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Jim Jordan is an American director, fashion and commercial photographer, entrepreneur, talent scout and manager, and producer.
Initially working as a hair and makeup artist and modeling talent scout, Jordan’s self-taught style of photography gained the attention of the owner of fashion retailer J.Crew, which led to him becoming a world-renowned fashion and commercial photographer/director. Jordan’s photography has been featured on the covers of magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, Elle, and Marie Claire, and other. Jordan has photographed and worked with celebrities such as Leonardo Di Caprio, Charlize Theron, Mila Kunis, Drew Barrymore, Jessica Alba, and Kris Jenner to name a few.
Jordan’s photography style is energetic, bright, warm and light. It is marked by clean lighting and timeless energy, as well as an intimacy in his models’ demeanor that derives from Jordan’s practice of building trust and rapport with his subjects before photographing them on set.
As an entrepreneur, Jordan is the proprietor of three businesses: Jim Jordan Photography, which handles Jordan’s fashion and commercial photography; White Cross Productions, a production group that directs films, and produces ad campaigns and commercials for clients such as Mercedes-Benz, American Express, Warner Bros. to name a few; and White Cross Management, a talent management agency that has represented numerous celebrities and models, most notably Jeremy Meeks, Taylor Hill, and Gigi Hadid, as well as actors, musicians, and creatives in other branches of entertainment.
Jim Jordan Partners
SUCCESS STORY PODCAST
Stories worth telling.
On the Success Story podcast, Scott has candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.
He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.
Machine Generated Transcript
work, people, pictures, life, makeup, models, photographer, hair, called, agent, shoot, hired, book, started, run, magazine, day, big, j crew, business
Jim Jordan, Scott, Scott D Clary
Scott D Clary 00:06
Welcome to the success story podcast. I’m your host, Scott Clary. On this podcast I have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, politicians and other notable figures, all who have achieved success through both wins and losses. To learn more about their life, their ideas and their insights, I sit down with leaders and mentors and unpack their story to help pass those lessons on to others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between, without further ado, another episode of the success story podcast. Before we start today’s episode, a quick note from our sponsor, and throughout a fully comprehensive equity management platform. This is what they do business owners, are you looking to raise capital and unlock shareholder liquidity? Before hiring expensive consultants or brokers? You need to know about enthroned private businesses use enthroned to unlock liquidity without bloating costs. With enthroned equity Management Suite you’ll be able to create liquidity, engage with shareholders and control your company’s Destiny all in one secure platform. Get your free guide to liquidity go to enthrone.com/liquidity That’s enthrone.com/liquidity
Scott D Clary 01:17
Thanks again for joining me, I’m sitting down with Jim Jordan who is an American director, fashion and commercial photographer, entrepreneur, talent scout and manager as well as producer initially working as a hair and makeup artist and modeling talent scout Jordan self taught style of photography gaining attention of the owner of fashion retailer J Crew, which led him to becoming the world renowned fashion and commercial photographer and director Jordan photography has been featured on the covers of magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, owl and Mary Claire as well as many others. Jordan has photographed and worked with celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Mila Kunis, Drew Barrymore, Jessica Alba and Kris Jenner to name a few. As an entrepreneur, Jordan is the owner of three businesses Jim Jordan photography, which handles Jordans fashion and commercial photography Whitecross productions, a production group that directs films produced ad campaigns and commercials for clients such as Mercedes Benz, American Express, and Warner Brothers to name a few. And Whitecross management, a talent management agency that has represented numerous celebrities and models, most notably Jeremy Meeks, Taylor Hill, and Gigi Hadid, as well as actors, musicians and creatives and other branches of entertainment. Thank you so much for sitting down. Very, very excited to be sitting down with somebody who has worked with some of the who’s who of Hollywood of entertainment. I want to understand a little bit more about your story, how you became to the person you are today, how you built your businesses, how you built up your career, but just thank you very much for sitting down
Jim Jordan 02:44
to share with you my journey, how I started, what inspired me what inspires me today, and where I’m going where I’ve been and where I’m still gonna go. So I’m here.
Scott D Clary 02:58
Yeah, thank you. I appreciate and I really am curious. How did you get started in, let’s say, get started in photography to put it as simple as possible? What was your career path, your ambition to get you started on this path?
Jim Jordan 03:13
When I was a kid, I was in school in the eighth grade, I had a friend beautiful friend, this girl. And she went to Beverly Hills shopping with her mom one day and she came back to school on Monday and said, This man scattered me out. And John Casa Blanca is the owner of and biggest modeling agency in the world. And he thinks I’m going to be a mom, big supermodel and he wants to fly me to Paris and I’m leaving school. My mom’s taking me out and moving to Paris. And I was like, she left school week later, I was devastated. Like, she was one of my homies best friends. And I was like, Whoa, some man came up to you change your life took you out of school, flew you to Paris and make you and I was thinking to myself, I’d never met even a model. I never knew there was a man that even existed that did that stuff. So I was like, I want to get to Europe and get to Paris. That sounds so cool. So I ran out, bought a little business card with my name on it, my mom’s phone number on the back. And that year, I started hitchhiking. And skateboarding all the schools where I was from I grew up in the west valley of Calabasas. And I would go to like six, seven high schools a week. And I go in there their nutrition or lunch break. And I find girls and guys that I thought could be models and take a little card. And I give them the card and say how could you have your mom and dad call me? I think you can be a model maybe like who are you? Only tail at a skateboard. I was just sort of grandkid. And a lot of the girls would have their moms call me. So I would say I would like you to come to my house and my next door neighbor, a guy and his name is Greg Glassman. He’s a creator of CrossFit live next door to me and he was the only person I knew at that time that had a camera. And so I begged him to take pictures of these kids I was finding in the schools and he was like here find a model thinking, this is going to be good for him. So he would these girls would come with their mothers to his house and stand over me and him and I would do the girls makeup and hair. And I tell him how to take the pictures and turn them like this, like this. And I would direct the girls and I’d be like, Great, take the picture cropping like this. And after like the fourth and fifth model I brought to him, he was so sick of doing it. He’s like, dude, I’m done doing this, I can’t do this for you anymore. And so I get it. One I chew he chew one roll of film, a black and white contact sheet. And I break it the mom to take me down to Hollywood to the modeling agencies, and I was working with Ford models, and elite and I blocked these girls in. And every girl I brought in, they were assigned to contract to. And they were like, how are you finding these girls? like who are you? You’re so young, like, why are you doing this? And I’d be like, I like like, doing a girl’s makeup and hair and taking a picture of her and her letting her see how I see her. And a lot of the girls are like they were always like 510 No makeup they were picked on and they were bullied. They thought they were like, the ugliest people in the world. And what I saw how I saw my gift was to see how someone looks how a camera will see them. And it’s a long process. But I started finding these amazing girls and every girl I’d bring in, they started getting signs. So my friend Greg was like, I’m not doing this anymore for you. You’re on your own. I’m giving you the camera. You’re taking it I’m done. I’m like bro, I don’t even know how to hold this thing. I don’t know how to use it. And I was like, begging him not to leave me i was like crying like bro, you’re my best friend. He’s like Jay, I’m sick of it. Like done, you need to learn how to do this coming and he grabbed me around the neck. He’s like, this is how you open it, you put the film in, you drag it over here, you click it winded engaging, and put it on P you don’t have to do shit. I’m like, I don’t want to hold like I’m scared, I’m gonna drop it. He’s like, curate it. Here’s my tripod, put it on the tripod. And he handed me the tripod with the camera. Because you don’t even know the hook. You don’t even need to hold the app. Just keep it on the tripod on demand on program. And so I left and I knew he was serious. He’s walking out of my life and helping me out. And so I was like kind of thinking, I don’t need to wait for him. So I went crazy finding all these models and brought them to my house and I was shooting him now. And I was doing the backup parent making mistakes and my learning from mistakes. And I wasn’t technical at all. But I was taking really cool pictures because the way I would style these girls or make them feel company, it was a really communicate to people. And so that’s kind of how my journey started was photographing people. So I went to the model agencies with like the fifth girl that I had signed with the elite. And they’re like, you’re really good, who’s doing the makeup of parents taking these picture. And I’m like, I’m doing everything. They’re like, you should get an agent to represent you doing hair and makeup. For the magazines and celebrities. I’m like, I don’t even that’s the last thing I’d ever thought it would ever be. There like like, I don’t know, hairdressers, I’ve never even been in hair salon. And that’s the last thing I would ever really want to do your hair makeup guy. Like I’d be laughed that like my friends would kit like, I’d be a joke. My parents would kill me. And so I thought of this I shoot. They’re like their agencies are not salons they represent the biggest hair and makeup people in the world. Like when Madonna or a movies rock star movie star wants her makeup and Hanford talk show or magazine. They call these special agencies. And they’re like, You should go in there and show them these pictures you’re taking. And maybe you should go to Milan and Paris and go try to work over there and build your portfolio with magazine to work on arguers and learn photography. So I always had that in the back of my mind like whoa, so a whole nother life story. A lot of tragic stuff happened to me when I was a kid. And when I was 15 and I was two weeks before I was 16 I ran away from home and I moved to Italy and I lived in the park and I ran away basically to save my money.
