Happy Tuesday, friends! Today, I’m so excited to be sharing the second post in a series I’ve started on the blog called #Girlboss Gathering.
I love the idea of women supporting other women – just like you, I’m sure! With so many inspiring gals around us, I wanted to start a monthly feature that showcased some of these incredible ladies and the wonderful stuff they’ve got going on.
This month, I couldn’t be happier to be posting about the unbelievably talented, funny, and kind #girlboss, Kelsey. She’s not only an amazing friend, but her and her husband, Talon (who’s just as awesome), were actually Eric and I’s wedding photographers!
Kelsey first picked up a camera at fifteen, and now she and Talon run their own photography business together named Feather & Twine.
These two love breakfast food, board games, and constant laughter. They also got engaged in Paris too – just like E & I! Needless to say, they instantly felt like our long lost friends when we met for our engagement shoot almost a year ago.
Read on to learn more about this amazing lady and the business she shares with Talon. You’ll also see examples of their gorgeous work throughout this post!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your photography business.
K: I’m Kelsey! I’m a natural light wedding photographer based out of Austin with my husband, Talon, our cat, Lily, and about a hundred little plant babies. We are adventure-loving newlyweds who love to travel as much as we possible can, and appreciate great design – art of all kinds. When we aren’t shooting, you can find us at a local plant nursery, on a hike, building a new piece of furniture for our house or lounging around binge-watching a new TV show.
Talon and I met in 2010, right around the same time that a couple of people had started asking me to photograph their wedding. I started my original photography business when I was in high school, mostly doing seniors and family shoots, so when I met Talon (a very natural creative), I just casually roped him into being my second shooter!
I never really envisioned being able to go into weddings when I first discovered my love for photography; it was honestly a really overwhelming concept to me. But, after our first couple of weddings together, I really fell in love with it for so many reasons. So, after our first two years of shooting weddings, we rebranded to Feather & Twine and started specializing in weddings. Our business quickly quadrupled and we both went full time within a year!
2. How did you get started with photography?
K: As a teenager, I was always very creatively flippant. I was always jumping from one creative passion to the next with all of these crazy pipe dreams in my head about becoming a novelist, a fashion designer, or experimenting with sewing, painting, you name it. Though, until I was about 15, I had never seriously picked up a camera.
My stepdad loved nature photography as a hobby, and my aunt ran a small photography business part-time, so I had access to equipment if I wanted it. I remember telling my parents that I wanted a great DSLR camera for my birthday one year, and since they weren’t really sure if I would actually stick with this medium, they challenged me to show them I had the discipline to learn on film first. If I would stick with that, they would get me my first camera.
So, I quickly dove into researching, asking my aunt questions, and the experimentation phase. I walked around the woods where I grew up and photographed shadows, textures and shapes that I thought were intriguing. I photographed my family playing outside together, I photographed younger cousins, just things that were happening in life and little vignettes that I had always loved.
When I got my first couple of rolls developed, I took them to my aunt for a critique and she quickly remarked that without any training it was clear that I had an eye for photography. After I got a camera, I immediately dove into shooting with an obsessive personality. I was quickly orchestrating all of these shoots with my friends on the weekends, and scouring antique malls for props or outfits that I could style them in.
It wasn’t long before other kids at school started asking me to take their senior pictures and offered to pay m. I became the photo editor for my high school, and then my weekends started to fill up with a mixture of paid shoots and experimental shoots with my friends.
I still look back at my first roll of film and can see subtle traces of who I am as an artist (which is really encouraging on those days where you feel like you’ve lost your style), there’s lots of beautiful sun-drenched backlighting, the photos are bright and airy and, most of all, full of beautiful smiles and laughter.
3. What are your favorite types of weddings to shoot?
K: First and foremost, our favorite types of weddings to shoot are with couples who are up for anything, whose love is beautiful and inspiring, who can’t hide how giddy and excited they are, who want their wedding to be very “them,” and with couples who are creatives! We love to shoot really unique weddings, and a focus on nature and/or the outdoors just makes it even better!
4. Do you have any favorite places you and Talon have traveled to shoot for F&T?
K: SO many favorite places! We’ve been to London for a multi-cultural wedding (and got engaged in Paris on that same trip); we’ve been to Big Sur for an intimate cliff-side wedding for a NYC couple; Marfa for a small desert wedding with two people who met in the Peace Corps; we’ve shot an intimate mountain wedding at Deception Pass State Park in Washington for two creatives; we’ve shot a wedding for two artists getting married at a loft in Brooklyn… so many incredible memories and people – and while the traveling definitely never gets old, the people are really the best part.
5. When you aren’t shooting, editing, or blogging F&T’s pictures – what are your favorite ways to spend your time?
K: Going to Plant Nurseries, walking through botanical gardens, reading in my reading nook, spending a cool morning gardening, walking the streets of a new city or planning our next trip, making a floral arrangement, playing board games, going on hikes (preferably in the mountains), getting a new book from an independent bookstore, trying a new coffee shop and spending some time there dreaming up a new business idea, or binge watching the newest television series! I am a very busy-body kind of person, so anything that involves going and doing something, or being out in nature is a plus for me!
6. Running a business must come with so many great lessons! What are your best tips for staying organized, motivated, and on task when the list of to-dos can seem like a lot?
K: Oh gosh, I wish I had a better handle on this! Running a business definitely comes with so many great lessons, sometimes you get a lesson a day – ha! I’m a huge list person, and it is so easy for me to become overwhelmed with everything that I need to do. The strategies that have really helped me are to: prioritize as much as possible, start with the tasks that are necessary but that you’ve been putting off, focus on ONE thing at a time, always be positive and, lastly, give yourself some grace! If everything on your list doesn’t get done that day, it’s not going to be the end of the world! Getting one thing done is a better place than you were at before! Most of the time, once you show up to do the work, the motivation will follow.
7. What’s been the coolest experience or most exciting moment you’ve had related to your business?
K: I think one of our most exciting moments was our first cover feature on a magazine! We’ve had three now, and it is definitely one the most “pinch me, is this real?” moments we have had in our business! But, in the past year, I’ve noticed the thing that makes me feel most accomplished and validated is looking at our calendar and realizing that all of the weddings we are shooting are for our kind of people, for our dream clients. The fact that they’re finding us, from all over the country, and wanting what we are creating is such an incredible feeling and a milestone that I never thought we’d reach!
8. What advice would you give to those who may be taking some photos now, but really wants to get into photography?
K: My best advice is to obsessively practice and observe!!! I learned what my favorite lighting styles were not only from shooting, but also from just watching the light hit trees or the way it streams in from open windows, and sometimes (when I’m really not paying attention to the people around me), I find myself just rotating my hand in light watching the way it plays against the wrinkles in my skin. For posing, I get most of my inspiration from movies, or from the ways that Talon and I interact with each other, and especially when people watching.
A ton of photographers now also have workshops or resources for beginners (Ben Sasso, Phil Chester, Jasmine Star, Benj Haisch, etc.), so find someone you like and see what you can learn from them! Just be careful to take the information that you get, and try make it your own, as opposed to just mimicking their work, which can be hard to do! I really just learned by endlessly googling questions (I had and a ton of trial and error), which is honestly probably the longest road you could take!
Um, isn’t Kelsey amazing?! It’s not only a pure joy to know her, it’s also just so darn inspiring!
Interested in chatting with Kelsey and Talon about photographing your upcoming wedding (or think someone you know might be)?? Shoot them a note here – you will be SO happy you did!