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Daily Inspiration: Meet KC and Aaron Keen

Today we’d like to introduce you to KC and Aaron Keen.

Hi KC and Aaron, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
We’re Aaron and KC Keen: the faces behind Winsome Photos! We aim to capture your story through your photos when we work with you. Here’s a chance to hear a little bit of our story. Aaron and I grew up very differently. I, KC, came from a big, happy family that fulfilled all the desires of the typical “American Dream” family. Growing up on a farm, I was super involved in my community through 4H and many other activities. On the other hand, Aaron came from a broken home and, like many others, struggled to find his place in the world. Although we grew up in the same area, our paths never crossed until later in life. Before I met Aaron, I had already given birth to our beautiful son, Eli. Our paths finally crossed in 2011 when we were both working at Walmart. From the moment we met, a great friendship blossomed. We were not only lucky to find a partner in each other but a forever friend. Our personalities just clicked, and we understood each other on such a level that is rare to find. Aaron eagerly took on the role of a father to Eli, and I fell madly in love with him growing up; the arts were always a great inspiration for us. I was intrigued by architecture and design. Aaron loved music and even played in a metal band in high school (imagine that?). But photography was always something that we appreciated. We liked taking pictures but never could have imagined that it would one day consume our lives.

In 2013, we were pregnant with our daughter Ivy when we won a session with a local photographer for a family shoot. When we got those photos back, we were absolutely in love! Aaron had always dreamed of building a family; at that moment, it had become his reality. The emotions seemed to radiate from these photos, and we were truly inspired. It was remarkable how the camera could capture such a sensory experience. Shortly after, we knew we desperately needed a camera of our own. That Christmas, my mom gifted us a professional camera, and our relationship with photography officially began. The world was our oyster, and we had set out to capture it. We started taking pictures of almost anything: our kids, friends and family, nature. It wasn’t until we started receiving requests from friends and family so often that we had no choice but to make this a business. We struggled to fathom the idea that people wanted to trust us with the responsibility of taking their photos. After many backs and forth, we finally said, “To hell with it!” and officially started the business around 2014.

In the early years of the business, both of us held day jobs while photography took the back burner. In 2020, Aaron quit his corporate job of ten years to pursue the business full-time. As we invested more time and energy, the business began to bloom in front of us by the end of 2021. I had quit my day job and worked alongside my best friend. Owning the business completely changed the world of photography for us both, and our passion for it grows stronger every day.

Today, we are happy to devote all our time to Winsome Photos. It’s one hell of a job and not easy, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. When you get to work with your best friend day in and day out, it’s hard not to complain! (But believe me, there are days where we want to rip each other’s heads off!) On top of running the business, we have three beautiful kids and a lovely dog, Veda. If being business owners wasn’t enough, we’ve had to try to master the business of parenting! We’ll let you know if/when we get that one down. We usually find our house in a state of chaos with all of us running around. But at the end of the day, we like to take some time to decompress and reflect. Our lives are crazy, but we own it. Our lives are far from perfect. We are not the kind of people who will sit here and spew on and on about how our lives are the most amazing thing ever. Many times, we have woken up and thought to ourselves, “There’s no way we can do this.” We’ve had days where it’s felt like the universe is just waiting for us to crumble under pressure. But we value the real, honest shit because we wouldn’t be where we are today without it. For too long, we have been told that it’s only acceptable to present the best version of yourself. Enough is enough! Embrace the good AND the bad, right along with the ugly!

ENGAGEMENTS, WEDDINGS, ELOPEMENTS, OH MY! We are so very blessed to be able to do what we do! Not a day goes by where we do not take a minute to express our gratitude for the chance to be a part of so many amazing people’s lives.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It wasn’t easy, but it was so worth it!! It has certainly been a challenge to raise 3 kids, have full-time careers, and run our full business time. It was also the scariest thing to leave our careers. We have put so much into the uncertainty of where our next paycheck would come from.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
We are photographers. We specialize in weddings and elopements but also do family photography, as that’s what we started with. Having 3 kids of our own, it feels right to work with others that we have been in their shoes. We are known for the emotive, fun, and warmth you can feel in your photos. Photos you can feel take you back to that fleeting moment in time. We are most proud of being able to guide people through some of the most important and intimate milestones of their lives by offering our experience and talents by being of service. What sets us apart from others is our personalities and energy. We love connection and vulnerability and lead the way by putting our most authentic selves into the universe!

Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc.?
YES! some apps we use are Adobe lightroom, canva, cap cut, VN, and SCRL. There seem to be new ones every day with technology! We are huge on investing in education and learning! We read many books on personal development, business, and mindfulness. Our favorite authors are Napoleon Hill, Eckhart Tolle, Dale Carnage, Donald Miller, James Clear, Tim Ferriss, Austin Kleon, and Marcus Aurelius. We also love many photography podcasts like making your break, six-figure photography, Brendon Burchard, The mindset mentor, Shine and thrive, Photographic collective, the heart and hustle, and so much more!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
All by us!

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