We were lucky to catch up with Kirsten Lee recently and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Kirsten , thanks for joining us today. Owning a business isn’t always glamorous and so most business owners we’ve connected with have shared that on tough days they sometimes wonder what it would have been like to have just had a regular job instead of all the responsibility of running a business. Have you ever felt that way?
Such a great question!! Yes, I’m happy as a business owner. Do I wonder about having a regular job? Sometimes. Let me share why… Before I started my own business, I was a special education teacher in the public school system. It was a job I LOVED and went to graduate school for. I didn’t leave my teaching job to start my business but to say home with my two small children at the time. It was a gift and privilege to be able to stay home with them. Did I think I would start a business as a result of leaving my full time job? Not at the time! I had alway had a love for art! I grew up taking art lessons, drafting classes, and photography film classes. I knew in college that I still loved that creative side but I also found my love for working with people with disabilities. I continued on in my education to become a teacher but I always loved art and photography. Fast forward to becoming a mother! Yes, I was the mom with a camera. I loved capturing their every move and taught myself how to use a digital camera. I also realized that when you go from a full time working mom to a full time stay at home mom, it is totally different!! I needed to find balance in my everyday life but also find time for myself. Photography was a great creative outlet for me at the time. This is where becoming a business owner flourished and I started Kirsten Lee Photography in 2011. It started out small and it allowed me to have an outlet as a person and but also allowed me to be home with my children. In the last 10 years, I’ve created and grown a successful business as a child and family photographer in the Atlanta area. As well, I’ve added beginner and intermediate camera classes in my community here in Douglasville, Ga. I help other mothers, fathers, or grandparents learn how to use their DSLR cameras so they can have fun capturing their loved ones as well. Do I wish that I had a regular job? Of course not! I LOVE my job capturing sweet memories for my clients from pregnancy, newborns, birthdays, to graduation. As well as teaching people in my community how to love photography like I do. I also love being able to create my own schedule and be there when my children get off the bus each day. I would say the only downfall to being a “1 woman shop” is missing out on co-workers! I’ve learned to network in my community and industry as a business owner and photographer. But I’m so thankful to have found my “mom tribe” here in my community of Douglasville, Ga. So important to have for us moms!
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
Hello!! I’m Kirsten, of Kirsten Lee Photography. I’m a Atlanta based lifestyle photographer specializing in Children and Family photos. Whether you want to capture your family in the comfort of your home, beautiful parks of Atlanta, or a unique urban location, I’m excited to capture those amazing memories for you! I also teach others how to love their own DSLR camera like myself! I offer beginner and intermediate camera classes in my community of Douglasville, Ga as well as online. Whether you want to start from the very beginning or ready to take it to the next level, I promise you’ll love learning more about your camera and photography with me.
Have you ever had to pivot?
Well, 2020 was the year of pivot right?!?! When Spring 2020 happened and we were all in our homes and I obviously wasn’t taking photos of my clients for the first few months of lockdown. I had to rethink how to reach my clients and potential clients while we were all at home. Thankfully I was already present and active on all my social media accounts!! I decided to give my “target audience” good free content that they could use at home with their family! Majority of my clients are parents just like myself and at the time home with their kids doing on-line learning and finding creative ways to keep everyone active! What did I offer to my clients? I created a fun photo scavenger hunt with a free printable, kid friendly directions, and photo tips! I also hosted a free photo challenge in a private FB Group. This was a great way to gather the community together online. I engaged my own children for these fun activities and shared with my audience on social media, website, and email list. Engaging with my audience and clients even though I wasn’t currently taking paying clients allowed me to nurture my relationships with them. I believe this was very beneficial to helping my business grow after Spring 2020!
Any insights you can share with us about how you built up your social media presence?
Social media is something that is constantly changing!! Being present and engaging on both Facebook and Instagram can be time consuming but it can benefit you and your business. It is important to pay attention to the current trends that are on social media and how that can help benefit your business. I’ve learned over the years that being your authentic self and relatable can go far on your social media platforms. Yes, I do pay attention to trends even though I’ve gotten older but I also still share my true self and what my business is all about! One thing I love to do is engage my followers. People love giving their thoughts on relatable topics right?? Maybe it’s parenting, marriage, pregnancy, or even current fashion trends? You can do this in your posts, stories, reels, or even Tik Tok if you have it. My best tip with social media is to be yourself, engage with your followers, and be consistent with what you share!!
- Website: http://www.kirstenleephotography.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kirstenleephotographyatl/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kirstenleephotography/
All portrait images are taken by Kirsten Lee Photography Headshot by Jacey Verhoef Photography