We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Katie Iredale. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Katie below.
Katie, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Let’s start with the story of your mission. What should we know?
We’re approaching the 2 year anniversary of the passing of my very best friend, which occurred 8 days before my busiest wedding season to date. This experience changed the way I look at photos, it changed the way I take photos, it changed everything for me. Two months later, I photographed a wedding that was planned last minute, so that the bride’s father could attend. He had stage 4 cancer and didn’t have much time left. During their father daughter dance, I took an image of them in a sweet embrace, you can see the tears rolling down their cheeks, and in the background is the moon. All night long, her dad kept pointing out the moon to me.
A lot of folks don’t understand the value of photography. When I am taking photos of people, I always find myself in absolute awe. I think about how far the photos will travel, all the homes they will live in, how many generations they will be passed down for, the eyes that will stare at them, the hearts that will cherish them, and someday, the thumbs that will ever-so-gently brush across the faces of the people in the photos. The significance of the images I take is never lost on me. They’re infinitely more than just pretty photos.
My mission is to photograph people as they are, and to have them be trusting and comfortable behind my lens. Yes, we all love a picture perfect instagram shot – I like to call those the “banger shots” – but, it’s the simple photos that really do it for me. The ones where humans are just being human, lovers are loving, families are gathering, a tear is falling, and I get to freeze these moments in time, forever.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
I started my business on a whim after a sequence of events put a camera in my hand and some friends peer pressured me into taking some portraits. Those portraits were shared on social media and before I knew it I had paying clients inquiring. I photographed things like knife fights with professional fighters (the photos from that shoot are absolutely terrible and hilarious), fundraising events at the Boys & Girls Club, baby showers, huge extended family photos… Everything under the sun. In the summer of 2018 I photographed my first paid engagement session and I was sold on the experience of photographing lovers. Since then it’s been a wild ride, especially with the pandemic and of course the loss of my best friend which I shared about in another section, but I do feel like my business has organically thrived because of the way I have operated with openness and integrity. In my business (and life) I live with the mindset that what is meant for me won’t miss me, meaning, the clients that I’m meant to work with will always find their way to me and the ones that aren’t for me will always pass me by and both are totally okay.
My entire goal is to take beautiful photos of beautiful humans being themselves, while I get to be myself as well. I’m not a fluffy butt kissing vendor, I’m just ME. I want to connect with my clients and create a space where we are all comfortable together, as that’s where art can be born.
Is there something you think non-creatives will struggle to understand about your journey as a creative? Maybe you can provide some insight – you never know who might benefit from the enlightenment.
I am in my fifth year as a full time photographer and I will say that for the first 3 years especially, there was a lot of hustling. I sacrificed a lot and was completely obsessed with my business. They say a business is like a baby and it’s true. It needs constant eyes on it and lots of nurturing and I feel like my identity fully got sucked up into my role as a photographer and business owner. Those titles really defined me and ran my life. It’s only been in the last year and a half after reaching a big burn out and essentially identity crisis that I had to really slow down and look at what was important. Social media was pivoting, the world was changing, everything was shifting and I honestly went through a phase of feeling extremely irrelevant in the online space.
When I was in this phase of burnout I had to take a big step back and look at my life and see where I had abandoned myself in a lot of ways. Self care in general is difficult to maintain but I feel like as a creative and an entrepreneur when you are making money for your talent, not taking care of yourself will really make or break your business.
In the last year I have really gotten to know myself on a new level. I’ve turned down work that didn’t feel aligned, I’ve enjoyed slower periods instead of panicking, I’ve dived back into self care, I’m nurturing all the parts of me that I didn’t pay much attention to in previous years.
We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.
Like I mentioned, losing my best friend in the middle of the pandemic brought about the darkest time of my life. I lived alone, the world was shut down, my best friend was dead, there were riots happening all across the country, there was so much political and social unrest, I mean, things were out of control. The event industry had been fully closed down due to covid and the future seemed dark and very unknown. Somehow, through all of that, my business still was able to thrive and I had my highest performing year financially.
- Website: www.katieiredalephotography.com
- Instagram: @katieiredalee