Meet Kate Connelly
Why did you become a photographer?
I first became a photographer as a way to give back to my community. I was a volunteer with a local non-profit dog rescue, and quickly learned that good photos meant faster adoptions for the dogs. If you want some good practice in developing your patience, try photographing an eager un-trained shelter dog! It was always so much fun to photograph the dogs and I could see how important my work was in getting them noticed and adopted in their forever homes.
I had been learning more and more about photography when I had my son in 2013 - that's when I found a deeper meaning and purpose behind my work. Looking at my own family as a new mother, I knew these moments wouldn't last forever unless I found a way to document them. Since then, my work has evolved in ways I couldn't have predicted. I have two sides of my business - newborns and boudoir - and love both immensely for different reasons. Ultimately, I want my work to speak to women who are looking for an experience and images they can't have with anyone else.
What do you photograph and why?
I started my business focusing on newborns and maternity. I was fortunate that I quickly found a niche I loved, and have felt so lucky to work with so many amazing families. I love getting to see my clients over and over again and seeing their babies grow up. My repeat clients are my very favorite - getting to see their babies grow up is such a joy. It makes my heart burst to see images from their sessions in their homes hanging on their walls.
In 2015 I also started offering women's intimate and boudoir photography. Boudoir photography has resonated with me in a way that I didn't expect. Getting to show women how beautiful they are and giving them an opportunity to show it off is the best feeling in the world.
What's the biggest factor in your long term business success?
I have to cheat a little and say there are two things: Creating a client-centered experience and knowing my own limits. I want every interaction my clients have with me and my business to be a positive one, even if they don't book with me. From the moment they find my website and contact me, to when they receive their final images and artwork - I want them to know that this about more than just creating a pretty picture. It's about capturing a special time in their life that they'll have to look back on forever. Everything from marketing, to the artwork I offer, and the way I correspond with my clients has that in mind. Coupled with that though is the knowledge that I am only one person in this business, so I can't be everything to everyone. I know what I offer and do that the best way I know how, but if that's not what someone wants that's okay too.
Why do you use the MUSEA Lab?
I only offer artwork that I'm proud of and personally love, and Musea is the best hands down. I want my clients' artwork to last for generations - I always have a vision that they'll be looking at their newborn albums and portraits on the days their children graduate and get married, so it has to last - and you can't find that everywhere. Musea offers only the very best, and I don't ever want to offer anything less than that. The customer service is top notch (you guys are always great about responding to my messages!) and clearly have your own vision about what you want to offer to the photography community. I love how much you give back while also offering top of the line quality and service.
Can you share a story from your business that illustrates why prints are important?
This is so timely because I had something happen just today! One of my clients emailed me in a panic because she had never downloaded the digital files from the USB I gave her several months ago. And, of course, the USB wasn't working! She was so worried because she thought I might not have her images any longer either. Luckily I had them for her, but it made me realize that in several years that might not be the case anymore. But she'll always have the physical portraits and artwork from her session. Digitals can be great, and I know clients love to have them, but technology changes so quickly. Since cameras were invented a couple hundred years ago so much has changed. We've gone from dry plates to film to digital, but one thing has always remained: prints.