Golden Moments: Elevating  & Nurturing Client Relationships with Maternity and Newborn Photographer Kellie Golden

Today’s guest is perhaps the most sought-after maternity, newborn, and baby photographer in the Midwest… And for good reason! Kellie Golden has mastered not only photography but also the business systems and special touches that keep her clients coming back time and again. It’s no wonder she has photographed over a thousand babies during her career!

In today’s episode, Kellie and I discuss how she has built her reputation and what it takes to be successful as a full-time maternity photographer. We cover everything from designing an intentional business model, to navigating client relationships, to prioritizing self-care and avoiding burnout. Whether you’re a new or seasoned photographer, Kellie offers invaluable advice on working with the smallest clients and foraging your way in the industry!

So, get cozy, grab your notebooks, and tune in. I’m rooting for you, my friends.

What’s in this episode:

  • [02:15] Kellie’s background and how she found the maternity/newborn niche
  • [07:10] The details of Kellie’s current business model, packages, and software
  • [10:57] What the customer journey looks like including workflow and special touches
  • [16:29] Setting boundaries, navigating difficult situations, and developing client relationships
  • [20:17] Prioritizing self-care, mental health, and continuing to pursue personal projects
  • [23:08] Pricing your services to be able to outsource work and hire an editor

Tune in to this episode to learn how you can stand out as a luxury photographer.

SUBSCRIBE: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

Resources Mentioned


Sprout Studio


Meet Kellie Golden

Kellie Golden is a full-time luxury photographer who specializes in fine art, maternity, newborn, and family portraiture. Kellie has photographed over a thousand babies during her career and has become the most sought-after maternity, newborn, and baby photographer in the Midwest. She has extensive experience working with newborns, mothers, and families for nearly a decade. She’s an international multi-award published photographer and mentors other photographers across the country. She’s known in Missouri, Tennessee, and throughout the U.S. for her exceptional portrait work.

Connect with Kellie

Visit Kellie’s Website

Follow Kellie on Facebook

Follow Kellie on Instagram

Did this episode provide you with valuable lessons for your photography business? Check out this episode Glitz, Glam, and the Gift of Art: Creating Luxury Photography Experiences with Jai Mayhew that offers you even more insight on finding alignment in your business!


[00:00:00] Kellie Golden: Focusing on your business and yourself and putting all of your energy into what you’re doing is going to be so beneficial. We get caught up in looking at everyone around us and what everyone’s doing and comparing ourselves, and that can be it’s good in a way to compare so that you can push yourself to be better. But there’s a really fine line to where that can be a really toxic thought process. [00:00:23][23.0]

[00:00:27] Lisa DiGeso: Welcome to the Art and Soul Show, where we dive into heart opening chats on photography, business life and that messy in between. I’m your host, Lisa DiGeso, a mom, a photographer and entrepreneur, and I’ll be sharing honest conversations and advice for photographers with insight on mindset, entrepreneurship and creativity. The goal of this podcast is for you to be able to gain insights and strategies that will get you real results. Because let’s face it, having a photography business can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. This is the place you can go when you need a boost of encouragement, a kick in the pants and inspiration to pick up your camera. This is the Art and Soul Show. [00:01:09][42.3]

[00:01:10] Lisa DiGeso: Hello, my beautiful friends. Welcome back to the show today. I am super excited to dive into today’s conversation with Kellie Golden. She is a full time luxury photographer that specializes in fine art, maternity, newborn and family portraiture. Kellie has photographed over a thousand babies during her career and has become the most sought after maternity, newborn and baby photographer in the Midwest. She has extensive experience working with newborns, mothers, families for nearly a decade. She’s an international multi award published photographer and mentors other photographers across the country. She’s known in Missouri, Tennessee and throughout the U.S. for her exceptional portrait work. She has also been an incredible Milky Way student who I have been following for years. And she’s always exemplified kindness, a helpful and encouraging attitude and so much support for her fellow students in our communities. She’s someone who consistently aims to make our industry a better place, and I am beyond excited to chat with her today. So without further ado, here’s Kellie. Welcome. [00:02:11][61.3]

[00:02:12] Kellie Golden: Hi. I’m so excited to be here. [00:02:14][2.2]

[00:02:15] Lisa DiGeso: So tell us who you are and what you’re passionate about. [00:02:18][2.1]

[00:02:19] Kellie Golden: I am Kellie Golden and my business is frame and memory photography. I specialize in fine art, maternity, newborn and family portraiture. I created my business eight and a half years ago. I’m located in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, right on the Mississippi River. And so I am super passionate about maternity photography. I have four boys myself and I never did maternity photos. And so, yeah, so that is really one of my reasons why. And I tell my clients all the time, like Mom to mom, if you do not do this, like looking back, like you’re going to regret it. So even if you’re not booking me, like, go somewhere else, just get the photos. So I, I’m really passionate about documenting pregnancy because that is just one of my biggest regrets is not having photos of me pregnant with my babies. [00:03:16][56.8]

