Jordan Pannowitz is bubbly, friendly, talented and extremely busy. And, as I soon found out, she is caring. The 26 year-old photographer from Newcastle is more than just handy with a camera.
Jordan’s passion for photography began when she was 16 after her Aunty got a professional camera and taught Jordan how to use it. So that Christmas, Jordan’s parents got her a camera so she could start fulfilling her love of photography. “I started off with taking free photos for my family and friends. By the time I was 19, I started doing weddings for them as a back-up photographer”.
Jordan created her photography business JPannowitz Photography when she was 23 and began to charge people for her services. Since then, her business has only continued to grow. Last year, Jordan was shooting roughly 8 weddings a month and is already nearly fully booked for weddings this year. “I have a lot of loyal clients who just kept recommending me to people. It just kept going,” she tells me during our phone conversation. I can hear the passion in her voice whenever she speaks about her photography work.
I ask Jordan about her photographic style, something that is an important aspect to know when choosing a photographer to cover your shoot. She explains to me that her style is what is known as high contrast, meaning that the blues and greens stand out more. Given that a majority of Jordan’s photoshoots occur either on the beach or in the Hunter Valley, this chosen style is very fitting. Although the moody style is becoming very popular, and Jordan is happy to edit a few photos this way, she prefers to be a little different and stick with this high contrast style for all her photo shoots, and they certainly look amazing.
Unlike other photographers, Jordan does not put a limit on the number of photos that her clients receive. “I edit every single photo, and you get every single photo. I believe that you are paying for a photography service so I don’t think that you should be limited”. As Jordan continues to tell me, there really would be no point in her keeping all these photos to herself rather than showing them to the world. “I try to differ myself from everyone else. So at the end you could have 1600 photos.”
Another thing that sets Jordan apart from other photographers, and something I think reflects Jordan’s personality, is that she doesn’t charge an arm and a leg for her wedding services. Whilst most wedding photographers price their packages around $4000, Jordan’s most expensive package is under $2000. I am curious about this and ask Jordan just how and why she does it so cheap. “I do it because I love it. I don’t do it to become rich. I use the money to pay for my equipment.” Jordan’s photos are of an amazing quality but she can’t justify asking people to spend an obscene amount on photos for their special day and believes that there are better things they could be spending their money on. I can’t help but agree with her.
One of the reasons why Jordan is not fussed with making a huge profit from her photography is because she has another job- one that she worked very hard to achieve. Jordan has a degree in Medical Radiation Science and works at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital in Radio Oncology. She works down in Sydney 4 days a week so between that and her photography, her schedule is usually full.
Still, Jordan finds time to volunteer for children’s cancer charity Camp Quality, something she has held close to her heart for the last 5 years. “Working in oncology, I get to see up close what adults as well as kids go through when they are diagnosed with cancer. It’s hard enough being an adult, let alone being a child and being 2 or 7 with cancer,” she tells me and I can hear the passion in her voice. Camp Quality does amazing work to help children who are suffering from cancer, but they also help their families as well. I find out from Jordan that siblings of those battling cancer have a 200% increased risk of becoming depressed. “We have family camps where the whole family can come along.” Through Camp Quality, Jordan travels around Australia and visits different schools with a puppet show that helps educate kids about cancer and what to do if one of their class mates has cancer. “It’s very rewarding”.
Although Jordan is busy with her radio oncology work and Camp Quality, she wouldn’t change her work for anything, and that includes her photography. “It’s a great way to balance out of my life and to see people crying happy tears instead of sad tears is what I really like”. Jordan’s photography is all about her clients, so naturally, seeing her clients reactions to her images is a reminder to Jordan about why she does what she does. “It’s nice when they see their family all together in the one photo”. Jordan tells me how even in this day and age with camera phones being so popular, it’s actually really rare to get a whole family together in the one photo. “They may have a huge family that they don’t often get together but they do for the photo and so when everyone is together it’s quite emotional and just, to see that on their faces, I really love that”. And weddings are an excellent occasion to bring everyone together for photos which is probably why Jordan loves covering weddings so much.
One of the weddings that Jordan has covered, and possibly one of her most memorable one, was a cultural experience which is why it stood out so much. It was a Fijian/New Zealand wedding and was completely different to anything Jordan had shot before. Of course there were cultural dances, both Fijian and New Zealand and the groom and his groomsmen performed a choreographed routine to Bruno Mars. Jordan tells me that as per tradition, all the male guests danced around the bride and put money down her dress. “It was just amazing. I’d never been to anything like that before”. Jordan had previously done a Scottish wedding where the father of the bride wore a kilt, but never had she done a wedding that was completely culturally influenced. In fact, this wedding made Jordan feel like she was in Fiji herself. There were prayers in a different language and the dances were performed by family members of all ages from little kids to grandfathers. “It made me want to get up there and dance with them”.
Jordan Pannowitz may have only just begun her photography career but she is already very popular and I have no doubt that, with amazing images like hers, her career will only continue to grow. Her generosity with Camp Quality really shines through and sums up her personality. And her work in Radio Oncology shows that there are things other than photography that interests Jordan.
As our phone call wraps up, it becomes clear to me that Jordan is a very caring person. And that is probably the best quality to have.