Fort Myers Photography Blog

Becoming the Photographer I’m Meant to be

Vera Kendig - Saturday, February 2, 2019

I first decided to follow my dream to be a photographer in August of 2016 - 2 1/2 years ago. Learning how to shoot manual mode on a DSLR was no easy task! I spent HOURS working to get the perfect in camera exposure and white balance. I was (still am) a stay at home mom and had 2 (now 3) adorable subjects to practice on. I’ve included one of my earlier photos that made me burst with pride (see below). I had just started familiarizing myself with my camera and editing, so when I saw my son in this new perspective, I was hooked. I knew from that point, this is what I was called to do. However, the picture I was once so proud of, I now see differently through a more trained eye. I notice its imperfections: it’s blurry, out of focus, crooked and has a lot of color cast, so my white balance is all wrong. Clearly I needed the practice!! I was happy to practice on my own family so that when I eventually would take clients, I’d be well rehearsed for them!

Fast forward to gaining experience photographing in manual and doing the work to gain clients. I was FINALLY getting somewhere; I had paying clients, many of whom I had never met! This was a big deal for me. I took the posing & lighting courses, I was gaining experience with each client; but something was wrong. I wasn’t elated to take a portrait session. If you’re a creative, you can understand what I’m about to say: I needed to stay inspired otherwise I would end up burning out. I felt that coming for me and didn’t want to lose the joy that I received from picking up my camera. So I went back to doing what got me excited - photographing my own family. Seeing the world through their eyes, freezing the moments I never wanted to forget, experiencing true emotions vs. “we’ll go get ice cream if you JUST SMILE for the photographer!” THAT is what lights. me. up.

I’m always pulling my 5.5 year old’s hair back so I can actually see her face. How she is able to see through the hair in her eyes is beyond me haha. (I included a recent picture documenting “the hair” :) ) But that is SO her. One day she’ll be a teenager, obsessing over her own hair and her eyes won’t be covered anymore. I will so desperately want to reminisce to when she was little and sit with those tangible memories. And to be honest, I don’t print my iPhone pictures. Oh sure, they are all uploaded to my computer with the desire to print them one day. However, I do print photos taken with my DSLR. They may be the same memory but iPhone pictures just don’t tug at my heart the way my DSLR photos do. When I’m working, I’m photographing with purpose. The conditions that transform a cute snapshot in to a work of art is the storytelling composition and the purposeful lighting that goes thoughtfully in to it.

I have decided to cut way back on my posed outdoor and in studio sessions and am introducing more meaningful sessions. Don’t get me wrong, I 100% believe there is a time for posed family portraits and I hire a photographer to take those for my family. But that’s just not my photography style. Those sessions don’t light me up inside the way a documentary session does. I get to change my settings a million times while working (that’s fun for me! haha). I get to really know a family and when I catch those unexpected moments, it’s like finding treasure during my culling. That part makes editing so enjoyable!

“Enjoy the little things. For one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” (From the TV show: The Office) Time with our loved ones is precious. Our kids are growing up SO fast, a family member may pass unexpectedly, people move away.. My passion is to deliver those beautiful, emotion filled moments that seem like normal, everyday life, but they are truly memories in the making.

With Love,

Vera K.

PS:  I am updating my portfolio so if you desire tangible memories, send an email to with at least 1 memory you never want to forget and you will be considered for 1 of my 6 FREE model call sessions.  (more details on my Instagram @verakendigphotography and my FaceBook Vera Kendig Photography)