[00:03:17] Lisa DiGeso: I love that. So how old are your kids? Number one. [00:03:19][2.6]

[00:03:20] Kellie Golden: So my oldest is 22 and my second one is 20, and then my third one is 13 and then my baby is seven. So I know. And I feel like when my two oldest were born, like, photography wasn’t really it’s not what it is now. So pictures where I did get pictures when they were little, but it was literally just like impromptu, like at Walmart or Sears, and it was all set up and I’m like, Oh, I’m going to go buy an outfit. We’re going to take pictures of just the baby. And then with my two younger ones, I did it and do maternity with them either because, you know, when we’re pregnant, we just don’t feel pretty and we’re like, No, I really don’t want to do that. But I just think back and kind of put myself in my kids shoes and think, How great would it be to, like, have a maternity photo of my mom pregnant with me? And I just think that would be one of the greatest things ever. So if you don’t feel pretty, just do the pictures. Do it for your kids. If you’re not going to do it for yourself. [00:04:25][65.9]

[00:04:26] Lisa DiGeso: I love it. You have been considering because I mean, my son’s 14 and I was like, you know, what I should do is buy like a fake belly on Amazon. Should I just go Trinity and do it? [00:04:40][13.4]

[00:04:40] Kellie Golden: I’m all for it. They have like the silicone bellies that look real. They really look real. One of my friends bought one of those and we had it at Shutter Fest and we because, you know, it’s hard to get like a maternity model at a conference. And so we would just slap that puppy on whoever would wear it. [00:04:57][17.0]

[00:04:57] Lisa DiGeso: My gosh, I love it. I love that. So how did you find your journey as a photographer? So did it start 22 years ago to start 13? Like, when did you start? [00:05:07][9.8]

[00:05:07] Kellie Golden: Well, so art has always been and my roots. My mom is a very talented sketch artist. My grandpa was and my older son actually followed in their footsteps. So. Which is so great to see, like his talent is just out of this world. So I always had an. I for, you know, composition and lighting and stuff like that. But I never I didn’t buy my first professional camera until it was probably ten years ago. And so two years of just playing around with it. And I actually started my photography journey. There was a local makeup artist that reached out to me and she wanted to do some projects together and she worked with actual real models and she wanted to do like high fashion model sessions. And so I was like, Yeah, like that sounds like so much fun. So we did that. We worked on a few projects together. We actually got published in Pulp magazine, so that was like a really great for the ego, you know, And then so it really started from there and then obviously taking pictures of my kids and then people just started asking and it just it just blew up from there. So I look back and I just I really just cannot believe, like where I am today. It just blows my mind because I never like when I was little, it wasn’t like, Oh, I want to be a photographer when I grew up. It just kind of happened and. [00:06:33][85.3]

[00:06:33] Lisa DiGeso: You just kind of stumble into it. [00:06:34][1.2]

[00:06:34] Kellie Golden: Yeah, you do. [00:06:35][0.4]

[00:06:36] Lisa DiGeso: So specifically maternity newborn, How did you find that niche? [00:06:39][3.1]

[00:06:40] Kellie Golden: Oh, man. So whenever I first started out, I swore that I would never do newborns. Never. I was like, Nope, not touching them with the ten foot pole. Don’t want to do it. And I started out actually doing life style newborn, and I was like, I like this. I really, really like it. And then the more that I did that, people were asking for studio sessions. And so then I, you know, just thought about it and I’m like, Why not? And then it grew from there. So yeah, and here we are. [00:07:09][29.3]

[00:07:10] Lisa DiGeso: You love that. So now can you share your business model? Are you, are digital apps or maybe a hybrid? [00:07:16][5.8]

[00:07:16] Kellie Golden: So I am IPS. Whenever I first started, I was all digital. I think, like most of us are organic. Yes, absolutely. I did that for I don’t know how many years. And then I went to a hybrid system and then in July of 2020, I actually like in the midst of COVID, I just decided to dig and jump all in apps. And I’m so glad that I did. And I always tell, like my students, the only thing that you’re really going to regret about it is just not doing it sooner. Yeah, it’s brought me so much more joy. I’ve been able to slow down and not take on 20 or 30 sessions a month. I was burnt out and I was just to the point where I was like, Something has to change. Like I cannot work all these hours. So I literally work smarter, not harder. So yeah, and it’s worked out very, very well for me. Just the fact of being able, like when I bring those clients in and we do like their viewing and ordering appointment and I sit with them and get to watch them see their images for the first time, it’s so rewarding, you know, because before, you know, you send off a digital gallery, you know, to the to the moon and you might never hear from them. And then you’re in your head, you’re thinking they hate their pictures and yeah, you know, and so that would eat away at me. And so just to be able to sit next to them and see them just ooh. And I cry and, and just it’s just like, it just fills up my cup. So I am just I’m so happy that I decided to make the jump. [00:08:52][96.1]