Scott D Clary 09:17
That’s not a that’s
Jim Jordan 09:19
a and I ran away and I lived in the park in Italy and I always thought like all these models I was finding were being sent over to Milan and Paris. So I thought I was gonna run away and go to the fashion capital of the world and work for magazines and photographers doing makeup and hair and learn techniques of photography by working from photographers. So I found my way around in Italy and I went into the modeling agencies and I met one of the owners of the agency named Luigi of fashion agency there and he says what do you hear? It says I am from California and scouting models and here are some pictures I’ve been taking. I really do like I’m doing the hair and makeup and an agency and elite in LA told me I should come to Milan and try to work with photographers and magazines and put a portfolio together. So I’m coming in here like just taking the chance to meet you. I had my skateboard with me and it was like, you’re like so young, and like, This is amazing. And he says, You come in at 10 o’clock in the morning, so I’ll make meetings for you to go meet photographers, so and magazines. So I would go there at 10 o’clock. And there were no cell phones back then taxing. I go into the meeting 10 In the morning, and I’d say hi, how are you? And you’d be like, Come here, come here. And you get on the phone and start calling magazines. And I long story short, went to this magazine called ROTC in Milan, and the hair makeup person didn’t show up that morning in the studio that was upstairs. I was interviewing showing him my picture. He goes, Hey, can you work right now because we have a hair makeup guy that didn’t show up. And they’re running late and the whole team is upstairs bleeding. And I’m like, I don’t have anything with me because we have everything here. So that day, I ended up doing a cover of Graziella magazine and a 10 page fashion story inside. And that’s kind of the day my career started working photographers and magazine. And I lived in Milan for three years in Paris. And I started working for Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue and kind of like, this whole door opened in my life and the magazines that were all in a building called monta Dory. That was Vogue in the building Harper’s Bazaar. Graziosi, like the Conde Nast, where all the magazines are in one building. And I started being there working in the studios and all the editors from all the magazines would be blocked by our studio. And they come up and be like, Hey, we’ve never seen you, where are you from? And I was like, I’m from California, and I was really young 16 And they’re like, oh my god, you do makeup and hair, like, everybody started talking. And it was a really small world there and Montessori and the other magazine started cooking me I started putting the book together portfolio, and all my covers were coming out. And I was learning photography and watching and afraid to ask questions. When I was 19. I came back to America. And I went back to that hair and makeup agency in Hollywood. And they were like, I showed him my portfolio and they were like, we can’t believe you’ve done this. And they’re like, we want to represent you. A week later, I was working with Elizabeth Taylor. And each day, I was working with Bert stern and Helmut Newton and I ended up back in LA going back in LA in New York. And I started working with Elizabeth Taylor for everything and Whitney Houston and Farrah Fawcett. And wouldn’t mind just Jeff Bridges and Kurt Russell and I started working with her Brett’s and like being on set with these legends. And I was never like trying to steal that how they lit, I was just so into how they communicated softens. And I started just being a sponge on the walls, standing in the background, hanging out with the talent doing the makeup inherent just kind of watching and observing everything. And years of doing that I did hair makeup for 15 years and I worked for the biggest photographers and so many supermodels and legends. And I’d be working for like Bloomingdale’s doing hair and makeup on the beach with Cindy Crawford, like when she was starting. And we get a lunch break. And I’d say Cindy let’s run down the beach and go swimming and I have my bat my little camera in my backpack. And I would never tell the photographer’s I brought my camera on set because they freak out because back then it was very competitive. I could never mention I took pictures. And so I ran down the beach with Cindy with our box lunches. And we went just far enough so this the team or photo team couldn’t see us and we go swimming in the ocean, bring our towels, and then she’d be coming out of the water. I’m like, can I take some pictures of you? She’s like, you have a camera. And I get my camera out of my backpack, flip her head upside down about like, like, go off. Like give me like, give me shit you don’t give anybody? And should we just play on the beach run and run her down the beach chasing or taking pictures run back running, but like just capturing images and having fun at work. And like those were the kind of jobs where I felt like, wow, like I’m not just doing the makeup I happen capturing these moments that I never forget. And I took those pictures I did mostly shot black and white. And they were like 36 frames on one roll of film. And I would get like an 11 by 14 Two or three from that roll of film, and I’d stick them in this black box. And for years and years I’d be on shoots and I would take pictures and snake and I work with like Farrah Fawcett and walk her out to her car at the end of the day. I did it for the cover of Life magazine, and I did her makeup and we bonded that day. While helped her carry around. adds to the car. And I would be like, so nervous to ask her she’s getting in the car and saying I was like, um, do you mind if I take a couple pictures of you? And she’d be again, like, What do you mean like, but you have a camera, I’d be like, hold on and get my backpack, get the camera, put her up against the parking lot wall. To wear a hair stand like this be like this, my Ba ba ba ba ba shooting with facets, I can look over my shoulder to see if anybody’s watching. And I would get a print, put them in the black box. And so for years, I started putting all these 11 by 14 in this black box. And it wasn’t like I was taking pictures because I really thought I could ever be. I first of all always had these voices in my head saying, You’re not technical enough, you don’t really even know how to work a camera, you don’t know how to use a light meter, you don’t know how to plug in a power pack. But what I did know is I knew how to talk to people get people to do anything I would ask them to do. And it was a way that I communicated to people to really get them to trust me. And that they would do anything for me because I would do anything for them. And what I kind of would model to them about my vulnerability and who I was and what I wanted to share and give them it was like a mirror like they were giving that back. And I would capture those moments in the looks in their eyes. And I had this box for years and years. And I was always like, after years of doing I was so frustrated at on my shoots for doing hair and makeup for so many photographers I’ve worked with I’m like, how did they get these jobs, they don’t know how to communicate like it’s horrible working for them. And that talents miserable. This is like it feels like work. It shouldn’t feel like and so I was just so frustrated for years. And I you know, I house and cars and I had a great living and amazing clients loved me. And I never thought that could I ever leave my career and say goodbye to all these celebrities and great people that love me and work with me hired me all the time. And all that loving, amazing photographers that I was think the voice in my head was like you can never try to jump in their life, who you think you are that you could go and let the world find out, you’re quitting doing makeup and hair and become a part of her. Your parents don’t have money, you don’t check the goal. And it was all these thoughts and voices in my head that kept me for years, afraid to show anyone my page. And so I used to work with J Crew all the time, and the owner is to take me on these trips, and my ranting too much.
