Hi! I’m Kristen. I’ve been a professional wedding photographer since 2010. I can remember always having a camera in my hands, in one shape or another, since I was about 9 years old. Shortly after college I purchased my first DSLR and photography became a major hobby of mine. I enjoyed taking photos of still life mostly and loved the photo-art aspect of what I created. My love for photography grew as did my portfolio. At that point in time, I would dabble in portraits if a friend or family member would ask me to do a photoshoot for them. Otherwise, I enjoyed it as my hobby and creative outlet.
I met my husband, Neil, several years later. Photography just so happened to be a major hobby of his as well. We shared photography as a mutual interest and it was something we enjoyed doing together. We travelled a lot at that point and would always have our cameras in hand when we did. We pushed each other creatively, technically, and artistically, to continue to develop and grow as photographers.
It was very natural for our passion of photography to develop into a business. Winking Photography was created shortly after we were married. We both had full time jobs and it was something we enjoyed doing together in our free time. Friends, family members, and acquaintances were asking us to shoot their family sessions, child milestones, engagements, etc… Until one day a friend of mine asked us to shoot her wedding. I told her, “Absolutely not!” I didn’t want that responsibility. She insisted. I didn’t want to disappoint her, so we did it. I’m very grateful that she insisted because we thoroughly enjoyed it and that is when we found our niche with wedding photography.
Once our son was born, we quickly learned that we didn’t have “free time” any longer. So, our wedding photography business was either going to become a hobby we no longer had time for anymore or I could take the plunge and go all in. I took the plunge, quit my full time job and never looked back.
Winking Photography became a full time business and I became a full time wedding photographer. I am able to do something that I love, while having the flexibility to be a hands-on mom and in control of my own schedule. Neil continued with his full time job, but he would assist me as a second shooter on wedding days and he is very technical, so he helped me manage equipment and software as well.
We relocated to a different state mainly to be closer to family and for a job opportunity for Neil at the end of 2015. With this transition came major changes for my wedding photography business. Moving to a new area means losing your current clients and starting over in a new market. I was also booking weddings 1 to 2 years in advance. After our move I began commuting back to where we used to live on the weekends to shoot the weddings I already had booked a year or two prior in order to fulfill those contracts. I knew it would take some time before I had the amount of bookings I was accustomed to in our new area.
With this downtime, something interesting and unexpected happened. I had former colleagues, acquaintances, and even competitors reach out to me to ask me all sorts of questions about my business and how I ran it. Since I was in a different market now they felt more comfortable asking me for advice and tips on problems they were trying to solve. Anything from pricing, organizing the wedding day, marketing, bridal expos, booking more clients, handling client issues, print credits, designing products, which labs to use… you name it, I was getting asked and I was happy to oblige. I was flattered that so many fellow wedding photography (and some videography) business owners were looking to me as an expert. So I began mentoring, coaching, and consulting them to help them grow their businesses like I had grown mine. With that, Hobby2Pro was born. I have created an online community for wedding photographers where I am able to coach them along and help them with their needs, regardless of what stage they are in the process. My goal is to help the hobby photographer become a professional photographer with a profitable business, like I did!
That’s Us in a Nutshell…
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