[00:08:53] Lisa DiGeso: I love that. What would you say is your biggest seller? [00:08:55][2.1]

[00:08:56] Kellie Golden: My biggest seller is Wall Art. So I do a my business model is called Create a Collection. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that. So clients actually build their own packages, and so it’s just a three step process. So step one, they’re going to choose whatever Walmart that they want. Step two, they’re going to choose how many digital images they want, and then step three is going to be their heirlooms and add ons, which is just like albums and what encircles and, you know, a little box and stuff like that. So they’re only buying what they love, which is great, and then they’re more in control. You know, sometimes if you have a package, A, B and C, you’re going to get a lot of, Well, I need this from here and grandma wants this and I don’t need that. So how much is that? And then you’re on the spot and you’re like a fainting goat. I don’t know. So you just let them build it. And so I sell Wal Mart at every session. And my clients actually, you can see this right here. This would right here. This is from original photo blocks. And my I’m from southeast Missouri, so it’s like farm town, rustic farmhouse. And so the the wooden stuff really goes over well, people just go crazy over it. [00:10:12][75.8]

[00:10:12] Lisa DiGeso: Oh, wow. Yeah. Are using that like a software specific for that. Like, I know Pic-Time was really big a year or two I started hearing stuff about that. Is that something that you use with that? [00:10:21][8.4]

[00:10:21] Kellie Golden: So when they come in for their ordering appointment I use Pixieset for. Gallery hosting. So all I do is just I just hook up my surface pro to my big 65 inch TV, and we go through the gallery via Pixie and we pick our favorites that way. So it’s super easy. [00:10:37][16.2]

[00:10:38] Lisa DiGeso: Yes, I love that. I always I’m always so curious on how people, businesses, I get so excited. [00:10:43][4.9]

[00:10:44] Kellie Golden: Yes, I know they love hearing like every different way of you know, because there’s no it’s not a one size fits all. You know, you have to adjust it to fit your business model, your style and all of that kind of stuff. So there’s so many different ways you can do it. [00:10:57][13.1]

[00:10:57] Lisa DiGeso: I love that. I love that. So what would you say your customer journey looks like from inquiry? [00:11:02][4.5]

[00:11:03] Kellie Golden: So they inquire via my website and I do have automated messages set up on Facebook and Instagram. If someone was to message my business pages, it’s going to direct them to my website. Number one, I have to be organized. Everything needs to be in one place. So I send them to that and then they fill out the contact form and then that goes to my CRM and I use Sprout Studio and then I have all my workflow set up in there. So they’re going to get an automated email right away that says, you know, thank you for inquiring, we’ll be in touch with you. Then after that, I actually send them text messages. So I reach out to them and say, You know, we’ve received your inquiry, ask them all the questions, and then if they’re ready to book, then I send the booking proposal, they fill that out, sign the contract, pay the session fee, they’re added to the software, and then it’s go from there. [00:11:57][53.8]

[00:11:58] Lisa DiGeso: Love it. [00:11:58][0.2]

[00:11:59] Kellie Golden: Yeah. So after that, I have my workflow set up to where they will get detailed questionnaires and that helps me to be able to style their sessions, especially like the maternity. I want to know, do they want fitted gowns? Do they want flowy? Do they like sleeveless? Not sleeveless. Are they okay with nudity? Not, you know, not comfortable. I want to know all of those things. I want to know what colors they like, what they don’t like, if their partner’s joining us and kids, all that kind of stuff. And then with the newborn, I want to know what the nursery looks like. Color palettes in their home. Because I’m shooting for a wall. Art is what I’m doing. So I want to make sure that whatever we’re choosing and creating is going to look good in the nursery, is going to look good in their living room. And so they get all of that. They hair and makeup is included with all of my sessions. Love it, and wardrobe is also included. So they come in for their session. They’ve already had hair and makeup. We do hair makeup. The salon is right across the street. So I know it’s so perfect. It worked out so great. So for maternity sessions, they’ll go to the salon for hair and makeup, for newborn sessions. They’ll actually come to my studio. I have a hair and makeup station set up in there. And that way it kind of works for me because I can get started with Baby only while Mom’s getting your hair and makeup done. So then we do that, and then we schedule the ordering appointment about one week after their session. They come in, we do the ordering appointment and then they place their order and then they have their stuff in about 2 to 3 weeks. [00:13:32][92.7]

