Meet Charlotte Kindred of Charlotte Kindred Photography
It all started at church, really, I’ve always enjoyed photography, since I was very young and received my first Kodak camera for Christmas, But a few years ago, I became fascinated by the images of the services and events that were shared on social media by my church. There was something about the joy and emotion that was captured in those images that just tugged at me and pulled me in.
It was then that I became serious about photography. I wanted to be able to create images like that, images that made others feel something. I know that might sound like a cliché, but that’s the reality of it. So, I joined the media team at church, bought a DSLR camera and began to learn as much as I could about photography. Some (mostly my family) might say that I became a bit obsessed with it all and I really can’t disagree with them too much. I just found a passion for it that I can’t describe.
I began by working alongside our church photographer, Ken Miller, and I learned from him how to shoot in low light situations. It was, and still can be, challenging because we are not able to use any flash in the church. Those were my first lessons and has proven to be my most valuable source of photography training. I also invested in additional education, taking photography and lighting classes, both online and in-person, and attended several workshops. And all along the way… Practice, practice, practice. I loved it!
After a while, I started getting inquiries from people outside of my family to take their pictures or shoot an event for them. At the encouragement of my husband, I decided to turn my hobby into a business. That was nearly three years ago.
It’s been a slow process, for sure. And yes, there have been obstacles along the way. But those are expected, especially in business. Most things worth having come with obstacles and subsequently, the hard work and dedication it takes to overcome them. That’s how we grow, both personally in our faith and professionally in our business.
I’ve had to take some time off in the past for my own health issues and for those of my mother. But I know that God is in control and whatever downtime I’ve had to take is part of His plan for me and I have to trust Him. Jeremiah 29:11 says:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
One of the obstacles in this journey has been finding my place, my photography voice. In the beginning, I shot every genre, weddings, newborns, seniors, families, parties, etc. Anything that came my way, I took it. It didn’t matter what it was. Some things were successful, and some were not so successful, but they were all learning experiences and I thank God for those lessons. Being patient and taking the time to go through that process has helped me to understand and figure out what type of photography I love and why I love it. Once I figured that out, great things began to happen.
A good friend told me, at this point in my journey, “this is where God’s plan meets your ability.” Those words have stayed with me and have so much impact on how I conduct business and build relationships with my clients.
I am a Portrait Photographer specializing in Family + Branding Photography. One of the things I’ve discovered about myself is that I really wish I had family pictures of my early childhood. My parents separated when I was six and I don’t have any family photos of the three of us before that time. I would love to look back on those now, to be able to give my grandchildren a peek inside my childhood with my parents, I would love to have one image of the three of us happy and laughing together, to see the joy on their faces full of love for me and each other. I lost my dad about ten years ago, so my grandchildren will never have the chance to get to know him.
And that is why I have a passion for family photography. Genuine emotion and connection is what I strive to capture through the lens of my camera. I want Mom to see how beautiful she is in the eyes of her family and how much she is loved and appreciated by them. I think it’s important for children to have those images, those where the family members are connecting and enjoying each other, the kids are laughing and feeling loved. That’s what will be important to them in years to come. Those pictures will become their most cherished possession. I’m living proof of that.
There is something special about watching a woman come alive when she talks about the work she loves. She has poured her heart and soul into developing and nurturing her business and it shows. During a branding session, it’s my job to capture that on camera, to show the personality and soul behind the services and products she offers. I work with my client to showcase that in a variety of ways, from location choices to wardrobe colors to props and poses, both planned and candid.
I’m proud to be invited into the lives and businesses of the families I serve and it’s not something that I take lightly. I believe what sets me apart from others is the personalized experience I provide. All families are different, businesses and business owners are different, so there is not a one size fits all when it comes to portrait sessions. The goal is for everyone to shine in their own unique way.
I continue to look for ways to better serve my clients. That is very important to me. My goal is that at the end of the experience, everyone involved can say they had fun during the session, they were treated well and their needs were met, over and above what was expected. I call that success.