Scott D Clary 17:35
No, this is great, because everything that I was going to ask is stuff that you’re already bringing out. So keep, you know, keep going this this is the story that I wanted to understand. Like there’s so many points like the persevere, like first of all, the risk. And just like the I don’t know, the ability to go overseas when you were like 1516 Who does that? Nobody can do that everyone. I don’t think a single person I know that would have the courage like you know just like the the balls to go do that. That’s very impressive. So I guess I
Jim Jordan 18:05
a lot of stuff happened to me when I was a kid in those times that really challenging time of what made me run away. And I was on the streets and I was very street smart. And I want I’ll tell you my story later that’s a whole nother chapter the book coming out about the story and this tragic thing that happened to me but I was forced to kind of live on the streets here in America and do crazy things so I was fearless. So me getting on a planet 15 Five one changing my identity ID and stealing my brother’s identity getting a passport and a different name and getting a one way ticket living in a park and finding my way there was very familiar to me on how I was living my life. Like because I have horrible home a childhood home life and nothing was worse it was better being on the street with strangers that was the land where I was so close to feel safe. And so I took this journey so I was you know shooting these pictures that go up going forward which taking all these pictures and challenge miserable at work working with all these people that I did respect and but I was so afraid to even tell anyone I knew how to take pictures. So the owner of J Crew used to book me I’ve worked for them for seven years on all their photoshoots and they take me on all their trips and I do the makeup and hair and all the models I think Barbados harbor Island or Hawaii where we went everywhere. And the the client used always hired these famous photographers from France varying spoken English. She hired this Japanese with our white gloves and had and she was very soft spoken. So on all the shoots the models like this is so boring. So the client will J Crew the owner would always say JJ, get on set and direct these people like we want you to direct so stand next to the photographer do the makeup and hair but directly models and all the models when my friends they were like I worked with them for a year. And we’d skinny death at night I get everyone my piercing and pull the ends and like go off and I would be on set. She was like your energy’s amazing on set, like, just tell the models what to do. So after a few shoots, the models would come up family and go, Emily, why don’t you have him shoot? Why do you have him just direct? He’s an amazing photographer that she’s like, What are you talking about? I’ve been working with Jim for six years, seven years, he cuts my hair. I’ve been at my house. He knows my family. And he’s never mentioned ever once that he takes pictures, what are you talking about? He takes pictures. And this guy, Anthony crane, his famous motto kid was one of my best friends inside. He’s an amazing photographer. And he’s so humble and shy to ever tell anybody that he takes pictures, because he doesn’t want to overstep his boundaries. And he doesn’t take pictures for anybody and for people to know. She’s like, You’re kidding. So she goes, No, talk to him. So Emily Koch calls me we’ll come on, we’re back in New York, she calls me, she’s like, I want to talk to you. And she says, All the models tell me you’ve been taking pictures, and why have you ever told me and I’m like, I just take pictures like to document my life. And I don’t take pictures for other people. And I’m not taking pictures for people to see it’s for my journey, my life and people, I get to spend time with him that I can capture the moments in my life. And she was, well, I want to see your portfolio. And I’m like, I don’t have a portfolio. And I don’t And truthfully, I don’t want to show anybody because I don’t want to be compared to or critiqued or judged. It was like my biggest fear, really, for anyone to look at my images and feel that I wasn’t I didn’t want to show anyone my pictures. And I don’t want to show you my my pictures truthfully, this for me, it’s just my journal. And she was like, God, if you don’t show me your pictures, I’m never going to work with you again. And I’m like, Are you kidding me? She has no, that’s how serious I am. Then I want to see your pictures. And I’m like, I don’t have a portfolio. It’s in California. It’s a black box. And it’s got like pictures in it. And it’s all I have. And it’s not in any kind of way. It’s just pictures that I’ve collected. So she was telling me you’re going to come back to New York in a couple weeks. I want to see that. And so she was serious. Like she wasn’t going to hire me anymore. And that was one of my biggest clients then. So I came back to New York, and we were in touch. And she was I want you to remember to bring your pictures. So I go to New York. And smoke a bunch of smoke, enjoy the morning. I’m so nervous. I get on my skateboard. I got my backpack on skateboard 29th Street to the corporate office on Avenue, the star Americans and I go up there and so and so nervous. And I go in and they escort me into the conference room. And there’s like seven art directors that I had known for years that had been on all our trips. And Emily chose JJ is here to show us his photos. And they’re like what Jay did.
Scott D Clary 23:24
It’s so stressful.
Jim Jordan 23:27
And I was like, Ah, I was cringing. So they, I slammed my book down on the table. And Emily come stands up and I’m back up and I’m standing there, and I back up from the table and I turned my back. And she opens my book and I can’t look at any of them. And they’re all getting out of the chairs to come around look. So I walked away like 10 feet and I turned my back. Because it was I just didn’t want to see I didn’t want to I just the voices in my head were like you’re not good. You’re not talented enough. The technical, I was just like, I don’t want to see their faces. So I walked away. And she was flipping through these pictures and she was like, oh my god, I could hear and I had these pictures and the first like 10 pictures in the book was like when I lived in Italy in the park. I could make friends with all the rugby players. And I was in the park every day and all the guy the Italian guys that played rugby in the rain. And they were never speak any English. And I was always there and they were like, hey, like really nice to me. So I would like get them together and take portraits of them and it was like I had all these pictures of pouring rain and they were on money. Their shirts were off and have all their ballots and all these Italian bedspread hugging each other and like that I had all these pictures of his rugby team guys Italian guys in the rain. And she was like, and they were black and white. She’s like Che These are and then she would turn to pictures of Cindy Crawford, Whitney Houston and Jeff Bridges and Kurt. And they were like, how do you know these people? This is insane. And I never told my clients who might clients. So I got to work and it was all about J Crew. I never was like, Oh, I just got off the plane with Nick Cage doing him or working with Jeff Bridges, or whoever I was with. I never told people what my life was because my life, I wanted it to be all about them. And that’s one of my gifts as a photographer is to really talk about people and let them feel that fit the most important thing in the world. When people start asking questions about me, I’m like, it might not seem that way right now, because, but that’s really how I live my life. I’ve always wanted to throw back on them. And so she liked, they couldn’t believe my picture. And she looked at me, she says, We cannot believe you’ve been hiding. This is crazy, amazing. And she flipped back to the rugby pictures. And she goes, we want you to do this for us. And I’m like what she was I want you to hire any male models you want and get a group of rugby models from New York. And I want to take you out to a cricket field in Connecticut. And I’m going to turn you loose and let you pick whatever clothes you want to pay, or whatever models you want to shoot. And I want to turn you loose on that cricket field and reenact this shoe. And I’m like, Emily like that. I don’t I don’t that’s a lot of pressure like I don’t. So I was like, Okay, well, I can show you those. And we’ll pay for it. Like we really want to see what you can do. Sorry, go to Connecticut. They picked me up on cast, like six guys, I go out there and I shoot in Connecticut. And they get the film back. And a week later, they call me up and they’re like, we’re going to Hawaii for 14 days. And we want you to come and do hair and makeup. But we’re going to hire you as a second unit photographer, meaning meaning we’re hiring a photographer and Victoria Sims. And she’s from here in New York, I work with her for many years. And we’re going to have you do the hair makeup will be second unit photography, meaning you could do whatever you want. She’s going to get all the important shots and all the clothes that we have to shoot. But you can be free and do anything. Put guys in bikinis, like do anything, just be creative however you want. So we got to Hawaii, and I’m like, This is it. And they brought all of them that was just my little camera. It didn’t even have a motor drive my camera, I just click by click on and click wine. And all the bottles that were there were my friends that I knew forever. And they were over there on the set with boring Veronica and I be on the beach like get naked I get on the ground, my kisser lay on your back and run down the beach. And I was like, This is my moment. And everyone on the other side was like we want to be over there. Like this sucks. So I was like wrangling all these models getting into all this shit. And when Emily hired me for Hawaii, she says we want you to be the second unit photographer. And we’re gonna pay you $250 For every picture we ended up using if we use any. So I so I’m like, no way she goes, I will pay your hair and makeup rain. So I go there and I every day I was shooting like 300 rolls of film. And at the end of the day, the producer would come over with a baggie and all my film would be in the baggie, and she would just take it from me. And they FedEx it to New