[00:13:32] Lisa DiGeso: I love that. That’s I love hearing just the different and I love having the like when you have the newborn session, having her get ready because it’s maximizing your time, right? [00:13:43][10.9]

[00:13:44] Kellie Golden: Because I was doing it the other way around. And so the salon opens at nine, so they’re over there doing hair makeup at nine. They’re not getting to me till about 1030 that I’m getting started with the baby like 11. And I’m just like something’s got to change. [00:13:57][13.3]

[00:14:00] Kellie Golden: Something’s got to change. So it’s like, you know what? I ask the salon owner, She’s a good friend of mine. I was like, If I set up a station in here, can they come over here for newborn sessions? She was like, Absolutely. And so I was like, Oh, perfect. So it just works out great. So mom and baby come at 9:00. She does her hair and makeup. I do, baby only. And then I have Dad and the siblings come around 11 and then we’re ready to go for the sibling and family stuff. So it works out perfect. [00:14:26][26.5]

[00:14:27] Lisa DiGeso: I love that. Are there any special touches you like to include for your clients? [00:14:30][3.4]

[00:14:32] Kellie Golden: So for the newborn sessions, I always serve breakfast because you know, mom, nine times out of ten, my mom gets there, she hasn’t eaten anything. So I always do that. And then for maternity sessions on the questionnaire, I will ask Mom like, what is her craving during pregnancy? So if it’s like Dr. Pepper and Cheez-Its, I’ll have that there when she gets there and it’s just something special and they just feel so I guess thought of. So that goes over really well. And then whenever they pick up their product order, I have a little goodie bag for them and I fill it with different items that I love that are from local businesses around me. So I have a good friend that makes like goat milk soap, so I’ll put a bar of that. Another friend does these little beeswax candles I always throw in like a sensi bar, a little book of like, maybe mom out. Formation cards for her to read. Just little things like that. And then the newborn. I actually do a little gift bag and I’ll have a onesie, like with my logo, a little blanket. I do like a chapstick. Just a welcome baby card. Just something to make them feel extra special. [00:15:45][73.3]

[00:15:46] Lisa DiGeso: I love that. Now, how often are you shooting? [00:15:48][2.0]

[00:15:49] Kellie Golden: So my Max is and I say, you know, I’m not a better person. So my ideal is to shoot eight sessions a month. So that’s really where I want to land. Sometimes I’ll take ten, you know, and then I’m hating myself. But my ideal is eight. Sometimes I may only have five some months, and that’s okay. [00:16:16][26.1]

[00:16:19] Lisa DiGeso: And what would you say would be your average IPS order? [00:16:21][2.7]

[00:16:22] Kellie Golden: So my average order is 3500. Nice. Yeah. So I’m working on getting it up there. [00:16:27][5.3]

[00:16:29] Lisa DiGeso: I love that. So how do you handle maybe any challenging or demanding clients? Do you ever run into that with, like, wanting extra editing or, like, more tweaks or. [00:16:43][13.5]

[00:16:43] Kellie Golden: Yeah. Yeah, I have come in contact with those questions before, and so I always just try to approach it very professional. I think the biggest thing when you have a difficult client or maybe just somebody that’s a little more needy than the others is just always stick to your business policies. Boundaries are super important in your business, and so there’s a lot of decisions that I make in my business that I wouldn’t necessarily make in like my personal life. But I learned very quickly that if I don’t just stick to business policies that you get taken advantage of like super quick. So I just it’s always situation. And also if they’re wanting like extra editing or their eye looks small or something like that, I fix it. I try to make them happy as long as it’s not anything like super outrageous, you know, then I just try to accommodate them. [00:17:36][52.7]

[00:17:37] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah, I’ve seen in our group with the Milky Way students, sometimes we’ll get this list back of, like, extensive edits, and it’s actually never happened to me. But I’m just curious how others handle that, because I feel like that’s something that I discuss with my clients on the front end. [00:17:53][16.9]

[00:17:54] Kellie Golden: Absolutely. [00:17:54][0.0]

[00:17:55] Lisa DiGeso: I don’t get that. So I’m always curious, like if you get that. [00:17:58][3.3]

[00:17:59] Kellie Golden: Right, I think really just setting like those expectations and those boundaries and guidelines from the very beginning is going to eliminate a lot of that. But then there’s times that you do get some clients that and it’s usually not our work or our editing. It’s it’s typically how they see themselves, you know, and that’s another thing whenever I do like the in-person ordering appointment and we’re going through and we’re picking out the images, they they’re going to point those things out during the session. So I can note those, yes, we can fix this. Yes, we can fix that. But I never promise anything. I always let them know like I will try, like, you know, with face swaps or something like that. I’ll let them know like, well, we’ll give it a go, but I’m not promising anything. And I’ve actually had dads request me to Photoshop hair on them because they’re going bald. [00:18:46][47.8]

