Saying it out loud puts a kind of confused and amazed look on my face. Two years ago I could have never even dreamt that my life would be so different now. So creative and free and my own kind of messy imperfect perfection. Two years ago I was traveling with my corporate job full time, trading in a great paycheck for an unhappy being. I have so much respect for those who choose to travel and commit to the corporate lifestyle. I just knew it wasn’t for me. In college, my Health Information Management professors would say “Amanda, you think outside of the box – you are so creative and will do so well in nontraditional settings” Which I did. For a while. I enjoyed my job being a consultant and implementing computer systems for Doctors and Nurses into the Hospitals. I enjoyed my coworkers, my awesome little team of friends who trudged on with me every week – away from home, away from our families and friends. They kept me sane and laughing and alive.
When it was announced that our team was getting laid off in 2013 I scrambled for a new job, interviewing in Chicago and opportunities across the country. I kept thinking – I have to find another consulting job. I have to use my degree and do what I am “supposed” to do. It’s just whats right. But there was this feeling, this gut instinct, that there was a different path for me. I had started taking photos for friends and family in the Spring of 2012 while working my corporate job – more than anything as a means of stress relief. I never wanted to be a photographer, it was not a childhood dream of mine or something I always ached for. Heck. I bought my first DSLR camera just 3 years ago because I had a big girl job and wanted to buy something to show for it. I had no idea how to use it and the plan was to take photos on vacation and of family. Over time it became a hobby and I loved the joy it gave me when people loved their photos.
Fast forward to July of 2013, I am laid off and unsure of what to do next. As my brain told me to march forward into the corporate realm, my heart was tugging me a different way. Since I legally established JaneCane Photography on September 1, 2012 – I was toying with the idea of going full time into photography, but that was crazy. Society tells us to go to College, get a good degree, go into loads of debt paying off that degree and then use that degree for the rest of your life. And I was scared. I was scared of what people might say or what my family would think. Being an only child, in my mind the worst thing I could do was disappoint anyone. Or fail. I was terrified of failing.
Thanks to an awesome support system of Family who never question my crazy dreams, and an amazing guy who has always pushed me to chase those dreams – I made the jump. On July 12, 2013 I announced I would be going full time as JaneCane Photography. In October I announced that the JaneCane Photography Studio in Downtown Duluth was coming to life and today I get to celebrate the Two Year Birthday of this little crazy idea. And it’s been quite the adventure, filled with hard days and tears and great days and happy dances – it’s been the most insane thing I have ever done. But I have never been happier. I get to tell love stories, capture babies’ first moments in this world, share family memories. I get to meet the most amazing clients and become friends with them, celebrating their big life moments and cheering them on along the way. Owning my own business has been the hardest and most rewarding job I have ever had.
I cannot thank all of you enough – my family, my friends, my clients, social media followers, everyone – for believing in me, supporting me and keeping JaneCane Photography a reality. I am beyond grateful for the blessings I have in my life and my business and I owe them all to you. To be able to run a small business on the corner of Lake & Superior, in the city that raised me and gave me so much – my heart is overflowing with happiness and gratefulness. As my girl Beyonce said, “I am so Full”.
Cheers to Two Years and many more years ahead! xo AJC
// To celebrate my new website and two year anniversary, the very talented and super bomb Bailey Aro Photography captured these amazing photos featured in this post by the shores of Lake Superior, in the setting I call home. Thanks Bails, you da best! //