Meet Kimberlee Peterson of Lotta Photography
My journey in LA started back in 1993 (whoa) I came out here from Littleton Colorado with stars in my eyes, and threw my hat into the acting ring. I had a good run up until 2010, when life knocked me on my ass. Coming out on the other side of my struggles, I was gifted a camera from a long time friend. After looking at it in the box for 4 months, I finally worked up the nerve to pick it up and start learning. The past year has been a jam packed course on photography and photoshop. Thank god for the internet!
In 2010 I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis (auto-immune disease) I woke up one day and found a lump behind my ear. I was ping ponged back and forth to doctors here in LA with no clear diagnosis. It wasn’t until an urgent care doctor scared that crap out me and told me he thought I needed to see an infectious disease doctor, that I high tailed my butt back home to a hospital in Colorado. By then lumps had popped up on my neck and on the back of my skull. Two months after the first lump appeared, I was properly diagnosed. And let me tell you….the treatment was a blast. Steroids, light cancer meds and malaria drugs! Now all of this was happening during a time when I was already knee deep into a prescription drug addiction. And frankly….that just exploded when these health issues emerged. Doctors didn’t know what to do with me, so they kept me medicated. I was depressed and self destructive, which is a dangerous combo. Especially in this city. The night before my 33rd birthday I made the decision to get clean, and flushed all my meds down the toilet. I had already stopped taking the meds the doctors prescribed for the Sarcoidosis, earlier that year. (I’m kind of a pain in the ass patient, strong willed) In my experience, the side effects were worse then the disease. I’ve spend the last 7 years putting myself back together, mind, body and soul. It has been a wild ride. Photography has by far been the best medicine for me. It’s woken me up from a very dark decade.
Headshot photography is what I specialize in. (though that has changed during Covid) Having had so many years in this industry, it has really helped cultivate my perspective with the photography. Being an actor myself, I know how important it is to have a good exchange of energy with my clients. There is nothing worse then feeling funky energy from a photographer! Having your picture taken is hard enough. We all get insecure and over think every little thing. But then to know that your photographer is not into it or be made to feel like you are letting them down?! The worst…
So what I pride myself on, is making people feel comfortable. The more comfortable they feel, the better they perform. From Charlie Rose (my Frenchton) who is the welcome wagon and will greet clients at the door, to the music playing that is catered to their liking. I am all about comfort and good vibes.
Now, it’s interesting the turn my business has taken the past few months with Covid and now with the revolution that is upon us. I started a series called “brokeN,” a month ago. (which is why someone nominated me for this interview) It was my photo diary of what my fellow artists were feeling during these shaky times. It also happened to start during Mental Health Awareness month. Like most people out there, a stable mind was something I was fighting to keep. Quarantine sucks…period.
So I started shooting artists I knew and told them it was like a drive through therapy session. Because of Covid I have had to take precautions when shooting. I have moved my shoots outside, wear a mask and have cut the time down of the shoots down. I have everyone really prepare before they arrive on set. I ask them to dig into what these past few months have really done to them. By the second shoot, I knew I was apart of something special. Watching people release their pain, fear, anger and grief…was not only therapeutic for them but also for me. It’s my small way of giving to my fellow artist who are so desperate right now for a creative outlet.
My definition of success has defiantly changed over the years. At this age and everything I’ve been through, I just want to be happy, live comfortably and know that I am leaving my mark on this earth.