[00:18:47] Lisa DiGeso: I know, I know. I like to read them. I’ll take care of it. Right? [00:18:51][3.7]

[00:18:51] Kellie Golden: Yes, exactly. So I had this one client and I love them so, so much. The family, they’ve been with me from the very, very beginning. And I always knew, like, I have to Photoshop Dad’s hair. And this year we shot their session and he came to the session and his head was shaved and he’s like, You don’t have to Photoshop my hair anymore. I was like, Thank God. It was like, It’s a running joke between us now that got to make sure we fill in the bald spots up there. [00:19:22][30.4]

[00:19:23] Lisa DiGeso: I know I have. I have some favorite clients in there, and he’s always like, you know, least said I’ve had a really good summer. I had a lot of beer on the boat, so you make sure you take care of my belly. I’ll take care of everything. [00:19:34][11.9]

[00:19:39] Lisa DiGeso: And I love that. I think that’s what I love the most about is the having new clients that come back over and over. If you lose that relationship with them, you know what they want. They tell you what they want. So they’re happy. Yeah. And like, it’s just a very comfortable relationship. [00:19:55][15.6]

[00:19:56] Kellie Golden: It is. I feel like a lot of them also become like either really good friends or almost like family. [00:20:02][5.9]

[00:20:02] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah. [00:20:02][0.0]

[00:20:03] Kellie Golden: I have a few. You know, I can think off the top of my head. A couple of families that are just so dear to me. Yeah. And that’s one of the greatest things about, about the business is building those relationships. And so it’s very rewarding. [00:20:17][13.5]

[00:20:17] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah. This year going on a bit of a sabbatical of my photography business and I haven’t been doing my fall sessions or holiday minis or anything like. Normally I’ve got like probably 100 clients easily over like a three month period. And it just became too much like I loved everybody, but then I couldn’t pick and I was just like, I am burning myself out so badly that I’m just going to say no. Again, Nobody gets a session this year because I don’t know what the heck I’m doing because I’m right. Kill myself with all this work. But I like, I miss them. I miss them so much. But at the same time I’m like, there’s just so many that I don’t even know where to pick this up again. If I want to write. [00:20:55][37.2]

[00:20:56] Kellie Golden: I could only give so much. You know, you can’t pour from an empty cup. And I always say, like when it comes to mental health and my piece like that is that’s so important to me. And I will protect it at all cost. And I take mental health days all the time. If I have a day to where I’m like, I mentally cannot do this, I will take my watch off, I will put my phone up, I won’t turn on the computer and I’ll watch Netflix all day. Yeah. And if if that’s what you have to do, like take the time, take the time to do that. Recharge your batteries and then tomorrow’s a new day. Just start over tomorrow. So I mean, and it’s just like in motherhood, we do the same thing. We always put ourselves on the back burner. And I did that for years and years to the point to where I didn’t even recognize myself. I didn’t know who I was. And so I was just like, you know, if I am not the best version of myself, then I’m not going to be the best mom. I’m not going to be the best. Why? For the best business owner. So I started taking the time to do those things for myself. I started like doing my hair and getting my nails done and getting massages, and I’m so much more happy now and I make time for those things. And I can and I can pour in to my business and my family just by taking that time for myself. So self-care is not selfish, and I know we’re kind of programed, I guess, to think that, like the kids come first, the husband comes first, all this, and then we’re just standing there like, Who are we? So it’s so important to do that. [00:22:29][92.9]

[00:22:29] Lisa DiGeso: It’s so important. And I think it’s always the first thing to go. It’s that for me and also my personal creative projects, I the first things that will slip and then I start to realize that I’m not happy. Yeah. And even as I start taking care of my like I guess would be creative self-care as well as my personal self-care and over giving overcommitting like you just you work yourself into a whole. [00:22:56][26.5]

[00:22:56] Kellie Golden: You do and it burnout is real burnout and I think we all experience that. Even me doing IPS, I still experience it like it’s never going to go away. So you just have to learn to take that time for yourself. [00:23:08][11.6]

[00:23:08] Lisa DiGeso: Absolutely. Do you schedule in your editing time, like write in your calendar? [00:23:12][3.5]

[00:23:13] Kellie Golden: Okay. So when they come in for their ordering appointment, all my stuff is soft proofed, but I will fully edit about 3 to 5 pictures, which are my usually my favorites so that they can see kind of what the finish look is going to be like. And then once they pick all of their images, anything beyond the ones that I’ve already edited, I send them to my editor. So I set suppose and that has been a huge game changer for me is hiring an editor. Now granted, I get them back. I have to go over with them at the fine tooth comb and I still do a little bit of tweaks because I’m OCD and I think we all are when it comes to our own art, but the bulk of it is taken care of for me. So definitely outsource editing. Anything that you can outsource that someone else can do and you can free up your time that only you can do in your business. Do it. Absolutely do it. [00:24:06][52.7]

