Elaina Janes breaks the mold. I might be a bit biased because she is one of my best friends, but I know that she is a huge inspiration to a lot of people, not only just photographers. Elaina is based in Elizabethtown, Kentucky and primarily focuses on wedding, family, and newborn photography. She is one of those people that genuinely lives each day to the fullest and does her best to lift up the people in her life, her clients, and her community. She also is one of the best road trip companions that you could ask for! Elaina has grown her business in huge ways in a short amount of time and continues to make people smile on a daily basis. Do yourself a favor and keep an eye on her, she’s going to go far.
Photo credit: Emily Thomas
1. How did you get started in photography Elaina?
Curiosity. Of the art form in general and of people and their stories.I’ve always had an artful heart. Charcoal and paint were my first loves from childhood through high school, but it wasn’t until my adult life that I picked up a professional camera. And once I got started, I couldn’t stop. It was the creative outlet that I needed to find, and it led me here.
Connection.I see it everywhere, in everybody and in everything. I feel it. We all get so busy with our own lives that I think these simple connections are overlooked. It can be as simple as stranger on the street, the way the sun hits someone’s hair or a baby smiling at me in the grocery store. The big picture – opening your mind and realizing that everyone you see is living a life as complicated, vivid and unique as your own. And my hope is to have a tiny reflection of those honest connections in my work. Hopefully.
Travel – all over the country. Meeting new people and lifelong friends. Getting pushed out of my comfort zone. This career makes me feel more alive than I could have ever imagined.
It’s hard for me to tell you one. I just can’t. So I’m going to tell you three.
Muhammad Gandhi. He’s probably the most influential person in my life beyond my Mother and close knit groups of friends and family. His words are so simple, but so powerful. A tattoo on my foot even has a few of his words to remind me of my place in this world. Plus, I think he’s downright adorable.
A super-duper close second for this would be Mark Twain. Seriously, amazing guy with a phenomenal mustache. A glass of wine and a smoke with him would be unmatched. Kid President (SoulPancake) is next. Seriously, that child is amazing. He’s everything I’ve ever wanted to be, and I think he’s 9. Maybe 10. Anywho, I would pay money to take his photo and eat a corn dog with him. If you have no idea who I’m talking about, go ahead and Google him. Totally worth it.
When first starting, it is likely your work is going to suck, and you are going to be outrageously proud of it. I remember, we’ve all been there. Keep learning. I still learn something new everyday and question my work from last week. That’s normal. Get out there and hustle – be involved in your community. Find your voice and let it be heard. And it’s okay if not everyone likes it. I’m not a fan of every flavor of Pop-Tart, and I can assure you that doesn’t bother ole Kellogg at all. It will take a while to get there, but it’s okay. Keep pushing. You’re going to make mistakes. Lots of them. Don’t get frustrated and give up. HAVE FUN. Worry less about what other photographers are doing and do what YOU want to do. That is when your work will blossom. Make friends with others in your industry – help build each other up instead of tear each other down. Take some time each day to do nothing. When you get to a point of success, when you feel like King of the World – well, don’t get a big head about it. Stay humble. Too many outrageously talented people let their ego get in the way of their business and they end up falling on their face. Don’t do that.