We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristin Bendigo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristin, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My husband is a pilot in the Air Force and I was working in the behavioral health system; picking up and moving (sometimes within a couple of months notice) was not conducive to a normal work balance. I decided to turn a passion of mine into a career, something that I could pick up and move along with me. I hired a mentor, took classes, bought the best equipment, and became a legitimate photography business. 4 years later and I am still in love with what I do!
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 started taking photos professionally 4 years ago. I began by reaching out to couples within our military community offering discounted sessions to build my portfolio. I wasn’t exactly sure what kind of style I wanted my brand to be about, but I had a general idea of the direction I wanted to go.
Years later, I am still continuing to develop myself and my style! I tend to lean towards the warmer tones when I am shooting and editing, but everything is very circumstantial from the location to the weather.
I’m very proud of all I have accomplished in the 4 short years I have been doing this so far, but trying to separate myself from everyone else has also been the most challenging. When you are one in an ocean of photographers, you need to offer something that can make you stand out from everyone else. Trying to be different, yet authentic to myself was something that I found to be incredibly difficult. I strive to create a fun experience for my clients as well; by being true to myself, I know that I accomplish just that.
My brand is all about fun! From weddings to family sessions, I aim to give my clients a memorable experience in the most positive way possible. From cracking one liners to having inside jokes with them by the end of the session, I want my clients to leave with a smile on their faces. From start to finish, I want them laughing; of course this makes our more serious prompts a bit difficult, but I enjoy a challenge.
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?
Sedona is by far my favorite place in all of Arizona! Anyone who visits me from out of state, I always have to take them on a weekend getaway to Sedona. From all of the gorgeous views you get to enjoy while eating practically anywhere, to the amazing hiking trails that take you to other worldly places, Sedona is an experience like no other! Devil’s Bridge is a challenge, but the breath-taking views are worth the work. The Javelina Cantina has the best margaritas, which are perfect after an afternoon walking & shopping along downtown Sedona. It’s an indescribable place to visit; so beautiful, peaceful, and serene … perfect for a long weekend to just relax and escape reality!
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?
I’d love to recognize three wonderful colleagues and friends of mine who have been amazing resources, guides, and mentors along the way. Stephanie Padhye, Tori Markel, and Andi O’Bert are extremely talented Arizona wedding photographers; we value community over competition and share tips and tricks with one another to help each other succeed in our ventures!