Introducing Thursday Thinkers

Hello there, happy Thursday everyone! Today I am debuting a new addition to the blog that I'd like to call Thursday Thinkers. As many of you know I love meeting fellow entrepreneurs and hearing their story! I have decided to interview and feature one each Thursday to help inspire and also to get to know some of the fabulous individuals I have met throughout my entrepreneurial journey so far! I really hope you all enjoy and and stay inspired! Everyone please welcome Miss Jennifer who I met on a bridal photoshoot and then shortly after got to do her beautiful balayage in my salon suite where I grew to know and be inspired by her! Here is her story xo

                                                                                 balayage by me//photo by Chelsea Bliefernnicht

                                                                                 balayage by me//photo by Chelsea Bliefernnicht

Tell Us About Yourself!

Hello! So excited to debut on your blog, in the first #girlboss feature!! I run a wedding photography business by my own name: Jennifer Claire Photography, serving Chicago, the Midwest, and this summer I'll be documenting love on the East Coast, as well! My background is in film production and I still like to play around making home movies for my own personal memories, but I took that skill set in storytelling and applied it to my photography work about a year and a half ago, sharing my time and talent with the most inspiring, sweet people. It's a bit cliche to say, but I am truly lucky to be pursuing this passion project; I'm honored to be a witness of such amazing milestone events in peoples' lives... it brings me so much joy!

Who has been your biggest inspiration for pursuing photography and why?

There are hundreds of gifted photographers and artists that inspire me on a daily basis, but the biggest influence and inspiration for my work are the couples I am serving; their unique story, abundant love, wedding day anticipation, and above all the tender moments with family and friends -- THESE are the most meaningful things to me and by far the most motivating. Last year I was able to capture the very last photos of a groom and his best man together... just a few weeks after the wedding, the groom lost his very best friend in a tragic accident. It was heartbreaking to hear, but I am so glad that they have many, many photos to preserve those memories. I've also captured images of a bride walking her father, who was suffering from the debilitating, late stages of Alzheimer's, down the aisle. Many guests weren't sure if he would be strong enough and coherent to help bring her to the alter, but he fearlessly managed to get the bride to her groom... There wasn't a dry eye during that ceremony; it was almost like witnessing a miracle... (Gah! Here come the tears.)

Do you think mentoring is helpful? Do you have mentors? If so, what was the best advice they gave you and how did you implement it?

I absolutely think that mentors are helpful (at any stage of your project or business) and YES! I have many people I look up to and seek advice from. Chicago has a massive creative community and most everyone I have met has been nothing but gracious and giving with information and encouragement. I'm also a huge fan of this brilliant new movement #CommunityOverCompetition that The Rising Tide Society has spread throughout the country. Their mission and motto is wonderful and it truly makes sense, "A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats." - JFK I was fortunate to be the beneficiary of a HUGE amount of insight and guidance when I first launched my business and I have already been active in sharing that knowledge and many other things I've learned along the way...

If you couldn't pursue photography, what would your pursue?

That is easy! I have a very extensive background in dance and music. If I wasn't spending all my hours on photography, I would open a little Arts Center to foster a shared passion for these activities with kids AND adults! It's never too late to learn, be inspired, or have a dream. In fact, last year (as a 30-year-old!) I decided I wanted to take voice lessons... Not the typical extra curricular for a grown woman, but I wanted to work on something new and different. And to my surprise I gained so much more than I thought I would; my confidence in singing grew immensely and has spilled over into numerous other areas of my life. It was an invaluable feeling and I can't say enough good things about just throwing yourself into something you're unsure or afraid of; I promise you... you will learn so much and be better for it.


Well everyone I hope you've enjoyed Jennifer's story and if you would like to follow her journey please check her out on social at the links below! Be sure to check back next Thursday to learn about someone new! 

Instagram: (@jclairephoto) + (@proposalphotos) NEW!