Exposure: Interview Series

exposure
Hi all!
I’m excited to introduce you all to Talia Kite today! She’s got a lot of great things to say and the story about how she became a photographer is beautiful – seems like it really was meant to be. ❤ Scroll on down to read more about Blissful Impressions.
1)      Who are you and where are you located?
My name is Talia Kite, my business is Blissful Impressions and I am located in Denver, Colorado!
 
2)      Do you have a home studio, rented space, or are you on location?
I have a natural light newborn studio that is about 200 sq feet.  This studio is mainly for newborns and I will also go to homes for lifestyle newborn sessions. Most other family sessions, engagements and weddings are held in parks, the foothills or mountains.
 
3)      What subjects are your primary focus and which do you enjoy shooting the most?
I love focusing on newborn sessions, it’s a very different shoot then most others.  There is such a trust factor you are building with the parents and creating a relationship as you are holding their most precious gift and creating beautiful, everlasting images for them.  Typically with my newborns I capture them throughout the year at their 6 month and 1 year and get to capture those milestones in their first year!
 
4)      There are so many different kinds of camera’s out there! What do you use and how did you decide on that particular one?
My current camera is a Nikon D800, I use this with a variety of lenses to capture wide angle and macro detail shots.  I chose Nikon because when you accidentally get into a film photography course in high school, you use what is given to you!  I didn’t know too much about the various types when I started out, although as I begin to gather more lenses and really get to know the cameras I was using, I decided to commit.  As I traveled through college I stayed with 35mm and medium format for a large portion of my courses and then switched to digital before graduation.  I feel there is such an importance on understanding film photography, the development process and presentation that goes into every digital image as well. When picking a digital camera it is vital to understand how it is different than the other well known brands.  While I chose to stick with Nikon it wasn’t out of just having the lenses and familiarity, it was a choice and one that I will continue to move forward with as I see fit for my business. 

5)      While we’re talking about equipment, what lens do you prefer to use and why?
My all time favorite lens is a Macro 60mm f/2.8.  It creates the most beautiful bokeh {blur behind the subject} and has a crisp, warm addition to the photos that I have not found in other lenses. While it’s perfect for those obvious close up details of newborns or wedding rings, it truly makes the photo with portraits as well. 
6)      We hear a lot of debate on natural light vs. studio light, what are your thoughts on the subject?
I think these two are so different and it is truly an art to master either one.  I am completely natural light, unless I am shooting a wedding reception, for obvious reasons, I add a flash.  I have a lot of respect for those that make studio lighting look like natural light, but for me I just use the sun.  My studio is on the 4th floor and faces South and in Colorado we get sun most days so I don’t have to worry too much about dark days {of course it is sleeting and dark as I sit and write this}. When it comes to outdoor sessions I book them 2 hours before sunset, and use that gorgeous orange glow from the sun to add another factor into my images, that I don’t think you can get from artificial lighting.  I love natural light and I always strive to be better at this craft, as no two shoots are the same!
 
7)      How did you learn to be a photographer?
I learned photography by accidentally getting into a photo 1 course.  I originally signed up for Interior Design {a big fan of TLC, Trading Spaces at the time}, and photo 1 was my back up.  Luckily my older sisters had taken the course so we had some equipment.  My dad has always been big into photography and my Grandpa was a WWII photographer who went on to start his own photography business.  It was one of those things that was meant to be, but was not obvious.
I always had trouble learning in school, classes did not come easily to me and I wasn’t a natural at anything it seemed, so I didn’t think too much about this course either.  I knew I always loved art, but this was a whole new realm.  I went out and took my first roll of film for the class, I was getting ready to go develop it and the film got stuck, we fiddled to open the camera and everything got exposed and ruined!  Naturally you are a tad bummed, but I went out again and went for round 2.  I came back to the dark room, developed some photos, entered a contest and won on my first image.  I had no idea I was good at this, of course you don’t need outside influence to tell you, but it doesn’t hurt. From then on I barely left the dark room.  I took so many photo courses I ended up in studio classes that I was the only student and made up my own assignments, assignments that teachers loved that they took to use in their own classes.  I realized I had found my calling.  When I applied for college I decided photojournalism was the way to go, as I had no idea what else you do with a love for photography.  I wanted a state school and decided to move forward with my photojournalism major, mind you, I had absolutely no idea what this would entail.  Once I realized there was no art, in my mind, as to what I was doing I took a harder focus on photography itself.  I put all of my efforts into my art courses, decided to double major in art education and photography and go on to start a photography business, 2 years out of college.  I haven’t looked back, and when I think back on how things could have turned out, I realize this is exactly what was meant to be.  All the struggles in school, the confusion, the only clear thing to me was when I held my camera and was creating, I felt calm, and nervous and comfortable and at ease and excited, and those feelings travel with me today before every session.
 
