While I just recently started to pour my heart into building Kyla Shattuck Photography, I’ve been laying the foundation for it for the past decade! Little by little, the dream of becoming a wedding photographer began to take root in my heart. And little by little, I began to take steps to make it happen. If you enjoy reading stories as much as I do, you’re in for a treat!
Over the next year, I gained invaluable experience working for a luxury brand as my first full-time job. Through that experience, I learned about the ins and outs of providing a high-end customer experience. I also learned how to work well with all different types of people. In my spare time, I taught myself graphic design (thank you Google!) to have a creative outlet. I also got super involved in my church as a youth group leader. That fall, I was eager to find community so I joined a small group where I met friends in similar stages of life to me. One friend in particular (hi, Emily!) saw my love for creativity and my dream to have a creative career. She did something that made a life-changing impact. She gifted me a copy of that year’s issue of Southern Weddings, the magazine that changed the game for me.
Falling in Love With Weddings
As I pored over the pages, I was in awe that weddings could be so beautiful and uniquely tailored to the couple. The editor-in-chief, Lara (who later became a cherished friend!) once said “There was more to telling their unique love story than tulle and stuffed chicken,” and I couldn’t agree more. Up until that point, I thought that all weddings looked and felt the same. I thought of dimly-lit banquet rooms with polyester linens, generic florals, and the macarena. Instead, I was discovering a world with beautiful images of dreamy one-of-a-kind celebrations filled with light and joy and inspiration.
I’d had no idea that wedding photography could be so true to life, light and airy. The images in Southern Weddings looked natural and authentic. They told the story of the couple’s day exactly as it happened instead of being generic, overly-posed, and lacking personality. I immersed myself completely into this new-to-me-wedding industry online, a joyful world of inspiring images and heartfelt stories. That winter, I started my very first blog to share my passion for weddings. I shared posts filled with vision boards and snippets of inspiration from this new world I wanted so badly to be a part of. I scoured wedding blogs, watched wedding videos, and couldn’t get enough. My love for weddings grew so deep that my mom surprised me with a trip to the launch party of the next issue of Southern Weddings (which you can read about HERE).
The Idea of Entrepreneurship
My dreams came into clearer view as I read about the women behind the work, too. I read their stories and learned about how they came to work in the wedding industry. Their stories were relatable, much of them sharing the same faith and values as me. Their work was filled with heart and meaning and significance. Many of them owned their own businesses, building them from the ground up and serving couples of their own. I became a faithful reader of several of their blogs, including Lara, my friend Nancy, and the Southern Weddings Creative Director, Emily.
Even though my dad has owned his own business since I was little, the idea of entrepreneurship hadn’t crossed my mind until that point. But then, a seed was planted in my heart for the dream I’m building today. It completely changed the game for me to see women who I admired, doing the work I wanted to do, in a way I wanted to do it. I knew without a doubt that I wanted to build my own creative business, preferably in the wedding industry. That was going to be my career.
To be continued… Click HERE to read Part 3!