We had the good fortune of connecting with Janet Alonso and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Janet, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I am a Fort Worth Native, born and raised in the heart of Stop Six. The Eastside of Fort Worth will forever hold a soft spot in my heart. It’s crazy because when people hear about that side of town, they link it to violence, drugs and danger, but my experience was different growing up. I loved where I grew up, all of the neighborhood kids played together, went to the same schools growing up and just seemed happy. It was after high school that I really started taking notice in the different life paths everyone was following. Personally, I chose to attend my dream university, and the rest is history. Was it easy? Absolutely not, The real world doesn’t prepare you for college courses, exams and different upbringings. College was a very big eye opener for me, because I realized I was sheltered in an illusion of what life was supposed to be. It made me appreciate everything my mom ever did so much more, not everyone is as lucky. I was raised around empowered women and was taught to empower those around me. Now that we are at that age where marriages, children and life are being planned, I look back and it makes me realize how blessed I truly am. I wouldn’t want to be raised elsewhere, it wouldn’t have made me who I am today. Everyone has a hustle and it’s up to us to grind. Photography and marketing are my hustle, and boy have I worked hard to get to where I am now. So many young entrepreneurs are defeating all odds against them and making a name for themselves. J. Cole has a great quote in the Sideline Story lyrics, “I came up in here to take advantage of that s*** y’all take for granted,” and that’s how my upbringing impacts who I am today. I want it all, that’s why I strive for it.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Being a photographer takes a lot of discipline and time management. It’s a lot more than just pointing a camera at a “subject.” It’s making a connection with your client, finding the right location whether it’s a studio or outdoor location. The weather is unpredictable and so are life events, so you have to learn how to manage stress as best as possible when things don’t go as planned. You’ll deal with cancellations, weather delays and life. You have to keep calm when your client is freaking out because you become their right hand during the session. My clients are ultimately my support system. I experienced a lot of hardships in the last year between my best friend passing away, my college roommate being involved in a tragic motorcycle accident and experiencing a break in with all of my equipment being lost in the process. My clients were so patient with me, checking up on me, motivating me to pick up a camera again and booking a shoot the moment I mentally up for it again. Overall, I’ve learned communication is key. Being so open about my situation and grief helped tremendously. I’ve never viewed my clients as a price tag or someone I won’t have open communication with, and I feel that that’s why I’ve been successful. I’ve been able to watch some of my little clients grow right before my eyes, and have been their photographer for every milestone along the way.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
All of my friends tease me now and call me a grandma because I’ve become such a homebody, but I know how to have a good time okay? Depending on the day, we may sleep in for breakfast and go for lunch instead. Quixote Patisserie has my whole heart and I could eat there, always! I love visiting antique shops with unique finds, Golightly’s is so cute! I love being outdoors as much as possible, so any trails, lakes or cute brunch patios are always on the list. For brunch, I usually hit up Social House or Mash’d because they have been my go to, as well as Righteous foods. I miss life before COVID, you’d find me at Martin House every Thursday. It’s hard to plan a fun itinerary now due to restrictions and social distancing, but local restaurants are a must. We support small businesses around here. Tacos are always a must and I always take my friends to El Mil Tacos off of Hemphill, you can never go wrong with al pastor tacos, an horchata or even the asada fries.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My teachers, counselors, professors, Mom and Best Friend Daisy deserve all of the recognition in the world. They saw the light in me when I couldn’t find it myself and pushed me to be the best. They let me hit the reset button when needed and then made me get back into the flow of things. Special recognition to the following teachers: Mrs. Ramos, Ms. Solis, Mrs. Garza (now Mrs. Franklin), Ms. Gans, Mr. Rogers, Coach Williams, Coach Starnes and Coach G.