[00:24:06] Lisa DiGeso: So how did you find your editor? [00:24:07][0.9]

[00:24:09] Kellie Golden: I actually found her just online in a group. Awesome. So just. Yep, she fell in my lap. [00:24:14][5.1]

[00:24:15] Lisa DiGeso: So I had one for years. And then when Pandemic hit and I stopped really shooting, I was like, Well, yeah, let me work for you. Right. [00:24:23][7.4]

[00:24:23] Kellie Golden: I know. I think everybody felt that way during. But yeah. [00:24:28][4.5]

[00:24:29] Lisa DiGeso: Now how that I think for our students and for our listeners that is probably the biggest obstacle is pricing yourself to be able to afford an editor. So how did you tiptoe into that or figure that out? [00:24:40][11.5]

[00:24:41] Kellie Golden: First of all, doing your cost of doing business and I know everybody says that, which it’s it’s so true. So everybody’s cost of business is going to be different. So you have to run your numbers. My cost of business is different than, you know, the girl down the street or different from yours. And so that’s how I got mine. I did my cost of doing business, knew what I needed to make minimum per session to be able to profit and make money. And so that is absolutely the first step that you need to do. [00:25:11][29.9]

[00:25:12] Lisa DiGeso: So, are you ready for our lightning round? [00:25:13][1.4]

[00:25:14] Kellie Golden: Oh, sure. [00:25:14][0.6]

[00:25:16] Lisa DiGeso: Coffee or tea? [00:25:16][0.5]

[00:25:17] Kellie Golden: Coffee. [00:25:17][0.0]

[00:25:18] Lisa DiGeso: Most luxurious vacation you’ve ever been on. [00:25:20][1.7]

[00:25:21] Kellie Golden: Saint Thomas. I know. We’re leaving again in, like, 20 days to go back. I can’t wait. [00:25:27][6.1]

[00:25:27] Lisa DiGeso: All of it. Favorite TV show as a kid. [00:25:29][1.7]

[00:25:30] Kellie Golden: Saved by the Bell and Full House. They came on back to back after school. [00:25:35][4.8]

[00:25:35] Lisa DiGeso: The last thing you did for yourself was an indulgence. [00:25:38][2.7]

[00:25:39] Kellie Golden: I got my lips done. [00:25:40][0.7]

[00:25:43] Lisa DiGeso: Morning person or night owl. [00:25:44][1.1]

[00:25:45] Kellie Golden: Neither of them. I’m a grandma. I’m in bed by 8:00, and I don’t like waking up early either. [00:25:54][9.0]

[00:25:55] Lisa DiGeso: Oh, my God, I do. Yes, I’m in bed by, like, nine. And then I hit the snooze twice because I set the alarm for 630, and I don’t want to get up. I just lie in bed for 2 hours. [00:26:05][10.3]

[00:26:06] Kellie Golden: It’s so hard. Oh, I do get up early on purpose just to sit in the dark and drink coffee before anyone else wakes up. Like, if that does not happen for me every day, I’m a grouch. [00:26:18][12.6]

[00:26:21] Lisa DiGeso: What do you want to be when you grew up? [00:26:22][1.2]

[00:26:23] Kellie Golden: A labor delivery nurse. [00:26:24][1.1]

[00:26:27] Lisa DiGeso: Is that what you did before photography? [00:26:28][0.9]

[00:26:29] Kellie Golden: I was in the medical field. I actually worked and an OB office. I also kind of thought I was tiptoeing my way there, but never made it. [00:26:37][8.1]

[00:26:37] Lisa DiGeso: I love it. You find your hands on babies. [00:26:39][1.4]

[00:26:40] Kellie Golden: Snuggle babies another way. [00:26:41][1.0]

[00:26:41] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah, exactly. Do you have any personal projects going on right now? [00:26:45][3.7]

[00:26:45] Kellie Golden: So I have my own podcast and it’s brand new. It’s in its infancy. And so it’s actually me and my best friend who is also a photographer and another one of our friends who is a photographer. And our podcast has nothing to do with photography. [00:27:01][15.8]

[00:27:02] Lisa DiGeso: I love it. [00:27:02][0.1]

[00:27:04] Kellie Golden: So, it’s called Show Me the Mommy. Well, I guess it is kind of about photography because it’s moms that are entrepreneurs. So we are going to be launching actually photography course, but it’s geared towards moms with cameras, so it’s really super simple. How to shoot in manual, How to shoot your kids sports events, kids in the sprinkler bubbles, you know, stuff like that. So, yeah, we’re working on that and we will be launching that in 2024 at some point. [00:27:35][31.0]

