My name is Jana Williams. I'm a wife to an amazing guy, a stepmom to a 15 year old Junebug, and a full-time lifestyle photographer. I believe that our thoughts become real things so I spend a lot of time and energy staying inspired in life and in business. I am originally from Alabama. I left my tiny town when I was 17 and moved to New York City. I just knew I wanted to see the world and have new experiences. I lived in NYC for 4 years going to school, acting, dancing, traveling, and then moved to LA. I supported myself as a waitress for over 10 years while I was finding my way to my camera. I literally feel like my camera has become an extension of my heart. I feel so blessed that I embraced the little voice in my heart, telling me to take pictures. I did not have any idea that I would one day make a living taking photos. I kinda think that is key. You do what you love and then things start to fall into place. It was only 3 years ago that I shot my first wedding. This year, I was named one of the top 100 wedding photographers in the world.
Life is such a big beautiful lesson isn't it? I look back at all of those years waiting tables and searching for my passion and see so clearly now that everything I've been through in life has brought me to this exact moment. I start every morning with a prayer of gratitude for all of the amazing abundance that the day is going to bring me (and you). I get so much from sharing with others. I have a YouTube channel where I give tips on photography and I am a firm believer in "you get what you give."
My life isn't perfect; I am not perfect. I don't have the perfect marriage and I am not the best step-mother in the world, but I am a work in progress and I am bound and determined to live the best life I can.
Thank you for letting me share and I hope you accept and expect the abundance in your life too.
You’re 8 years old right now, standing in that red house in Hayden, Alabama, looking out the window and life is a little rocky. Mom & Dad are having really bad fights and Mom tried to end her life last night. Your heart is broken.
Over the next 20 years you will have so many ups and downs. Family life is going to feel unbearable. You will experience things no child should ever have to go through. These are the things that will drive you to leave your hometown and create a life that you love and appreciate.
High school is going to be bittersweet. You’re going to shine at school, be a good example, and excel. You will discover dance and it will change your life. It will be your escape from home life and it will give you confidence and a taste of what it feels like to be passionate about something. You will be a dreamer. You will use your imagination to give you hope of a different life. Down the road that imagination will be one of your biggest gifts.
You will move to New York City all alone right after high school and you will do great! You will work at the fanciest restaurant you ever saw. You will dance on TV! Everyone from your hometown will be floored! You will take care of yourself and begin a journey with your soul. You will be like a sponge in NYC and learn so much about culture and city life. You will travel. See the world. You will book some acting jobs and eventually move to California. (California will be a rough start but hang in there) Later in life you will learn that when things feel impossible it’s only because there is a huge gift on the way. You will work really hard when you first get to LA - 3 jobs. You will feel a little lost and hopeless but that is what pushes you to go deeper inside. You will become so close with yourself and find this inner peace that helps to bring back confidence and trust in life.
You will wait tables on Sunset Blvd for a really long time. You will learn so many valuable lessons while you are there and meet people that will impact your life forever.
Around the age of 26, you will have this deep yearning in your heart that you have more to offer to the world than waiting tables. You will surrender completely to what God’s plan is for you. Daily, you will pray and meditate - asking God to show you your purpose.
Finally, 3 years later you will pick up a camera. From this moment on your life will change very quickly once you get that camera in your hands. Within months you will be working for Ford models as an in-house photographer, and within a year you will find your passion and start photographing weddings. The first wedding you shoot under your own company will be published in a magazine, be named top 20 weddings of the year and get the cover and an amazing magazine. Exactly one month after that wedding you will quit waiting tables after 11 years. You will travel the world photographing the most amazing weddings and people. Soulful people. Only a few years of being in business you will be named top 100 photographers in the world. Your heart will feel like it’s going to burst. You will have confidence in yourself because you have confidence in God. You will accept and expect abundance and inspire others to do the same.
You will also accept your family 100 percent, exactly for who they are and you will love them. You will have a strong relationship with your family and you will have learned that we are all doing the best we can in this life. Compassion and love are more important than anything else. Soon enough you'll finally get to a place where you have a great business, a good marriage, and wonderful relationship with your family. Of course all of these have ups and downs but at this point you will have the tools to deals with them. You’ll realize that you need to go even deeper. You have learned through the years to trust your intuition and at this point your intuition is telling you to go inside and go deeper. You are realizing that true happiness does not come as an award, money, success - true happiness must come from helping people, from sharing your gifts, and making this world a better place. And that is where you are right now Jana. You are soul searching again. You are looking for the kind of joy that comes from giving. I will write you again sometime soon with an update.
Until then, hang in there. Everything that you will go through will make you stronger, more grounded, give you a ton of grit, and you will one day be thankful for all of it. Especially the hard times.
Stay inspired little one.
Jana has a heart of pure gold. She's become a dear friend via Chriselle Lim. She was our wedding photographer in Hawaii and captured the most beautiful, intimate moments that I will cherish forever.