York that night from Hawaii. And every day I would shoot like 300 rolls of film 250 rolls of film each day every shooting should come at the end of the day. They put it in FedEx and FedEx to the lab in New York. So I come back 10 days 1514 days later back to New York I don’t know what happened to the film I’m uneasy that they get to see it cuz their shit in that film that I was doing what I wasn’t thinking they’re gonna see it said like naked people running around. Like, all they’re doing all this crazy stuff. So too, a few weeks later, they call me from corporate. And I used to get in a lot of trouble on shields because I was like a Hellraiser and I was always you know, the security hotel would come on and like you all are naked in the pool. You’re gonna be arrested, like get get out of here. So I was doing all this crazy shit being a kid. And I get a call from corporate J Crew and they’re like, hey, we need to see you in the corporate office. And I was like, I can’t do it. Like I did shit. And so I get on my skate. I go up to the corporate office and I they’re like they escort me into the into the room into the big conference room. And I lock in and all the editors are in only seven. Our directors are in there and Emily and as I wrote In the room, all the pictures from Veronica Sims were on the wall. Well, there was like 500 pictures on the wall. And I walk up and I’m like, and they were all the models. I didn’t take any of them. I’m looking for my pictures. I don’t see one. And I’m like, Oh my God, that pictures amazing look. And I’m like, shocked. Awesome. Look how beautiful and I’m looking for my pictures. There’s no pictures. And I’m kinda like, and I’m trying to compliment all the photos. And I’m living my heart’s like sinking. Like, I don’t see any not wanting my pictures. And I’m being so nice. Like, this is so beautiful. I look at them. And Emily’s like, Yeah, but you haven’t seen yours yet? And I’m like, What do you mean, there’s none of my pictures are here. And she goes turn around. And when I walked in the door, all my pictures were on the wall behind me. And I turned around, and the whole wall is covered up on my picture. And I was trying to count them cuz she told me at that 250 An image. And the whole corporate wall was full of my images and layout. And I was trying to count and like in my head, I like lost count on my. And I stood there, like, started bawling. And I stood there and tears pouring out my face. And she came over to me and she’s like, gives me the biggest hug. And she’s like, it’s time and I’m like, What do you mean? And she’s hiding. She’s like, it’s time that you lay on your hair and makeup brushes. And I’m like, What do you mean? And she says, It’s time that you get an agent in New York years, you are so talented. And we will love love, love your energy and your pictures. And I was like, I could never do that. And she’s like, Jay, look at your pictures look beautiful. Look at what we’re using, like 700 of your images. And you didn’t have an assistant, you didn’t have any. This was all you. And I was like she goes attack, you get an agent here in New York, lay down your brushes. And I was like I can I can like and so I was trying to talk myself out of it. Like, I’ll lose all my clients, I’ll go broke, I’ll lose my house, I’ll lose my cars, I’ll lose all my friends. And almost all the time was I lose all of them. And so she’s like, You need to get an agent. We’re going to make meeting for you and agents in New York. You needed all my J Crew stuff from the rugby stuff started coming out. And so after the Hawaii stuff, I got billboards and all this stuff. And I started putting in the black box. And she says there’s like five agents, you should go meet in New York. So I gradually just did it to appease her. And I went to an agency called art and commerce in New York, and they represents the the mindset Oh, and all these new photographers. And I was questioning myself like I do not video. They’re gonna laugh at me. These guys, I have heard legends. So I went there. And they’re like, Well, you really, you know, we have some really beautiful pictures. But we have a similar photographer with a similar style and but we’d like to keep an eye on you. And see where you end up in six months that you like to stay in touch with us. Good luck to you. But it’s a packed things. So I leave and I go to my next meeting. And I skateboard up and I go up five stairs, floors. And this is blonde woman sitting there. And I go hi, how are you? I have a meeting. She’s like, what’s your name? I’m like Jim Jordan. I have a three o’clock meeting with Bonnie Winston. Just I’m Bonnie. She was are you a photographer? And I’m like, No, I’m a hair. She was well why are you here? I represent photographers. And I go well. I’ve been taking pictures and I work with this lady named Emily, the owner of J Crew who asked me to come in and see you and show you my photos. And so she goes Do you have a portfolio and I go no, but I have a black. I have this black box that has printing. So she opens the box and it’s like literally handheld 11 point 11 by 14 prints not in plastic just like really fragile prints. And she starts looking through that she’s like, oh my god you you took this is insane. How old are you? Like where did you meet these people? And I’m like I do hair makeup and I met all these celebrities and supermodels at work. I worked for Helmut Newton and all these great photographers and had the opportunity to work be with these people and I pictures on this side. She said hold on a minute. She goes Can I keep this gear? And I’m like, No, that’s all right. I can’t leave it. She was Hold on. To get on the phone. She goes dial. She’s like, hey Renee, this is Bonnie Winston in New York and I’m about to have to sign a photographer. She goes that I’m so sure you’re gonna love. I will never ever call you to see a photographer. As long as I live. That’s how Sure I am. You’re gonna love this guy. And she hangs up the phone. And she goes, I’ll have his book that FedEx tomorrow morning at 10am. She hangs up she goes, Did you hear me? And I’m like, You can’t keep this and I go what’s FedEx? And because FedEx is a courier service because it’s right when FedEx was coming out years ago. And I got she does FedEx as a courier service takes his house insurance, and it’ll be in Chicago to leave New York tonight at 10 and be in Chicago at 10 Tomorrow morning, and I go on leave in California tomorrow. Choose what we’ll have at FedEx back to you in California. I’m like, I can’t leave this. I go. This is 20 years, my life, my journey, my roadmap to everything I experienced in my life. I can’t give it to you. Chose J will you trust me? I put everything on her. Back to you. Jay, this is a biggest advertising agency, Leo Burnett. That’s the biggest and I trust me, you just heard me stick my neck out for you. So I’m like, Oh, my girl. I’m like, okay, but please, I can Can I fly back to LA two days later, my FedEx book comes back to LA. And she called me was Jerry’s sitting down. And I’m like, Yeah. And she goes, I just put you on a 14 day job for Bloomingdale’s, and they’re gonna pay you $7,500 a day. And I was like, No way. I got no way body. I can’t do it. And she’s like, What the fuck are you? What are you talking about? And I’m like, I can’t do it. I got bony. I’m scared to death. I can’t do it. I’m not a photographer. I’m just good. I’m just like, guessing what I’m doing. I’m just like, winging shit. I don’t know how to use a power pack or a light meter or color meter. I don’t know how to apply. I don’t know how to do a push or pull film. I’m so untechnical she was J. You get your ass back to New York with your skateboard. I will have the best photo assistants on your team doing everything for you. But the owner of the lab standing next to you every single day. I’m going to book your motorhomes your caterers, your locations, your hair, your makeup, your styling, all you got to do is hold the effing camera up to your face, look through that little hole and whatever you see, that’s pretty puts your finger that’s all you do. Shows you are not saying no to this, and I’m like I’m scared. And the voices in my head were like, Who do you think you are, and everyone’s gonna find out, you’re shooting and you’re gonna lose all your celebrity clients, all your makeup clients, and all your livelihood and your bank account everything. And I’m like, I can’t do it. So I’ve smoked a lot of weed. I can’t do it. Being a kid like trying to bury my fear and like, fill my confidence. So 10 Eight days later, nine years, nine days later and get on a plane in New York. And I sleep there and the next morning I was go at the post office was my first location on Fifth Avenue. And I go skateboarding up, smoke out the morning, skateboard up. And there were like three motorhomes and a team like 50 people in the crew all meandering around and around the motorhomes and stuff. And I stopped like a block away. And I’m like, wait, like, this is real. This is such a big production. I’m tripping. So I skateboard up and I get off my escape. I’m walking up and there’s this beautiful blonde lady sitting on the curb smoking cigarette. And she’s like this hippie, Moroccan blonde chick. And I come walking up to her. And she says Hi, I’m like, Hey, she was uh, you with the production. And I’m like, what job what kindnesses? And she’s like for blooming day. And she goes, What are you on the team? Are you here for this? Shoot? I’m like, Yeah, I think so. She’s a What’s your name? And I’m like, JoJo, and she’s like, Oh, my God, you’re JJ. And she gets up. She was I’m Brene. I’m the one that hired you. And she gets Give me a hug and I work day off. And she was Do you want a cigarette? Sit with me? Sit on the curb. And I’m like, No, it’s okay. I don’t smoke. So she was sick with me. Talk to me. Where are you from? And I want to get to know you. And she starts talking to me. She was what do you went to like, what do you do and what do you do for fun? And I’m like, I skate and I serve and I’m from California. And I do hair makeup. And that’s what I’ve been doing for many years. I just take pictures and this is like really much I know this is like the first big job. You’ve been doing J Crew. And I’ve seen those pictures of beautiful chairs. What can I tell you when I hired you? And I’m like, Yeah, she does. First of all, I worked with the congressman, an art director for like, 12 years. And I worked with different photographers every week. And I see everybody’s broke. I