Growing up in Oregon, Jones was surrounded by the Western lifestyle from a very young age. She started riding when she was just 3, and went on to ride dressage, hunter-jumper, 4-H, barrel racing, and all-around horses. Her skills earned her a spot riding horsemanship and reining horses for Texas Christian University’s women’s equestrian team. When she wasn’t in the saddle, she was hitting the books as she pursued a degree in finance.
Post-grad, she stayed in Dallas and worked as an investor relations associate at an asset management firm, supplementing her income with photography as a side business. Soon, she couldn’t put her camera down, and became a full-time photographer in 2017, though her business knowledge hasn’t gone to waste. “For the woman pursing a photography career, understand that you are first and foremost a business owner,” says Jones. “Taking pictures is probably about five percent or less of how I spend my time. In order to succeed, one must understand all facets of the business: marketing, sales, accounting, customer services, etcetera.”
As a creative mind, inspiration can be hard to come by, but not for Jones. To gain inspiration, she reflects on the relationship with the horse she owned in high school. “I am constantly dwelling on that feeling I had with him—my ‘heart horse.’ My motivation is to deliver to my clients the image I wish I had for myself with him.”
It seems plenty of people think she does, as high school seniors, brands, and groups all hire her for her extraordinary camera skills. One of Jones’ proudest accomplishments was photographing the Compton Cowboys, a horse-lovers group based in California, and having her photo be used to create more art. “A local artist painted an enormous mural in the city using my image as a reference, and I think that is so incredible,” she says.
What’s on the horizon for Kirstie Jones? “I am working on launching a number of educational and instructional videos for other photographers and entrepreneurs and I’m thrilled to release them soon!” With years of exceptional business and photography experience, Kirstie Jones can’t wait to pass it on.