I’m Kay! Chicken momma, s’more lover, terrible guitar player, bacon mac & cheese expert, history nerd, snarly hair hater…
There are a lot of things I consider myself, but being a photographer/videographer are two of my favorite. The fact that I get to combine my creative instincts, design and build a business, travel, meet new people, photograph LOVE STORIES, and call all that a JOB is amazing.
My name is Kay and, in case you can’t tell, I LOVE what I do.
I was born & raised in Aroostook County, Maine, which is tucked away from the rest of the world along the super rural Canadian border. I spent my summers in the Big Woods, running around barefoot and making mud pies and concoctions of soups from wild berries you really shouldn’t eat. [No worries, no mud pies were consumed in the making of my childhood.]
I was always captivated by the colors I saw—orange pine needles, mahogany woods, black ledge shores, and every shade imaginable in a sunset. The beauty of this state has always inspired my creativity, and I’m happy to be back in the woods that I love with a skill that helps me capture a little bit of the beauty here. I also love music, movies, a great New York pizza, and my puppy (even though he’s not really a puppy anymore), who might possibly be the most adorable pooch on the face of the planet.
I honestly never considered photography as a career goal, but looking back at my life, it makes total sense.
I was obsessed with taking pictures. I would use any camera I could get my hands on and photograph anything that would sit still long enough. Finally, when I was in 7th grade, my grandfather gave me a red Kodak camera and I lugged that thing EVERYWHERE. On my way home from school, I constantly begged my mom to pull over on the side of the road because that “hay bale looks amazing right now.”
Despite my enthusiasm, I wasn’t very good in the technical sense. I mean, there’s only so many ways you can take a picture of a leaf, right? I WAS good at capturing angles that told a story. I think that’s partly because of the storyteller in me. To this day, my closet is stacked full of story notebooks and sketches of characters I would love to bring to life. There’s just something about seeing emotion unfold that I love, whether visually, or in written art. But I didn’t know how this would play out in my life.
I worked my hiney off through high school to land a spot at a prestigious college. After a tour, I decided that it wasn’t for me and I opted for an education at the Ohio State University, where I spent three and a half amazing years as an undergrad in a city 73,000% larger than my hometown. The experience of college was amazing, but I always had this haunting feeling that I didn’t know what I should be doing with my life. For some reason, I thought I had to have it all figured out. (Plot twist, you don’t.)
One thing I always wanted was to live abroad. I’ve always gone after my dreams, so when I had the chance to study in Spain, you bet I took it. I lived in Barcelona for a little over five months and YA’LL. If you haven’t gone…ya need to think about it.
When I travelled across Europe, cheap camera in tow, the part of me that loves watching a story unfold wasn’t satisfied. I lived in Spain for a while, and the history there is amazing. The culture is beautiful and the lifestyle is relaxed. The food is DELISH, and come on…can you really beat a mediterranean breeze? Naturally, there was so much to photograph. The architecture is absolutely stunning, but there’s so much in a human expression that a building will never convey. There is so much more power in a smile. So I started taking pictures of people. After taking pictures of my friends in Prague, Dublin, Toulouse—you name it—I realized that people were why I loved taking pictures.
My passion is capturing the moments where emotion peaks, the in-betweens, if you will…the smiles just before the pose is “perfect,” the light in someone’s eyes just before the kiss, the laughter after the first shot has been taken. And I fell in love with that.
I wish I could tell you that everything became super clear after that point, but I’m an honest person, and they didn’t. I still thought I needed a legitimate “career,” and the culture shock of returning to the U.S. after living in Spain really depleted me. Up to that point, the last semester of university was the hardest of my life. So after I graduated from Ohio State with a handy degree in English – Creative Writing and a solid knowledge of Spanish, I picked up a golden retriever puppy, packed my truck full of all my junk, and drove home, where I knew I could breathe.
Now that I’ve been home for a few years, life has changed a lot. I still have my pup, plus a few chickens, ducks, and a cat. I still run around barefoot, though the mud pies are a lost pastime. I eat more sugar than I should, and I definitely waste too much time on Netflix. I’ve also been hit with the fleeting length of time we are allowed to be here, and I am thankful for every day my sweet-hearted momma fights to stay and battle the cancer robbing her of her memory. I wish I could tell you how angry I am at myself for not taking more pictures with her. How stupid I feel for not realizing this sooner.
I also wish I could tell you that I have figured out exactly what I want from life. I haven’t, but what I HAVE discovered is that not knowing is part of the journey. I’ve learned that it’s okay to change your mind and the only expectations you should worry about are your own. I know that being real and genuine isn’t common, but admirable. I’ve learned that life is tragic and beautiful and all of those moments and the moments in-between should be captured before they’re lost, before the people are lost, so you can remember all the smiles before you can’t hug your mommas anymore.
I know how important these moments will be to you. I believe in the power and the love they will hold. So thanks for trusting me with those moments. I can’t wait to help you tell your story.
So basically in short, I’m just a sappy artist that likes bacon way too much. 😉
I’m so impressed you read all that. High five to you! BONUS CONTENT—WHAT!!?? Click here for my famous mac & cheese recipe. 10/10 #noregerts #noms #whycantiloseweight #hashtag