Most of my life I have felt a pull, a battle inside of me, or a force trying to bury me in darkness. Some days it's paralyzing and unfortunately, I'm not always able to overcome it. I'd let it suffocate me in lies; I'd believe it. I would all but give up completely, when I'd find my fight... buried, broken but brave. That fight would surface and grab the light like it's life depended on it, because it did. 

I’ve always envisioned a seed in its shell, and buried in the dark, cold dirt. Not a particularly beautiful or special seed. Not a rose, or a giant sequoia. Just an ordinary seed. Hoping for some warmth from the sun, it breaks out and reaches for the light. Trying to grow tall, just a little more each day. Trying to survive. Trying not to get buried by the shadows of taller plants nearby. Every day, it just reaches for the light. Most days, I am that seed, reaching, trying to be a little better than the day before. Trying to feel more light than dark, more warmth than cold. It’s difficult trying to function, thrive and be who I need to be, while dealing with depression and anxiety. 

Thankfully, art can be very therapeutic. I have learned over time to use my artistic nature to my advantage. To help me cope with this ailment that no one else could see, even if it was the only thing I could see. I started my creative journey as a writer. Between journals, poetry and short stories, I would medicate myself. I would let the pain escape through my pen and paper.

Southern Ohio Photographer, Conceptual Visual Artist

January Heuss, a southern Ohio Conceptual Visual Artist. Photos by Phil Boltz (top) & Brittany Grace Photography LLC (in text)

Through doodles in my notebooks and paper coffee cups, my anxiety could be tamed momentarily. Doodles led to drawing, drawing to painting. I even sing a bit, but all of this, which I mostly keep to myself, is personal. It is raw, and real, and messy, and in it's own way beautiful... but not for others to see. I fell in love with photography because it's all of those things, captured by light. I search for the light, fight for the light, everyday. With photography I can actually preserve it. So I do.

I have always been intrigued to find old images of my family. Some from before I was born, some are memories I've lived through, and some are of family I have never met. When I find an old photo of my grandfather, who passed when my mother was 17, I get a glimpse into who he was. And not just that, but what he looked like, to see if my kids bear any resemblance. I've never had the pleasure of meeting him. I didn’t get to grow up calling him “Papa.” He never took me for ice cream. Instead, I have photographs my family saved and I use them as a window to look back in time.  

Today, everyone walks around with a camera in their pockets, not to mention snapchat filters and selfie sticks. We can shoot moments of our lives fairly easy. We can make cute collages and profile pictures, all from our phones. I'm grateful because these days I am a mom to 3 kids and several kitty cats and I use my camera phone daily. However, there is a vast difference between a "selfie" and a fine art portrait. When someone is gone, fading memories are all we are lucky to have. When those memories are gone, the only thing left are images. Which would you rather have hanging on the walls of your house, to be admired and remembered by your children and grandchildren as they grow? What do you want to offer your descendants, a hundred years from now, to give them and their children a glimpse into your own life? 

I decided to take this skill, developed over the years; born of my blood, sweat, tears, heart and soul, to build a business to help support my growing family. My mission is to capture your stories. To create pieces of art based on your life. To capture your light. I look forward to working with you, for many moments and years to come.

Published Photographer Badge
9th Place Award 2018
Finalist Award 2018
Cover Artist Badge
Top 10% Award 2018
Top 20% Award 2018
Top 30% Award 2018
Top 10% Award 2019
Top 10% Award 2018
Top 20% Award 2018
Top 30% Award 2018