About a month or so ago, the sweetest person ever reached out to me to meet up and discuss the possibility of a collaboration. After a few sips of coffee, I knew that Kaley (pictured above - isn't she gorgeous?!) and I would get along so well and couldn't wait to work with her on some fun projects! All the images in last week's post were taken by this amazing local photographer and she also took the pictures that'll be in next week's blog post. I am so thankful that she reached out and took the time to do a quick Q&A on her and her photography business for all of you!
Age: 23 (I'll be 24 in 1.5 weeks though!)
Current Title/Company: Owner/Photographer at Kaley Gross Photography
Tell me about yourself and Kaley Gross Photography.
If I had to describe me in a nutshell, I would say that I'm a coffee addict with a love for food, fashion, and traveling. Kaley Gross Photography is influenced heavily by these things, and I really think my interests come out in my art. I love light, airy, clean, minimalist/Scandanavian design and all things nature.
What inspired you to start your own business?
I've worked alongside Alyse French Photography, a Houston wedding photographer, for the past 5 years and she's been my biggest inspiration in creating my own brand. Watching her be so passionate and successful while still being the kind of person I aspire to me made me realize I could pursue my dream just like she did!
When did you create Kaley Gross Photography?
April of 2015, but only as a side project. I didn't become a full time photographer until February of 2016!
Who are your typical clients?
My typical clients tend to have similar interests to me! I think it's the natural approach I take to my photography. It attracts the type of person that appreciates the simple and the meaningful things in life.
How would you describe your photography style?
I'm a natural light photographer, so way the light shines in my photos is very important to me. I edit my photos very minimally and go for an organic feel.
What is the most difficult obstacle you faced so far with your business?
Truthfully, the hardest part was believing in myself and telling myself that I could do it. I've always been my own biggest obstacle, and once I finally stopped making excuses and let go of my own fears of failure, it's been nothing short of amazing.
What is the most rewarding aspect of owning your own business?
Definitely feeling like you're creating something for someone else that you know they'll love and cherish forever! There's no better feeling in the world than leaving a shoot feeling really great about the work you just did and knowing how excited and happy your clients are going to be when they see the final images.
What is the most important skill to have when you're a photographer?
Patience! It's easy to get caught up in the tedious paperwork, contracts, and session editing. It's also very easy to get frustrated when you are constantly competing with yourself to have every shoot be the "best shoot ever" and to have patience when you're building your brand. You're going to have bad shoots. You're not going to have a million clients when you first start. You just have to be patient and work hard and know that it all pays off in the end.
How do you balance your personal life and running your business?
I try to keep typical "work" hours and "personal" hours. Since I shoot primarily in the evenings, most of my work is done in the afternoon and at night. Because of this, I try and give myself the mornings off!
What does a typical work day look like for you?
Usually I'll spend the morning planning my day, drinking my coffee, and running errands before I start to work. I'll then catch up on emails, create and send over contracts, booking information, and questionnaires and then edit sessions and create a blog post about it until I have a shoot that evening. After the shoot, I'll back up all the photos and either finish editing the session from earlier or start on the one I just shot.
What is your favorite photoshoot you've done so far?
Gosh, there's been so many! I love senior sessions and I've got two in mind that I really love, but I have to say I shot a wedding last weekend that left me speechless. The couple, the location... Everything was so beautiful and perfect! I can't wait to share the images soon!
Give us your best tip for posing in pictures!
Keep your shoulders back and tilt your chin slightly down!
What advice would you give someone looking to start their own business?
Go for it!! Don't be too scared if it's what you really want. Do your research, find a mentor, and talk to someone in the industry that knows what they're doing. Nothing will help you more than taking the advice of someone who has come before you.
Now for the fun stuff…
What's in your makeup bag?
I'm obsessed with Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream! It's my favorite foundation and I love the way it feels.
Italy!! It's #1 on my list and I literally daydream about it every day.. Haha!
Favorite spot in Bryan/College Station?
Either Harvest Coffee Bar or North Gate Juice Joint! (So hipster, I know. But they're so cute and SO good!)
Grey's Anatomy! I just started watching it, so I'm about 10 years behind the rest of the world, but I'm totally hooked! I'm on season 2 and I think I've already cried like 20 times...
If I could eat anything for the rest of my life, it would be _________.
SUSHI. I'm a monster. Like, really. Every time I go eat sushi with someone I think people stare in awe at just how much I can eat at a time.. It's just so good!