Finding Your Passion


I am so excited to introduce you to a friend of mine that inspires me every day through her stunning photography and beautiful personality. Meet Jenna Kutcher. If you don't follow her already, you must head on over to Instagram and do so now because this girl will make you smile.

When did you discover your love of photography?

It's actually pretty funny, this whole journey I've been on. It hasn't been paved in gold and it never was a childhood dream. I had never considered photography as a career, partially because I was so blinded by my desire to enter the corporate world and partly because I had only taken one decent photo of a cat in my lifetime. Looking back, I see God's hand in aligning things for me, but it certainly wasn't a long time passion. 

I became interested when I was planning my own wedding and spent my days browsing blogs and websites of photographers. I then paid a girl from my youth group to take our engagement photos for $50 and soon after, I purchased a camera from Craigslist. Months down the road, my brother-in-law was getting married in Jamaica, had heard about my recent Craigslist find and asked if I could take a few photos on their wedding day so they wouldn't have to hire someone from the resort. I said yes, I pretended like I was Annie Leibovitz and voila a star was born. (Okay, no, I did half their wedding on a point and shoot and edited the entire thing in Picnik, but I was on the right track.) 

I knew that I loved the creative side and creating art so I jumped full fledged into this dream and started a blog, began advertising, creating a brand, and within one year I booked 25 weddings which allowed me to leave my full time job. My whole philosophy was "fake it 'til you make it" and I knew if I didn't believe in myself, no one would. So I went out into the world and made a name for myself. Four years later and this is my career. In 2015, I will hit my 100th wedding photographed and it's absolutely insane to think back to that sweaty day in Jamaica. 

What were you doing before you were a photographer full time?  

I worked for Target Corporation as an Executive of Human Resources. I interned with the company my junior year of college and ended up accepting a job offer before I graduated. If you're from Minnesota (like me) you know that Target is a big deal. It's head quarters are set in the Twin Cities and everyone thinks highly of the company so I felt like it was the perfect fit. In my head I wanted to rock my days in a business suit and high heels, have my own office with a leather chair, and own the boardroom. In reality, I had a windowless office with piles of paperwork, I wore red and khaki, and instead of owning the meetings, I  spent my days responding to angry guest calls, helping team members with benefits, or taking out the trash. While I worked with an incredible team and was taught so much about leadership, business, and the legalities of human resources, I knew it wasn't a place that I could grow and flourish and I knew that I couldn't do the retail thing for the rest of my life. 

What was the defining moment in deciding your passion was worth pursuing?

I have always been a go-getter. Any thing I have dreamed or set as a goal, I have gone after it with reckless abandon. I'm the kind of girl who follows through every single time and my goal of getting out of Corporate America was no different. A few different photographers I had talked to told me to give myself 3-4 years before taking the leap into full time and supporting myself. I told myself that as soon as I could book enough weddings to match my salary, I was out. That magic number was 25 weddings and through God's grace and a lot of sleepless nights, I made it. I worked my job up until wedding season to help cushion my income in case I failed and then I went for it. Deep down in my heart I knew that it would all work out. My greatest advice is to follow your gut and plan, plan, plan. Once I realized that my fears of failing weren't actually that scary, I knew I had to go for it or it would never happen. Fear kills more dreams than failure ever could and I wasn't about to let my dreams slip away. That pure desire to fight for my dreams, to follow my heart, and to just make a go at it led me to where I am today and I am forever thankful that my 23 year old self knew that I could make it! 

Make sure to check out Jenna's beautiful work on her website. And you can follow her onInstagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest

Also, if you missed it last week, make sure to download our FREE lock screen for February.

Thanks for all your love and support!!

Megan Smalley

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