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Conversations with the Inspiring Kayla Skillin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kayla Skillin.

Kayla, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Photography has always been a part of my life, but mostly in the background. I was always carrying a camera around in high school and adding digital cameras to my birthday and Christmas “wish lists.” However, I didn’t start taking it seriously until the winter of 2016. I had just finished graduate school about six months earlier and I got the itch for a new hobby. I started looking in the catalog for the Boston Center for Adult Education, after hearing good things about it, and saw the Digital Photography for Beginners class and decided to sign up. After the six week class was over, I was dying to learn more – I was hooked! I started taking miscellaneous workshops with Hunt’s Photo and Video and the rest is history! At the suggestion of many friends and family members, I decided to start selling prints of my photos and offering family portrait sessions.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has definitely been difficult learning the ins and outs of owning a small business. From buying and managing equipment, to figuring out which products to sell and how to market them, to simply stepping out of my comfort zone during portrait sessions – it has definitely been a learning experience. And, in addition to that, I still feel like I am learning my craft – I am always looking to improve my skills and always feel like I have room to improve. But, I would have to say that without the help of others, I would not have had the confidence to try this on my own. I have been very lucky to have the support of so many friends and family members who have encouraged and helped me along the way. Additionally, I have met so many wonderful people in the photography world, and some of them who I have been fortunate enough to mentor with. My advice for anyone is to not be afraid to reach out, step outside of your safety zone, and connect with new people – you never know who you will meet and what you can learn unless you try it!

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Kayla Clare Photography story. Tell us more about the business.
My favorite type of photography has to be landscapes. especially cityscapes. Boston is a small city, but I never seem to get tired of walking around or finding places to photograph. I also love photographing flowers! I can frequently be found in the local florist, finding fresh flowers to bring home as props. As far as photographing people, I really love photographing families and couples. It just so happens that I am at the stage in my life where a lot of my friends and family have young kids, so I always seem to find myself with a model to photograph! We have so much fun on these sessions, and its so great to laugh with people and capture their laughter in an image. I love looking back on sessions and remembering how much fun it was running around the beach or walking through downtown Boston and I hope that my photographs can do the same for my clients.

For good reason, society often focuses more on the problems rather than the opportunities that exist, because the problems need to be solved. However, we’d probably also benefit from looking for and recognizing the opportunities that women are better positioned to capitalize on. Have you discovered such opportunities?
Although there are definitely many challenges that continue to face women, I believe that there are also new opportunities popping up all the time. Especially in this digital age and the prevalence of social media, there are always ways for women to connect with one another and support one another. In addition, I am lucky to live in a place like Boston where there is a constant push for change. The Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement is just one example of a way in which the city is creating positive opportunities specifically for women, and specifically for women entrepreneurs.

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Kayla Skillin

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