Janet Howard is an Atlanta-based photographer who considers herself an emotion junkie. She’s always ready to capture laughter, tears, joy and love. Janet has an editorial approach to both weddings and portraits from fashion to families. She takes pride in seeking beauty in all places, from the grandest ballrooms to the grungiest alleys.
What was your biggest struggle when you started and how did you overcome it?
Without a doubt, confidence. It’s something I struggle with even now, after 14 years. This business requires a bit of being able to sell yourself, and it’s tough! Especially when you’re just starting out. But I’ve learned that if I don’t believe in my own worth, no one else will. I think as a society we look upon positivity towards ourselves as bragging, but it’s so necessary for a business owner to be unflinching in their knowledge and belief that they will do a good job, and to recognize what’s special about what we have to offer and be able to articulate that to potential clients. We need to be our own cheerleaders, and that can be tough sometimes.
What is your signature service or attribute that sets you apart in your market?
My photography is very emotion-driven. I try to create a relaxed and friendly relationship with my clients, so they feel comfortable and real, and that allows me to go past those strained photo smiles to capture real emotions and get a true picture of their relationships and their love. Every relationship is different, and I try to really capture that with photos that show what’s special about each person and each event.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Can I say everything? I love weddings. They’re happy, and beautiful and immensely personal. I learn so much every day about people, I get to see what makes them special, I get to learn how couples fall in love, and I get to help them feel and realize their own beauty. Plus, the creative outlet allows me to constantly grow and try new things, all while listening to music, eating cake, and sometimes even making new friends. It’s a dream job and I’m grateful for it every single day.
What are your 3 must have business automation or workflow tools?
Of course as a Photographer, the Adobe Creative Suite (Lightroom, Photoshop) is where I spend most of my time. I use Hopper to plan my social media calendar, that’s a must! And one thing that has made my life much easier is MileIQ, which automatically tracks my car trips on my phone so they’re easy to categorize and report mileage for taxes. Everyone in the event industry should have it!
What is your favorite business book that you have read in the past year?
I do a lot more reading of articles than books. I love Medium, because there are interesting articles available every day.
What do you wish you would have known when you started your business?
Something I’ve learned over the years is that in this industry things are very seasonal and unpredictable, even year to year. It’s important to create diversity of income streams so that you have a more predictable cash flow. It’s not always easy, it might mean creating different products or markets or branching out into different areas so that if one area slows down, another one can pick up the slack.