[00:27:36] Lisa DiGeso: Love it. Love it. Go to karaoke jam. [00:27:38][2.6]

[00:27:38] Kellie Golden: In my twenties, yes, I would have been there now. No. [00:27:42][4.1]

[00:27:43] Lisa DiGeso: No, no. [00:27:45][1.7]

[00:27:45] Kellie Golden: But I actually sang karaoke in St Thomas. Oh, my little boy, My seven year old, he wanted to get up there and sing so bad. And do you know that song? It’s called. You know, that’s not what he wanted to sing. I was so embarrassed. I wanted to melt into the ground. But I got up there and sung the corn song with him. [00:28:05][20.2]

[00:28:07] Lisa DiGeso: Oh, my God. [00:28:07][0.4]

[00:28:07] Kellie Golden: Then we sang Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. [00:28:09][1.4]

[00:28:09] Lisa DiGeso: Oh, I love that. I love that. What do you like to cook the most? If you like to cook. [00:28:13][4.1]

[00:28:14] Kellie Golden: I do not like to cook. I am not good at it. But if I do cook, it’s probably going to be spaghetti or homemade pizza. [00:28:22][7.5]

[00:28:23] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah. Go to a song that lifts you up when you’re down. [00:28:25][2.3]

[00:28:26] Kellie Golden: Oh, Lisa, I don’t know. No idea. I mean. I’m clueless. No, I don’t know. [00:28:37][10.7]

[00:28:38] Lisa DiGeso: What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? [00:28:40][1.8]

[00:28:41] Kellie Golden: The best gift I’ve ever received. I’m going to go with. When I was 12, my dad bought me a horse, so that was a pretty awesome gift. [00:28:52][10.6]

[00:28:52] Lisa DiGeso: It’s pretty awesome. What has been the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given to mind? [00:28:58][5.4]

[00:28:58] Kellie Golden: To mind my own business. [00:28:58][0.2]

[00:29:00] Lisa DiGeso: Love it. Eyes on your own paper. [00:29:01][1.2]

[00:29:02] Kellie Golden: Yes. I think just, you know, focusing on your business and yourself and, you know, putting all of your energy into what you’re doing is going to be so beneficial. We get caught up in looking at everyone around us and what everyone’s doing and comparing ourselves. And that can be it’s good in a way to compare so that you can push yourself to be better. But there’s a really fine line to where that can be a really toxic thought process. [00:29:28][25.9]

[00:29:29] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah, 100%. What advice would you have for someone who’s just starting out? [00:29:33][4.5]

[00:29:34] Kellie Golden: I would say to follow your heart and don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do something. So I hear and see in a lot of groups, too, where they want to be a photographer and they love it and they’re passionate about it, but their partner’s not supportive or their family is not supportive. And I say, just go for it. Obviously, be smart about it, but follow your dreams and then obviously do your cost of doing business. [00:30:02][28.5]

[00:30:03] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah. [00:30:03][0.0]

[00:30:04] Kellie Golden: You’re going to want to do that from the very beginning so that you know where to start. It’s so much easier to start out higher priced than being like really cheap and then trying to raise your prices every six months to a year. Because if you think about it, you’re going to have to kind of start all over and find new clients again. Every time that you do that, you will have your. I still have clients that are still with me from day one. So you are going to have a handful of those people that are going to stick with you throughout all of the growth. But for the most part, if you’re going to make a huge leap, you’re going to kind of have to start from scratch with your marketing and your client base. [00:30:40][36.8]

[00:30:42] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah, that’s good advice. So you have been one of our amazing students at the Milky Way over the years. So can you share your view on the importance of continuing your education as a creative? [00:30:52][10.6]

[00:30:53] Kellie Golden: Yes, I think education is so important and I can piggyback that off of whoever starting out is to invest in education. I started doing the Milky Way in 2020 and there is a plethora of information and so many people that are knowledgeable and it’s such a good start. I like to attend a photography conference every year and then obviously I do a lot of online workshops as well. But I also branch out, go in person. Figure out what you like. The education is super important and don’t try to figure it out all yourself because that can be like super lonely. You could get discouraged. Just go to the conferences, go to a workshop by the Milky Way, ask questions. You’re going to grow way faster than if you try to do everything on your own. [00:31:46][52.9]

[00:31:47] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah. Okay, so where can I listeners learn more from you? [00:31:51][4.3]

[00:31:52] Kellie Golden: So I am on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tik Tok, every fulltime job running. [00:32:01][8.7]

