We had the good fortune of connecting with Kayleen Le and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kayleen, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Being creative feels the most natural to me. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had creative hobbies. When I was younger, I would be constantly making DIY projects or following drawing tutorials online. I love the freedom and the endless possibilities that being creative allows. The creative field is never stagnant because it has no boundaries to what I’m allowed to make and I could always try out new things. In high school, I gained a lot of photo gig opportunities that made me realize that I could make a career off of something I love doing. Another reason why I want to pursue a creative career is that the work I make can leave an impact on people. Whether it’s me photographing an important event for someone or designing a final product that they can cherish and keep.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a street, travel, lifestyle, and event photographer (open to concert photography too) and an aspiring merchandise/music-based graphic designer. My photography career started when I got my first iPhone and started taking photos on a Colorado trip with my best friend. I wanted to document everything by taking photos. Since then, I would take photos whenever and wherever I traveled. I started posting my iPhone photography to Instagram and eventually upgraded to a DSLR camera a few years down the line. By the time I was a freshman in high school, I joined the yearbook staff. I took a ton of photos outside of my usual travel photos from sports to fine arts to student life, etc. Also, I got a lot of photo gig opportunities through connections I made in journalism. I became heavily involved with the yearbook production process that year and I also picked up some basics of the design software at that time as well. Flash forward to 2020 (my junior year), I took a digital media class that taught me more about graphic design. Since I got a free Adobe Suite subscription from that class and had more free time, I spent more time playing around in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign exploring graphic design. I would do other side personal projects such as branding/packaging design, poster design, etc. In my senior year, I became the creative director for my high school’s yearbook. Not only did I do photography for the book, but I also heavily focused on page design and the overall art direction of the book. Currently, I am a communications graphic design major at my community college. I plan to pursue a career in graphic design in the music industry and continue photography on the side. What makes my photography stand out from others is my unique perspective on mundane, everyday subjects that most would overlook photographing. For design, I think what’s unique is that I design projects based on visual cues that pop into my head from listening to a song and everybody has a different perception of that.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I were to show them around Dallas, I would take them out to Lower Greenville and eat at either Hinodeya Ramen, Wabi House, or Ngon for dinner and then Botolino Gelato Artigianale for dessert. For brunch, I’d show them the Bishop Arts District where we can walk around take film photos, look through the local shops, indie bookstores, and then eat brunch at any of the cafes or at my favorite pie shop, Emporium Pies. Outside of Dallas, I would also show them the Korean plaza in Carrollton. An “underrated” spot I’d show them would be Downtown McKinney. Downtown McKinney is somewhat similar to Bishop Arts in the sense that there are a lot of small shops (my favorite being Red Zeppelin Records) to look around and also has great local restaurants.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First, I would like to give a shoutout to all of my teachers that I have had in my 4 years of yearbook. They would always keep me in check with the stressful amount of deadlines and motivate me through creative burnouts. I would also like to give a shoutout to my digital media/audio and video production teacher that taught me how to use the Adobe Suite and for making me try out new things that I wouldn’t have thought would be possible on my own. Last but not least, I would like to give a shoutout to all of the friends I’ve made along the way. Whether they were just my friends or worked alongside my side in yearbook or audio/video production in high school, I thank them for supporting and helping me on my creative journey.

Website: https://kayleenle.wixsite.com/website

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kayleenlephotos/

Other: Behance: https://www.behance.net/kayleenle

Carrd: https://kayleen-le.carrd.co/

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.