Jordan Weiland, owner of Jordan Weiland Photography, has always loved photography. Her aunt was a photographer, her mom dabbled in it and Weiland, who majored in Studio Art at Florida State University, took as many photography classes as possible. After college, she moved to Denver for year before moving back to Central Florida.
"We missed our family," she said. "The timing of our move wasn't right and we realized that Lakeland had something special. We wanted to be part of it so we moved back."
Weiland officially launched her business in September of 2008. At the time, she was working full-time as an admin for a church. She didn't love it and needed something more creative. She quit the church and started doing photography part-time, while also doing some part-time graphic design work. After about a year of building her photography business, she got to the point where she could leave the graphic design job and focus exclusively on photography. She admitted that she was nervous, but that it felt like the right step.
"When I first started, I took any photo job thrown at me," she said. "Over time, I realized I loved shooting outdoor weddings and that families and babies just weren't my thing. Weddings, along with some commercial branding editorial stuff, is now the majority of my focus. I'm also available to travel outside of Lakeland for weddings and destination photography work. I'm going to Maine soon and then Puerto Rico in November."
Weiland shared that her business is unique in that she doesn't have a lot of repeat clients. As such, she can't let down her hustle and, through social media, SEO and garnering word-of-mouth referrals, works just as hard as she did on day one to attract higher-end weddings and destinations clients. Her future goals include booking more destination weddings and photo shoots in fun and interesting locations. She'd also love to take her business abroad and hasn't ruled out the possibility of hiring a staff member.
When you speak with Jordan Weiland, there's no question she loves photography and feels right at home shooting weddings. "I love hearing people's stories and getting to be a part of one of the biggest days of their lives," she said. "It's truly an honor to be in these spaces with these people and to share their story and be a part of it. I also love that every wedding is different. Some elements are the same, but the details and the stories are all different."
Weiland offers up some great advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. "Just do it," she said. "It can be scary and certain days I think to myself, 'Gosh having a job that's 9-5 and not having to think about anything beyond my box of duties when I go home for the day would be really nice', but then I think that I'd be missing out on so much. I also wouldn't have the flexibility and I truly love what I do. If you have a job that allows a little bit of freedom, start your hustle on the side. It's a lot of work in the beginning, but once you build up that confidence and can break away and go full time, it's something you'll never regret."