Soul Is: Jaqueline Fugatt

At We Are Memphis, we’re all inspiring others to bring and share their souls with the city. Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to start a new local business, a musician who’s ready to rock out with some of the best artists in the world, or a creative with an eye for capturing your unique perspective, we’re here to inspire you to be your most authentic self. Memphis’ Soul can’t be defined with just a few words. Soul is change, innovation, ingenuity, creativity, and so much more.

If you’ve seen our latest billboards around town, you’ll see photos from some of Memphis’ photographers. From families and couples to artists and activists, all of these moments embody that iconic Memphis Soul.

Want to learn more about the creative behind the lens? Keep reading!

What inspired you to be a photographer?

Honestly, the feeling I get with a camera in my hand is the first thing that made me want to be a photographer. I used to borrow any friends “fancy camera” (as I used to call DSLR’s) any chance I got when I was in high school & college. I loved taking photos & honestly looking back I always had a camera with me- even if it was just a cheap point & shoot, a polaroid camera, or a disposable- I had a camera on hand. I finally got a “fancy camera” of my own & knew right away I wanted to try to make it in to a career. I had seen other photographers further along in their businesses and they definitely inspired me to go for it & I’m so thankful I did.

What inspires you to capture Memphis and Memphians the way you do? 

Memphis is such a cool city with so much character- but lets be honest- as far as the landscape goes- there isn’t as much to offer as other more objectively beautiful places from a photography standpoint. However, the PEOPLE are what make Memphis beautiful. Being a photographer in Memphis has pushed me to find the beauty in people and to showcase them rather than the surroundings. The people of Memphis inspire me so much and I love documenting pieces and seasons of their lives.

How do you put your soul into your work? What do you hope others take away from it? 

I take my work extremely seriously. Photography isn’t just a fun hobby turned side hustle for me- it is my full time career, and it is such a dream to finally have found what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I truly treat my clients like family! I am so thankful for every single one of them. I am always finding new ways to try new creative things (poses, looks, etc) for my clients to make sure their sessions feel like them. I go above & beyond for them in whatever way I can. I love creating honest images that truly capture who those people are in that moment.

Share your favorite moment during the shoot that resulted in the picture we’re sharing

Ahh this shoot was sooo much fun. Aaron & Brittney are so adorable and honestly have the best chemistry. I wouldn’t say there was one specific moment that was my favorite but the overall vibe of the shoot was just joy and adoration. You can tell how much Aaron just absolutely adores Brittney and Brittney has joy GOALS. She was so giggly and happy the whole time. These two were so fun & I would love to shoot with them again!!

How has Memphis allowed you to come into your own as an artist? What advice do you have for other up-and-coming artists? 

Gosh, I’m so thankful for Memphis. Like I said, the people here are just amazing. I think Memphis really does lift up & appreciate people who work hard & set their mind to things. I went full time with photography after less than 2 years living here, which in a new city I thought would be impossible. I am so thankful for the community aspect of Memphis for having my back & supporting me in my business. If I could give any advice for up & coming artists it would be to stay humble, work with clients who value you, don’t undersell yourself, & always stay professional no matter what. When your’e first starting out people tend to not take you seriously & they try to take advantage of people (their pricing, etc). I always stayed firm on my pricing, always communicated professionally, and let go of the clients who didn’t want me or didn’t value me the way I valued myself. In the long run, I have never regretted that. 

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