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

Hi Kavan, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I was an active duty Marine for almost 23 years. During my time in service, it was important for me to stay focused on the mission, and the people under my charge. When I retired from the Marines, I worked as an engineer for a couple years. I have always had a passion for photography, and wanted to pursue it as a career. After resigning from my engineering position, I decided to follow my passion for photography and start my own business. My thought process was that if I didn’t follow my dreams now, when would ever do it? I decide I’d rather try and fail, than live with the regret of not knowing what could have been. Over time, I realized that every failure allowed me to learn a new lesson, and after a while, I wasn’t afraid of failure anymore. I just wanted to do, and create, and get better everyday. My clients can see, and feel the passion in my work…my process, my communication, the final products, the entire experience. It has to be five stars on everything, otherwise I’m cheating my client and myself. Everything I create has my touch. There are many photographers out there, but none of them do it the way I do it. My entire business is built on the passion to do things the best way I know how.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My story is so different. I came from being a career combat helicopter pilot, industrial engineer, and finally professional photographer. That transition wasn’t easy, but it was driven by passion. Someone once told me that whatever I did when I doodled, was probably the thing I was supposed to be doing for work. Strangely enough, I always had a camera on me…during combat missions, on engineering projects, everywhere. I genuinely love people, and my camera gives me a reason to start a conversation. My work isn’t about creating pretty pictures. My work is about building relationships, and helping people see the beauty in themselves. Of course, everything comes with experience, working hard, and believing it’s possible. It’s also important to go after what you want. I am where I am today because I have a dream that I pursue relentlessly. There are stumbling blocks of course, but as long as I continue to dream, I take the steps to make that dream a reality. Each new challenge is an opportunity to learn and grow. One lesson I definitely learned was that no one is coming to rescue me if I decide to quit. As a business owner, everything begins and ends with me. I’m very excited to get up in the morning when it comes to photography. I believe I have found the thing that I never have to retire from. Ever.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m big on having meals at home. It allows me time with family, but I really do love Rodigio Brazilian Steak House, so that’s definitely on the schedule. Additionally, my family and I love Zupas Cafe. Their Strawberry Harvest Salad with Strawberry Champaign vinigerette is absolutely amazing. Filling without making you feel heavy or sluggish. I think would schedule a stop in Sedona. It’ such a beautiful place. My mind just wanders every time I visit, and it’s never the same. I find something new every single time I visit. I’d love to share that experience with someone else.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to give a shoutout to my wife Natalie. She realized that my drive to build and run my photography business would take patience and dedication. She is my number one fan and is always there to give me the encouragement I need to keep going. Without her support, I might be tempted to let up, but that encouragement is always just on time. I’m very grateful for the partnership and friendship that we have.

Website: www.kavanlake.com

Instagram: kavan.lake.photo

Facebook: Kavan Lake Photography

Image Credits
Kavan Lake Photography

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.