The courageous photographer that came out of the shadows only with a camera in her hand
I love Kristen’s work so much that I could not simply pass the opportunity of having her at Live Your Art! Because that’s exactly what she does every day!
Kristen is a client and the beauty of her work really touched my soul. See the photo that started it all to fully understand what I mean. Don’t you agree, she’s so special, isn’t she?
Her brand is inspired by foggy Joshua trees! Meaning, Kristen Davis Photography, branding!
An adventurer at heart, Kristen is not the usual photographer. The quintessence of her brand is capturing nature’s true colors. Nowadays, it is not easy to find a photographer that shoots without filters, and Kristen is a rare breed for sure.
The logo capture’s her personality with a custom made lettering and, of course, a Joshua Tree. More than a prayer, the branches twist and turn, with the new orientation, to the future with hope. They are all differently shaped, make them so unique, the expression of individuality.
But there’s more, from waterfalls to poppies. But first meet the beautiful artist!
A personal brand: How Kristen lives her art.
I would like to create a revolution around…
Raw honest nature photography. What I see, is what you see in a photo. Stopping to smell the roses, or enjoy the poppies is really something that has been forgotten, and nature is for everyone.
What inspires you…
My intuition and curiosity. I love spending time in nature. When you spend time with her, she will spend time with you. It is not about capturing perfection. But capturing exactly what I am staring at, and sharing that with the rest of the world.
My fav person in the world…
I do not have just one. But if I really have to pick just one, it would be my grandfather. He is why I am a photographer. Since I was 6 he was the one that bought me my first camera with a flash stick, back when film was still the number one medium in photography.
I cherish, several things. The fact that I got to get up this morning. The fact that I can pick up any camera (even a cell phone camera) and know how to stop that moment I am in. I also cherish the fact that I have refused to give up on my own enjoyment with photography as well.
I despise those that think photography is just some “past time.” It is not a past time. Photography is one of the most versital arts we have and communicate with.
I also despise those that think all of photography, and all photographers spend a lot of time editing their photos because that is what “is expected”.
When not all photographers edit their photos outside of standard clean up of dust, or fly away hairs. I am one of those photographers that had to learn that photoshop was there as a post editing touch up tool when film was what was used.
Not put into a photograph what was never there from the start.
Words to live by…
Do what makes you happy. No matter what anyone else says. Because your happiness comes from you. No matter your situation.
The outfit of your life is…
Enjoying what you do, not only makes you expand in happiness, and in your career, but it can also change your entire Universe.
Kristen Davis extraordinaire brand story
Who is Kristen
I am a nature photographer that loves stopping time to bring you nature’s raw beauty. Nature is for everyone, and nature is not perfect, and l love showing the world that perfection is really about how individualized each soul and thing on this planet really is.
When you buy a print, you are purchasing a moment in time that has been stopped and preserved for you to enjoy and do what makes you happy.
How did you get here? Is your company founded on a family history that brought you to this point? Or are you blazing your trail?
I started at 6 when my grandfather gave me a small camera with Mickey Mouse on it. It took the 110-speed film and a flash stick that he would buy me. When I was a freshman in high school, he later gave me his Canon AE-1 Program to use in Black and White 101 Photography.
My grandfather supported my love for it and was one of the few besides a few professors that helped pay for the film until I left home at 17. When I was in college, I did portraits. That started literally from one person who happened to have watched me in the local drug store while I was on my lunch hour, proofing the prints I had just had developed from the film I had shot for an art course I was in the middle of at the time.
I had a day job at the time, so I did Photography on the side since I did not exactly have the most supportive parents when it came to wanting to be a photographer. My grandfather and my grandmother were the ones that were my support in it.
Later my stepfather was also on that team. My grandfather shot Photography as a hobby. He liked capturing the family events (what few we had) and shooting on the coast of California. He bought his camera from a friend of his that hated it.
I went to college to hone the photography skills I already had. I was accepted to Brook’s Photography Institute when I was in community college, but I turned it down. The cost was a significant factor in turning it down, but I also did because I have never been one that has done well being forced to think inside the box.
My community college professors, one in particular, Mr. Arnold, started off as my black and white instructor in high school. I later took digital editing with him at the local community college. He was not only the one that taught me the saying, “Put a new roll of film in your camera and get back out in the field.” He taught me that life is only perfect because it is anything but perfect.
Learning to edit when I was in college was only done post-shooting. And it was a touch-up tool. You removed fly-aways off a photograph of a bride or whatever you were shooting at the time. You learned how to do editing with the way you shot and specific basic rules of film photography and understand the mechanics and math that drive Photography even into today’s digital advancements.
After finishing most of the core photography courses and a few math and other nontransferable courses, I dropped out of college. I was burned out with working constantly, and when I was not working, I was doing homework, or I was at the college. I paid for my own education but was drowning trying to keep up on cost by myself.