probably get 10 portfolios a day on my desk. She does, but when I got your pictures, it came in this black box and I started walk opening these prints. And she doesn’t there’s something so unique, not just the way you presented your pictures, but the look in these people’s eyes. Like what do you mean? And she says it was the look in these people’s eyes that I wanted to hire the guy that they were looking at by just because I never seen in a lot of people’s retirees it was like the look was the one I saw the people you photograph. It was like, they weren’t like looking at somebody and I wanted to know who that person they were looking at that made their eyes look, fit. And she goes in. That’s why I hired and I was like calm what to say like thank you for taking chances. And so that kind of was the icebreaker with this woman, Renee and she kind of held my hand through this whole journey on that job. And I got an agent in New York and I did that job. 14 days later, I was on a roll and my agent was love me. And at night she was taking me to dinner with all these editors all these magazines in New York and the first seven days I was there, she took me to dinner with the editor of American Vogue named Ivan Shaw. We had a dinner one night after one of my shoots and five and and we had a super amazing connection with Bonnie. And he was like I like you JJ. I’m going to give you start giving you chops. So I started working for American Vogue right away. And then Bonnie just started booking me on Eddie Bauer and Land’s End and LLP, Claire, and she would say she represented Francesco scull, Lulu really picked photographers. And she’d always say, to do the keys he has photographer ever represent. And I’m like, like, why I’m not that good. I’m not that technical. Because it’s not about being technical Jay. It’s about connecting with people and communicating. Being so available to people, it’s not just how good or technical you are, it’s how people want to be with you. It’s about the experience of enjoying life and doing life together. And you’re so good at that. Because I could get people to see your pictures and then send you into go, I could go see an eating with them, and you put the job every time. They might be better photographers that have more work, or more prestegious work, and you’re kind of getting into it. But you’re, you’re just really a good communicator, and you’d like to seal the deal all the time. And so that was it, I was on this train. And I was always trying to get off the train, because I always had the voices in my head, like, they’re gonna find out you don’t know shit about technical or being a photographer. And then I just started getting these jobs and every job is so frayed, and when it will end over be like, Oh my god, I got to the fire by how did I make it through that. And every job I started to do, I was super nervous. But I would come out through the other end. And I started realizing as I look back at my life now is like, like my motto is are the things that I share most with things I need to run to. So I started making a mission of my life that things that scared me with the thing that I needed to run for. Because on the other side of that fear was the miracle and blessings from God or whoever you believe. But I believe my miracles are from God, and that there were other things that were getting in the way of my miracle trying to keep me afraid and keep me back. And I think that my photography career after 15 years of doing hair makeup, I was ready to run toward what my I could ever dream after five years but I was in fear for 10 being held back never thinking I deserved it or could be it or I was reaching up cool enough. I haven’t supported enough. And I just got on this journey and on that train ride. And I just started sliding stuff. And I started learning more and becoming more confident. Even though still today. I don’t even consider myself a photographer. I never considered myself really a hair and makeup gone are no more a bad hair dress. I just wanted to be with people and make them show them how I saw them. And I took a camera to be able to document how I saw somebody that I could show them. Like I do a girl’s makeup and hair that was like 15 and bullied in school and I thought she was the only person in the world that I thought she was beautiful. I do her makeup inherit chopper hair and turn around look in the mirror and she started bawling. crying that she couldn’t believe that was her. And that feeling alone was what drove me to keep going. And then I would take pictures of people, and then show them, however, to show him and watch him like cry. And I’d be like, God, this is amazing. This is worth more than any money, anything I could do. And I never did it for money. I never got into this to make money. I didn’t want to become a photographer, because I could shoot Hot Girls movie stars or be in the end of my fashion business. I did it because I wanted to connect with people and show people how I saw them. And I use that little black box to pull the trigger to capture that moment, to show them how I saw them. And know, trust me enough.
Scott D Clary 45:51
I loved it. I love the story. Thank you very much for giving that over. You know, a lot of people gloss over a lot of the details of their life. But I appreciate that, even though you had several points that you mentioned, like you were really, there’s a lot of self doubt that you sort of pushed through. And that’s not easy. And I think that that’s something that a lot of people have problems with. And I guess, you know, how do you my question to you, because I have other questions at that. Sorry, for sure. But how do you deal with that self doubt? Like how do you push yourself to make the decision? Is it is it because you had the right people in your life? The right mentors? Or was it intrinsically like, you know, coming from inside internal that even though you could use even though you were saying you couldn’t do it, you still took that step forward? But how did you sort of keep going?
Jim Jordan 46:43
While like, being in fear that kept me in fear for so many years, because can’t being something that I really wasn’t happy doing. When I had a dream, like I knew there was way more to me. And I feel like it was a lot of things, I feel like a lot of the people that kind of pulled me out of my box, were like angels, like sent from God, you know, way to look back at it now. And I believe I was a lot of work that I do that I did and that I’m constantly doing, to keep myself present. And to be able to recognize those voices that are coming in all the time, to recognize whose voices and to realize and recognize the truth, and the truth of who I am and why I’m here. And that I can do all things that are trying to keep me or make me afraid. I realize those voices are are it’s like an arrow of which way I need to go. So something you can’t ongoing and running toward that. And I journal every day, I started doing a book called The artist when and it’s a 12 week workbook that changed my life back then when I started became a photographer I embarked on this 12 week journey called the artists way. I recommend I recommend it for every creative people that have lost their creative gifts and what they are, or how do we cover them or discover them. I recommend this workbook for everybody I know, it changed my life. And part of doing that work the third week and the first third week I did that work, I became a fashion blog. And part of the exercise you do every day is you journal, three pages, full pages every morning that I started journaling, these things that came out of me on my journal that I didn’t even know when I would reread it. I would say to myself, who is that writing? Like it was such a disconnect the power a thought, but then when I wrote something out of journal like my heart, and I would read this up and bawl my eyes like who is that? And I started to journal every day. And the third week of me journaling I met Emily gave me that job. And the second week I met Renee and got that job, the third week of shooting for vote. And I just kept journaling and journaling journal so people that say they meditate every day, they don’t stop meditate. I believe that my journaling changed my life. And every day I was in fear and write about my write about life. And I keep writing back and every day I’m like I’m sick of writing about how scared I am. Why don’t I just effing do it, and then I won’t have to write about it. So I did a lot of things to kind of push me out. And it kind of and then I was started saying you know what? It’s more more afraid that I won’t do it in my life than doing it. What’s more painful not doing it and watching it pass you by or trying it and see what being afraid there too. And I always realized by me doing it and sick of writing about it and just play by all the excuses I made for myself why? So I’m a big advocate about running towards Fear and running through the fire because your miracle and your miracles are there on the outside, waiting for you. That’s powerful. And that’s how I, I’ve lived my life. And I try to share that with everybody I know.
Scott D Clary 50:16
Now, sorry, go ahead. No, no, but I just,
Jim Jordan 50:19
I feel like I’m still evolving, and I want to help people. And, you know, when I, when I became a photographer, it was kind of all about how much how high to climb this ladder, I started getting these things that were miracles to me in this opportunity, the people that I’ve been able to be around influence I had, that I had a lot of, you know, life changing experience in my life, like really life changing, and I started shooting and I’ve been shooting probably like, for 10 years. And I was getting everything I ever wanted in my life. And I had a ton of access to finances and houses and money and celebrities of whoops, who would being in the in crowd and, and I just started realizing, you know, like, all this stuff is like empty. And everything I desired in my life, I would attain it, like the world would say, Oh, that’s so cool. You have the coolest job. But somehow I always felt like really sad and empty inside no matter how much I thought, how many big jobs or big movie stars I’d get to shoot. It was cool. And I felt great and thankful. But that happiness never last. So I started having like these, you know, questions. And I had like, I don’t know how to say, but I had like a breakthrough like a like, like a breakthrough or breakdown or coming to with the into myself.
