Kelby Maria – Teen Photographer & Business Owner
My dear friend, Kelby Maria, started a business dedicated to photographing the precious moments in life that tell a story – a story to show the next generations. Recently we went on a super fun photoshoot, and I got to ask her all about her business!
The Start of a Dream
The first time Kelby ever picked up a ‘big’ camera was when she was eleven years old and visiting some friends in Arizona. “Lisa let me use the camera they had just bought, and I was shooting and I LOVED it!” she told me. Lisa Ronsick, of A True Focus Photography, was the one who really inspired Kelby and taught her a ton about photography.
“It always excites me to take pictures. It is like an art,” Kelby says, “I love to see beautiful pictures, and also to create memories for people. I took pictures of my grandma and grandpa eight months before he died and those are my favorite pictures. They’ll always be happy in the pictures; I can always remember who they were together. Creating those kinds of memories and pictures for other people is a really big deal to me.”
A Business is Born
Kelby got her first camera when she was thirteen, and it was the biggest purchase she had ever made. “I had to work really hard to make the money to buy all the photography equipment, but the value is so much more when you work for it instead of someone giving it to you. You value that thing much, much more because you see all the work behind it.”
After learning the basics of photography from Lisa, she then went on to learn from online resources. “There are a lot of photographers out there who offer free resources so I definitely took advantage of that, like signing up for their newsletters.”
“Really it comes down to practice. I practiced by grabbing a sibling, going outside, and shooting with them until they were just DONE. It takes a lot of practice and trial and error to get good at snapping the perfect picture. Push yourself to do better, but still have fun. It takes perseverance, but once you get good at what you do people will spread the word!”
This year she also invested in her business by attending a class in Virginia where she learned more about how to pose clients as well as the business aspects of photography.
Even though Kelby has worked really hard to learn her art, she believes her talent didn’t come through anything she has done but is a gift from God!
Introducing Kelby Maria Photography!
Photography is something Kelby loves to do, so why not make it her business? Kelby has always had a very entrepreneurial mindset. “I like to be productive, and I like to have a goal that I can work towards,” she told me.
Me: What did it take to get your business started?
Kelby: I observed other photography businesses, and I also got a lot of recommendations. Creating the website was hard because I am not good with that kind of stuff. To stay frugal I created the basis of my website, and then I saw that Perry Elisabeth designs websites, and they are making my website pretty! Starting this business took quite a bit of time. But I think it has totally been worth it!
Me: How do you advertise your services?
Kelby: Right now it is mostly word-of-mouth, but after I get the website up I’ll start full time blogging so that will be a great way to advertise.
Me: Where do you see your business in the future?
Kelby: In the future I would really like to just shoot weddings and engagements; I love to do those! Also, I would love to offer some kind of education for aspiring photographers. I learned so much from other photographers that I would like to be a help too. If the Lord wills and I do get married, I think I will keep on with photography while still making my family a priority.
Me: Do you have a word to encourage our readers to greatness?
Make sure to check out Kelby’s website and blog to see more of her work!
This girl built her dream business by capturing priceless memories for her clients to treasure forever!