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Life and Work with Kristen Sudge

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristen Sudge.

Kristen, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have been interested in photography for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I was constantly taking pictures of family and friends. My first real photoshoot experience was seconding shooting a wedding at the age of eleven. It seems like I haven’t put my camera down since! For the next nine years of my life, I was still fascinated with photography, so at the age of eighteen, I finally decided to start my own photography business. I have had photography experience in many different areas, but I am constantly challenging myself to learn new techniques and grow everyday.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My advice for young women who are just starting their journey is to focus on being yourself and not conforming to the ways those around you perform.

In the beginning, I often struggled with comparing my work and success of my own business to other photographers. Comparison only leaves you feeling defeated and unmotivated. It is vital to surround yourself with people who lift you up, cheer you on, and encourage you. Also, doing the same for other photographers and small business owners, in general, can make such a difference and bring light to a community that often gets wrapped up in comparison, judgement and competition.

I firmly believe that putting work and a brand out into the world that reflects your own personality will bring just the right people to your business. Overall, I would advise any new and upcoming small business owner to surround yourself with the people that lift you up, cheer on those around you, and let your own personality show through your work.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
I am a portrait and lifestyle photographer focusing on raw, real, and genuine moments. I specialize in seniors, newborns, and couples, but I am always looking for ways to challenge my self and shoot things outside of my comfort zone.

Seasons of life are what make me so excited about photography. For example, having a photoshoot with a graduating senior and knowing that she is navigating through such a special season of “lasts” makes the photos that much more important and memorable. For all of the seniors, I work with it is my hope that they will look back at their portraits in the future and be able to remember just how bittersweet their senior year was. I also love working with newborns and their parents. Newborn lifestyle sessions are, without a doubt one of my favorite types of photoshoots. These sessions aren’t typically how you would see newborn photos done. I believe that a newborn should be captured in their safest place like her parent’s arms or in her new nursery. Coming into the family’s home a few days after the baby is born allows me to capture irreplaceable moments while keeping everyone comfortable and genuine.

I have found the sessions that are filled with the most laughter and excitement are couple sessions. Working with couples or soon to be bride and groom brings a lot of fun and excitement to a session. Capturing those who are in love while they are navigating a new season of life together makes for the perfect photoshoot. No matter what I am photographing, it is my main goal to make my clients feel loved, their stories feel heard, and be there to document their important moments. I believe that allowing my clients to be themselves, assuring they are comfortable, and focusing on their specific, unique, and special season is where all the magic happens.

What advice would you give to someone at the start of her career?
My most important piece of advice is to not be discouraged because you are young. People may look down on you because of your age or even your gender, but you have to remember that everyone started somewhere. Your work is just as valuable as anyone else’s, and the more you push yourself the more you will grow.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Kristen Elise Fine Art Photogaphy LLC

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