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Meet Talia Kite

Today we’d like to introduce you to Talia Kite.

Talia, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
When I was a sophomore in high school in the suburbs of Chicago we were given tons of electives to choose from, my first choice was interior design and my backup was film photography. I was obsessed with all design shows {hey there Trading Spaces!} and I was really looking forward to learning more, of course as luck will have it, I was put into a photography course. So, I began shooting black and white 35mm film, my dad would go out with me in my downtown and I would practice with lighting and contrast and we would see what came about. I brought back my first roll of film and it was stuck in the camera when it was finally opened it was exposed to the light and completely ruined.

So back out I went and shot again, developed the roll, printed my images and won a 1st prize ribbon on a photo I had taken. Amazingly this was the confidence I needed to push myself through every photo class, including studio courses where I created my own projects, and I soon realized I had found my passion. I was terrified to start a college career in the arts, mainly because I had not studied any other mediums, but also because I had no idea what you would do with a photography degree. I tried my hand at photojournalism, but I wasn’t finding my creative edge. When you find yourself in an art school surrounded by so many talented individuals, it tends to weigh on you.

Although I was always a very practical student and did not want to find myself with one choice after college, so I chose a Bachelors in Fine Arts with a focus on photography and added on another degree in Art Education. I was so set on Art Ed, I put in so many hours, projects, time, traveling, moving home for student teaching, learning, engaging that I had to give it a real shot and more than anything I truly loved the idea of teaching others how to learn through art, when trying to learn like the majority of students simply wasn’t enough.

When I moved to St. Louis after graduation to follow my boyfriend, now husband, I wanted to apply to education jobs and when I’d get an interview I had no idea what I was talking about, I bombed all of them, like really bombed. They would ask me scenario questions and I just froze up, I did not know what I was speaking about, and could not blame a single person from ever asking me back for another interview. I knew it was time to focus on something I’d been pushing aside for so long, something I was terrified of failing at, but I picked up my camera, applied for jobs in this field and found more success than I dreamed of. I worked in the hospitals doing newborn photography and it taught me so much about lighting situations, white balance, posing and talking to clients. I even met some amazing people that pushed me to where I am today.

In 2012, we moved to Denver and I knew there was nothing else I was going to put my energy into, I was going to make this photography business work because this is what I had. So I printed fliers and walked around the store to store asking if I could display them, I joined networking groups, I set up booths at trade shows, I did portfolio sessions just to show work in this state. More than anything, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and knew if I didn’t feel uncomfortable I wasn’t doing it right. I opened up a natural light studio in a 160 sq ft space to give my clients a space to be photographed outside of their home. I traveled all over the state to document weddings for the first five years of living out here and it was amazing to be apart of those moments.

After moving into another home, building our own natural light studio and having a little one of our own, I turned to focus on my passion, newborns, and families. I pride myself in being in this part of people’s lives, I feel connected and joyful and lucky to be asked in on these incredible times. I hope all of my clients know that through all the hard work and confusion and navigating through the craziness of learning how to run a business in a new state and not knowing a soul, I am ever grateful for every session they allow me to document during these fleeting moments with their families.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
We moved to Denver on October 30, 2012, and I woke up on an air mattress on a friends floor and I thought ‘oh my gosh, what have we done?’ We moved across the country, without knowing anything about starting, let alone running, a business and could name everyone I knew in the state on less than two hands, one was my husband, and another my sister. It was a struggle for sure; there were a lot of bumps and twists and turns and simply confusion on where and how to start. I had no idea where to begin, but I knew I was going to make this business work.

One of the best things I did was reach out and accept help. I went to the Small Business Association to learn about cash flow and future planning, I hired several different business coaches, I even asked on Facebook for suggestions which lead me to BNI {Business Networking International}. It was at BNI that I learned a lot about networking and how to grow and how to define exactly who you are looking for. I met people that I am still in contact with today and I run into all over the city and mountains and know I could turn to ask for help and suggestions on growth and ideas on how to show your clients you appreciate them.

And while learning how to run a business has been interesting and informative, the hardest part about running a photography business is the intimacy and personalization that goes along with it. I can learn as much as possible from a business standpoint, but when it comes to being invited into someones home during a vulnerable time in their life, that is something that takes time and patience. I had to truly learn to navigate how to feed off of one’s energies and find that connection that brings out their comfort in a way they want to be documented.

I will have to say after six years of continually growing my business, it has been a fun, exhausting, questioning, amazing, connective and beautiful road to get me to where I am, although if this ride ever gets too smooth that’s when I have to throw in a bump, to shake things up, get motivated and find a new path to creativity.

Talia Kite Photo – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My business specializes in newborn + family photography, in home, on location or in my natural light studio. I took the first five years of my business to explore as many venues as possible, weddings, corporate events, headshots, product, commercial and print but when it came to having a baby of my own and truly having to choose who and when I photograph, I knew it was time to focus in on what brings out the most joy for me.

I found joy in documenting the moments in between the poses, the times when you believe the camera is down and you are finding comfort and relaxation with your loved one. You wipe away the tears from your toddler while nursing your newest addition and your partner is watching in complete awe of your strength. Beauty is in the breaths you take when playing with your kids outside, running around as the sun begins to set but they won’t let that grip of their tiny little fingers off of your hand.

And when you find pure and simple joy in the calmness of being surrounded and loved by the ones you choose, and embracing the craziness and energy that life brings along for the ride. This is what I’m known best for, showing you how you already feel. My goal in every session is to break through that barrier of knowing there is a camera in front of you and feeling like you are a part of the image. You are simply right there with these people that are having an intimate moment with their little ones while still looking and feeling amazing about creating these memories for the ones they hold closest.

I am proud to be a family’s historian, to get out of my comfort zone, be aware of my surroundings, find the creases of light and make images that make you feel something. I want you to look through an album and bring you back to that moment of pure, selfless, unhindered love you have for the people you choose to be in these frames with you.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success for me is finding the connection from beginning to end with a client. I am looking for someone who I am excited to meet and they have complete trust in my work to let whatever happens at a session, happen. When I finally go through the images and I can clearly define the story being told with a mixture of portraiture, candids, sun-drenched images, pull back documentary, black, and whites and well-balanced color tones, family combinations that feel right and not forced, when there is connection and meaning and feeling and all of this can be put into an album seamlessly, that is my success.

I love being able to tell a story about a family’s life right now. Outside of these moments, it might be a little different, but in this studio, in their home surrounded by their comfort, or at a beautiful location, these are the memories we are solidifying. No matter what is going on beyond this space, it doesn’t matter, because for a couple of hours we have chosen to forget about the world and simply focus on yours.

When a client looks at their images and it brings them to that moment of joy that is my success. I put a lot of time and energy and creativity into my work and I want to be as happy with the images I produce as my client is.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All of these images are copyrighted TALIA KITE PHOTO and clients have signed contracts allowing me to use them for marketing and social media purposes.

Getting in touch: VoyageDenver 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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