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Conversations with the Inspiring Kami Arant

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kami Arant.

Kami, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up around the cacti and sunshine in Arizona, moved out to California to study graphic design at Azusa Pacific University, and grew utterly curious about the people around me. I started my photography business right as I was graduating college, not sure if it would go anywhere but trusting in the opportunities that the Lord kept throwing my way. I job-hopped and held some design jobs as I was side-hustling the heck out of my photo business, until December 2018 when I finally quit my job and jumped full-time into freelancing!

I’m where I’m at today because of my family and the way they taught me to see the world. My Grandma was the original world-traveling photo-journalist, my cousin Courtney took me along on her many film projects (a haunted cabin ghost story included) and sold me her hand-me-down DSLR camera, and my dad never left for work without telling us, “be aware of your surroundings.” It’s to all of these people that I attribute my love of documentation, photographic eye, and my ability to look around me and notice the small details, the mundane, and the magnificent. I’ve also had a lot of people take a chance on me early in my career and I’m so grateful for those opportunities!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s been quite the bumpy road, but a road that has taught me so so much! I worked 2-3 jobs through just about every season in college and post-grad up until I went full-time freelance. I didn’t sleep much, and my days were a constant pace of chaos and forgetting to look up and around. I was so concerned with progressing and saving money and booking clients that I just kept saying yes to any opportunity that came my way. I was forgetting to live out my vision of authenticity, all in an effort to run towards my vision. When I finally started focusing on the people and relationships around me instead of earning and striving and fearing failure, everything started fitting into place and the Lord showed me that I had everything I needed with just a camera and a heart that wanted to tell stories and value people.

To other women and young women starting their journey, I recommend definitely working hard and sacrificing some things to be able to create space for your passions/business, but not at the cost of your relationships, because people are REALLY the most beautiful thing to pay attention to. And when you pay attention to what really matters, your passions drive you forward instead of your desire to achieve or your fear of failure.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Kami Zoller Creative story. Tell us more about the business.
I’m a Southern California photographer for the joyful and vibrant folks! I specialize in photo-journalistic wedding and portrait photography. I’m known for my colorful, joyful photos and my ability to capture candid and emotional moments. I stay true to my desire to story-tell instead of curating a perfect wedding scene, which culture is deeming necessary these days. Relational dynamics are the heart of my work, so I use my empathy to stop, look around, and observe what’s really happening in an effort to pay attention to and notice the wildly powerful connections happening all around me. Whether it’s a wedding or a grocery store, there are so many people who are worthy of being known and photographed and valued. The stories of human connection are everywhere, and I get the absolute honor to show up, pay attention, and tell those stories.

Looking back on your childhood, what experiences do you feel played an important role in shaping the person you grew up to be?
Growing up, I was taught to pay attention to the world around me and value memories, both mundane and important. I spent a lot of time with my Grandma, who would take me and my cousins on summer-long RV trips around the country. She would document EVERYTHING, from photos to videos to having us sit around the tiny table every night and record what we did that day on cassette tape (!!!!). She even took me on a tour around Great Britain when I turned 15. How lucky was I?! She traveled to 102 countries over the span of her life and had an entire walk-in closet FULL of thick photo albums from each trip she took.

At the end of high school, my Grandma started losing her voice from a neurological disorder. It was then that I started REALLY valuing her stories and experiences. I started recording my conversations with her, where I asked her all sorts of questions on life, travel, and family. She valued people overall, and she made friends from every walk of life and color and nation and tribe. She would receive dozens of Christmas cards every year of people telling their own annual stories and wanting to hear Grandma’s. This was the life she nurtured, a life of love and questions and documentation. After she passed away, I sorted through a lifetime of photo albums, home videos, and the recordings of our conversations. It was then that I realized the absolute power of documented memories, and knew that I was called to help people do that. She understood the importance of each moment, and now I do too.

Pricing:

  • Wedding packages start at $2,200
  • Couples/Portrait/Family sessions start at $300
  • Wedding highlight films start at $2,000

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Kami Zoller Creative

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