Johna R Denault Photography: Capturing the Personality of your Family

Growing up, Johna R. Denault spent hours on her homework due to her dyslexia. To find an
escape from the stress, she turned to photography.

“When I was 12, I started taking photos with my parents’ Polaroid camera,” Denault says. “I took photos of nature and really enjoyed taking outdoor shots. My parents then purchased a Sears KS Super 35mm SLR camera. I was in love with this film camera. From then on, I knew I wanted to explore photography as a career.”

As an adult, Denault pursued a fine arts degree in photography at College of DuPage.
Throughout her college career, she received high accolades from her professors, so she was
determined to turn her passion into a career. She began taking portraits of firefighters in her community in 2007, which eventually led her to an unconventional career as a fire photographer and portrait photographer.

Through research and workshops, Denault sharpened her skills and learned how to take photos in high dynamic range. Johna launched Second Alarm Fire Photography, as well as Johna R Denault Photography in May of 2008. Now, she travels around the country, taking pictures for local fire departments, and has been named the photographer for the Fire Department Training Network for the past several years. In addition, she has spent the last 15 years taking portraits of children, families, high school seniors and weddings.

“I have a knack for capturing natural photos that reflect personality,” Denault says. “You help to decide the best location, and I will help guide you as to the best time. I am very patient with children and adults alike. I never make you feel rushed and will make the session as calm as I can. One thing you will notice is that I will blend in with the family to the point in which you will forget that I am the photographer.”

Throughout the years, Denault has received several photography awards for photography,
including an award in June 2010 from Lyons Township for outstanding community service for volunteering and participating in the Littlest Heroes Project. In December 2016, she received an award from the Kankakee Township Fire Protection District for outstanding photography work and dedication in the fire service. In March 2016 and 2018, she also received awards for outstanding performance of photography duties and dedication to the Dwight Fire Protection District.

“Photographing fire scenes can be tricky and at times dangerous, and while I can’t change that — nor would I want to — I know I’m creating one-of-a-kind photos,” she says.

For Denault, the key to capturing such dynamic pictures is making sure you are agile on scene.

“You only have a split second to get each shot and fires are unpredictable,” she says. “You must be willing to be in the moment and get creative while staying safe. It’s like a wedding. You miss a shot and it’s gone forever.

“I was told for years that photography was just going to be my hobby, but it has turned into such a fulfilling and unique career,” Denault says. “I will always be grateful to my college professors who championed for me and told me I had a gift.”

If you would like to learn more about her photography style, please send an email to
[email protected]

Indy's Child
Indy's Child
For 40 years, Indy's Child has been the trusted source for Indianapolis families seeking fun, educational, and enriching experiences. Our award-winning magazine and website are dedicated to providing expert advice, insider tips, and up-to-date information on everything from the best local attractions and events to parenting resources and support. As local experts deeply rooted in the central Indiana community, our passionate team at Indy's Child is dedicated to uncovering the best family-friendly experiences and resources our city has to offer. Whether you're new to parenting or looking for new ideas, Indy's Child is here to help you enjoy the adventure of raising a family in central Indiana.

Related Articles



From our Sponsors