We had the good fortune of connecting with Kayleigh Guthrie and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kayleigh, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Art has always had a special place in my heart. I used to draw and paint when I was younger, but when I got my hands on a camera, I knew I heard a calling. I was around fourteen years old when that happened. Of course, I took photos like most teenagers in the 1990s and 2000s would: self-portraits, candids of friends, and landscape or nature. Behind the camera, I felt more attuned to the world around me. Unfortunately, I was told by several sources that art or photography was not a viable career so I followed the teacher route, my second passion. After graduating and teaching for a few years, the calling for photography became louder. I did it on the side that whole time because creativity was a release of serotonin for me. I loved empowering others and creating images that not only my clients enjoyed, but others as well. I pursued photography full time this past July. Capturing moments of someone’s raw authenticity and emotions brings so much satisfaction. I have also proved that it is a viable career option, and I love being able to inspire others to do the same if they feel stuck in their 9-5 job that may not be their calling. One of the reasons I fell in love with photography is my clients. Many times I hear, “I’m awkward”, “I don’t know how to pose”, “I don’t look good in pictures”, and many of those times, I sit there in shock because I see an amazing human being before me, 150% deserving to be photographed. I adore people. I want to get to know them because I believe in them. I see their beauty and their talents. I want to show them what I see through my eyes and show it off to the world. I’m a sucker for a Hero’s Journey, in love, in oneself. Having gone through many transformation stages in my life, I see the value in change, the value in the affirmation that people are worth it. I believe people of all backgrounds, regardless of culture, race, gender, or sexuality, have a story to tell, and I want to tell their story through photographs.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am the owner and photographer of Raw Photography Images. I am proud of and excited for my growth as an entrepreneur and photographer. I have only been full-time for six months, but I have been doing photography for a total of ten years. I was really worried about changing careers because running a photography business is a lot more than just taking and editing pictures. The logistic side made me really nervous. Thankfully, I have a lot of people who have helped me through the process. I wouldn’t necessarily call it easy, but I know that my stress level is nothing compared to my previous career. It’s really important to reach out for help when challenges seem to be too steep on your own. My brand is built on authenticity, empathy, and empowerment. I do not like to pose my clients in traditional statue poses. I love to create movement and emotions. I use poses and prompts that highlight my clients’ personalities and their beauty. I want them to be able to look back at the photo and remember the experience, the emotions they felt during the session. Nostalgia can be a powerful and wonderful feeling, a reminder.
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?
Luckily, all my friends live in the area, but I can pretend! There is a lot to do in DFW; plenty of unique food spots and activities. I would probably take them out dancing to Cowboys Red River and teach them how to country two-step. I would probably take them to a variety of food places, such as Pho Asian Star, Uchi, Ramen Mura, Torchy’s Tacos. I’d show them all the good hiking places around DFW like North Shore Trail in Grapevine or Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Plano. We could walk around any of the downtown areas or even the Fort Worth Stockyards and have a blast. There is so much to do in the area!
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?
Wow! I have so many people that have been on this journey with me. I would ultimately like to dedicate this shoutout to two people. First, Stephanie Powell. She is a business & branding coach, but also a really good friend. She has done so much to encourage me and my business. A year before I became full-time, she helped me rebrand. Recently, I have been part of her Mastermind class, and it has helped steer me in the right direction for success. I cannot put into words how much her support, expertise, and friendship means to me. Lastly, my husband, Elijah Guthrie. I don’t think I would have been brave enough to take the leap of faith and change careers without his support. He is my biggest fan who is always there during the behind the scenes.
John Paul Rivas (photo of me in the hat). Colton Newkirk Photography (photo of me laying on my side) All other images are my own.