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The Art of Redefining Yourself

Janet Watkins is a Great Role Model for That

One might say the ‘story of Janet (Musick) Watkins’ is mostly about redefining oneself and following a later-in-life passion.

Janet taught high school choral music for 26 years. “I was a choir director, doing lots of musicals, choreography, and later, more technical work with video,” explains Janet.

Her esteemed career in education included such accolades as “St. Charles School District Teacher of the Year,” Emerson Teacher of the Year, and was voted “Best Teacher” by Suburban Journals, to name a few.

She has soloed at Powell Howell, sung with a chorus at Carnegie Hall--and in nearly every major cathedral in Europe--as well as singing the National Anthem for the Cardinals and the Rams.

But when nearing retirement from teaching, she felt she had done most all she had wanted to do in music and was ready for something new.

“I had received a master’s degree in video production from Lindenwood’s LCIE program…and I loved it. After retiring, I did video production as part of Watkins Enterprises, which my husband and I own. I also handle the Communications/PR end of the business. But then after about 10 years, I again got the urge to do something a bit different.

“I became totally intrigued with print photography and photo-editing and took every class that I could. I still love learning about it. It’s like a giant onion…I keep pulling back layer after layer and learning more and more,” says Janet.

“I am constantly challenging myself with my photography.  Being Contributing Photographer for St. Charles County Lifestyle has given me the opportunity to be presented with many different scenarios. I do some research before each photo shoot, but generally go into photo sessions ‘off the cuff’…having to make quick decisions on lighting, composition, and capturing exactly what the publisher or writer wants, in a limited amount of time. To help with that, I use a MagMod lighting system which is very efficient for on-site photo sessions. We always want to be respectful of people’s time that we’re photographing.  

“The photo-editing allows me so much creativity. I have an effective technique for group photos that helps ensure each person has their eyes open. But, I can actually face-swap from a series of photos taken of a group in order to ensure that each person in the photo has their best look. It’s really cool.”

Janet has a firm belief that God can “wink” at you and change your life or your direction at any time. You just have to trust.

  • Janet Watkins