We had the good fortune of connecting with Kara Hendricks and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kara, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
After an early retirement from teaching elementary education, I knew I wanted to contribute something beautiful to society and help others in some way. I loved taking sports photos during my own children’s sports events and giving them to families as keepsakes, which led to those families asking for family photos and my business just organically evolved. As my business grew, each family had questions about what to wear, or what to do with their images once they received them, and being a natural “helper”, I wanted to make each experience easy and special so my business grew into more than I imagined! I love serving my clients with everything from styling advice to ideas on how to display and preserve their photos.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Having a college degree in “Communication Arts”, I studied film and television production and worked as a freelance editor. That creative type of job really excited me, but it was a challenge to continue in that industry, not having any connections in the business. I also had to support myself so went back to school to become a teacher. That was a natural choice for me, being a person who loves to help others and also loves children. I am a creative through and through, so I always did photography and videos on the side, so it was natural for me to open a photography business when I decided to retire from teaching. Since I loved children and had a natural connection with them, photographing families was what I was passionate about. It definitely was scary to give up a monthly paycheck, but families being excited about their photos and telling others, has grown my business into what it is today. During the 5 years that I have been full time, I have learned what families and high school seniors struggle with when it comes to preparing for a photo session, so my business has evolved into me guiding and consulting them so their unique stories are told in the images I photograph. I end up being part of their family, taking pictures of their birthday parties, their family portraits every year and their high school senior pictures! This is the most rewarding part, seeing their families grow and change!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love showing people what Arizona has to offer in its unique landscape and its history. I would show them the beauty of the desert with a hike at South Mountain in Phoenix and a kayak adventure on the Salt River hoping the wild horses will make an appearance! We would have to visit Downtown Chandler and Downtown Gilbert hanging out in fun restaurants, and also sharing some history on how these cities got started. Hopefully, we could squeeze in a couple of our favorite places like The Mystery Castle in Phoenix, which has an interesting story and architecture, or The Desert Botanical Garden, also in Phoenix, which has every AZ plant you can imagine and a great place to dine when you’re done walking.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My biggest cheerleader is my husband, who has always supported my photography business, even though he doesn’t like getting his own picture taken – lol! My children have been my muses and inspired me to see the wonder of discovery in life. From the business side of things, Emily Supiot with Cozy Clicks has helped me go from amateur to professional, providing help with “in-camera” and editing skills.

Website: https://karahendricksphotography.com/

Instagram: @karahendricksphotography

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kara-hendricks-2b223315/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/hendricksphoto

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/kara-hendricks-photography-gilbert?utm_campaign=www_business_share_popup&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=(direct)

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.