Scott D Clary 51:52
Yeah. Pitney Pitt, whatever they funny, Tiffany,
Jim Jordan 51:57
that this was an all about me anymore. And I ended up in the hospital. And I was like, on my deathbed, and they didn’t know what was wrong with me. And they said, your kidneys were failing. And they basically gave me four hours to live. And they called in, you know, the the pastor to give me my last rites, and my whole family was there. And I was laying on my deathbed not even able to move. And I had a I had a supernatural miracle happen in the hospital. And I was Morag sneaky. I sat up with this, like miracle that happened. And it’s a whole long story. And my life changed. And I came out of the hospital, completely healed two days later. And I made a big, I had a big life changing moment of my life. And I said, this isn’t about me. It’s not how rich it’s not how famous it’s not how many celebrities I could shoot, it’s not how many trips and jobs and all these things that are really temporary happiness, like my job now is to help other people. My job now was to, to give the gifts and the talents and the experiences, I’ve had to give it to other people and hold other people’s hands. And in should help them navigate the jungle. And I was like, had this, you know, I started having dreams at night and sounds crazy. I was having dreams at night, like literally, that I was being spoken to. And I was being told to do things. And I wake about these dreams. And I grabbed my journal. And I start writing these things in this journey. And one of the dreams I was having it was at night. It was it was me being shown that I was out on a battlefield. And there were nurses running into the fire to help hurting people that dying soldiers, and then we’re lifting him up carrying him out of harm’s way. And I heard these specific directions that I was gonna have a company and it was going to be called White Crocs and was based on the light helping hurting people. And then I was going to be a production company and I was gonna have a production where I was to help young kids and I was that I was being told that I was perfectly placed exactly where I was meant to be. And that my mission field wasn’t in Haiti or Africa or all these other places that might that the hurting in the sick and the dying. Were right here in the entertainment business, right where I was positioned. And so I started paying attention to it listen, like well, maybe there’s something for you here. So I went out and I went back to my roots on finding models, because a lot of my journey I would find a model along my journey and just say, Hey, let me take some pictures you go meet this agency five good luck, and I turn them loose. I had run into these models like three, four years later. And they were like, I’m not modeling, like who you will get to Paris with in London, do you batch? They’re like, No, we just stayed in LA. And no one ever taught me agents all over. And I’m like, Damn, you should have been a star. And so I went out and I started finding model to get. And I started my company wide cross productions, I got incorporated, I got an LLC got a trademark, the name, and then my class management, talent management company. And I got this company did the logos and open the website, and I went to started had some models that I discovered that I was like, I’m not going to just give them away, I’m going to hold their hands, and I’m going to carry them. And I’m going to not give them to these agents that are going to just do whatever they want. I’m gonna hold them and be a foundation for them. And they’re gonna have to talk to me and get through me because I knew a lot about the business instead of just push these young kids around. So I opened the company, I started filling my roster with talent. I was in Granby, Colorado and a barn shooting a job for Macy’s, and I woke up with this 14 year old girl. And I said, Hi, what’s your name? She’s looking at the right time. Taylor mill. I go, Hey, Taylor, is your mom here? Yeah, she’s out there. So what out I talked to mama who is a your daughter, daughters star. Who are you? I’m like, I’m Jordan, fashion photographer. I have a talent management company. And I managed to have young talent. Long story short, I started finding girls, and discovering and basically hand holding these kids and taking pictures of them and grooming them and placing them with agents all over the world. And this girl, Taylor Hill is now the biggest model in the world. And I started her when she was 14 years old. Her and her mom live with me in my house here. And I started growing, putting agents all around the world. I have this formula where I would do that with every model I found. And that’s how Whitecross came about. And my management company and started finding talent, I discovered Gigi Hadid and I had worked with her mom Yolanda for many years when she was modeling. And I placed Gigi with agents all over the world. I help Yolanda, they call her meetings in New York. And then I found the hot fallin Jeremy Meeks, the prisoner, who his mug shot went viral. And I went and took him out of jail, moved him in my house and rehabilitated them, placed agents all over the world and did kind of those type of things. So my company has a fashion photography, out of management all kind of goes inside of each other. And so I spent my life you know, and everything I’m doing now is to help people and really keep an eye on people. And I’m finding new talent every day, and I’m keeping my photography and I’m learning still and making mistakes, and just trying to keep my mind open and keep opportunities that keep coming, you know, how,
Scott D Clary 58:13
how was? How, what were some of the struggles that you found when you transition to this new stage in your life where you built out a business started really aiding in the careers of all these young individuals that obviously didn’t have the proper representation? Were there any things that you that you had to because you spoke about all the struggles that you had sort of going through your photography evolved from from hair and makeup to photography, and sort of that career path? But what about the more recent things that you’ve that you’ve understood or that you’ve had to learn?
Jim Jordan 58:46
One of the biggest lessons that I had to learn is, you know, becoming a businessman and learning. You know, when I first started, all I was was creative. I didn’t care about the money, and I didn’t care about the database and keep business cards and phone numbers or I didn’t even know what I was getting paid if I was getting paid or not being paid. I was the biggest reckless, I was just out shooting big jobs. I didn’t know that agents. And I found out years later that my agent had been stealing from me, and taking a lot of money from me, just kind of woke up to it. And I realized at that time, when I confronted them, that they were producing all my jobs and I realized my agent makes more on a day than I’m even making as the photographer out there sweating doing it all. And so I started realizing how much money they were really making. They weren’t just my photo where they were producing all my jobs. They were hiring motorhomes and the caterers and the studios and prop stylists and all of the same and they would hire a makeup artist. The budget would be $1,500 for the makeup hair, and she would only give the hair makeup $500 So she’s making $1,000 in their pocket off of my job. And that went down with the motorhome looking for, give the motorhome driver $500. And she’d make 1000 a day on Monday. So she’d make 500. So every day I’d go to work, I started realizing she was making my 20,000 a day and I go to work and be making half of that. And then not to mention, she wasn’t paying me stealing from me. So I had to, like take this big old stance, even though I never was a business guy. And I confronted her and I said, Look, your party’s over. If you want to work with me, I’m going to produce on my own jobs. And I’m going to do my own billing, and I’ll give you my 20%. And at that time clients started calling me they’re like, Hey, we call your agency and your agency now is telling us you’re not available, that you’re booked. There’s one of my big clients for Brooks Brothers. And so I’m like, when did you want to book me and I find out that I was available. So she wasn’t giving me those jobs, because she’d give it to another photographer where she could produce those jobs. So I started learning business like, wow, this is an art.
Scott D Clary 1:01:06
And unfortunately, how shitty some people are. Yes, not.
Jim Jordan 1:01:11
Yeah. And so I ended up really stepping in and opening my company by cross productions. And I had a business manager that’s insulting me, holding my hand because I was opening another business, a cosmetic company. And she started saying to me, and I said, I left my agent. She’s like, why did you do that? That was stupid. This is what’s funding your cosmetic company. I’m like, I don’t care. I’d rather have nothing than be stolen for library days. Just what why don’t you take the money, open your company and start hiring two new assistants and teach them how to be agents. So I have two full time administrative assistants, I taught them how to use my database. I taught them I gave them the client list. And I said to each one of them, I want you to make 50 introduction calls every single day on the phone. Here are the art directors here is their phone numbers. Here’s her address. So each one at a task every day to call 50 Leave a message or send a mailing from a promotional piece with a stamp and a logo every day, they put them in the mailbox. Within three months, I was booked every day. And they were producing their own jobs. I taught them all how to be producers. So they book a client and they hired the model, locate permit. And I started thinking to myself, This is insane. How much more money I was making as a production company, I had control over my whole shoot now. Everybody on set was like something that I saw wasn’t cuz she was ripping everyone off and everyone was unhappy. Even the client, when I get to work, they are already pissed at me, I didn’t even know. So I started getting a grip of like, really had a vision not just for what I saw, but the experience I was having on set. And then my full production company became in full swing, it was really a real production company at that time. And so to answer your question, like the challenge was like, how to really step in and own what becoming a businessman and taking my creative hat off and putting it aside and really step in and take responsibility for being a businessman.
