Preston Hollow woman’s business celebrates 20th anniversary
Clients call Jayme Okerblom of Miette Photography a “baby whisperer.”
She moves slowly, humming or cooing while she photographs to help her tiny subjects feel calm and protected.
“Babies have a natural way of curling up and getting comfortable,” she explained. “The baby will always tell me in his or her own way what they want to do, and I just have to watch and wait for it.”
Her one-year album plans use a series of shoots to “tell the story of all of those first-year milestones in images.”
Okerblom trained with a neonatal intensive care unit nurse to safely handle babies as young as 5 days old. That’s one example of how the D Magazine “Best Family Photographer in Dallas” nominee has sought to perfect her focus on mothers and babies during 20-plus years in business.
With moms, she references her journey of motherhood. Okerblom has a 17-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter.
“To be pregnant is to be extremely vulnerable and also, specifically feminine and powerful,” she said.
With children, she references her childlike spirit.
“I’m so good at relating to kids because I am playful and fun, and I can still act like a kid with them just as I do with my own children,” she said.
The self-dubbed “artsy kid,” seldom without a paintbrush or pencil in hand, relished an art class in second grade. Every school art contest thereafter featured her work.
To be pregnant is to be extremely vulnerable and also, specifically feminine and powerful.Jayme Okerblom
“From that point on, I just viewed myself as an artist,” Okerblom said.
In college, she picked up a camera and began collecting memories as she traveled far and frequently in her 20s.
She approaches photography with a painter’s eye, drawing inspiration from modern art books, galleries, and the Dallas Museum of Art. Depicting faces rather than landscapes has always been her niche.
“I would rather take a picture of somebody working in a beautiful rice paddy than just the beautiful rice paddy,” she said. “It’s the people who are interesting to me.”
Okerblom launched her career as a web designer. Photography was a side hustle, but friends and friends of friends would ask her to photograph their children, and when she left her dot-com job, those newborn shoots paid the bills.
Her business, birthed in the tiny living room of her 700-square-foot first apartment, now serves more than 24 North Texas communities from her luxury boutique portrait studio at 3439 Northaven Road.
“I thought, I’ll do this while I’m still looking for my real job, you know?” she said. “I just never went back to work.”