full-time photographer and entrepreneur. I always knew I was able to do it but having unwavering support helped tremendously.