My excitement and love for photography grows with every person I meet...every photo I take.

It brings me joy to capture your emotions, your laughter, and your moment with every frame.

Its your story. You are unique.

Let me be your visual record keeper.

eye on Kristen Weaver of Kristen Weaver Photography

17 June 2011
As a portrait photographer in Arizona, I have learned to follow the best in the business in terms of their photography style and [what I perceive as their] business acumen.  I have been lucky enough to have been granted permission into the lives of another such wonderful photographer.  I have followed Kristen Weaver on facebook for months! Months! Her photos are so amazing that I would sometimes find my nose pressed right up against the computer screen trying to figure out how she did that. But strangely enough, it was these next photos that I mustered up the courage to ask her to consent to a blog interview.



Strange uh? That it would be photographs of details...gorgeous details...that would send me over the edge? Well, over I went and I am glad that I did. Its time to meet Kristen Weaver!

1) Introduce yourself and get the visitors “in” on your work!

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Hi! I'm Kristen Weaver, and I take pictures. Some would probably call me a photographer, but I've always just been a girl with a lot of dreams, an obsessive work ethic and a passion for color-coding and traveling. I take a lot of pictures, but I think it's more my way of being crazy in love with the dynamic of different relationships. I love to capture that emotion and feeling - showing what makes every couple different. In my "free" time, I do fashion photography. I fell in love with the freedom and creativity of producing fashion shoots that spoke to my emotions at any given time. My fashion portfolio is more of a personal diary that I can reflect on different moments in my life and the emotion I was feeling during it.

2) I love your work. LOVE it…which is why I look at it often. How did you get started in the photography business, and when?

I can't remember a specific time when I "got started" - I mean, I've been taking pictures for as long as I can remember. But officially, I started my full time venture in photography just 2 short years ago, in the fall of 2009, after being laid off from a job as a marketing director. I was 28 at the time, and pretty much decided it was "now or never". Luckily it worked out for me!

It seems like sometimes the moments of making the best decisions of our lives comes when we should (logically) hunker down and take cover! Sometimes it is called "destiny" or "providence." I call it "God" all the way...sometimes He needs to get our attention and the only way to do that is to take away something that we find security in.


3)When was the first magic moment that you knew you wanted to be a photographer?

I don't think I had a magic moment - much like I can't remember the specific time I decided to start photography. I never took any photography classes and I have no professional training. I actually encourage others to focus more on business and marketing, not photography. You just can't teach someone to have the "eye" or creativity - so you either have it or you don't... but the business of the industry is brutal and I've seen many incredibly talented photographers close up shop because they just didn't have the right tools for the legal, marketing and finance side of photography studios.

That's interesting perspective to me, because you have such an amazing eye.  So, I need to mull that one over in my mind a bit because I know I get caught up in the photography side (which is important) but the business side sometimes boggles me a bit.  I am taking from what you said that I need to really know the business side...that will help us become better at photography.


4)When did you make it a full time thing?

I think I already covered this, but I started full time in October 2009. I'm coming up on my 2-year anniversary! Yay!

Only two years and such a meteoric rise.  WOW!~

5)And I have to ask, because it’s a question that people are asking themselves anyway, what do you shoot with and what is your favorite lens?

I shoot entirely Nikon and my favorite lens is the 85mm 1.4. I shoot a variety of lenses - but I stick almost entirely to primes. I hate zoom lenses (and no, I've never owned a 70-200 and believe you can still shoot weddings without one!)

That's funny Kristen because that has been stated as the go to lens for weddings. So now I wonder what you DO shoot your weddings with, particularly when you can't get up in someones grill during the ceremony~


6) Describe your style.

Oy. My style, huh? Well, I'm obsessed with relationships... so my style focuses on the dynamic of the couple. I love details though, too. I think my editing style is crisp and clean, with colors that show exactly how I want the day remembered. I find myself leaning more towards the soft, romantic moments. I think there's a place for vintage and tinted editing, but I try to keep it out of my editing process as much as possible... just not my style.

I know that your editing style is what drew me in to begin with.  I think it resonates with many of your fans.


