By James Peacemaker Jr., The Hopewell News
HOPEWELL — A local photographer has taken a leap and moved his business to a vacant storefront in downtown Hopewell.
It is one of many leaps that Joseph L. Jones Jr. has made as the owner of Captured By One Images. Jones moved to this area in 2010. He was a motor transport operator in the Army, where he did three tours in Iraq.
After eight years, “it just didn’t speak to me anymore,” he said.
He said he wanted to try something else, and having a young son at the time also was a factor.
“I wanted to be there for him. I got tired of going overseas and missing out on those little intimate moments with him,” Jones said.
Jones said he started shooting photos with his phone, but after some encouragement from friends about being a photographer, he decided to buy some more professional equipment. Jones had been working at Fort Lee and doing photography on the side. In January 2015, he decided to do photography full time.
“I didn’t have a lot of business rolling, but I just took a gamble,” he said.
He said his first studio in an office building was about as small as a closet, around 125 square feet. He stayed here for about two years before upgrading to a 500-square-foot space where he stayed for a year and a half. Now he is ready to jump to an even larger space, this 2,000-square-foot storefront at 216 E. Broadway that was previously occupied by FDM Tactical.
“This is the first one that is going to give me the visibility that I’ve been trying to get,” Jones said.
Jones said he was drawn to Hopewell because it reminded him of a small town where he is from in South Carolina.
“It’s hope here. It’s a lot of potential here. Me bringing my studio here, I wanted to be part of that growth,” he said.
Jones said he does a wide array of photography styles, from portraits to event photography and even video. Jones said the subject he is most interested in shooting on a particular day varies widely depending on his mood.
“Sometimes I just want to get close to nature, so I’ll go to shoot animals.… Some people crave soda. I crave portraits,” he said.
Jones said he loves the “ability to capture a single moment.… Somebody could do something so simple in a photograph and if you time it and catch it right, it’s like the perfect photo forever.… That moment in that photo lives forever.”
But he said running a photography business is more than just photos. Jones said learning to connect with people was difficult at first. He said sometimes people think he can work miracles as a professional photographer. He said getting a connection with someone, getting them to feel comfortable with him taking pictures can take some effort.
“I’ve got to have that connection with you to get that portrait you are looking for,” he said.
Jones said it can also be difficult being the artist and the businessman.
“When your creativity kicks in, it has an appetite where you want creativity. The businessman in you kind of goes on the backburner,” he said.
Jones is currently working on renovating the inside of the studio space and a grand opening is planned for April. He also plans on selling camera equipment and a line of jewelry.
For more information, visit www.capturedbyone.com or call (804) 571-2261.