top of page

Jared Christiansen: From Selling properties to Framing moments in Fort Wayne

Although society sometimes makes us believe otherwise, people don't always discover their passions when they're eighteen. Many of us spend years going through the motions of a job that doesn't truly fulfill us. Until one day, we try something new and suddenly realize what's been missing all along. Some even take this newfound passion and find a way to turn it into their career. This was the case for Jared Christiansen, who purchased a camera while on vacation in 2014, fell in love with the world of photography, and left his decade-long career in the real estate industry to turn photography into his full-time business.

Fort Wayne Business Journal had the chance to interview a local photographer. This Photographer went from starting in real estate to a full-time job capturing moments.

When we talked to Jared, we asked him what the word business meant to him now that he has been running his photography company for several years and he said,

"To me, it still sounds scary, stiff, and corporate, but at the same time, my business is a creative outlet so it's fun and exciting, but it's still a lot of work. When they say, 'If you do what you love, you won't work a day in your life,' it's far from the truth because you never stop working. But I enjoy it, so for me, it's twofold."

Jared Christiansen taking photography for an event downtown Fort Wayne. Fort Wayne is starting to have more events and happening downtown and through Fort Wayne.

He went on to describe to us what his business is today by saying

“I am a one-man show. I'm in my third year of photography being my full-time career, but what I do varies. I don't want to be the person that puts all their eggs in one basket and specialize in only one thing. So, right now in my career, I take senior and family photos, street photography, capture landmarks, nature, and landscapes, and recently, I've had the opportunity to do photography for bands either in action or for promos, so that's been really cool." He went on to say, "After you put in the work doing the things you don't always want to do to pay your bills or build your clientele, eventually you'll get to a point where you can start doing more of what you want to do and less of what you don't, and I feel like that's where I've been this past year."

Jared Christiansen spent his childhood moving from place to place every 2-4 years because his father was in the military. When we discussed what this was like for him growing up, he said, "It was hard because I never felt like I had a home. We moved to Fort Wayne in '83, and then three years later, we moved to North Manchester, Indiana, so that's where I went to high school. I really consider that my first home because I was there for the most influential years of my life. Manchester High School is really where I grew up." Thinking back on his childhood, Christiansen doesn't remember ever being interested in photography specifically, but he recalls always enjoying any time he could be creative.

In 1996, Jared moved to Fort Wayne and, after a few years, went on to get his real estate license. Through real estate, Christiansen had an excellent first look into what being a small business owner was like. He understood how to create a business structure, handle fluctuating housing markets, and work with clients. He continued to work in the real estate industry for over a decade. In 2014, Jared and his wife visited his father-in-law in Miami, Florida. While they were there, they bought a camera to capture their trip. Shortly after making this purchase, Jared asked his wife if he could take a few pictures, but the camera never left his side. That day was when Jared's passion for photography was born. When they returned home from their trip, he continued to further his knowledge about photography. He watched tons of YouTube videos, read whatever books he could find, and found a mentor in Kevin Mullet, who has been generous enough to share his knowledge with Jared all these years.

Photographer in an alleyway downtown Fort Wayne is becoming more of a thing with local's and people visiting. Are local Fort Wayne artist are helping paint ally ways area of the city to bring more awareness to the art community and our culture here in the Mid-West.

During our conversation, we asked Jared what type of content he first started doing, and he said he found himself taking a lot of content within abandoned buildings or warehouses, capturing the rugged, dreary, and forgotten spaces. When he was reflecting on this time, he told us that he believes his interest in this style of photography was because he was in a dark place. He went on to say as things began to shift in his life, he noticed he was simultaneously transitioning into different styles of photography. As Christiansen gained more passion and experience in the industry, he set out to find a way to make this his full-time career. When we discussed the challenges at the start of the company, he said,

"When I jumped into the business, I knew how to form the company, thanks to my background in real estate, but the scary part was trying to figure out where the clients were going to come from. I didn't understand how I could get paid to take pictures, but once I started doing senior and family photos, the money started coming in. It gave me the confidence I needed to branch out into other areas of photography and transition into photography as my full-time job."

Since starting his business, Jared has won several photo contests, including first place at Honeywell Center during their annual photo competition. He has nearly 50 pieces of his work displayed within the walls of Parkview Randallia, and he was given the opportunity to work with Lutheran Hospital, capturing content to go into their new building downtown before they opened. Jared has been featured in Fort Wayne Magazine, including having his work displayed on the cover multiple times. Recently, he has branched into doing concert photography, allowing him to shoot concerts for the Embassy, capture content at Ripple down at Parkview this past June, and even take pictures at a Snoop Dogg concert over the summer. When we talked about his success since starting his business, he expressed that he still experiences some challenges. He said,

"The challenge for me now comes in being self-employed; whether it's real estate or photography, it's almost like feast or famine. There are weeks I'm so busy I think, 'how did I get here? This is so amazing' and then the following week, there's nothing, and I feel like a loser. The mental part of it all, like the imposter syndrome and self-doubt, is tough to push through, even though I know it will be okay. But with that said, I also believe the day you stop feeling nervous is when you should stop doing what you're doing. When you're comfortable, there's no passion. To me, passion drives everything, so I'm okay with pushing through it all because it means I'm still passionate about what I'm doing."

Capturing moments at a wrestling event in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This photographer gets in for the close action shot. Photography is growing market in Fort Wayne and this entrepreneur found a way to make a career in photography. in Fort Wayne.

As for the future of Jared Christiansen Photography, he said,

"My dream would be to someday do something with national geographic. I want to continue to find my purpose in photography and find the purpose in what I do. I love what I do now, but I want to start doing things with more personal meaning. Whether that's capturing animals or people, I want to do something more impactful that makes a difference. I know I have a gift, and I want to use it to its fullest."

Jared went on to tell us about how grateful he is that he's been able to turn his passion for photography into a full-time job for himself. He doesn't have any plans to hire a second shooter; instead, he defines growth for his business by being able to do what he wants and understanding his worth in the industry.

Art is becoming one of the main attractions in Downtown Fort Wayne as artist are filling the streets. Local photographer love to capture moment like these. Photographers are getting more creative with the art seen.

If you're interested in taking a deeper look at Jared's work over the years or want to stay updated with what he's doing, check out and follow his Instagram and Facebook at jaredchristiansenimages or view complete galleries and purchase his work on his website at To end our conversation, we always like to ask our current owners and leaders what advice they would give someone wanting to take on the entrepreneurial journey, and Jared said,

"DON'T DO IT. No, I'm kidding; my advice would be to be honest with yourself and to stay open and humble. The biggest thing is to find something you want and love doing and finding a way to make that your career."

Thank you to Jared Christiansen for sharing his story with us and providing us with several pictures he's captured throughout his career to share throughout this article. If you enjoy reading these stories about those helping shape Fort Wayne, follow us on Instagram/Facebook or subscribe to our free monthly newsletter so you're always in the loop about what's happening here at the Fort Wayne Business Journal.

Fort Wayne Business Journal shares stories of local entrepreneurs. We had the chance to interview Jared Christiansen Images to see what it is like in the photography industry. We Interview local business owners and entrepreneur that are making a difference in our local city.


bottom of page