This month the f/22 focus is on Christy Janeczko a wedding and portrait photographer from Wisconsin who I met in Missoula, Montana a few years ago. With a unique style and approach I took the time to ask Christy some questions for this months profile.
Christy, what was it which first got you interested in photography?
Growing up in a tight-knit family at gatherings my Grandfather was the one carrying around the camera. It was such a beauty, and he always (and still does) take beautiful photographs. I believe my real interest in photography stemmed from my Grandfather’s photography, but I was also interested at an early age snatching my parent’s cameras and taking pictures of random things around the house and yard (the cat, bottoms of chairs, dolls, etc.) Of course all of this progressed, as I got older, I took thousands of pictures in high school, I just wish I would have been able to take some courses in high school but they weren’t offered in my district.
Your business first started with portraits, what is it about the portrait which you enjoy photographing?
Portraits are intriguing to me. I think that you really learn a lot about a person or family though photographing them. You see the interaction, the laughter, and the love they have for each other – and it makes me so happy that I have the gift to capture those memories for them.
In addition to portraits you have also started focusing on wedding photography, how did you decide to expand into this area and how does your recent engagement help you in your business?
Expanding into wedding photography was not something I originally planned on doing, but my business slowly opened up and progressed in the direction of engagement and wedding photography. I have to admit, it’s something I love to do. It’s exciting to be capturing the start of a new life together. I have to say that my recent engagement really throws me into the shoes of every client I have – all the jitters, the delight and the fresh look on life ahead. It’s refreshing and eye-opening all at the same time.
How would you describe your style?
I have a bit of photojournalism, a little bit of traditional – but I just hope that my style is more timeless and natural than anything else. I try to shoot in a way that I would want my children’s images, senior pictures or wedding photos to look. I also feel that it’s always evolving, as I grow and change my style continually changes as well.
What photographers do you follow on a regular basis and how has their work helped inspired you?
I follow various photographers on a daily basis, and I love following their blogs. I admit that most of my favorites are photographers that I know from the Rocky Mountain School of Photography – it’s so refreshing to see where they’ve been and where they are now. I also enjoy finding random photographers around the country to see what they’re up to – and what’s popular in different regions.
It is good to take a break from the work which is primarily your business, what type of items do you enjoy to photograph for your personal work?
Ah… personal work. If you know me, you also know that my personal work equals vintage cars. I have a deep affection for the beauty of restored muscle cars. I grew up around them and it’s stayed with me through the years. During the summer on the weekends it’s most likely you’ll find me at a car show – walking around taking images. I also have a deep affection for anything spooky. I love cemeteries, ghost towns and the like. I currently have a collection named “Beautiful Spirits” available for viewing on my website.
In your business is there one item you have learned which you would like to share with the readers who may just be starting out their own photography career?
Shoot, shoot, shoot. The more you shoot, the better. Try different techniques standing in the same spot; bracket your meter, step back, step forward – be creative. It’s all about being comfortable with yourself and your camera. I know when I first picked up my DSLR I was embarrassed to be carrying such a big camera around, but the more you get used to shooting it, carrying around and working with it – the better your images will be. Step outside of the box.
Thank you Christy for taking the time to do this interview.
The following are some examples of Christy’s photography.
Also be sure to check out more of her work at her website:
See you next month for another f/22 profile.