Westlake Village, California
Canon 6D. Mamiya RB 6×7. Toyo 4×5.
Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon, Matthew Rolston, Sue Bryce.
Wine, coffee, avocado.
The Landmark in London.
How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
Janet Barnett Photography is a company that took a long time to come together! Janet started her photography career at Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena, Ca.
After graduation in 1987, she spent the next few years shooting some of the most notorious acts from the heavy metal rock scene, including Guns and Roses, Warrant, Swingin’ Thing, Alice in Chains, and too many more to remember.
During this time, she was working for a rock magazine called Screamer, where she met the art director, who she would marry a few years later. As a couple, they worked together in their graphic design business for the next 25 years. Janet also shot weddings for some years with another photographer.
When Janet Barnett got out of the wedding business, she was looking for a new direction to take her photography in. The only thing that really lit her up creatively was people. But shooting babies and kids wasn’t what she was looking for. That’s where the legendary photographer Sue Bryce comes in. Janet had just discovered Sue on CreativeLive in 2013. When Sue put out a model call for women over 50, Janet got chosen to have a portrait taken by her. Janet was also lucky enough to assist Sue when she moved her studio to Los Angeles. Janet is now shooting primarily portraits, still growing her portrait business along the business model established by Sue’s education.
Janet and her husband moved their business to Westlake Village, CA two years ago to start a winery, Nabu Wines. Now her studio is in the back of the winery, where there is a big space with lots of natural light to shoot beautiful portraits in!
-How did you first become interested in photography?
I got a Canon AE1 for a high school graduation gift, and that’s what started it.
-How would you describe your style of photography?
Very clean, elegant portraits for real people with a fashion look.
-What is your typical camera setup on a shoot?
Very simple, just hand held Canon 6D.
-Is there a theme or concept that runs throughout all of your work?
I always go back to my influences, I just want people to look the most beautiful they have ever looked.
I haven’t really gone into a big theme or story for my work yet.
-How do you promote your work?
Primarily in person, at a networking group or though referrals.
-What is your post-production workflow like?
Upload it, edit in Bridge, retouch in Photoshop, finish off in AlienSkin. Have a glass of wine.
-What is your dream project?
Any job where I could get paid to travel somewhere fabulous like London or Paris.
-What is your top-technical tip for lighting people?
Don’t be afraid of strobes, they will give you a lot more options.
-How would you advise someone just starting out in portrait photography?
Shoot a lot. Shoot everyone you know. When you can start making your friends look good, you know you are on the right track. People who are highly organised and meticulous in business have a big advantage.
-What was the best career advice you were ever given?
“You should just go home and bake cookies, women never make it in this business.” This was said to me by a teacher at Art Center. Obviously I’m not one to take advice.