Today we’d like to introduce you to Christy Kendall.
Christy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I come from a long line of photographers, my grandfather was by today’s standards, a fine art photographer and took stunning images of everyday life. My mother by contrast was a documentarian and photographed quite literally almost every day of my first year alive. She had a talent for capturing the perfect “ah hah!” shots, the right moment of the surprise or smile. I like to think that I got a little bit of them both, blending my grandfather’s fine art images with my mother’s talent for getting the perfect moments.
When I was in college, I was majoring in nutrition and took a photography class as an elective. Once I really understood how my camera worked, I couldn’t put it down. By the end of the semester my college professor pulled me aside and let me know that she had picked two of my images out of the three that she would be using for the student gallery that semester. She then continued to ask me where I was transferring to, when I explained that I wasn’t a photography major she looked at me with a straight face and said “No; change your major” and walked away. I spent the rest of the next two semesters following my original plan but my camera never left my side after that class, it became apparent that I had found what would become my passion. I’ve now been shooting for 10 years and it has added more joy to my life than I could have expected.
Has it been a smooth road?
I shot for several years with a studio that was notorious for long hours and low pay. I’d shoot for 14 hours and walk away with no rights to the images, no ability to show them and some of the lowest wages I could’ve gotten for my work. My viewpoint then and now is I may have not been the best, most talented or had the best gear, but I could outwork anyone else. I have always had a workhorse work ethic and I used that to get me through that job. Inevitably it led me to see my images were being requested the most by the studio clients for albums and prints and that gave me the confidence to start taking on my own clients.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Christy Kendall Photography story. Tell us more about the business.
I specialize in fine art wedding and family photography and my venues and clients always remark on how the images are full of emotion and connection. My focus has always been to promote and put out into the world more of what I feel makes life spectacular – family, in whatever form it takes. I look around and I see plenty of sex, drugs and rock n roll being put out in our media and I’m just trying to even out the ratio. I photograph what I feel is important and what I feel makes life worth living- connection. I think aside from our one-week turnaround on every shoot (even our weddings) and how we mix fine art with documentation in a very aesthetic way, what makes the company stand out is its purpose. I believe in marriage, I believe in family, I believe in the power it has to make us feel like we are more than just human. I think clients feel at home knowing that I admire what they are doing and I am rooting for them to have the marriage they are trying to create. I realize that my clients are entrusting me with, for many of them, the most memorable day of their lives and I am never anything less than honored to be there. Side note: I’ve shed a few tears at every wedding I’ve shot (the vows get me every time!)
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The wedding and photography industry is very saturated in LA and I think the only way to really have staying power is to live and breathe your purpose and always keep advancing forward. I am a voracious reader and I enjoy learning as much as I enjoy drinking coffee (which is saying a lot) so I have managed to stay ahead of industry standards in gear, editing software etc. I am lucky to love working in a field that is very transitional. My wedding clients turn into first time home owners, first time parents, second time parents and I end up getting to follow chronologically as the family grows. It’s very rewarding and not many fields allow for that kind of relationship with your clients.
- Website: www.christykendallphotography.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @christykendallphotography
- Facebook: facebook.com/christykendallphotography
- Yelp: Christy Kendall Photography
Portrait of Christy Kendall taken by CKP staff shooter Atreyu Smith