Blog

My Journey

 

Let me make this short and sweet (LOL), photography started for me in early high school. I wasn’t on yearbook or newspaper like most people who start out in school, I was on the dance team. Now I didn’t realize it at the time but looking back I always had my 12-megapixel point and shoot camera with me. I was constantly updating my albums on facebook from the latest football game or homecoming. While I am in some photos I was always taking photos of others, wanting to remember EVERYTHING. Non the less they were generic, still meaningful but only nostalgic. (sorry this clearly isn’t short but no good story is right?!)

Fast forward to college at EIU and during my freshman year, I took my first video class. That class is where I was first introduced to the beauty that is a DSLR. Not only was it awesome for photos, but it could take video and I wanted one for myself! The summer in between freshmen and sophomore year I worked in a cornfield (so stereotypical IL lol) it was a pretty terrible job but I did have enough money at the end of the summer to buy a camera. A camera that would change my life. It was a Canon Rebel T3i. I am forever grateful for that camera and the memories it provided me. It taught me not only how to film but how to take photos. When it comes to the rules of film and photography a lot of them overlap. But when it comes to using the camera, they each are very different. I used auto for photos for a very long time. I was self-taught in photography up until spring f my junior year when I took a photojournalism class. I was still fascinated with video, but photo was my new love.

 

I spent the rest of my time in college with my camera with me at most events. I became “the camera girl” in my college ministry, always capturing the latest retreat and making recap videos. There were times that I definitely got tired of it and wanted to say no but I’m glad that I didn’t. Those experiences, in the beginning, made me decide if this was something I really wanted to do or not.

My first experience with a planned photo session was in September of 2013. A family in my church wanted their daughters first birthday captured so I agreed, not knowing how to do anything I went to Pinterest for inspiration. I’m pretty sure I had my camera on auto and used the flash. I had no idea what I was doing when it came to photography. For the next year, it was trial and error, slowing learning my camera better and understanding light. It wasn’t until Fall 2015 that I had some consistent sessions with families and couples. When you have a lot of friends who need engagement photos taken you suddenly have clients haha!

 

I guess this was a blog for me but also one for those who want to start! For me, my journey was a longish one and I am nowhere near done! But this is something I have been reflecting on lately as I am in some facebook groups where people seem to be amazing overnight or have Instagram accounts that are beautiful at all times. I think everyone’s journey should be their own, it should take them however long they need it to reach their goals. I think it is important to have goals, especially in this business where technology is changing and everyone has an opinion on which 4k camera you should own. It has been so fun reflecting on the past and literally watching my goals being achieved. When I took that selfie with my new T3i I could have never told you that I would be filming full-time for a giant national company or that I would have started a company dedicated to video and photography. I think it’s good to reflect, to remind yourself of where you started and how much you have grown! Take the time to reflect on yours, regardless of your profession. How did you get to where you are now? Was it anything like you thought it would be?  I bet you’d be surprised at yourself when you take the time to reflect 🙂

p.s. I’m, not a writer, I probably will never be one but my best friend is an amazing one and she never tells me these sucks so I guess they’re somewhat okay.

My Name was on the Wall!

Ever since moving to Champaign I have been wanting gain more knowledge in not only street photography but just my craft as a whole.

I took this photograph “Vinyl Man” on a really cold Saturday afternoon in January at a local record shop when my friend Dakota was visiting. I had somewhat of a vision going into the shoot but the photograph I ended up using was not even one that I had in mind. Once we got into the record store I told him to find the most unique record. I loved the lines of the CD’s on the left and the old train ticket booth on the right. I broke the rule of thirds and positioned him in the middle and had my ISO and shutter speed low. I wanted the photograph to have a dark feeling to it, I also spent some time in lightroom getting it be the way I wanted it.

When I took this photo I had no plans to submit it to a show or to do anything with it other than maybe share it on social media, it was a little different than the usual portraits I had taken and I wasn’t confident in people’s reactions. However, when I saw that 40 North was hosting a show title Me, Myself and I: Creating Identity I knew I wanted to submit something, I thought about capturing something new, filed through all my old photos and nothing was standing out except “Vinyl Man”, the photo I wasn’t even sure I liked myself. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I tried something new, a new idea and a new tone for photographs and I stretched my abilities. I had conquered only a small portion of my goal since moving here 8 months ago, but I did it.

When I walked in the night of the opening I had no idea what to expect, who was going to be there, the atmosphere, the other pieces of artwork. I was pleasantly surprised that it was packed, so many people in the community wanted to support local art and I couldn’t get enough of it. My name was on the wall! I know this sounds naive but I was so shocked at how “adult” the whole event was. It was one of the first times in a little over a year since I graduated from college that I felt like this was what post-grad life was. It was honest, real and passionate. These were artist years older than me who were still finding art passionate, still wanting to create something that speaks to people. One of my greatest fears is being content with my art, photo or video and losing the passion and drive that I currently have. If anything, having “My name on the wall” at age 22 was a testament that passion for art can’t die and I hope that “my name is on the wall” again.

Processed with VSCO with e2 preset20170302_17484020170302_18082620170302_180829Viny lMan-Kayla Myers

2016…What a Year

Wow! Looking back on 2016 I am so blown away by all the sweet changes in my life and my skills! I am so so thankful to all of my friends who trusted me to capture them and to show who they are! It was such a fun year getting to spend time with couples right before they started a new journey, I loved hearing all of your stories! So many couples have already tied the knot since our session but I am excited for those who still have time to go. Getting to go to some of the weddings of the friends that I did work for was wonderful to see it all come full circle! The families and friends who were captured help make 2016 one of my favorite years.

Thank you to everyone who allowed me to help create memories!

Here’s to 2017! Im ready!

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Mahan Family

This was the first family I ever photographed or really the first people actually! A lot has changed in 3 years but I am so excited to continue taking their photos year after year!

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img_1337img_1351img_1360All photos taken by Kayla Myers in Champaign, IL

For fun I wanted to take a look back at some of photos I’ve taken if them over the years! I clearly had no idea what I was doing 3 years ago haha!

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