We had the good fortune of connecting with Jena Langer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jena, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
There are many factors behind the success of my business. A few that come to mind are hard work, dedication, passion, discipline, and organization. The largest factor in my opinion is hard work. When I decided to leave my corporate job and start a business of my own, I knew it would not be easy. Work was not going to just fall into my lap, especially in South Florida where there are a multitude of talented and successful photographers. I felt that if I wanted to be successful, I needed to have the willingness to work as hard, if not harder than my competition. I needed to commit to my business each day, not only physically but emotionally. I am constantly thinking of ways to improve my craft. I knew I had to get out there and make a name for myself and that nothing was going to be handed to me. In the beginning, I knew very few people in the photography world and not everyone wants to tell you the secrets to their success. In a creative field, you must put yourself out there knowing you may swing and miss. My family has always run their own business so I already know firsthand this would not be easy, but I also knew it would be worth it. I am excited at the success that I have begun to experience and even more excited at the potential of what is to come. In the end, it is the hard work that is the most important factor and therefore, the most rewarding as well.
Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I would consider my artwork as fun and colorful. I always want to make sure we get classic portraits while reflecting the family as a whole. Over the years I have learned that photos are so incredibly important. The days are long but the years are short and one day all we will have left to look back on our the photographs. When I show up at our session together, get ready to find me in workout gear, sneakers and a messy bun. I come to play. I’m not afraid to get dirty, and if I want a certain look and it means I have to get a little messy, I’m all about it. Each session for me is a unique experience since not everyone photographs the same. I don’t follow a protocol when taking photos therefore my sessions are inspired by the clients as I feed off their personalities and we take it from there! Photography is an art and not everyone is going to like your style but when you find those who do, they will stick with you for the long run! I have gained so many loyal clients over the past six years who have made me feel like part of their family, including me in the special moments in their life. Looking back I feel I have come a long way. I am very proud to show off my work to family, friends, and potential clients. I am constantly working on my skill set and branding and I am incredibly passionate about what I do. Each day I feel as though I gain more knowledge and improve through experience. Just having an eye for photography and talent does not guarantee success. It requires me to not only strive to master my skills as a photographer, but also to learn how to market myself to the public.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I absolutely LOVE living in the Sunshine State because there are a lot of things to do here! We have a gorgeous mix of scenery, attractions, culture, kid-friendly activities and great food. Some of my favorite places to eat are La Brochette Bistro, Sushi Rock, Doc B’s, B Square, The Alchemist, Louie Bossi, Ethos, and Rocco’s Tacos. Anytime someone comes in from out of town we always suggest the “typical” Florida things to do. Living in South Florida we have so much at our fingertips that we don’t always take advantage of! One of them being the Florida Keys. Islamorada is only an hour away and is a MUST if you’ve never experienced the Keys. Another fun adventure is jumping on an air boat ride at Everglades Holiday Park. This is always such a unique experience and you’re pretty much guaranteed to see an alligator and other Florida wildlife. We’re not big on going to the beach but we are avid boaters! Renting a boat and checking out the local sandbars is so much fun and a great way to soak up the sun. If you’re not interested in driving the boat, hoping on the local water taxi is fun too! The water taxi’s make frequent stops along the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale and is a unique way to see the water while being able to hop off to see other local attractions, such as Museum of Discovery and Science. Walking down the streets of Las Olas is always entertaining. There are many great restaurants and places to shop. Las Olas is so beautiful at night and great for people watching (and car watching too). While walking down Las Olas, we never miss hitting up the sweet spots, Kilwins and Yogurt Your Way. A recent addition to Fort Lauderdale, The Wharf, is a very unique place to hang out at anytime of the day! If your up for a “country” kind of night, one of our favorite night life places to be is Round Up Country Western Night Club. Round Up will always have a special place in my heart (mainly because it’s where I met my husband 11 years ago) but its fun to have a drink and then build up the courage to go line dance out on the dance floor!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband and my mother have always been my biggest fans. My husband is incredibly patient and understanding when it comes to owning my own business. Anytime I schedule a session or need to work on something, he doesn’t even blink. I think that goes a long way in a marriage to know that your being supported by your spouse 100% and makes everything a lot easier. My mother has always been my biggest fan ever since I was a little kid playing sports. She continues to show me the same love as I pursue a career in photography. Anytime I finish a session I always love to send her sneaks because her opinion means so much to me. It also goes without saying I owe a lot of credit to my clients. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to show off my creative talents and artwork.