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Meet Jill Thompson of Jilly Bean Photography in McKinney

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jill Thompson.

Jill, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My photography adventure started at a young age when I posed my stuffed animals in cute little scenarios and took pictures of them. I created a whole photo album of prints from just one teddy bear. Little did I know, years later, this love of photos would become Jilly Bean Photography. My father also showed me the importance of taking pictures. He always had his camera with him and would document our family. He taught me the value of preserving memories. These images taken throughout my life are now priceless to me.

When my son was born, I wanted to take high-quality pictures of him. I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t get the same level of cute images that I saw in magazines. That is truly when my journey into professional photography began. I took classes and private instruction, and to this day, I still seek out the best mentors available for continuing education. I am now a member of several professional organizations, including Texas Professional Photographers of America.

I currently have the pleasure of owning a boutique portrait studio in Downtown McKinney. I pride myself on giving my clients an exceptional experience during their session, creating gorgeous artwork with unique heirloom quality products.

I’ve owned and operated the Jilly Bean Photography studio for over ten years and have won numerous awards, including “Best Photographer” for the past nine years. I specialize in newborn portraits but also offer a “Baby’s First Year” portrait plan and other session types, including maternity, family, and high school senior portraits.

During the past decade, I’ve earned the reputation as the “Baby Whisperer of North Texas.” I strive to create beautiful images of your newborn and a growing family in a safe, healthy environment.

Has it been a smooth road?
Specializing in newborn portraits is a unique niche, which takes lots of training. The baby’s safety is always the top priority. Every pose I create is centered around the baby’s comfort. My staff and I are current with vaccines, including DTaP (Whooping Cough) and annual flu shots. As a newborn photographer, you need patience… And lots of it.

Born with a creative brain, managing a successful business can be a difficult task, but having the freedom to chart my course is so worth it. I earned a BA in Theater and completed a program at Oxford University, so my higher education has always had a creative focus. With no formal business training, operating the business side of a portrait studio is still a day-to-day learning experience.

Tell us more about the business.
I LOVE NEWBORNS!!! I specialize in newborn portraits but also enjoy photographing expectant mothers, children, families and high school seniors. In short, I LOVE MY JOB!!! I provide my clients with heirloom quality fine art prints designed to make their homes more personal and beautiful. The artwork of this quality is created to last for generations to come.

We now live in a digital world, so I do offer my clients the option of purchasing digital files, but I encourage them to consider high-quality prints and wall portraits as well. Professional photography is showcased to its fullest potential when on display for others to see. As a fine art studio, I customize each session to my client’s needs. We discuss how they intend to display their images. Do they want to hang a beautiful canvas above the crib to make them smile each day, or are they interested in an heirloom keepsake album to share with family and friends?

Approximately one week after the portrait session, my clients come back to the studio for a viewing appointment. This is when they will first see their edited images. I review the images and options with my clients to guarantee a personal touch. My goal is always to provide a wonderful experience. This includes a fun session, high quality prints, beautiful products, top notch customer service and beautiful heirloom products not found anywhere else. Photography is more than my passion and I strive to deliver a awesome experience to you…one that you will be happy to recommend to your friends.

Because my service is exclusively executed for your needs, I listen to your ideas first to take your thoughts and concerns into consideration. Is your style clean and modern or bohemian or rustic? I have the vision to make your preference come to life.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Photography is an ever-changing art form. Think of the old world portraits that were printed on tin, to the digital technology we use today. Portraits have always been a luxury item that people cherish. The photography industry will always be changing and growing. In the next 5-10 years, I believe that photography will still be a sot-after skill and people will continue to see the importance of printing and displaying their images rather than just post on social media.


  • – Session fee is $200/weekdays $250/weekends
  • – Collections start at $495
  • – Clients typically spend $800 – $2500

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jilly Bean Photography

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