This career is something else. I mean, really something.

For those of you who don’t know, I started out in the “real world” as a high school English teacher in an inner city school. I finished my masters degree and was ready to take on the world. I built relationships with my students that were real and meaningful, and I tested the waters of teaching far away in Prishtina, Kosovo.

Then, with a little luck, a camera better than any I had used before fell into my lap. And here I am.

I’ve been working hard since this site launched nearly two years ago to learn, grow, explore, and share things that  I see in the way that I see them. I’ve been completely floored by the incredible talent in this field and inspired daily to evolve. And, like anything you put heart, time, and steel determination into, my new career has finally broken through the loam a little.

But it’s the crappy days where I feel behind my peers, the slow weeks where bookings seem to evaporate, the rainy wedding days, and the long hours in front of this screen where I have surprised myself the most and actually hung in there. Not only that, but this thing, this wild photo adventure remains just as enigmatic and exciting as it always did, maybe even more so.

I spent some time this week with someone whom I really respect. We talked about my goals for my photography business and the struggles I’m currently working through. He said something nice: “You’ll be on top and you’ll be in the lowest valley as an entrepreneur. Anyone can ride through being on top. Anyone. But continuing to work hard through the valleys and remaining confident you’ll climb again will keep you going and going.”

Pretty nice thing to keep in mind.

So, I’m delighted to continue down this path. It’s brought me to so many fabulous places and introduced me to so many amazing people I can’t wait to see which corner I’ll turn next. Just this year I’ve found myself snapping away in Germany, Switzerland, New Orleans, all over Minnesota and Wisconsin, Milwaukee’s Summerfest, The Walker Art Center’s Rock the Garden, and all around Scotland, to name a few, and I’m looking forward to some incredible opportunities to come. I’m so grateful.

And that’s the great thing about us photographers, we’re all doing our own thing and turning different corners in the same business. There’s room for everyone in this. We all have something unique to offer and I’m really enjoying piecing together the art, skill, and business sense that equals Natalie Champa Jennings Photography. I’m so happy to have found the tip of this big and lovely iceberg in my life and can’t wait to see where it’s going to take me.

Thank you for your continuing support, always.




Photograph by Natalie Champa Jennings

1 comment
  • KelseyJuly 2, 2012 - 8:56 am

    Natalie, keep up the good work! Some thoughts for you…. (Not totally cohesive, so bear with the bullet points on a Monday morning.)

    1. You have an innate gift for friendship; I’ve truly never met another person with such a talent for putting others at ease and making a warm, heartfelt connection. That’s probably the first reason you’ve been so successful in this young career!

    2. Your images are distinctly “Natalie.” I follow a lot of blogs and have a decent handful of photographer friends, and I must say that during a time when everyone blends together, you’re standing out. That will help many couples, families, occasions, and other clients speak with a voice that is not available ANYWHERE else.

    3. In pretty much no other industry could you travel so far and wide, especially alongside such a fabulous husband with his own unique career. From the outside looking in, it seems like the perfect career for a gal who has always loved stretching her limits and visiting new horizons.

    You are incredibly talented, and I, for one, am glad that you do what you do!ReplyCancel