7) Your subjects range from newborns and children to seniors to newlyweds and families… what is your favorite subject to photograph?

My favorite thing to photograph creatively is fashion. I love weddings, but there's a lot that I have to do that is "required" and sometimes I find myself stuck creatively because I'm a slave to the timeline of the day, moods, nervousness, etc. I think my second favorite thing to shoot is any kind of "couple" moments - engagements, trash the dress sessions - it's the place where I can really bring out the relationship and take my time with them. It helps me to be inspired!

I feel like I am commenting a lot, after every question, but I wouldn't have guessed that fashion was your favorite.  I would have guessed weddings hands down.  Your weddings are amazing, but now I want to look closer at your fashion photos.  I have friend whose passion is fashion and it just screams loud and clear.  But maybe its because I know her personally and so we have talked about it in the past.


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8) What is something that you are still learning?

Everything?! I'm a sponge - I try to really learn as much as I can about the technical side of what I do. Since I was never trained professionally, I had a lot of ground to cover and I'm still finding out little things here and there about my camera and flash. I'm also still trying to get the hang of taxes. Thank goodness for accountants!!

9) What is the one thing that you LOVE LOVE about what you do?

I LOVE pleasing people! There's nothing like getting a card, note or email from a client raving about my work. It makes me feel SO good and like I have made an impact on their lives, no matter how minor it may seem to some. I just like making girls feel pretty. When they look at pictures and can't believe its really them - that's the most amazing feeling. I get to show everyone else the beautiful person they are!


10) I don't have a studio, so for someone who is looking to bulk up her studio creds, would equipment should I get first?

I started with Alienbees for my first studio equipment. I'd say you can't go wrong with a couple basic strobes, light stands and a good soft box. I've since branched out quite a bit, but I only use about half of the studio equipment that I've bought. It all has specific purposes, and I don't get to shoot studio as much as I'd like sometimes.

There are a few things on my list for this year, some studio lighting is one of them. 

11) When you have nothing scheduled, where are we most likely to find you?

It's an incredibly rare day when I have nothing scheduled, so I don't actually have much time "off". Generally speaking, I like spending my down-time catching up on reality tv shows, or going out to dinner. I've actually been thinking a lot about taking a little non-work-retreat (just by myself) to refocus and clear my head. After 2 years, I think it's time that I'm due!



12) As a photographer, I look to others, their work, their business model, who they seem to be as a person as viewed through their blogs or FB posts; if I look to you, who are YOU looking to?

My 2 favorite photographers are Elizabeth Messina and Jose Villa. On the other side, I'm a fan of Sean Armenta and Babak. I also love Jeremy Cowart for his non-profit work (I also started a non-profit called Images for a Cure - so he's a big inspiration for his work with Help Portrait).

Wow, so many really great photographers to stalk :D.  That's awesome about your non profit organization.  I linked it on this interview so I hope people will click on it and find out more about it.  Its an amazing way to give back when you have been given so much. 

13) Coke or Pepsi?

Coke. (regular - not the diet stuff! ew)

Ohh good girl! I am drinking a coke right now and I am reading through this interview (sigh) so good.

14) Knowing what you know now, what is something you would have done differently when you first started out?

I would have brought in an accountant much sooner to help figure out sales tax and all that. I was pretty clueless when I started and took the advice of others instead of seeking professional help. I learned my lesson early on in my business, but I really had no idea how much was involved when it came to that.

15) Something that I would like to know is, if ever, at any point in your career, have you thought about quitting, or doubted yourself, or hit a wall and wondered how to get over it? If so, can you give a little background? How did you over come that hurdle?

Oh yes. Absolutely. Yes. (did that get the point across!) Every time I would see these other "big name" photographers and the work they were doing, I doubted that I was good enough to make any kind of name for myself. I would get jealous almost! It was crazy. The best advice I had ever gotten was to stop looking at other photographer's work. It has saved me soooo much sanity! Now that I'm more confident in my own ability, I love looking at other inspiration - I just had to be more confident in MYSELF, first.

I think I am going to have to take that advice too.  Its is crazy making. Especially for someone like me who just wants to be successful in my own right and tend to get discouraged in comparing mine to theirs or his to ours....


