Have you ever felt silly when asked to tell others more about yourself? It feels weird to direct the attention my way. That's probably why I like to work weddings, as all the attention goes to my couples, as it should.
So, here it goes. I'm a 30 something wife and mother who loves to eat, binge-watch Netflix, and drink 3-4 cups of coffee every day. I love my kids, but I love my husband more. As a child, I dreamt of being an artist, singer, or actor. As life got on becoming a mom was all I wanted to do. Then my loving but overachieving husband bought me a DSLR camera for Christmas hoping to revive a childhood dream. With a great deal of push and shove, he made that dream a reality.
In 2009 we opened CJ Hopper Photography on Main Street in Downtown Visalia, Ca. It was just our little family in a tiny studio trying to make a living. It was exciting and crazy. In the process of building a business from the ground up, we potty trained our two-year-old son and homeschooled our kindergartner in the super small windowless backroom of our studio. It was mind-numbing backbreaking work. If it wasn't for the praying and drinking I don't think we could have kept our sanity in those beginning years. But we did. We worked hard and found our way in an unpredictable industry. I remember being so grateful for the small victories and getting to do a job I loved. Eventually, my husband finished his Master's degree and needed to step away. I was sad to lose my business partner of 6 years and now felt clueless about how to proceed without him.
It was in the overwhelming chaos and uncertainty of raising kids and juggling a business that I needed to step back and remember the WHY. Why do I have a photography business? Operating on survival mode for so many years left me running on fumes. I wasn't striving for the driving purpose behind the WHY. The answer was simple; I have a strong passion to take care of people by providing a valuable experience. Along with some sassy personality, I truly enjoy being useful. Bringing home the bacon, and boy do I love bacon, is just the icing on the cake.
About that same time I finally got my head screwed on right, I joined forces with two other girl bosses and moved off Main Street and over to the 317 Studio. It was then I felt the need to update the business name. The truth was no one in my daily life called me CJ, and I didn't like it on the rare occasion people did. When I shared the business with my husband, Jason, it made sense to go by CJ, but in actuality my middle name is Joy. Not much more to it other than it fits and I like it. You'll still find me @cjhopper on the website and Instagram, but please, call me Christina Joy!
Thank you for taking the time to learn a little bit more about me. I would love the chance to get to know you and your loved ones. When the time comes and you need a photographer to capture your joy, I hope you'll come to find me.
Please visit my website www.cjhopper.com to learn more.