Friday, March 4, 2011

Q&A with KaBloom Studios

Happy Friday everyone! When I was first starting out, I was searching for inspiring photographers and I stumbled upon I immediately fell in love with the abundant and vibrant colors in every one of the images! Moreover, Khara creates the best senior portraits that I have seen to date. Seriously, go check out her work and you'll agree. Please join me in welcoming KaBloom Studios to our latest Q and A series!

Chris: Let's start with a little bio, tell me about yourself.

Khara: I'm based in Lincoln, NE... smack dab in the middle of the whole country, as far as you could possibly get from the ocean. (Though I'm proud to say that we do have a lovely prairie with breathtaking sunsets!) I love travel, stimulating conversation, dark chocolate... and outrageous ideas with a potential for greatness. My business is run as a one-woman-show. It works for me and gives me my dream-boat combination of freedom and autonomy in a way that I'm very protective of. (People often ask me how I manage do it all by myself... the details can be found in my recently published workflow guide at When I'm not shooting, I can be found teaching, speaking and otherwise plotting my next grand adventure. Lots of exciting things on the horizon for 2011 and 2012!

Chris: How did you become a photographer?

Khara: I remember being interested in photography since my days watching Sesame Street (one of the characters on the show was a photographer). I started with classes in high school, shot my first wedding on Tri-X film with a Pentax K1000 and developed the negs in the crawl space under the stairs in my parents' basement. (Thank goodness for digital... those chemicals were something fierce!) From there, I went on to college where although I majored in communications, I was never without my darkroom, even setting it all up right inside my dorm room... often working so long into the night the sun would surprise me with it's arrival the next morning. Ha! After graduation, my career was punctuated with all kinds of fun things including a stint with the Coca-Cola Olympic Torch Relay Tour, marketing for Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus in LA, and full-time employment as a graphic designer. Through it all, I continued shooting, and eventually my business became my full-time gig.

Chris: Why should I book you as a photographer?

Khara: I work hard to make sure that I'm a good match for the clients who are interested in working with me, but I definitely am not putting myself out there trying to please everybody in every way. Trying to please everyone is a recipe for disaster, and it's a mistake a lot of new people to the industry tend to make. I'm not the right photographer for everyone... and I'm up front about that. I happily give referrals to clients who come to me looking for something that may be a better match elsewhere. But, for the clients that I do match with... I can promise them that we'll have a good time and photography is one aspect of their wedding they won't have to worry about. :)

Chris: How would you describe your style?

Khara: I love color... or timeless black and whites. I love playfulness and laughter. Emotion is also a huge draw.

Chris: What's in your camera bag?

Khara: In addition to all the typical stuff you'd expect to find, on any given day you could encounter: granola bars (wedding days make me so hungry!), my reusable stainless steal water bottle (so handy... and more responsible than plastic), and... ear plugs. (My ears are crazy sensitive, and shooting at wedding receptions often means getting up close and personal with the speakers... yeouch!)

Chris: If you had to pick your favorite piece of equipment, what would it be and why?

Khara: I *really* love color correction gels. They make a HUGE difference. I can't believe I ever shot without them!

Chris: What advice would you give to aspiring photographers?

Khara: Realize that there is no magic bullet or substitute for practice, research, and more practice. An endless array of actions and sloppy-borders do not make up for bad composition or exposure. This is a craft. Study it. Learn it. Live it. Love it. Your business and your clients will thank you.

Here are a few samples of Khara's amazing work!

This was captured in a very vintage building, in a room that left a few things to be desired. But, if captured from the right angle with the right framing, it ends up looking like a vintage treasure.

I love this. The father of the bride... laughing at some ridiculous comment I made... I just love the way his collar is unbuttoned and he holds his glasses in his hands. It looks so hollywood circa 1940's-ish to me... and he is so obviously relaxed... it's a great character portrait.

An example of looking at things from a different perspective. I love the colors/light in this shot.

Nothing beats a real laugh/smile. (Especially when combined with a bird cage veil and gorgeous fall leaves!)

This is actually a frame from my cousin's wedding. My uncle was the father of the bride, and I knew he'd be wearing his emotions on his sleeve. This image captures that.

In an of itself, this shot is just a simple cake shot. But I love it because it demonstrates command over the situation. The background behind this cake was extremely distracting... with photo know how (not photoshop) I was able to kill the ambient light and make it appear as though the cake was lit by dramatic spotlight in the far corner of the room, while in actuality, it was sitting right in the middle of everything, with a stage behind it.

The ballroom featured a gorgeous and richly textured wall that I was determined to do something fun with. After convincing one of the jazz band members to cooperate while I lit him with a zoomed, bare speedlight, it took a few test shots before I scored this gem. :)

Email us ( about your upcoming wedding or to schedule a portrait session!

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