We had the good fortune of connecting with Jana Zerpoli and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jana, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
This is it for me. This is why I step into the realm of photography time and time again. I want one to see their extraordinary, who they are, who their people are…in the now! I want one to able to see themselves, the beauty, the messy, the love that tells their story. And lastly and maybe most important, I want one to have the ability to have that memory as a keepsake long after that time passes. When I think about why I do what I do, I realized that one of the most profound events of my life, the loss of my child to cancer, deeply impacted my being. Of course I look at life through a different lens now, my God who is real and present used that sweet soul to teach me and others so much. When I look into her face in every photo of her, I can sit in that memory as it fills my soul. Her loss of course hurt deep but in the healing I am able to now give that same gift to someone else, a documented memory.
As my journey has continued I knew God wanted to create beauty from the ashes, with the loss of my little girl. The ability to capture a moment I knew needed to be shared. When I was asked to be a photographer for Camp iHope 4 years ago, I knew that was a way I could use this gift, and fill my hearts desire to work with kids that had cancer, maybe a way to carry the torch. Camp iHope is a camp for children with cancer, a week of pure joy for the most amazing warriors that I get to capture. Seeing through my lens for a week in that space is amazing, bittersweet at times, but truly an incredible blessing.
Once I began work in the community this way I knew I had to continue to find ways to document these fighters. So I was thrilled when I found out this last year that I was chosen to be a photographer for The Gold Hope Project. The Gold Hope Project is an organization that offers free portrait sessions to families with children that have cancer. It is such an joy to be able to capture these beautiful families in the midst of their hard, a journey I too have walked, and give them a tangible keepsake they will have forever.
I think when you can find a way to make a difference or impact, or to offer support on a hard road for another, it its a beautiful thing. I love the work I am privileged to be doing out there, it gives purpose to my pain.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As I have shared my ultimate goal is to capture glimpses of life, the good, the messy, the beauty and tell that story so it can be preserved past the season one is in. And one of the other things that I am now doing in my business that makes me excited about was birthed out of my own entrepreneurial spirit, and that is offering Personal Branding. We used to call it headshots, but it really has evolved into more than that, it is helping small business owners, entrepreneurs, especially women out there trying to make a difference in the world, tell their story (I do create for men as well). It is really fun to work with such passionate people and very rewarding to help them create a visual brand that is beautiful and authentic that helps them reflect who they are out there in our very visual, social media world.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I always take my friends to downtown McKinney where we would grab a delicious sandwich at Patina Green or The Harvest and sit outside and have a glass of wine at Landon Winery. Then of course we would have to go to The Star, especially a Cowboy fan. My favorite places to eat are The Common Table and Cane Rosso and Heirloom Haul is a must for fun, creative shopping. For the best sushi, I would take them to Frisco Sushi 469, or for great farm to table food we would head over to Plano and go to Sixty Vines.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My story really started back when I first picked up a camera when I was in high school, my dad was a hobbiest, but was very much a creative at heart. He always encouraged me and challenged me to be better. When I think about the decision to go professional just 4 years ago, it was my daughters who brought the idea to me. I had been shooting my entire life but just did it for free for everyone. 4 years ago when I moved here from California, my daughter Tiffany constantly said, “mom you just need to do this.” I struggled because I was older and didn’t really believe I was good enough to charge someone. But eventually I pushed past the fear and decided to give it a go. I do have the most amazing supportive family, my husband and all of my daughters are always there cheering me on and giving me the confidence to keep moving forward.

Website: www.janazerpoliphotography.com

Instagram: @janazerpoliphotography

Linkedin: Jana Zerpoli

Facebook: Jana Zerpoli Photography

Youtube: Pinterest Jana Zerpoli

Other: Organizations I work with: Camp iHope.org GoldHopeProject.com

Image Credits
My photo is done by @kfourphotography

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.