Scott D Clary 1:03:16
Great. Can I ask you something, too, because you touched on a point that I thought was interesting. Why is there why are the people that are charged with like this agent that was working with you why why is that individual? There’s not a higher level of, I don’t know, scrutiny or due diligence, or just care in working with these young people’s careers because I feel like that shouldn’t like I feel like that shouldn’t be an issue with somebody who’s charged with working with with people that could be very earlier on in their career, and they don’t have the experience that are on the proper representation. So why is that still an issue? Why is that not more broad front and center? And why is she like not at a business? That’s I guess why she’s still around?
Jim Jordan 1:03:57
Yeah, they are. She is She is out of business now. And there was I don’t know, I think people are afraid. Very powerful New York people, lawyer husbands and it was just kind of an I couldn’t really preached up but I knew. And that’s happens all the time. Agents steal all the time from model agencies steel modeling agency, Booker client will say, hey, we have $5,000 for the model a day, they’ll call the model and say, You got $2,500 They don’t have to. So model agency could get the model 2500 The models set yellow to it. So as soon as she says I’ll do it for 2500 They don’t need to tell her that they’re really making five grand, the model Stokes so the agents if they go great, and then they’ll take the 20% out of 25 like it happens it’s like business.
Scott D Clary 1:04:54
Yeah, it shouldn’t be though. That’s really shitty business.
Jim Jordan 1:04:57
It really is. Yeah. Wasn’t there a lot of things I learned how to wake up really quickly to do? You know?
Scott D Clary 1:05:06
I didn’t realize that, you know, I’ve never been part of the whole, I guess, talent and creative side of business. But I’ve heard more of these stories. And it’s unfortunate that it’s still still around.
Jim Jordan 1:05:17
Yeah, a lot of that stuff. So I decided I don’t want an agent anymore. It’s like, I don’t need an agent, my agency don’t charge me 20% of everything that I make that 20% that I make, I can afford my own employees, or have anybody to help me do that. And it will pay with its way worth. So it’s like getting over the fear of being a businessman and opening a company. Being a boss. I never thought I’d be a boss to people. I hate it. I don’t like being I don’t like having a mad is that side of my brain. I want to be on the free run naked eye camera be like, whoo. And just be like this kid. That’s my cm life. And that’s what I want to do. Now, to be a businessman too, and wear both hats. Yeah, that’s true.
Scott D Clary 1:06:10
That’s true. Well, that’s what that’s that’s sort of like that running towards the fear point you made before. Yeah. Now what? So you built up the production? You built the management, photography? Where do you all all successful, I think it’s just impressive, like to the to the degree because now you’re at the upper echelons, like the names that you’ve brought into your even your talent management, his upper echelons of of the arts of creative. So what’s where do you go from here as as like, what’s your career path going forward?
Jim Jordan 1:06:42
So here’s what I’m doing now is I shoot a lot of people and I, I’m inspired to take pictures all the time. And I I have a lot of great contacts and things that I generate just by going out at night, shaking people’s hands introducing myself, I want to be the first one to say hi to people. And I want to know what their stories are. And I want to be truly authentic and real about that. So I have all these amazing people in my life. And I’m like, why am I taking pictures. So econ came in and all the advertising companies lowered their budgets, and all the models are making half the money they used to make, and all this stuff with the economy and things that economy everything when he calm there are no catalogs and magazines are getting thinner and thinner. But all of them are going out of business. Nobody wants to pay photographers anymore. And so I said, Why am I giving doing all these photo shoots for magazines, they don’t pay any money. Why don’t I just open my own neck. And so I just opened a company magazine called James magazine. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but it’s a new magazine, and I’m featuring with Gigi Hadid on the cover and Taylor Hill and Kris Jenner and Zen day, I have, I have like eight issues out now. So it’s like a little project that I’m doing. And it’s really rewarding, because I can put all my creative energy into my own vision all the way around the Logos, the shape, and bring the talent that I want to tissue and just put them on the covers of mine. Not saying I don’t cheat for other people still, but I just I feel that’s really rewarding. And I want to build this platform with the magazine to one day make it a really amazing magazine, break the advertising Senate and relax and read let me major out learn and get some really amazing advertising and kind of build slowly this brand. And see what happens with that. I’m also very interested in creating a brand a clothing company off of my white cross brand called white cross collections. And I will you know very I love the whole military 1940s 1950s turn of the century type of clothing and nurses and soldiers and dog tags and my whole really military vibe. Try I’m very interested in indulging on these type of projects and companies. They said I’ve been out for years and years branding other people’s brands that hire me and say hey, we have a new pair of shoes, how can you shoot them and make the whole world quantified? And I’ve been really good and successful at doing that or saying hey, we have this new makeup. How do we sell it? How do we photograph it so it’s very high catch
Scott D Clary 1:09:38
now it’s time now it’s time for you to do it for yourself
Jim Jordan 1:09:41
always on high one and not just give that away anymore. I want to kind of teach it to give that to my to my own talent I don’t get I’m also have a book coming out that I’m in the process of writing a book with a New York Times bestseller it’s about my life a journey in my life, like a coming of age story about a young kid That pushes through all the obstacles in his life and how the world didn’t wanted him to be, and who the world kind of teaches young kids who they should be. And a story that I’m writing about my life as a young creator. And that was very people didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t really know what it was, but I knew how to get and I was unlike anybody else. When everybody was out, I was out playing football and sports and doing stuff I was climbing trees with the Chainsaw Massacre, and cherry trees are cutting regards here in the neighborhood, or, like just beautifying everything I saw. And so I that was my, that’s what I love doing. And I still love it. And I get lost in like making things that beautiful. It’s cutting your hair or styling you or getting you to get real and funny and talk stories about hearts and means things that knocked the surface and just like life’s going by, and we’re all just fucking faking it. We’re all just in pain. No one’s getting real and authentic with each other. And that’s what I love to do is connect with people that I can be so really transparent and like, let the walls down and, and be free. And see life like little kids that are on touched in FDIC by the world.
Scott D Clary 1:11:24
How do you How did that how does someone how does someone do that though? How does someone see life through the lens that you see it when they’re struggling with with finances and day to day and stuff? It’s very difficult for people. I’m curious if you have tips, because it’s hard.
Jim Jordan 1:11:38
I have I have I’ve left a such a loaded question. But
Scott D Clary 1:11:46
I know I’m sorry. I’ve I just feel the passion. That’s why I’m asking. Like
Jim Jordan 1:11:52
I, ah, I I do a lot of things. And I believe a lot of things and I and I’m very spirit
Scott D Clary 1:12:03
I believe in I’ll tell you what we can do it, we can do a follow up, when we’ll do like an in person sit down after the book and whatnot, that’ll be good.
Jim Jordan 1:12:12
But I give it away, I trust God. And I keep giving them more again, the more I get. And the more I’m running out of resources or finance, the more i i try to get my eyes off my pain and my hurt and my my pity. And I tried to go help somebody else in the midst of my, my hurting. Like I always say to people like I’m hurting and I don’t know, make cookies and go give them to someone. Like go clean help somebody that I’ve learned and I’ve done a lot of things where I went kept everything if like me and my pity party, Mike and I have had hard times and I’ve had really hard time and broken times and scary times in my life. My life didn’t always look like this. And sometimes in the midst of how your life does look in the midst like of everything I do have, like there’s so many times where I feel like nothing. Because it’s not about the material things in my life. It’s about the things I like when we’re all alone. And we’re sitting there like what is the quality? Why couldn’t we get to share it with who do we get to talk with just to be let him know how we really are. It’s not just always looking good. Like I gotta have it all together and like, yeah, like what’s up? Meanwhile, I’m dying and suck. So there are a lot of things in my life now that I do. Like I pray a lot, and I write, I might look up but keep my eyes up. I don’t keep my eyes on problems of what’s happening. I get in my journal every morning writing my journal, I write the things that have been pain about the things that I scared about the things that I love and the things that I’m so thankful
Scott D Clary 1:14:00
it’s a good answer. That’s a very good answer. So don’t
Jim Jordan 1:14:03
do Yeah, and it’s the way it works for me. And I’ve been to Kabbalah I used to go to sweat lodges that I’ve been to every a friend of the Dalai Lama I bet in every religion culture and I’ve explored everything looking for God and looking for my answer like peace and I ran to the ends of the earth. I go to India every year and sit in all shrubs and pray meditate I’d go to Tibet night go everywhere I go to a God paid for 13 years I went to the Kabbalah Center and I do everything looking for the truth and looking for my God and that’s a follow up to this was where I was miraculously heal and where my answer came from. And when I I couldn’t deny what happened to be in the hospital was the truth of what I had always been
Scott D Clary 1:15:02
Very powerful. A lot of people very powerful.