For years I did seasonal photos on the side while working during the week as a bank teller. When I lost my job in 2008 in the crash, I finally decided I was done only doing Photography on the side. For years, Photography is why I had food on my table and why I could afford to drive to work when I was a bank teller.
In 2016 I decided I was DONE with doing portraits. Yes, I made good money doing them. But that is not my passion. My husband that same year begged me to go finish my degree. My husband sent me an email work from one of his coworkers with a link to one of the highest accredited schools online. I ended up finishing my bachelor’s in Business Management.
By the time I had decided I wanted to finish my degree, I no longer really fit the mold for a typical university or art school. I am already a seasoned photographer who had been shooting for 15 years with portraits. I figured getting an education in something that could help me navigate the business world or if I wanted to go to work in a particular sector of the photography world.
No one in my family has ever been a professional photographer. Or owned or ran a photography business. I am the only one that has ever done it. After stopping doing portraits, I decided I was going to stick to nature and landscape. That was where I realized my real passion and happiness lie. I am pioneering a business in this field with a mixed education from a college to hard-nosed real-world experience and my own skills.
Why do you do what you do, and why does it matter?
I am a nature photographer because I love nature. I love Photography, and I love being out in the field. Stoping time of a moment is sacred and something that people love to stop and take a 5-minute vacation to enjoy a photograph.
What’s your mission and vision?
My mission is to provide high quality, beautiful, stress free design and styling for our client’s celebrations and gifting needs.
My mission is to bring happiness, peace, and an escape to anyone that loves nature. To give people the ability to put a piece of frozen time on their walls or send it to someone they feel would appreciate raw beauty.
What drives you forwards when otherwise you might just give up?
Doing something that makes me happy is the root of why I am a photographer. I love Photography and every part of it. I am someone that loves preserving that moment of what I was looking at through the viewfinder. I, at one point, came to realize that I am not your typical nature photographer. I can shoot with any camera in conditions that most people find a little scary.
What inspired you to create your business, and why does that matter to your clients? Was there a pivotal moment in your life that unleashed a dream or vision?
I did portraits on the side for years, and I would occasionally sell a few nature photos I would take. In 2016 I started looking at what it would take to organize into a full-fledged business. I really wanted to do nothing but Photography, but I also did not know where to start since I spent so many years working off word of mouth and having a day job that came first.
Over the next 3 years, I would have a few things that would come into my view that would help make the flames burn of ideas I would have. I only did a handful of art shows in college, where I sold prints of my nature photos. Usually, I shot rolls of film for weddings, senior portrait season, or occasionally a family photoshoot.
In 2016 my husband and I bought a new motorcycle since we have ridden together since we were dating. We started on a tiny used little 650 from BMW and learned to ride together on that.
After that baby died in 2014, we went almost two years and did not ride while my husband’s health had at the time deteriorated, and he really wanted me to have options if things got worse with him. When we bought our new motorcycle, that was double the CCs.
My husband came home from work, and I was out front photographing the bees on our lavender plants. He wanted to go for a ride, so I went in and suited up (yes, always wear your gear and helmet.), and I had by literally not thinking twice, slung the camera around my neck as we were going out the door.
In our first year of marriage, I rode one time with my old digital Fuji I had around my neck and played with shooting over my husband’s shoulder while we rode. Almost 6 years later, I realized about an hour into our ride that my camera was slung around my neck. (Yeah, it kinda becomes a part of you after a certain point.)
I took off the lens cap and shoved it into one of the massive pockets on my motorcycle jackets. I decided I wanted to try this again, and this time we had an intercom as well since part of upgrading to a bigger bike meant we were upgrading to an intercom. I radioed my husband and told him I had the camera out and to please warn me of the corners and turns we would have come.
One of our first rides on our motorcycle after we bought it was the Pacific Coast Highway. I suddenly had this idea to try shooting while we ride again. This time it was different. Different motorcycle. Different road. Different time. That was how the photograph Blue Sky was was taken.
When I went to prove what I had shot, even I was just astounded at what I was staring at on the screen. I realized, not only do I love being outside and capturing nature and the world around me, but I can do it while riding or standing still. I had for a few years thinking about going to a full-on brand and website since I was starting to get a ton of requests about posters and wanting to send photos to others.
In 2019 I was at one of our local breweries and had brought up the idea of a multi-medium art show that encompassed local and regional artists. Well, their staff artist ran with my idea, and their Art Market was born. I did shows with them.
I managed to get one show in 2020 when the shutdown started. When they started pushing to extend this shutdown, I realized I needed to do something else because I wanted to offer my work to anyone in the world, not just local people who have met me in person.
I spent many years hiding in the shadows or doing a job that made others “comfortable” because they were not ok with me utilizing my talent and skills with what really makes me happy to do. I realized coming out of the shadows and standing in the sunlight is where I want to be with my business and vision.