A picture is worth a thousand words, but a true photograph is a moment forever captured in time. It’s a still image that tells a story of love, fear, wanting and need. Those stories are as personal and distinct as a fingerprint, unique to each individual. I’ve always been a story teller, using the light and color seized through my camera lens. That still image is bond between myself and my subject, and with each snap of the shutter, that piece of glass fades away into a shared experience between us.

As with most artists, my life and journey have shaped how I express myself, and that expression is infused into every photo. A far cry from the glitz of the Sunset Strip, I grew up in a small town in Alabama. A child of nature and imagination, my simple, southern upbringing never seemed to fit my dreams of seeing the world. I was inspired by everything around me, thrived on creativity, loved dance, acting and the arts. However, struggle shaped just as much of my existence as did my serenity. But I considered those trials, tests of what was to come, preparing me, and after graduating high school, made my escape to New York City. I dove into acting and modeling, but in a business where nothing is guaranteed, even with hard work and clear motivation, I discovered the struggle was only beginning.

As the better part of a decade saw little progress, I sustained myself with full-time waitressing jobs, when one day, I served iconic photographer Steven Earl, setting me on a path that would change my life forever. Steven was kind enough to indulge my curiosity about photography, and his words struck a chord. It was that turning point in life, where suddenly, things made sense. I had always feared picking up a camera. Perhaps I wasn’t smart enough? Maybe I wasn’t original enough? Whatever darkness I had envisioned in my head that had been hindering me for so long, I pushed aside. Learning never to take no for an answer, I was able to wrangle an internship with the famous photog, spending the next 3 months carrying set-bags and gleaning information about my newfound passion. A fire now sparked, I reached out to other photographers who guided me as I fully immersed myself in my art. I became aware of my connection through the camera, the emotion I was able to pull from shooting in natural light, and the translation of shadow and color into feelings. I had found my purpose. My life, my story, had prepared me for my journey behind the camera the same as it empowered me through my childhood. I have learned that we all go through struggles in our lives, and those struggles connect us all with a thread of support and love that pulls us towards each other.

I have shot for such brands as Christian Dior, Banana Republic, Revolve, Juicy and Chloe, and have been featured in the highly popular wedding blog, The Knot, as well as Martha Stewart Living, Brides, Elle, C Magazine, Bello,Style Me Pretty, Us Weekly,and People, among many others. However, beyond editorial and print, my true inspiration and niche business is wedding photography, even being named to the list of top 100 wedding photographers in the world for the last 2 years by Nicholas Purcell Studio, a prominent international wedding photography website.

I continue to be inspired every day, and pride myself on a chic, timeless, classic style, as distinctive as that fingerprint we all hold. I have a deep affection for my clients, and make an active effort to share my experiences and inspiration through my blog, allowing a community of past and future couples a forum for tips, questions and encouragement as their special day approaches. Combining that with 85 thousand followers on Instagram, 175 thousand on Facebook and over 3 million views on my YouTube channel, I strive to maintain a thriving business, and a brand that allowsme to reach others who share the same hunger for photography and life itself.

I currently reside in Los Angeles, under the watchful eye of the Hollywood Sign. My photos have been published in countless magazines and blogs, but of all my accomplishments, the most gratifying is still that magic moment when my clients forget I’m there, capturing the true love in their eyes, or the gentle touch of a hand.Because, in that moment, the story is just beginning.

 

Jana Williams
Photography

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