It All Started With a Craigslist Camera

Jenna Kutcher 

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February 11, 2016



Awhile back my mother-in-law was visiting and she commented on how gray Tucker’s hair was getting, we laughed because we hadn’t even noticed. I mean, we live with the little (naughty) dude and didn’t realize he was resembling George Clooney more than Justin Bieber. Life can be a lot like that as an entrepreneur, you’re in the thick of it day in and day out and you never really realize how far you’ve come and how much you’ve accomplished. If I close my eyes real tight, I kind of remember the girl who bought a camera on Craigslist just to document the wedding planning experience more, the girl who was exhausted doing the corporate hustle day in and day out, that girl who wanted something more but wasn’t sure what that was. It’s far too easy these days to look at people in the industry and assume that they’ve always been doing BIG things, but the truth is, we all started somewhere.

My start? Well, it sort of happened by accident. I had bought a camera off of Craigslist (a Nikon d40 to be exact.) I didn’t know what lens I had, I had no clue what aperture or shutter speed were, I didn’t have a dream of running a blog or shooting weddings for a living. My wonderful brother-in-law and sister-in-law were getting married in Jamaica and they chose to hire me instead going with the resort photographer that they didn’t know. That little chance they gave me made a giant difference in the way my life would unfold over the next five years. Here’s the thing, I had no clue what I was doing, it was a total “fake it ’til you make it” moment and I wanted so badly to do a good job for them, I mean, it’s their wedding day! Following that rendezvous in Jamaica, I got to work. I realized that I felt most alive with this camera and I knew that a girl with a camera and a dream could do things…

Behind the scenes I burned the candle from all ends (not just both ends!) We were planning a wedding, training for a marathon, starting a photography business, and I was working a 50+ hour a week corporate job with a one hour commute. Why do I tell this story? Because I started from the bottom. I was that girl who bought a camera on Craigslist and hustled, taught herself how to use it, believed in herself, and just one year later retired from the corporate world to start life as a wedding photographer (with 25 weddings on the books, whoa.) No favors were given, I didn’t have a mentor or teacher, I hustled, I worked, I cried, but I did it… and if I can do it, a girl with zero dreams of being a professional photographer, you can, too!

If you’re like me and you have no clue what different lenses are, what aperture is or how to change your ISO, I created a course for YOU with Brit+Co! It’s an Introduction to DSLR Photography and I want to teach you how to put that camera to use so you can document your life in the way it deserves. Put down your iPhone, pull up that complicated camera, and let me un-complicate for you! The best part? The course is only $39 (and it makes a brilliant Valentines Day gift, too! Yup, visit:

And if you want to see a few photos from my first wedding five years ago,
click here to sign up to join my email tribe and you’ll get a surprise on Monday!

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  1. Carla says:

    I love your story. And I can so relate. Corporate America is what feeds me and keeps the lights on but I have a dream much bigger and brighter than where I am now. Thanks for sharing and when I get my DSLR I’m going to get this course.


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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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