We had the good fortune of connecting with Kaitlyn Fleming and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kaitlyn, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I’ve always heard the phrase, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Well let’s just say, with having a business that you’re passionate about, it feels like I haven’t worked in years.
Ever since I was little I’ve always been involved in the creative arts community, but it wasn’t until high school when my business started to truly blossom. Mentors like Kasey Kamenicky and Jennfier Bass, helped me get to where I am today. They taught me everything from the basics of looking through my viewfinder, or how to use my shutter speed.
In March of 2020, when Covid started to kick off, is when it all really started, believe it or not. I was stuck at home like everyone else with nothing to do so I thought, “I ought to amp up my website a bit.” And then it was, “I ought to amp up my social media profiles a bit.” And not even a month later I started getting family photos, couples photos, senior photos, and even those doorstep family covid photos, booked up like crazy. It was something about that “Six Feet” that still allowed me to do what I love and while also keeping my loving clients safe.
Since Covid, my business has only blossomed more. I almost hate to say it but if it weren’t for Covid, I may have not worked up the courage and give my business the ‘boost’ it needed.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I can tell you for a fact, none of it is easy. It took a lot of time and effort to get to where I am today….and I’m still going! I want everyone to know that I’m not here to be some photographer that chose this path just because I think it’s “easy” and all I have to do is “push a button.” Believe me, it’s much more than that. Every time I have a session with a client, I want it to be memorable, and I want to creative memories for them that will be above grandmas fireplace for decades. And just to clarify, it’s not always easy, it’s never just “pushing a button.” It took sometime for me to realize that I need to put myself into my clients shoes. You don’t always know what their going through, and you never know if that’s the last time a family is going to get their photo taken with a loved one, so with every session I always give it my all.
Being on a yearbook staff early on, I began with photographing candid’s… and boy do I love them. I adore taking those photos where it takes me a couple tries, but then you finally laugh at one of my ‘dad jokes.” And when I give mom a little sneak peek, and she starts giving me happy tears, that is when I know I’ve done my job. These moments are what make me proud to be a photographer.
I am proud to have won multiple SkillsUSA State Superior Ribbons and a SkillsUSA Best of Show Ribbon for my photos.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When my best friend comes into town, first we would go to our favorite brunch spot yet, Toasted Coffee + Kitchen located in Downtown Fort Worth. We’re big foodies and love trying new things so it would only be right if we found a new place together to try. We would have to stop at Wabi House in Downtown Fort Worth to get some Spicy Miso Ramen and maybe get some boba tea from Ding Tea in Fort Worth, TX not too long after.
We are both photographers and one of our favorite indoor studios at the moment is The Lumen Room, so we would have to do an impromptu photoshoot at one of their locations. We may head over to the Stockyards to again, grab some good food, and enjoy some dancing while we’re at it.
We love going to concerts together, so say one of our favorite artists happens to be performing at one of our local venues, it would only work in our favor.
One of our favorite things to do at the moment is drive and drive all around town until we either find a really good sushi place or a super cool spot for photos, to which we get out, and do another impromptu photoshoot.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate my Shoutout to my high school teacher and photography mentor, Kasey Kamenicky. If it wasn’t for her, I may have never learned how to properly work my way around a camera, or studio lighting, or even start my business in the first place.
I would also like to thank and recognize Jennifer Bass, my eighth grade yearbook and history teacher. She always saw something in me that no one else did and pushed me to come out of my shell and begin doing what I love; photography.
Shaina Willingham of Shaina B. Photography (Photo taken of me)