Jim Jordan 1:15:06
That’s where I’m at. And I, I try to embrace that every day and a lot of days still, I’m human. And a lot of days, I’m in fear. And a lot of days, I’m in power. And a lot of days, I’m in the state of like, not believing anything, that there’s a God or anyone’s, for me. And then there’s days where I’m like, oh, yeah, I gotta check in. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, this is real. Okay, I got my eye on my head, my eyes are up again. Not on myself or my problems. Very good. You’re good answer. Thank you, you’re awesome.
Scott D Clary 1:15:45
No, it’s, listen, it’s my pleasure. Um, I never, I never really know where these interviews will go. Because it’s always about the person I’m speaking to. But when when you open up so authentically, like there’s a lot of things that you brought up like the story, and just like some of the even like, some of the very tactical things that I hope people that are listening, can take those away and, and apply them to their own life. Forget religion, even for a second, just some of the mental tricks and, and the fortitude and the perseverance, that it takes the ability to go towards your problems, the ability to be a good communicator, to be human, to be authentic, to be passionate, these are all incredible things. And then on top of that, the ability to,
to be to have faith and confidence in yourself and find faith and drive to overcome those times when it’s a little bit darker. And, and, and stressful. Like those are all things that people need need right now, more, I think more than any time that I’ve been alive, people need those types of tangible takeaways. And the people that they listened to, and the people that they, they, you know, they, you know, they get their content, they you know, it could be could be religion, it could be a person, it could be, it could be even like a pastime, but I think people need positive. So the more that I really, I’d really appreciate that. As you walk through your story, you go through all the times where it wasn’t so good. And you didn’t even go really deeply into the dark times. But you could tell there was some stuff that was a struggle for sure. So I like how you walk through that a lot. And that’s, I just want to say thank you for the story. And I do have a few like, you know, quick, like, I guess rapid fire questions I’d like to do at the end. But just want to say thank you for going through that it was really, really nice of you. And is there is there anything else that you wanted to add
Jim Jordan 1:17:34
on? Just that we’re human and the human, we’re humans, and there’s going to be those dates, and it’s not going to ever be always going to, you know, there’s days where I’m super afraid still, and I’m insecure. And I’m very sure. And I have a vision. I always say to myself, like, what do you see is what you be, I have a little thing on my desk that I look at every single day. And it says Vision Plus action equals manifestation. And that’s what I live my life with. And it’s about my vision, and it’s about what I see. It’s not what I dream of what I can see. Very good in my life. And I encourage you guys, whoever’s listening, to really dream and see try to have vision. It’s like being a boat out in the ocean that doesn’t have a lighthouse, and there’s no land in sight. And the life and the waves are gonna take us everywhere. And they’re gonna throw us to and fro. But if you have your eyes on the light, and the prize where you’re going, you can get it. That’s how I believe and that’s how I live my life. So cute right there.
Scott D Clary 1:18:48
Your, your failure, you’re fast forwarding, because I was gonna ask you one of my rapid fire questions is his one lesson that you would tell your younger self on, you’ve told me like, you told me a whole bunch of them. So I guess I’m still gonna ask what would what would be that one lesson that you would tell your younger self that would help you?
Jim Jordan 1:19:10
Run don’t be afraid to fire. Right run to run toward the things you fear most. Very good. That’s the things I’ve learned most of my life. And every time I ran, ran through it, it was almost like there was some of somebody on the other side with their arms open, grabbing me and putting prize around when I’m very good. Sorry. Like I won that race.
Scott D Clary 1:19:40
Yeah. Now I wanted to I want to ask you one more. Just another quick question. Where do you go? Where’s the resource that you go to learn it could be a podcast, it could be an audible, it could be a person. It could be a book, something that you would recommend people to check out. Besides the besides Is the work you’ve recommended before the creative,
Jim Jordan 1:20:02
I recommend a few things I recommend the number one thing I recommend is a book called the arts. And it’s a 12 week workbook and it’s life changing, I believe and everybody I need and everybody I come in contact with, I think it’s the most life changing experience and work that anybody can do. And it’s called the it’s called the artists way by Julia Cameron. That’s one one thing. And I, I, I think you should just continue to watch a lot of YouTube. Just things I’m interested in. I love watching YouTube, documentaries, and other people’s story. I love the human struggles and challenges. I just love music and watching films, just getting lost in that stuff. So many visions and stories I want to tell as a filmmaker, still, as a director and making documentaries. really heartfelt films that just rip your heart out and make you feel like life is so emotional, like the world teaches us not to feel and to numb out and that we’re supposed to be a certain way and have it all together, guys, anything. And it’s so beautiful to watch people just be able to get hug of each other and not feel like like everything I it’s like, when I think I know it all I lose everything. If I feel like I don’t know at all, then there’s room for the miracles to come in my life. And that’s a lesson that I’ve learned in my life like I got a vacant myself, from my opinion sometimes. And then the universe or God can teach you and keep expanding. I lived my life so many years, I knew the answer to everything. I didn’t care about anyone. That’s before I had my transformation. And when I had that miracle happen to me, I think I was like, I don’t know anything. I don’t have your hands. I still don’t I just know how to get my answer. And sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I mountain that seems floating around and emotional, crazy, and moody and Pascall. Just not on Sundays. I’m just like, I feel now great. At thankful that you even want to hear what I have to say.
Scott D Clary 1:22:30
Yeah, well, I think that I think that it’s pretty obvious when you when you start uncovering the stories of people, like yourself, like people that have done incredible things in their lives. And that’s what the whole purpose of this podcast is. Right? It’s to unpack that story. Because if somebody looks at you today, they see what you are today to see a very small point in time, which is, which is the combination of so many things that have happened over your life. And I want to I want to unpack that so people can understand that progress. Because the more people can understand that the path to success or whatever success is perceived to be is not linear. It’s not simple. It’s not easy. It’s not fun. It’s it’s in certain scenarios, right? Like there’s so many nuances. There’s so much to it. And that’s really what I think you know that that’s what you did an incredible job of telling over. And that’s really what I want to accomplish here. So thank you. I appreciate that.
Jim Jordan 1:23:25
Because you that. I appreciate you.
Scott D Clary 1:23:28
Yeah. Last thing is very important. Where do people go to connect with you find your work, new book, where’s that going to be? What are all those outlets, social websites,
Jim Jordan 1:23:42
I have an Instagram, I have two Instagram one is called Jim Jordan, photography, action, Jordan photography. I have another for my man, a talent management company. It’s at white cross management. I have another Instagram for scouting if people want to be models, or they could be models. It’s called App Whitecross model scout. And then I have my website, Jim Jordan photography.com. And my book, I hope to be coming out probably in six months. We don’t have a name yet. But I’ll keep you posted. And because a lot of you know I’m sponsored by a lot of different companies that have a lot of things on sites of people go to Google, you can see some different companies I’ve worked for, but I have some amazing sponsors that believe in me and are very generous and kind of helped me tell my slave through my art follows commercials and things that I direct. This is the beginning maybe where we’re going, you know.
Scott D Clary 1:24:41
That’s all for today. Thanks again for joining me on another episode of the success story podcast. You can download or stream this podcast wherever podcasts are available, including iTunes, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, I heart, radio, and many others. You can also watch his podcasts on YouTube. If you haven’t already. Please subscribe and share This podcast with your friends, family, coworkers and peers. Please leave us a rating on iTunes takes about 30 seconds, as it allows other people to find our podcast and lets our amazing guests reach even more people with their message. And remember any rating is fine as long as it contains five stars. I’m Scott Clary from the success story podcast, signing off