Well, Spring has finally arrived here in Cheyenne (we hope it is here to stay!), and to celebrate the changing of the seasons, I thought we might take a moment to introduce some of our wonderful members here on The Second Floor.

To kick things off, I’d like to introduce Janelle Rose, of Janelle Rose Photography!

Janelle is an amazing photographer. She shoots mostly weddings and high school senior portraits, with a bit of commercial work in the mix, too. And, not only is she incredibly talented, she is one of those people who is genuinely passionate about the work they do, and it shows (see for yourself on her website)! 

“I love what I do because it allows me to be a storyteller,” she says. “If I’m doing my job right, the camera can be a way for me to show my clients the beauty, truth and spontaneity of moments in their lives. My goal is to capture something authentic that reminds them years later not only what a moment looked like but what it felt like.”

Janelle grew up in Green River, Wyoming and went to college at the University of Wyoming (Go Pokes!) and Colorado State University. She met her husband in Laramie, and his career took them to Seattle, and then on to Salt Lake City. They moved moved back to Wyoming in 2011 and have two little girls, ages 4 and 7. 

Janelle did not initially set out to become a photographer.

“At times I feel that photography hunted me down,” she says “The author Elizabeth Gilbert talks about how your creative ventures follow you around like ghosts, waiting to be revealed until you are ready to give them attention and effort. When I was a kid, I used to stare at magazine photos, photos on album covers, on walls, or in books, just analyzing how the contrast and color printed, looking at how the light was used, or trying to decipher a subject’s expression. I’ve also always loved taking photos. My dad had an Olympus film camera that I would pick up anytime I could. In high school, I started on the video production team, and fell in love with creating images. I set off to college declaring a major in journalism and communications, only to impulsively talk myself out of that and into some other field that I would tell myself was more “challenging” academically.”

Janelle ended up completing both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Food Science, as well as becoming a registered dietitian. But while health was something that had always interested her, she never found a job in that field that quite satisfied her.

“I worked in a busy Seattle trauma hospital, state government, and federal nutrition programs, and while it paid the bills and put my husband through school, it never really fed me creatively.”

When she and her husband had their first child, she decided that she didn’t love her current job enough to leave her daughter in someone else’s care. It was during that time at home that she picked up the camera again.

“And this is the point in the story that I cringe about a little….” Janelle says, “I became that cliche mom hobbyist turned professional photographer. I honestly felt like I couldn’t help myself. It made me feel alive again after a career that I had struggled to care about for so long. I scrambled to get any education I could, tagging along with photographers we knew in Salt Lake, going to conferences, and learning online. We moved back to Wyoming a year after I officially opened my business.”

And we are so glad she did! Janelle moved her studio out of her home and into an office suite here at The Second Floor almost one year ago.

“I needed a place to meet with clients for consultations, headshots, and ordering sessions. I also really wanted a space to do the majority of my editing and day to day business tasks,” she says. Working from a home office sounds great in theory, but it’s really, really hard to stay focused and resist distractions.”

Having an office downtown also provided a way for her to connect with a community here in Cheyenne

“I’ve loved the sense of community I’ve had at the Paramount,” She says. “It’s a positive work environment full of awesome creative entrepreneurs. My clients are always really excited to learn where I’m located, and most often I hear, ‘Oooh! I love the Paramount!'” 

Like so many others, Janelle has noticed a shift in the downtown corridor recently. “I really believe Jon and Renee have been the biggest factor in changing what downtown looks like,” she says. “They’ve fostered a sense of community, not only with the cafe, but with the coworking concept of The Second Floor. It is an environment that allows for collaboration among professionals and enhances Cheyenne’s creative culture. I love how I feel walking into the building and my studio each day. It also smells amazing in my office because of the coffee downstairs!”

Where can you find Janelle when she isn’t in the studio or out on a shoot? Probably in the mountains.

“I am totally addicted to running. I’m happiest on a trail run in the mountains, and I love hiking, biking and being outside. I’m also a total bookworm.”

So, that is our first Member Spotlight. Thank you so much, Janelle, for sharing your story with us!

We will have many more to come, so stay tuned to meet more of the awesome people that make The Second Floor the special place that it is!