Hey y'all -
Its Thursday and I promised y'all a #communityovercompetition post! Today you get to meet Janelle with Dear Darcy Photography! As she'll tell you we just recently met at creative business retreat and I completely fell in love with her heart and her business! (Heads up she's a Jane Austen fan if you haven't guessed yet- so what girl doesn't love that!) I wont give any more away, I'm going to let her tell you all about who she is, what she does and give you a sneak peek into her life! Meet Janelle!
I’m Janelle, the owner and lead photographer of Dear Darcy Photography! I met Lindsey (the owner of Face Forward) at a creative entrepreneur retreat and absolutely loved hearing about her passion for skin care, make up, and hair! It also made my heart happy to hear her talk about the relationship between her and her brides and grooms. So many hair and makeup artists go in, get the job done, and leave, but you can tell Lindsey genuinely cares for her clients before, during, and after their wedding date! I promise she didn’t tell me to mention her in this post, but I just had to!!
Anyway, as I said, I’m Janelle – wedding photographer, wife, avid reader, and mommy to three little furbabies. I grew up in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. When I was in college, I had the opportunity to study a semester abroad in the Middle East and knew I wanted a nice camera to document those 3.5 months. I bought an entry level Canon DSLR and the rest is history! Even though I didn’t know half as much about my camera that I do now, I immediately knew that photography would forever have a place in my heart.
Throughout the rest of college, I would often have my camera in hand. I did a couple of my friends’ senior photos and even an engagement session all while I was still trying to figure things out. I am forever grateful to my friends who trusted in my from the beginning to capture such monumental times in their lives.
After I graduated, I married my husband, Jeremy, in the fall. He already lived in Florida, so I moved 11 hours away from home to join him in the Sunshine State. While our time in Florida was short, I shot many families and kids, but I also shot my first solo wedding. From that time on, I was sold. I had always wanted to try wedding photography but was so intimidated by other wedding photographers talking about how stressful it was and seeing people doing it just for the money. I shied away from weddings for those reasons. I didn’t want to take on a job or project just for the money or if it wasn’t going to be enjoyable for me. I wanted to photograph weddings to capture the joy of the day and to give the bride and groom documented memories that they could pass down for generations.
When Jeremy and I moved to North Carolina to be closer to family, he was so supportive of me rebranding to Dear Darcy Photography and only advertising for weddings, engagements, and sweetheart sessions. Don’t get me wrong, I still love families and kiddos, but it brings me so much joy to find two people who fell in love. Everyone is so unique and I love getting to know my clients’ stories and what makes their relationship unique. The relationship between a bride and groom and their wedding vendors is so intimate and I am honored each time I meet with a couple to talk about their wedding day.
So many people ask me why I chose Dear Darcy, and I love it when I’m asked. I get to explain my reasoning behind it and they can get a peek into why I am passionate about wedding photography. Pride & Prejudice was the first book I really fell in love with and read over and over. The love that Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy had is what I idealized. Even though their relationship wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies, their love triumphed in the end to what I like to imagine was a blissful marriage. I chose the “Dear” part because writing letters was so vital in Jeremy and my relationship when we were long distance. I wrote him a letter a day for the semester I studied abroad. The letters he gave me to take on the trip always reminded me that no matter what I learned about myself on the trip or how I changed, he would be back home waiting for me when I returned. The name encompasses so much of who I am and who I want to be.
But I also want my clients to view me as a “normal” person, just like them! It’s so easy to portray having a perfect life on social media, especially on business pages. But I am a person too! I promise I don’t lounge around all day reading Jane Austen! Our house is normally a little cluttered, I’m a major introvert, I could eat ice cream for every meal, and I watch a lot of Netflix while editing photos.
My husband and I are both a little nerdy and love playing strategy board games. And as I mentioned before, we have three furbabies! We adopted Amber, a gorgeous calico, when we lived in Florida. After moving to North Carolina, we wanted to adopt a playmate for her, so we fostered twin kittens and their mama as a trial run. After a crazy turn of events, their mom jumped out the window and ran away, but that’s a story for another day. Jeremy and I couldn’t decide between the two kittens, so we kept them both! We wanted to incorporate our love for movies and books into the naming of them, so we chose Chewie (Chewbacca) for the male, and Prim (Primrose Everdeen) for the little girl. We love all three of them like they were our children!
So at the end of the day, yes, I want my clients to love their wedding photos, but I also want to be remembered for being me -- a little quirky, but with a heart full of love.
** Well that's her the one and only the lovely Janelle! I hope you loved getting to know her as much as I did! In case you didn't notice she's an "XOXO"er too! My momma would be proud!!
Check out this photo of her and her hubs! Photo by Liefde Photography