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Jana&Eli

Jana

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Contreras

Contreras

       Eight years ago we got married and if I am being completely honest, we did not love being engaged. It was stressful, and there were so many unknowns about how we should even go about planning our wedding day. Going through all of this shaped us into who we are today as a photographer/videographer team. We are not wedding planners, but we have a heart that loves to serve and want to help our couples in whatever way possible. Our goal is to always take one thing off your plate, be someone you can brainstorm with and literally help you re-plan your wedding if you find yourself planning a wedding in a worldwide pandemic.

       We of course, also want to serve you in the way of documenting your day as it unfolds. We love to take a step back in each part of your wedding day, to read the room and see how your story can be told through my lens. Yes, we totally help on wedding days give natural directions for the family pictures, bridal party pictures and sunset pictures. However, the rest of the day we are documenting the day as it unfolds in real time so that you get to see parts of the story for the first time when you see the wedding gallery in your inbox. 

Little about Jana: 

      I am Jana Contreras, a 31 year old with an old soul. I am located in Sonoma County, California but love travel all over to document stories. I am married to my other half, Eli Contreras. Eli is one crazy talented musician, a self taught cook and now my go to videographer. We have a beautiful baby boy named James Wilder. He is now 3 years old and we are more in love than ever! He is now wanting to do everything on his own, learning dance moves and attempting to play every instrument he sees. He keeps me on my toes literally and tries to copy me every time I laugh. Pretty sure this toddler stage is never going to be boring. 

     
I am passionate about local organic good food like the nectary's funky monkey smoothie and Sol Food (the Puerto Rican restaurant based out of San Rafael & Petaluma). I am also in love with the Hu's kitchen vegan chocolate line and growing my own organic garden. In my free time you can find me at home trying to make a healthier version of a vegan/gluten free cookie that I can justify for breakfast or going on a walk with my family. 

I love to explore different national parks and go on road trips with my family. We also just love finding a new little hike to do each week as a family. 

My heart is to serve the community and to love on others fully like Jesus has called on my heart to do. My favorite place in the world to serve is locally and South Africa. We have a heart to support non profits helping kids and families in impoverished villages as well as refugees all over the world. We are always looking for ways to give back and serve more with what we have been given. 

       I got started in photography 10 years ago when my grandpa gave me his film camera. I often took long drives and stopped off to take photos of animals and nature. My grandpa inspired me by also buying me my first camera bag and lens. Now that my grandparents have just passed I am reminded just how precious photos really are. My childhood photos and the candid moments of the past are what inspire me in my current phase of life. 

   A while after I was given my grandpas camera I became a teacher. I was an assistant teacher  to the sweetest 2-3 year olds. My students taught me how to make people comfortable in front of the camera, how to be be lighthearted as a director and to how to shoot fast. I quickly became known as the teacher that knew how to take a photo at the end of my career there. 

     Years into my teaching job I started presenting new symptoms that required me to take time off of work to get testing done at UCSF. At this point in my life I had already had a couple major surgeries for bone/spinal issues from birth. Years later trauma to the spine, we assume, created what once was a dormant disorder to become a present disorder. 

        It was at that point, 9 years ago, that I was diagnosed with a heart disorder and had to make a career change. To give you some perspective I had just got my bachelors in teaching, loved my teaching job and wanted to work my way up to an Elementary school teaching position with getting my credentials. I found myself in tears and praying God would show me what was next and that it would even be more fruitful than my last job. Little did I know that 4 months later God would put on my heart to buy a DSLR camera my life would never be the same.

In 2015 I started this business. I had just finished going to a treatment center in Texas for my heart, found a new normal for my life and a new passion that honestly made me forget I ever had chronic disorders. God gave me a gift that I loved ten times more than teaching, the gift of telling stories through keepsake images.

    

Little bit about Eli:

Hi, I'm Eli and I love pizza, but that is not why you are here! I’m excited to be part of the team and to create stories for you to relive over and over again. I’ve always been a big supporter of my wife's amazing work. I cannot wait to add my unique perspective to her work. I am a musician who has been writing songs and been a part of a couple different bands for the past 15 years. I picked up videography in those early band years. Anyone who has started a project on your own knows in the early days, you do just about everything and anything. Video was another creative outlet that I could express myself with.



       P.S. Weddings are our jam! If you want a photographer & videographer who will be there to dance with you, cry with you and get you anything you need (even chocolate), then stop what you are doing, email us via the contact page and lets set up a time to Face-time before we send you customized packages for your wedding day. 




    Check out the badges to see where my work has been featured! 


hanGING
IN THE DESERT

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BEACHING

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CLIMBING rocks

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Words of Wisdom 

Throughout the years I have prayed and sought after Jesus more passionately than ever before. I realized we are called to love others no matter what, serve others whole heartedly and live a simple life. In a world where we have to be so much and nothing is enough, I encourage you to take a step back and simplify your life. Slow down, pray, love others, serve those who have less or who are struggling  in life & take time to rest each week. 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”- Matthew 11: 28-30


ON INSTAGRAM:

@janacontrerasphotography

(C) 2022  Jana contreras photography

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