Jayana LaFountaine Photographer: CapNY Freelancer

There are over 16,000 freelancers in the CapNY’s Creative Economy. The “CapNY Freelancers” segment will be highlighting talented individuals from different backgrounds, with different stories, and different visions. We hope you will take inspiration from their stories and use this as a potential opportunity to collaborate and support the freelancers in our communities.

Meet Jayana of Jayana LaFotos

We met with Jayana LaFountaine photographer to get some insights and advice about being a freelancer in the capital region.

Where are you from? Where do you live now?

I am from Springfield Massachusetts and I currently live in Troy, NY. I started freelancing in 2010.

What inspired you to start?

Losing my foster mother at 13 years old painfully reminded me that I didn’t have many photos with her. It has since been my mission to never miss a moment again.

What’s your favorite thing about freelancing?

I am my own boss. My success is not about climbing someone else’s corporate ladder but about building my own. I’m in control of how successful I can be.

What’s the most difficult part about freelancing?

Money. People don’t always want to pay you what you’re worth.

What’s your advice to a freelancer just starting out?

Ask for help and drop your ego. Know that you don’t know sh*t, so ask for help and be a student. The worst thing you can do is be unteachable.

What’s one thing you wish you knew before you started freelancing?

The backend aspect of running a business. I dove in head first and didn’t know about insurance, bank accounts, pricing, etc.

Your most exciting project to date?

My most exciting project to date is my book. “Book of Jayana” has been in the works for about four years now and I’m finally working towards releasing it.

Any helpful freelancer friendly resources you recommend using?

I would say Collectiveffort and Power Breakfast. Without those two resources I wouldn’t be where I am. They have all helped me in my venture as an entrepreneur by giving me tools such as space to shoot in, marketing and media tips, lessons in life, one on one mentoring, and so much more. If they can’t supply something I need, 9/10 times they know someone else that can. They’re both for the betterment of our professional and creative community.

Why is it great to be a freelancer in CapNY?

For me it’s seeing people that look like me and feeling supported by them. They genuinely want to see you succeed and will always lend a helping hand to make sure you do. It’s all love.

It brings me a great deal of joy to capture families and friends of all colors, shapes and sizes because those memories are forever even if we’re not. I am also a birth and postpartum doula, babysitter extraordinaire & DJ. All of these jobs I do with love and an immense amount of intention. I thrive off meaningful connections with people no matter how long or brief they may be. 

Connect With Jayana LaFountaine

Written by: Gabby Fisher

Gabby is a serial entrepreneur living solo with her toy poodle, Mochi, in Schenectady. She also happens to be the Senior Producer on the CapNY branding initiative!