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Conversations with the Inspiring Kiyah Crittendon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kiyah Crittendon.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kiyah. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I like to think that photography runs through my blood. My dad was/is a talented photographer as well as a videographer, graphic designer, and all-around creative guy, and his dad was a black and white film photographer too. I grew up always seeing my dad document life and that intrigued me enough to start doing the same starting in middle school with disposable cameras and digital point-and-shoots. For my 16th birthday, all I wanted was a DSLR and thanks to that gift, my love for taking pictures took off as I learned more and more about photography by taking my camera with me everywhere. My hobby transformed into a passion in my third year of college when people started offering to pay me to photograph them, and my dad encouraged me to officially start my business. In 2014, I photographed my first wedding and I remember leaving at the end of the night thinking, “This is what I’m supposed to do.” Since then, thanks to a lot of support, failure, prayers, and perseverance, I’ve been growing my photography business and furthering my passion for creativity.

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 has not been a smooth road by any means! There have been so many struggles along the way. Overall, the hardest thing has been balancing the business side of my job with the creative side. As I mentioned, I love photography. Documenting life and others around me and preserving those memories is what I fell in love with years ago. However, as a business owner, that is only about 20% of what I actually do with my time! It’s definitely been hard to manage clients, market myself, set and stick to my pricing, gain a social media following, network, stay productive, and so much more. I’ve failed a ton along the way, and I’ve wanted to quit so many times just because my creativity can often be stifled by the business I have to run.

My biggest piece of advice for young women who are just starting their journey is this: know your worth. Your worth comes in so many different forms outside of just the price tag you place on your products or services. Your time is valuable, the energy you put into everything you do is valuable, and most importantly, the very person you are is so so valuable. As a young woman starting a business or a creative journey, comparison will easily creep in, but as long as you confidently value yourself above whatever society or a client or a company or a peer attempts to tell you, you will remain secure in your worth.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Kiyah C Photography story. Tell us more about the business.
Since 2014, I’ve been the owner of Kiyah C Photography, a wedding and portrait photography company based in Atlanta and Washington DC. I specialize in emotional, memorable, and joyful wedding photography for couples who are passionate about life, experiences, and each other. Outside of capturing weddings and couples, I photograph families and events and I work with brands and non-profit organizations.

As a wedding photographer, I’m most proud of the couples that I get to work with. I’m honored to be chosen by each and every one of them. They invite me into some very intimate, sensitive, emotional, and unforgettable moments in their lives, and I never want to take that for granted. What sets me apart from others is that I don’t ever just show up on a wedding day as a stranger or a vendor, but rather as a trusted friend that’s already established a relationship with the people that I’m going to be following around with a camera all day! I’m there to photograph them but also remind them to drink and eat throughout the day, help them bustle their dress, and give them space to savor the moments. The photography is important but the bonds I build with my clients is just as crucial.

It would be great to hear about any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve used and would recommend to others.
My favorite business apps are Quickbooks, HoneyBook, Planoly, Unfold, and Simple.

My favorite podcasts are Serial, Anchored Business Podcast, Epic Podcast, How I Built This, The Bearded Tog, and Don’t Keep Your Day Job.

Jasmine Star is overall my favorite businesswoman to follow for advice on everything!

Pricing:

  • Wedding collections begin at $5000
  • Portrait sessions begin at $500

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Kiyah Crittendon

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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