Why am I a photographer? Why did I choose to start my own business and leave a very successful career in the sports industry? Well, to answer those questions… let me take you back to the beginning.
My dad was a very talented charcoal artist. He loved it and was dang good at it! When he and my mother starting having my sisters and I, he wanted to spend as much time with us growing up but still have an outlet to express his creativity in a quicker way than spending hours on end at a blank canvas. He found photography and loved it!
I’ve always been a daddy’s girl. Everything he did, I had to do.
When he started getting into photography, naturally I had to try it out! Photography was the one thing that clicked with me (no pun intended) and I knew I always wanted to be a photographer from a very young age.
I started photographing my sisters in our backyard, doing little shoots for family and friends and photographing different events at school. I applied to Northwood University (a business school in Midland, Michigan) and earned my bachelors degree there. During my years there, I fell in love with sports photography and was committed to mastering it and making it my full-time career. I photographed all of Northwood’s sporting events, created graphics and marketing materials for the sports department, and put everything I had into educating myself, becoming a better photographer and networking with every person I could. Through this, I earned huge opportunities including becoming one of the Detroit Lions team photographers, working with the University of Michigan football and baseball teams, working with the MiLB, Vayner Sports, country music star Granger Smith and accepting a full-time position with West Virginia University to be their athletics graphic designer in the BIG 12.
I lived in West Virginia for a year creating graphics for all the sports teams and photographing different sporting events. During this time, I also did some work personally for Antonio Brown, the Dallas Cowboys, USF, and went to Nike headquarters to photograph WVU’s new jerseys.
I learned SO much about being in the sports industry and I worked so hard for all the opportunities I got. I will be forever thankful for all the lessons I learned and how these years shaped me into the person I am today. After a year of living in West Virginia, I realized I had accomplished what I wanted to and being so far away from the people I loved the most was killing me. I made the decision to move to Grand Rapids, Michigan and put all the knowledge and experience I had collected into starting Kaitlyn’s Creations.
I love the freedom, challenges, and everything else that comes with owning your own business. The most special part for me, however, is being able to do it alongside my dad. He started his company KLAS Solutions in 2015 and a couple years after that I left the sports industry and started my business. I’m able to provide content for his business and he gives me business advice. We get to live the entrepreneurial life together.
I can’t help the tears that are rolling down my face right now knowing how important my family is to me, how they have loved me unconditionally through all my worst moments and knowing that without them as my firm foundation I would crumble in seconds.
Reasons like this is why I decided to become a wedding photographer. Yes, weddings are fun and pretty but they’re so much deeper than that. It’s two people who were once strangers, meeting each other and falling in love, bringing two families together and starting their own together. Family is everything. The fact that I have the ability to capture and preserve moments between your families is an honor.
I also have such a passion for helping driven, small business owners work towards a life they dream about and tell the story of who they are and why they do what they do through personal branding photography. We are all so unique and we all have a story to tell. For me, I left a very successful career to become my own boss and helping other entrepreneurs gain their confidence and help grow their business is also an honor.
Cheers to family, following your heart, and doing what makes you the happiest in life!