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

Hi Kristen, how do you think about risk?
I’ve always looked at life and opportunity with an abundance mindset but I knew that didn’t come without risk. You know how they say theres plenty of room at the top? It’s absolutely true but that doesn’t mean the climb is without it’s struggles. Once you change your outlook on risk you start to see how they are essential to your growth. If they work out, thats great, but if they don’t you always learn a great lesson from them that ultimately just makes you more equipped in your field, no matter what it is.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ll be honest, when I first started in photography I struggled to call myself an artist. I wasn’t sure I was doing anything to set myself apart and it wasn’t until I heard other speak about my work that I realized what exactly I was capturing. My couples would message me to thank me about the little moments that I saved for them. Their father dancing with his niece, or grandma hugging glancing at the happy couple with a smile on her face. I realized that my style was a more “in the moment” and unposed way of capturing a wedding day and I loved that. I wanted to continue to bring this documentary style of photography to my couples and I used that in my brand story to speak to all the love birds out there that wanted the same thing. It was hard at first to find the confidence to narrow my scope and hyper focus my advertising all on this “unposed” photography but it has been so rewarding. The couples I work with are amazing and appreciate my work and become friends. It wasn’t without it’s challenges but most of them were just about me needing to overcome my own doubts. Every time I jump into a project with both feet first I succeed eventually. Jumping in is the hardest part.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Anytime anyone asks me why I love AZ my answer is always the same. I love the diverse landscapes we have here and how much there is to explore. The desert and mountains are amazing of course, but a quick drive north will take your to the amazing red rocks of Sedona, and a little farther north you’ll find yourself in a forest of trees and even aspens (my favorite) in Flagstaff. Downtown phoenix has the perfect amount of city life and variety without the overwhelm of larger cities like New York. Little Rituals is a must stop for food and cocktails and for an even more unique experience I highly recommend 36 below. It’s a fun little speakeasy underneath a coffee shop. My husband and I also recently had one of the best steaks ever at STK in scottsdale. For night life Scottsdale can’t be beat. Even now in my 30’s my husband and I still love the strip of night clubs and outdoor bars from Bottled Blonde to El Hefe. Sundays at RnR are always amazing ( you must try the Hangover fries) It’s the perfect end to the weekend.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My journey in the wedding industry started when I was pregnant, out of work and scared. I picked up a camera to try and bring in extra income to my growing family and it was actually my wedding photographer who reached out to me after seeing some photos I posted on facebook. She asked me if I wanted to join her at a wedding to assist her and at that wedding I absolutely knew this was what I was meant to do. Cristina & Deloris of Depoy studios gave me my start and showed me what was possible in this business and what an honor it is to shoot weddings. From there I met so many vendors that were completely selfless in their knowledge of the business and their willingness to share it with me. I currently have such a solid ground of, as I call them, friendors, who I recommend to all my couples for the best day ever! Chelsea of Black Tie Optional event planning, Elise of Wilde Flower Design Co, Taryn & Anthony of I Do Rentals AZ, Martha of Adorned Beauty Co, Chanel & Joey of Modern West Photobooth and so many more! I love this creative community here in AZ and I’m so thankful to be a part of it.

Website: www.kristenhennke.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kristenhennke

Image Credits
Kristen Hennke 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.