Kristen, what is this ring sitting on?  sequence?

16) Who are YOU, other than a photographer?

I think my biggest role is that I'm a daughter. I have always been really close to my parents and hate how far I live from them. It doesn't help that I'm answering these questions on the way back to Florida from a week visiting them in Northern Ohio... so it's top of mind, I suppose. My personality is a bit of a mashup - I'm shy in big groups, a talker in small groups, I love to teach, I love to learn. I'm a bit OCD and really organized. I love Microsoft Excel and office supplies. I'm passionate about love and that "high school romance" feeling. I'm a huge fan of reality TV shows like So You Think You Can Dance, America's Got Talent, Dancing with the Stars and Project Runway. I also love shows like Jerseylicious, Law and Order SVU, and my favorite - GLEE (although this last season was a little disappointing).

Oh I love my reality shows too.  My family loves America's Got Talent...we watch it from first episode to next the last.  America HAS talent.  I've had to stop watching shows like SVU, with 4 daughters, it was getting to be too much for me.  My mind was running rampant with what could happen to cut that off.

17) I have a huge purse love, do you have any fun or extraordinary talents or obsessions, that you’d like to share with us?

I think I'm obsessed with nail polish (OPI and Essie) and office supplies. I also have a prized collection of international fashion magazines and my mom's 'TEEN magazines from 1970.

Your Mom kept her teen magazines? Was she in them or collecting them? Come to think of it, I like to peruse the office supply aisle myself...I have three notebooks in my garage (of all places) that I bought just because I liked the covers...

18) Looking back on all you have done to date, what has been your favorite moment as a photographer?

Photographing my best friend's wedding. Not only did I get to be there with her, but the pictures are some of the most stunning that I've ever taken. It was both a personal and professional accomplishment for me.


19) What has been your best marketing strategy?

My blog. I hosted a workshop the other day and I explained it like this - if your name is your brand, then your blog is your personality. I can show people my images all day long, but that doesn't show who I am as a person. Photography is a really personal experience for my clients - I'm asking them to be completely vulnerable in their relationship, and I'm asking them to do it in front of me and my camera. It's not an easy thing to do! So I like to have them feel like they're with an old friend - and my blog makes them feel that way. I book more work from my blog than any other source of marketing or advertising.

20). You and your camera, across time and space, where would you go and what would you photograph?

That's a tough one! I think I'd go back in time (I love history and the fashion of different time periods) - so it would be more about the clothes. I have these old photographs of my grandma from the 30's, so I'm really intrigued by that time period. I also LOVE the way women were becoming frisky in the 50's.... and who doesn't love the swagger of the Marie Antoinette era?!

hahaha...that's fly.

21) What is the one piece of advice you could give that could be invaluable to someone starting out?

Take your time and be confident in your craft. It won't come overnight. We all have to start somewhere, and we're all still finding our way. No one knows it all. Use jealousy as healthy competition to make yourself better; don't dwell on what everyone else is doing because you'll never move forward. Take control of your business and your shoots and your clients will respect what you do for them. And most importantly.... don't discount yourself, your service or your value! You're only worth the lowest price you charge.

22) Lastly, what is one word in the English dictionary that describes you?

Ambitious. I've got some big goals and can't wait to make them happen!

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Where can people find you, like you, and love you just as I do?

website site:
eye color: Brown
Blood type: AB+
and favorite food: Anything with cheese!


Anonymous said...

I Love KWP too and so glad you asked these questions! It's so great to see in a World of Cut-throats that in Photography the Great Ones, Teach as the Grow! <3 Thank You!

eyefullphotography said...

finsandlens, thanks for reading and responding! I appreciate it. I learn so much from these interviews!

Theresa Knight Photography said...

Beautiful work.. loved the whole interview. : )

eileen mchargue said...

I worked with Kristen years ago and can attest to the office supply fetish....she had the coolest stuff in her cube!

Syndei said...

Love the interview: I love this quote- Use jealousy as healthy competition to make yourself better; don't dwell on what everyone else is doing because you'll never move forward. You are an inspiration and I love your work.

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