8)      What or who inspires you? Do you have a photographer you look up to?
There are so many people that are inspirational.  In our internet day and age it is far too easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of work put out there.  There is a quote I read “Comparison, is the death of happiness” and it very much holds true to a profession like photography.  Sometimes we have too much access and it is easy to get down on ourselves.  With that being said, I try to look up to photographers that I know personally, are friends with, have worked with or taken workshops from.  This is mainly because I know I can confide in them if I am looking for inspiration or encouragement.  We all go through rough patches and to have someone that you look up to and respect tell you that, times like these happen and if you don’t keep moving forward, we will just get stuck.  I am grateful to have a community of photographers I have surrounded myself with to be inspired and educated by continuously.
 
9)      When you’re doing a photoshoot or working an event, what is your favorite part?
My favorite part of a photo session is when I get into my groove.  I love to prepare as much as I can, think of poses for engagement sessions, different wrap and headband options for newborns, little jokes I can use on kids for family sessions.  The best part of it all is when everyone is feeling very comfortable and reminded that this is supposed to be fun, not stressful.  I love the feeling of everything being completed as well, knowing I got all the images anyone could possibly want and that it has come full circle.  Editing can be stressful when there is a lot to do, but it is definitely a favorite part of mine! I love completion, Knowing I started and finished something, that I created with my clients is a beautiful feeling.

10)   What have you struggled with the most while having a career as a professional photographer? Any tips for somebody who is just starting out?
The hardest part of being a photographer, professionally is creating a business.  We all have specialties that we want to share, and the idea of getting your camera, taking the photos, editing, delivering and repeating is very nice, but not the truth of the business.  How do you get those clients, how do you keep those clients, how do you get those clients to refer you to their friends and family?  There is so much that goes into running any business, and one that is so personal you have to make sure you are connecting with your clients on a deep level.  I am a very shy person to begin with, so getting out of my comfort zone was definitely a struggle!  My tip for someone starting out is, if you are uncomfortable you are doing something right.  Make sure to try out those things that you don’t know if they will work or not, they may not, but you don’t have to question it. Another huge struggle was being from Chicago, starting my business in St. Louis and moving to Denver to start over after 2 years of building a client base.  Find 50-100 people that are your ideal client, focus in on them and find out what makes them want to refer you, don’t go out looking for just anyone, find the ones that want to find you.  You are not everyone’s photography and not everyone is your client.
 
11)   Do you have any unconventional tips or tricks for getting your little clients to cooperate during a shoot?
When it comes to newborns, I send my clients a preparation pamphlet.  They know to keep baby up all morning, bring them in for a long feeding and with a warm room, white noise and a full belly, things typically move smoothly.  Pacifiers, while aren’t always parents favorites, work really well for newborn sessions.  If there are older siblings I highly suggest bringing them at the beginning or end of the session, it’s far too difficult to sit for 3 hours in warm room, while all the attention is on the new little one.
During family sessions I like to distract the kids as much as possible, playing high five and hide and go seek, make them feel like there is no camera involved, just play.  I also am more than happy to let them take some photos with my camera, one smile equals one photo they get to take.  And if all else fails, asking parents to tickle is a good option too!
 
12)   Where would you like to see your company in the next five years?
In the next 5 years I want my company to be a lifestyle for myself and my family.  I want to have more strict hours with myself, when I shoot, when I edit, when I spend time away from the business.  I hope to have a couple little ones of our own that we get to have family photos taken with and that I get to have a lifestyle with them while having a business I can uphold and continually be proud of.  I would like all of my business to be referral based and always let my clients know that they are number one, and I am forever grateful for their support and encouragement.

Thanks Talia!
Newborn, Family + Wedding photography

www.blissfulimpressions.com

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