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Meet Jenae Lopez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenae Lopez.

Jenae, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
About ten years ago, I was working for Hyatt Hotels and moving right along in the Corporate and Service industry! I was a Catering Manager at the time and would manage and plan a lot of the Weddings that would take place at our hotel (downtown Denver). During that time, I was intrigued (as I always had been) by all the Wedding Photographers that would come in for these weddings, and I would kinda bombard them with questions and then take their business card back to my desk and look them up and just think, “man, I want to do this!” Of course, at the time I just loved Photography as an Art, but had zero training! I quickly started making friends and reaching out to some of these photographers, and over the next two years, assisted and shot a bunch of weddings… and pretty much took pictures of anything people would let me (as I was still working full time as a Catering Manager!)! In 2009, I was pregnant with Twin boys- woohoo! Well, I knew that I didn’t want to work 60+ hours a week with twin babies and never see them… so it was a “now or never” sorta dream… so when I left Hyatt for Maternity leave… I never went back. that was nine years ago… so follow your dreams people! Of course, none of this would have been possible without the extreme generosity of the other photographers that mentored me, as well as my super supportive husband and family (who of course had to help lots with the babies when they were young!). So here we are now!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
In all honesty, if things were smooth and never challenging, I would probably get bored! I mean, there is a level of controlled chaos that I strive for… but there are always bumps in the road with running a business….whether it is changing technology, work/life balance, or any other unforeseen factor that can (and will, lol!) happen. I’d say I am a pretty good planner though, and although I am a dreamer and a “go for it” person… I am also pretty logical and consider what is needed to keep a well-functioning business in place, as well as taking care of my family, etc. I’d say all in all though, the biggest struggle for me (as many moms will probably agree!) has been work/life balance… really since I’ve started my business! I had a brand new twin when I technically “started” my company… and is a very driven person, it was hard for me to not be able to do everything I wanted or knew I needed to do…because I just physically couldn’t, and didn’t have the time. Of course, as years go on, you establish routines, and things get easier… and then BAM! Your kids are now in school and have sports everyday, parties, etc! It’s ever-changing. So, even though it has nothing to do with Photography per se, finding my balance so that I don’t drive my family crazy, or hit total burnout, has probably been the biggest struggle.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am an Outdoor Colorado Wedding and Elopement Photographer + Lifestyle Family Story Photographer.

I describe my photographic style as Artful Story-telling. I approach my weddings and sessions as a story-teller first and foremost, but also as an artist with a unique and creative perspective. I like to capture the organic and genuine moments that are happening, but I will also step in to compose and direct for a truly unique and captivating image (aka… you won’t be awkwardly standing in a field not knowing what to do with your hands…).

Vibrant, Genuine, Nostalgic.

Although I primarily shoot Weddings, Engagements, and Family Stories… I am starting to shoot more Editorial clients and Non-stuffy Headshots, and I love it! I enjoy shooting new scenarios and locations, and don’t like to put myself into an “only one style of photographer” box! I feel if you are inspired to shoot, and you have the technical and creative skills, you shouldn’t be limited to one type of photography.

I am probably most “known” for my Mountain Wedding and Engagement work (I am often referred to as a Photo-ninja… and being a Colorado native… I have no problems jumping into a River for a shot, or climbing on top of a huge boulder or rooftop!). However, I’d say my Documentary style Family Sessions are popular with other photographers, and I am trying to push this more into the limelight a bit as well!

I’d say what sets me apart is, of course, a certain style of photography… I am very comfortable with my clients, and therefore the images are full of emotion and laughter! I have been told I have very a creative perspective, even in locations that have been over-shot extensively. My clients tell me that they feel as though I was just a “best friend” at their wedding, and I continue to shoot clients and their families years after their weddings. Client connection and service is HUGE for me! It’s not JUST the photography… it’s a relationship you form!

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Well, there are definitely the days of rainbows and killer skies that I feel I get super lucky at the moment! Or, being in the right place at the right time to meet someone or the luck of being found by clients amongst the sea of Photographers here! However, even so, I believe that hard work, persistence, keeping a Positive attitude, and making your clients feel like Friends… is going to put you in those “lucky” situations more often.

For example, there are so many aspects to creating a truly amazing mountain Photo session (location scouting, knowing your lighting and time of day for location, knowing your clients and preparing them for their shoot, getting permits, shooting in Elements, pushing through crazy weird Colorado weather, knowing best time of year for certain spots, etc.)… and even if you are blessed with some luck in the skies… none of that would happen without Preparation and knowledge in the first place.

I am grateful for whatever “luck” I have had- whether I have even realized it or not- but I am also a firm believer in working hard and making your own luck!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Erin Cady (pic of me)

Getting in touch: VoyageDenver is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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