The Responsibility of Photographers

PHOTOGRAPHERS::: We hold a lot of power in our camera-wielding hands and as such, we need to constantly remind ourselves of how that power can affect the humans in front of our lenses.

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I know that while I’m capable of transforming women’s opinions of themselves into one of confidence and worthiness, it’s so important to also recognize that by delivering a subpar experience or by the simple act of NOT LISTENING to our clients, we can cause damage that is hard to undo. 


Oftentimes, women come to see me very hesitantly after having a negatively impressionable experience with a past photo shoot. Because of that, it becomes much harder to earn their trust, much harder to get them feeling comfortable, and they are much more resistant to being showered with the support and encouragement they deserve. The negative impact of that one shoot, that one off-putting comment from a photographer, that one wildly unflattering photo that she was shown just because the photographer was more concerned about the good lighting of the image than the client’s feelings. 


As Uncle Ben said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” and that not only rings true, but needs to be a recurring self reminder as we are given the opportunity to show people how incredible they are through our craft. We should always be evolving both our technical capabilities AND our emotional intelligence...because this is important work that can change lives. 🖤

The deeper meaning behind a photo shoot | Client Experience


My own narrative has evolved quite a bit since starting this line of work over a decade ago. The further I got down into the rabbit hole that is women’s empowerment photography, the more I recognized the importance of celebrating yourself, as a woman, through a proper photo shoot experience. It has changed the way I run my business, it has changed the way I talk about my work, it has changed the way I talk to my clients.  NOW, I can’t even fathom doing this for any other purpose than to celebrate yourself and to love yourself and to feel liberated and strong and powerful.

In this client’s case, what originally was meant to be a wedding present became not only a gift for herself, but documented herself at a pivotal point in her life as she received a medical diagnoses days after her photo reveal that flipped her world upside down.  Read her experience below. 

“I have followed Kara on Instagram for years, and always thought "I'm going to do that one day," but every time her sign-up opened, I chickened out. I wasn't in the shape I wanted to be in, felt too uncomfortable in front of the camera, didn't have the right reason for a boudoir shoot, felt like I could use the money on something else. There was always a reason to tell myself no.

“And then one day, I finally said yes. And it was one of the best decisions I've made in a long time.” 

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“I initially told myself that my session with Kara would be a great wedding gift for my fiancee – something he would never expect to receive from his overly body conscious girlfriend. But as I got closer to shoot day, I realized that it was as much for me as it was for my fiancee.

I've never quite been comfortable with my body – and even with a year to prepare, I still wasn't in what I considered to be "boudoir-ready shape" by the time of my shoot – but after years looking at the beautiful images Kara created, I figured that even just one good image would make the shoot worthwhile. My experience with Kara was so much more than I could have ever imagined. Kara was a total joy to work with. She completely changed the way I felt about my body, and brought out a confidence that I always lacked. I thought that taking pictures in lingerie (and less!) with a relative stranger would make me freeze up, but Kara's friendly demeanor put me at ease from the moment I walked in, and I felt like we were old friends despite only meeting her that morning.”


“Even just taking the photos before I even saw them...I left feeling powerful. I finally saw myself as the sexy, confident woman that my fiancee always saw. Seeing the final images just amplified those feelings. I honestly felt like I could conquer anything, which couldn't have come at a better time for me personally.”

“ The week after my photo reveal, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My entire world flipped upside down. I went from being embarrassed by my body to gaining an unknown confidence in it to wishing that I spent a little more timing loving it. ”

“ Kara did something for me that I wasn't able to do for myself, and now, as I'm about to embark on a very difficult life experience, I'm so grateful that I have these beautiful images to look back on – and to serve as a reminder of the hidden self she helped bring out in me: a confident, self-loving bad-ass boss babe. Working with Kara is a definite investment, but one that I would make a million times over, and I look forward to booking many more experiences with her in the future.”

 

She. Is. Incredible. I honestly couldn’t even begin to count the number of clients I’ve worked with that were affected by breast cancer, and how inspiring they each are to me....and how grateful I am on their behalf, to have documented this exact place in life they’re in.  In the way that my self portrait project serves as my own personal visual diary of my current stage of life, these images will forever be there to serve the woman in them and remind them of that stage in their life. 

THANK YOU, G, so much, for sharing with me and with the KMS family. I have every faith that you will kick this cancer’s ass in all the ways, and I will be seeing you again for your celebratory “I KICKED CANCER’S ASS!!!” Photo shoot that I’ve done for so, so, so many other insanely courageous women. YOU ARE AMAZING. 

xx

The Photo Reveal

Our photo shoot experiences are amazing and fun as we create and break down barriers, and I watch as women work on their confidence right in front of me. But the photo reveals....the reveals are where it’s at. That’s where alllll of my job satisfaction lies and I will always selfishly want to be present when women see their images for the first time and experience their jaws hitting the floor and their eyes tearing up as they gawk in disbelief that they could look so fierce and powerful and confident and Goddess-y.

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Some women are completely silent, even after their slideshow plays...they just sit there, stunned, with their hand over their mouth. Some women are SCREAMING “OHHHH. MYYYY. GODDDDDD” as each image flashes on the screen. Some women are sobbing messes. Some women spill their guts about why they needed this so badly at this stage in their lives.  Some women play it cool and casual as they order their full collection but then send me a lengthy e-mail as soon as they get home about what it all meant to them.  Regardless of how differently they may process it, they all move me tremendously and marry me to my work.

  

When they ultimately say “Obviously I can’t choose. I want them all.”, I know that I’ve done my job. Women are notoriously hard on themselves, especially when it comes to their appearance....which is why I maintain that, while obviously all of my experiences will have them looking their best, my primary goal isn’t to make them look smoother or slimmer or more voluptuous than in real life....it’s to make them look strong and capable and cool and CONFIDENT. Because what’s inside matters more, and THAT is the vibe that I want my work to have. Not one of being for someone else’s enjoyment, not one of being overly retouched to the point where it could literally be ANYONE in those photos....but CONFIDENCE.

I am on a mission, one woman at a time, to build CONFIDENCE in all of the women that I come in contact with, because I know the power of confidence as well as I know how crippling insecurity is. And the world NEEDS MORE CONFIDENT WOMEN. Your appearance is the least interesting thing about you, I promise. Let’s work on the inside. Together.

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