I have a confession…
I’m not obsessed with my camera. I’m not a photography junkie. I don’t get super excited about gear or photoshop. I don’t even take a lot of photos when I’m not working for clients. It’s just not my thing. I’m actually like most moms who wish they took MORE photos of their children when they had the time.
That seems really weird, right? I mean… I’m a professional photographer who does this for a living. Who has this as a business. But my camera is just a means to an end my friends…
let me explain.
I want to tell you why I do this. And to do that I need to take you on this little journey that starts back in 2007 when I was working at a car dealership as a cashier.
Okay, so there is little Kayla, 20 years old, who up until that point had always loved art and creating things and my main outlet then was painting. I painted a lot in my free time (remember that thing you forgot about since having children…yeah it’s free time), mostly flowers and portraits and portraits of my two dogs, Atlas and Cleo.
So at work I showed some co-workers a painting I did of my dog and they were all like, “Wow that’s awesome! You should paint my dog!”
“I’d love to!” —
So, I painted a black and white portrait of one of my coworkers’ dogs just for fun and showed all my other coworkers my painting when I bring it in. Another one of my coworkers, who happens to have prized hunting dogs, sees it and she freaks!
“Oh my goodness, my husband would love this as a birthday gift, you have to paint a painting of our hunting dogs! How much?”
Okay stay with me, I promise this is story is going places..
So we decide on a size and a commission price. I should let you know that internally I am SOOOO EXCITED AND FREAKING OUT and planning my whole business future as a pet portrait painter and how I’m going to do that for a living and the world will be perfect and everything in my life is figured out…
I finish the commissioned painting (on my kitchen floor with paints and water sprawled out completely blocking any functional use of the room.) I bring it in, all wrapped up this time because it’s a commission and deserves a proper wrapping and delivery. She views it. She’s nearly in tears. She loves it. Yay!
But I AM in tears, because that moment to me was everything. I just worked hours on this special commissioned portrait and it’s my blood and sweat and artistic ability coming to life to benefit someone other than myself. And when she saw it, and gushed my heart skipped beats and fluttered away and left me with that once in a lifetime feeling that I had something that was special that I could do that I could give to others and bring joy into their life.
And that was it. That is why I create. That is the end all for me.
Let me just say, I’m not running a pet portrait painting business (but the Facebook group ‘Kayla Kohn Pet Portraits’ is still there, I’m currently the only memeber…) But I am chasing that feeling I got the one time I delivered that commissioned painting. And I feel it time and time again now when I deliver sneak peeks and galleries to clients and they have loved my work. And that’s why I’m doing this. I’m doing it for the joy and pleasure it brings me to create things artistically for others and that bring happiness and joy into their lives. It has nothing to do with the medium or it’s gear.
That feeling has translated to photography for me now because my education comes with a ton a photography experience, but thats another story for another day.
So I’m gonna keep on lugging this fancy camera around, doing my best to make clients laugh and smile so that in the end I can give them something that makes their lives better and makes me feel awesome.
Peace and Love,