Today we’d like to introduce you to Janelle Leroux.
Janelle, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Growing up, I had film cameras I would carry around, taking photographs until I ran out of film. In high school, I took photos for the yearbook and the school signed me up for a weekend photo workshop. I loved snapshots of friends and family, photos of vacations or school trips, and I collected my favorite photos from magazines. I have been chasing photography ever since.
While I was in college, I didn’t spend much time on photography. I had a small point and shoot camera or I would borrow my Dad’s DSLR. I’d roam around town with my headphones on listening to my favorite band, photographing the world around me. I started traveling a few years ago and returned from my trips disappointed with my photos. I felt I didn’t know how to create the images I dreamed of. There was a lot for me to learn and thankfully, I found Boston Photography Workshops (BPW). I’ve learned so much about the art of photography but more importantly, I’ve found a community of friends, mentors and travel buddies.
When I’m not out taking photos, I work as an Accountant for an engineering firm. My role at the firm is a hybrid of accounting and database administration. I assist with database customization, process improvements and facilitating training for my coworkers and network. Photography is a great creative outlet for me after a day of numbers.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Photography was “just” a hobby for so many years. When I struggled it, it was easy to put it down and move on to something else. I thought my hobbies should come naturally and be positive and fun without any challenges. Over the years I have embraced those challenges and now know that pushing through the hurdles is rewarding and that’s when the best lessons are learned.
The world is a difficult place to live when you are “different.” I am a plus-size woman and the world tells everyone to hate my body, that I take up too much space, that I am a bother to others, and it tries to make me invisible. Most of my life I believed it and I lived it. This impacted my photography and my interactions with others because I didn’t want to be in the way, to take up others’ space or to take up others’ time. Over the past few years, I have worked on challenging the norms and have started living the life I want. It is life changing. My advice to other women is to be yourself, be daring, and be visible.
What should we know about Janelle Leroux Photography? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My portfolio is primarily landscape and portrait work that documents my life and travels. Photography has given me a great outlet to find new places, experiences and to meet new people. This year, I have traveled to and photographed 12 different states plus three provinces in northeast Canada, which is more than I’ve traveled in my adult life.
My intention with my portrait photography is to help people be visible and to be proud of who they are. One of my favorite projects has been collaborating with Rachel Estapa from More To Love®. The I Am More to Love series features members of the More to Love community highlighting “ordinary people doing something extraordinary, daring to love their bodies and lives, any size.”
I am trying to learn how to stand out, to be present, and live life to the fullest, no matter how much space I occupy. I am proud that I am able to use my photography to help challenge social norms and judgment around people who are “different.” I am so glad Rachel believed in me for this project. It is rewarding to be able to connect my art with a body positive message.
I also volunteer as a photographer with Photoshoot for a Cure, a fundraiser supporting Michael J. Fox Foundation. The fundraiser is a photo shoot cocktail party that supports research to find a cure for Parkinson’s Disease. My Memere (grandmother) had Parkinson’s Disease, so it is rewarding to have the opportunity to use my photography to help others and stay connected to my Memere.
- Website: www.janelleleroux.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/janelleleroux
- Other: https://www.etsy.com/shop/JanelleLeroux