[00:32:03] Lisa DiGeso: Love it. Love it. And so you’re actually one of our instructors for the upcoming newborn maternity retreat. So can you share what you’re teaching? [00:32:11][7.6]

[00:32:12] Kellie Golden: So I am going to be teaching maternity posing and then how to incorporate your partner and older siblings into your sessions. [00:32:21][8.4]

[00:32:22] Lisa DiGeso: So I love to end my interviews just with this last question. And it is what are you currently curious about or artistically curious about? [00:32:29][7.6]

[00:32:30] Kellie Golden: I would love, love, love, love to learn underwater maternity portraiture. Like, I am so intrigued by that. And I mean I have a swimming pool, but it’s above ground, so it’s useless when it comes to that. But I would absolutely love to take a workshop and learn that and then be able to shoot that. I think that would just really set me apart from everybody in my area. And I think it’s just so like I love water anyway. And so just, I don’t know the way they move and it just looks so majestic. So I would yeah, I would love to learn that. [00:33:08][37.7]

[00:33:09] Lisa DiGeso: There is a housing bag and I think it’s called a dipsac or dicasac or I’m not sure. I don’t know. Yeah, well put in the show notes. I’m definitely pronouncing it incorrectly. Yeah, but it is this amazing bag, and I’ve used it with my son and I did some underwater back when he was about eight. It is so cool. And it’s way easier than you think. [00:33:31][22.8]

[00:33:32] Kellie Golden: Okay. Yeah. Okay. You’re going to do it. And I would, but. I usually take. So when we go on vacation, like, I never I never take my camera on vacation because if I do that, I’m going to work, you know? So I take my GoPro, though. And so I do, you know, it’s nothing special, but I do some underwater stuff with that. And what my kids have it and I like them too. I like to see what they see. But I’m going to look into that like. [00:33:56][23.9]

[00:33:56] Lisa DiGeso: That’s a link I got two years ago and it’s been awesome. I throw in my like my old D 750 or whatever something and go underwater and it hasn’t leaked. So that’s been good. Yeah. [00:34:08][11.6]

[00:34:09] Kellie Golden: I would I would have a heart attack. [00:34:10][1.1]

[00:34:11] Lisa DiGeso: Like we’re insured, insured, be insured. [00:34:15][4.0]

[00:34:16] Kellie Golden: But I would just be like that moment. Like right now. Did you ever have that, that lens coffee cup, You know, like that? Oh, my gosh. So my mother in law bought that for me one year for Christmas. And like, every time I seen it in the sink, I would have like a mini heart attack, just like for a split second because it looked so real. Oh, my God. With kids, you never know. You never know what’s going to be in the sink. [00:34:38][22.1]

[00:34:39] Lisa DiGeso: Seriously? Well, you know, the 200 lens, like how bad is and how expensive it is? Yeah. So I was driving home from a shoot, and the camera and the lens were on my passenger seat, and all of a sudden a deer ran in front of me. I slammed on the brakes and my. Hand like. Flying. It didn’t shatter, but the, like the whatever the however it joins onto the camera. Yeah. Was like the threads were shredded. Oh no. So I had to send it to Nikon and everything and sure, you know, it’s horrible. It was not fun. [00:35:11][32.5]

[00:35:12] Kellie Golden: Yeah, I have it. Knock on wood, some wood around here. I’ve never had to file an insurance claim, so I don’t even like. Saying that out loud. No, no, nothing like just kidding. Just kidding. [00:35:22][9.4]

[00:35:23] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah, that’s it. Well, Kellie, thank you so much for your time. [00:35:25][2.1]

[00:35:26] Kellie Golden: Yes. Thank you. So fine. I hope I didn’t ruin your show. [00:35:30][4.4]

[00:35:31] Lisa DiGeso: Oh, it’s been amazing. And your show. Great info. [00:35:33][2.4]

[00:35:34] Kellie Golden: Yes. Thank you so much for having me, Lisa. [00:35:36][2.0]

[00:35:37] Lisa DiGeso: Only beautiful friends. I hope you have loved this conversation just as much as I have. I am sending you so much of my light and my love today and every single day. We’ll see you next time. [00:35:50][12.1]

[00:35:54] Lisa DiGeso: Hey, friend, you know, it’s the worst is just being mid-session and completely freezing. You start to feel awkward, your clients start looking at you for direction, and your brain feels like you just hit a wall. Now, believe me, you are not alone. And that’s why we created The Storyteller’s Toolkit. It’s an emotive prompt guide to help sessions stay free flowing and fun. And best of all right now it’s totally free. It’s full of prompts for parents, motherhood, family, siblings and couples, and even surefire smile prompts. We’ve put together over 200 prompts for you. Grab your copy at [00:35:54][0.0]


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