About Your Photographer

My Story, What’s Yours?


After a successful corporate career, I took the Wild Leap.  Unhappy with my work situation and doing a little windshield time back to my hometown in Burlington, Iowa, I thought about what really made me happy.  I was fortunate to have a wonderful dance education, even dancing and teaching into my late 20’s.  Yes, ballet, Jazz, Modern, Pointe, etc., not a stripper pole!  Almost as long as my dance career was my photography passion.  So, I’m the right brainer/artist at heart.  


My Dad loved photography. He was an older parent (51-oops) when I was born, so into my teens he was slowing down and sports and hard activities were not something we could share.  I picked up his 35mm camera once and I was hooked!  We couldn’t afford two cameras so if he left his unattended, you can guess I got in trouble a lot for “borrowing” it. 


When high school rolled around, we built a dark room and purchased equipment to develop our own film.  Chemistry and Art colliding into beautiful images.  In the old day of film, you really had to understand your camera. You couldn’t erase, so it was more important than today to understand light and exposure.  I continued some photography classes in college, even though my degree is Master of Business Administration (MBA).  Like all my friends, getting a great paying job was the goal, right brain engaged, so a full-time career in photography back then wasn’t the goal.  I continued photography as a hobby and a side hustle most of my adult life.  Married my high school sweetheart, had a baby, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, traveled internationally with work and had a blessed life.  


Like most people through that life I endured a lot of devastating losses. I lost my Sister, who was my hero, in a car accident, my favorite Aunt to a house explosion/fire, my Dad to an accidental death caused by Parkinson and Dementia Disease, my awesome mom to Mantle Cell Lymphoma, and my brother, a Vietnam Veteran to a host of hard living and health issues.  The importance of those pictures of loved ones that captured moments when I couldn’t be there, or the ones I took, became gold to me.  Along the way those pictures also captured the happy times of my life of wonderful trips, repelling, skiing, boating, dance, art, and most importantly family.  


Now I am blessed to call photography my full-time career. I opened a studio when we moved to Minnesota on the lakefront of Forest Lake.  I enjoy all photography, but specialize in corporate headshots, event photography, product photography, styled shoots, and one of my favorites, helping high school seniors take that “Wild Leap” to capture their personalities as they transition into adulting.  


Best comment from a Senior: “Man, for an old lady, you are pretty fearless crawling and climbing over stuff to get to the right place and get a great picture!”.  Yes, young Yoda, life is about the wild leap!


Let’s chase the light together and take a wild leap!


Much Love and Blessings- Janet

2017 by Mad Props Studio