Friday, April 23, 2010

Behind the Lens: Get to Know Photographer Katy Blevins

Getting to know your clients on a personal level is one of the most important things you can do as a photographer. Not only does understanding their life stories, personalities and sense of style help design how you will compose their photographs with their highest level of satisfaction in mind, but you are also able to create a sense of ease and allow some relaxation as your time together progresses. Let’s be honest…it can be very overwhelming to sit for a portrait and even terrifying to be the subject of the ever-present wedding day photographer. Anything you can do to quell anxious nerves and timid smiles is vital to making sure your client is pleased with the end result in your images.

Equally important, in my opinion, is allowing clients to get to know the photographer. It continues to help deepen the relationship to ultimately produce more natural, inviting images, but even before that point, I believe knowing who your photographer is as a person is an important piece of the puzzle when determining who you would like to work with as the client. Going beyond who produces the images you are most drawn to (which is pivotal of course) and delving into the heart of the photographer to know and understand how they appreciate art, life and all else can help narrow the focus to the exact photographer that is just right for you. With that in mind…welcome to me. Katy Blevins. Your photographer.

To say I was born into the arts in an understatement. On one side of my family stands a long-standing loyal troupe of singers, dancers, and entertainers well-known for hosting massive generational variety shows much beloved by the local community in years past (and yes, it goes without saying that there is video footage…embarrassing video footage). On the other side of my family stand the artists and the musicians. Those that see the world differently than everyone else and are eccentric creatives with a knack for a little craziness and a whole lot of heart, coupled with an intense measure of grace and wisdom. I grew up totally immersed and learned very early on that the core of life was art and that music, color and creative expression were the greatest gifts God had given us. I cry when I listen to music and sometimes feel the beauty before me is so engaging and deep that I can scarcely breathe. I see the world differently than most people I think, and I owe that to my family. We come from a long line of dreamers. And I’ve got spunk.

I have known great joy, great pain and great challenge in my life. All of these events, which are too numerous to relate in one blog post, have molded me intricately into the person standing before you today. I believe that God has marked each of my steps and whether in a period of light or dark, all things work according to His purpose to bring me to an ultimately better place. I have been blessed with a few very distinct moments, when His work has been so clear and all the stars have aligned to explain why my path took me in a particular direction, that I have been in awe at His interest in the most minute details of my existence and grateful for all the trials and tribulations along the journey, because the end result was a joy unimaginable, far outweighing the turbulence. And that in a nutshell describes my heart. My faith. My passion for photography relates directly to my desire to freeze frame those moments of joy and real life in a clarity and creativity that comes from the wellspring of my faith in God and belief in His love for us and this beautiful world we live in.

I married my soul mate just under three years ago, and am still in awe that he looks at me like I am the only person on the planet. Me?! Really? Our meeting was fated in a number of ways and I think the depth of our love and our unique circumstances only add to my creativity as a wedding photographer. I am step-mommy to a most wonderful daughter, Emily, who just turned 9 years old. Our family is the biggest blessing I have known in my life and knowing Emily is intended for a greater purpose is thrilling. To be a part of bringing her up is an honor and marks one of those moments I mentioned before where God showed me how my life experiences were meant for her. How everything I went through was meant for her. So I could be the best parent to her that I can. Because He has big things in store for her. Emily has been through her own rough journey in her few years here, but she continues to be a light to all who know her, with a heart and spirit that can only be a marker of someone intended for greater things. I am excited to see what she does. Whatever it will be, she’ll change the world. Emily adds a special spice to the warm place in my heart reserved for portraits of children. I love the idea of capturing youth and innocence with the knowledge that these little people will grow up to do great things. Sometimes it feels like getting somebody’s autograph before they are famous. Every kid is special.

While I could go on for days about the scattered portions that are me, the final major piece of the puzzle that is Katy Blevins is that I am a perfectionist. I guess that is a nice way to say I have major OCD (obsessive/compulsive). I push myself hard and hold myself to a higher level of expectation than is realistic, and I have my whole life. While this could be my greatest flaw, it is also my greatest strength. Failure is not an option and I am able to reign in the eccentricities of being an artist with a critical understanding of order and composition. The best of both worlds! This best serves my clients in that I will work until you are happy. Which in my brain, is not when you say you’re happy, but even beyond that, beyond what you could have imagined or hoped for. Because I am always grasping for the next highest rung. It is my ultimate goal for you to walk away from your time with me having intimately glimpsed your life in print and to know deeply that you are blessed. My dream is for my photos to serve as markers of the best times of your life and that you are able to come back to them time and time again and still be overwhelmed by the emotions of that moment every single time like it just happened yesterday. To relive the best parts of your life over and over again in the best way. That is my goal as your photographer. And that is what I am thinking about from behind the lens. You.
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