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Feature Friday Monday ~ Janae Hardy Photography

April 5, 2010

This Monday (secretly Friday!) I'm excited to introduce Janae Hardy Photography! Janae is a freelance photographer living in my hometown Springfield, Missouri. Fortunately I got the chance to know Janae a little bit in high school and even then I remember seeing her amazing photographs in the darkroom. Not only is Janae an exceptionally good photographer but she's got great style in clothing and interior decoration! I'd definitely recommend following her blog for fun projects and pictures!    

I got a chance to ask Janae a few questions about how she got started, the challenges involved and plans for the future! 

1. In high school when we were shooting black and white hand rolled film did you know then that photography was something you wanted to pursue?

In high school, I realized photography was going to be my next step in life. I had great friends who encouraged me. I also loved my high school photography teacher so much. She encouraged me to pursue photography. I learned more from her than my photography professors in college! 


2. Did you receive your degree in photography specifically or something such as Fine Arts? And, how did it contribute to making you a better photographer? 

I received a Bachelor of Fine Art degree with an emphasis in photography. I also minored in art history. I actually think the art history is more of an aid to me now. Knowing where art came from and where it's going is really important to me. I went to a college that used all film. We shot everything manual and most of it was black and white film. My last year they offered a digital class. I loved learning everything with film, because you learn to do things the LONG way, but the right way. I feel SO spoiled having a digital camera now!  Learning about photography is important, BUT I think you can learn so much online. If you cant go to a college for art, there are thousands of tutorials online! Art school is a hard topic for me. I did not like my teachers/environment. They were very negative and cynical people. They would encourage you by tearing you down first. I never worked well in that environment. The whole artist/photographer mentality is a funny thing  too. I think that mentality (pride & ego) is a downfall to many photographers. To this day, I still don't understand it. I think the biggest thing I learned in art school is to have tough skin. Ok…stepping down from the soap box.

 3. When did you decide that you were capable/ready to make the jump into self employment? 

I just kind of knew it was time. I had my fair share of working with the "cheesy" senior photographers in town. I realized I did not want to be like that. I wanted to develop my own style and not be confined
to a "box." After working for a few people, I knew I was ready to start my own thing. I never had a moment were I thought I was capable and ready. I still dont think I am capable! I learn so much everyday, and I always have room to learn more.

4. In the beginning how did you go about getting clients? Did you start with family and friends? Advertising?

Word of mouth. I really believe this is the best advertisement. If someone likes your work, they will tell their friends. I get most of my jobs by someone hearing about me from someone else. My blog is really important too. I feel like people can get to know me through reading it, and if they like what I do then they contact me.


5. I know that a lot of your work features infants, children and families. Is their a special reason why you're drawn to shooting little ones?

I love babies and little one's because they are so sweet. I guess I just love babies in general. Taking a baby's picture is a lot less stress than taking wedding pictures. At weddings people almost look to you as the "coordinator." I think at weddings there is a pressure to "perform." Everyone knows you are the photographer, and I feel like then I have to act like one…Haha.


6. What would you say is the greatest thing AND the most challenging aspect of running your own photography business?

The greatest thing is that I get to be home with my baby. My family comes first before anything, so I love that aspect. I schedule shoots on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Every other day of the week, I get to stay home. The most challenging part for me is the business (taxes, payments, & contracts) side of it.   Business and math were never my strong points. BUT that is where my math genius of a husband comes in. He is a huge help.

7. Where do you see Janae Hardy Photography in the next 5 years? Any certain goals you'd like to achieve?

I would like to have my own studio within 5 years. I already know the location and the furniture I will buy. That is a big dream of mine; it's just executing it. Once Hazel gets a bit older, I will pursue that avenue. Of course I have nerdy goals too. I have certain cameras and lenses that I dream of having. My husband and I will stay up late "geeking" out on gear. I hope that in 5 years, I will have my ideal camera gear.

Such beautiful photos right? Thanks for sharing Janae! I can not wait to be able to come visit what will surely be an adorable studio. Good luck!

To find out information about Janae's packages and prices and to see more work check out her website!

If you missed it at the beginning here is where you can view her blog!

And finally to stay up to date and view even more pretty photographs check out her facebook fan page!


(p.s. Several of the questions and answers seemed to be in "bold" font when I previewed the post… I couldn't fix it for some reason! Maybe it won't look like that when you're viewing it!?)

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