Jennifer Semro, Library Artist of The Month


That One Perfect Shot!

Jennifer Semro, Artist of the Month at The Fort Myers Beach Public Library for October and November, had no intention of becoming a professional photographer. “I was one of those people who took a simple camera and did ‘point-and-shoot,’” said the native of Elmhurst, Illinois, 20 miles west of Chicago. “That was pretty much it. Even then, I found photography fascinating.”

It intrigued her enough that Jennifer, roughly seven years ago, took classes from the Ritz Camera Centers in Naples, “where Frank Berna, a professional, taught. I learned about the craft, and next thing you knew I acquired an advanced camera that I had no idea how to use so, so I took more classes, and that is how it all began. Before I got into this, I thought photographers just pointed the camera, but you must know about location and lighting and backgrounds and all kinds of things, including patience, to get that one perfect shot!”

artist of the month, fort myers beahc, island sand paper, jennifer semro
“You cannot have a great photo without a great frame,” believes Jennifer. Photos by Gary Mooney.

She does all my own framing. “To me that is the biggest part of photography. Depending on how you frame and mat a photo, you can have the same shot look completely different in two or three settings. If you do not have a good frame, you do not have a good photograph.”

When asked her favorite locations, Jennifer sighs: “Oh, Lord! I photographed the wild stallions at The Outer Banks so that has a soft spot in my heart. Key West was a great, and I just returned from a terrific trip to Chicago with three members of my photography club. The Bahamas, where I photographed wild spotted dolphins, stands out.” As for how she selects her destinations, “l am not a world traveler, and I don’t like to fly, so most are within driving distance. There are so many beautiful places, and I look forward to going back to where I already took photos, because there is always something you did not get the last time.”

Jennifer first began photographing pets; this photo placed 2nd in The State of Florida 3 years ago!

Jennifer does not specialize in any one genre: “I started out doing photos of people’s dogs and some cats, but now I branch out into many areas, including nature and Blues artists, as I love that music!” In addition to photography, Jennifer operates “Critter Sitters”: “That began in 1994, when my daughter on vacation needed someone to care for her two dogs, then to make a little extra money friends brought me pets, and it evolved into a fulltime business.”

To learn about Jennifer’s magnificent work, attend the “Meet the Artist” Reception on Wednesday, November 1, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. To contact Jennifer, call her at
239-947-8638, email at or see her Facebook page.

To learn more about the Beach Library at 2755 Estero Boulevard, visit or call 239-765-8162. Hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; closed Sunday and holidays including Columbus Day, Veterans’ Day and Thanksgiving.


Gary Mooney