The World Needs Your Lens: How to Stay Motivated and Inspired in Your Photography with Kelly Goggin

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Family photographer Kelly Goggin tackles the tough parts of being a photographer in this inspiring interview filled with many laughs, but also deep moments of examining self doubt, burnout, and how to stay motivated through the ebbs and flow of the creative process.

Introduction (4:26)

How did you find your style? (5:14)

If we learn to use style on social media like a dictionary of a language people are speaking, we don’t have to master every single word in the dictionary to be a proficient speaker. You don’t need to master every single trend or technique to be an amazing creator. Surround yourself with masters that you admire, and ignore the white noise of everyone else.

Has photography always been your passion? (11:06)

I started out burnt out. I thought I had to do what everyone else was doing, and take every job, and I did not know how to stay motivated after that. I took the time to be quiet and zone in on the things I love and am passionate about, and that set me alight.

How do you style your session and do you have a client closet? (16:42)

I carry a closet for women, and then newborns up to size 6T. I also use Style and Select. I created a lookbook for families if they want to use my clothing. I look for budget-friendly but timeless pieces so I can continually expand my closet.

Psst! Check out my interview with Style and Select for lots of styling tips!

How to infuse sessions with connection? (20:43)

I tell my clients that we are going to pretend we’re going to shoot a movie about their family, and they are actors, and responsible for showing the world the family’s story.

Key tips to ensure motion and emotion happens (22:44)

  1. Like your clients – find something about them you like and can use in the session.
  2. I mentally give myself time at the beginning of the session to just observe the family and see how they interact. I do the same at the end giving them time to just be themselves.
  3. I use prompts and not poses. I ask questions that elicit responses.

What is your go-to prompt that encourages emotional connections? (28:02)

For kids, I put them on mom’s lap, ask them to touch mom’s jaw, then ask mom what her favourite thing is about that child. There will be lots of emotion from both sides to capture!

For couples, I tell the taller person to wrap their arms around the shorter person, trace their noses from hairline to neckline, and to whisper what the “reward” will be after the session!

How do have grace with yourself and set boundaries (31:30)

When you can’t take a break, is when you need to. I ask myself, what would be the worst thing that would happen if I don’t answer that email or return that message. If it’s not the world falling apart, walk away. Sometimes work is actually just you avoiding something else.

How to stay motivated when you feel stuck (36:24)

I get stuck when I lose my message. That often happens when I start comparing in stead of looking forward. So if you’re stuck, the best answer to how to stay motivated is to just do it anyway! If you’re scared of something, run to it. Or it’s time to think about whether you’re still sharing your message, and get back to that if needed.

What has been your favourite session and why? (41:13)

It’s more what came of this session than the session itself. I photographed a birth where we knew the baby wasn’t going to make it. It was a dark time, but I was able to love on that baby for the time he was alive in a way that mom’s own mother couldn’t be, and mom and I have become the best of friends.

Speed round questions! (48:00)

Discover more about Kelly Goggin
Kelly began her company 8 years ago with a simple goal: To capture beautiful memories for people NO MATTER how much they made. I believe that everyone’s story is precious, and it is my job to tell that story through our time together and the beautiful art we create.
The company has grown from 10 clients to over 300 annually and I am so honored to be a part of something this huge in southwest Florida.
She has shot for over 2500 different people, over cities and states, and has won many honors like Top 10 in Photography Contests such as Shoot& Share, Features in Jackie Acosta’s Blog, member of ApNPI, and even taught in the Milky Way Online Retreats.

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