Today we’d like to introduce you to Karen Floyd.
Karen, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Thanks for having me! I purchased my first 35mm camera and started taking photographs at the age of 15, many moons ago. I found that I was fascinated by people~how they looked, how they held themselves, how they moved, and how their eyes can make that deep connection into their soul. I strived to capture them in a relaxed, natural way, to portray them as they really were in life, not how they were when offering that “picture face” smile.
When moved to San Diego in 1987, my attention turned to sign making and graphic design. All of my visual creativity was funneled into the creation of logos, print art, sign design and the like. Although my camera was never far from me, my high-end film camera had been replaced by a convenient point and shoot digital, My photography interests were sitting on the back burner, while I spent time making letters and blocks of text look beautiful.
One day, as I was watching an online training for design, I stumbled upon a woman teaching “Glamour Photography”. You may remember how popular that was in the 80’s, where the studio would make you up and then take “Hollywood” style photographs. Although the 80’s version was fun, looking at them today, they seem rather cheesy and almost comical! This teacher was not doing anything like that. She was taking a regular woman, instructing them on how to hold their bodies in the best position possible to look more like a model does.
I watched her gently pose someone, take a photo and when the photo came up on screen for me to see, I was floored! “How on earth did she do that?!?” The woman in the image was STUNNING! Even though I had watched the instructor take the picture, it was like the woman had transformed, right in front of my eyes. It was truly amazing. I found myself transfixed, I was engaged, absolutely fascinated and knew that I had just tapped into a cause that I could put every ounce of my talent into. I had also met the instructor who would become my Mentor/Teacher.
That was four and a half years ago. Today I have a beautiful studio in Bay Park where I have a thriving Portrait, Headshot, Personal Branding and Beauty photography business! It’s a wonderful life being able to make people look their best in photographs, especially with our world today being so visual. You cannot afford to look “dated” in the business world, people will not inquire with you. You need to look fresh, current and engaging; it’s a prerequisite when the first thing prospects see is your Linkedin or Facebook sites. With portraits, I have an offering called The Beauty Session, a luxury half day, pampering portrait experience for women. On a day to day basis, we, as women, generally have no idea how beautiful we are.
All those who love us can see it, but we often are so hard on ourselves that we look in the mirror and all we see are flaws. I have discovered that the opportunity to see yourself in photographs as spectacular, for some, can be can be a life-changing transformation. I have had women cry with overwhelming emotion when they see their finished photographs. It’s nourishing the soul to see yourself in a brand new way, super empowering way. Confidence, self-esteem and joy are are a bi-product, and you also have these gorgeous printed images to remind you of that reality every day!
Has it been a smooth road?
Nothing worth striving to be the best in is a smooth road, is it? Two come to mind.
First, what looks like a great model-type pose in a photograph is not how you would ever hold yourself in real life (just ask a model!). It takes years to learn how to guide people into the best way to hold themselves for their body type for their images to look phenomenal. Learning is a constant refinement, as all people have different faces, hair, body types and styles, and ALL of them want and deserve really, great images of themselves.
Second, What I offer is not traditional photography. When I say I’m a portrait photographer, it can be a challenge to overcome preconceived ideas about what that is. This is not your “hour of shooting and get everything on CD” kind of portrait experience. This is for those who value a custom experience and custom products and also desiring the best photograph of themselves as they can get.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Karen Floyd Portraiture story. Tell us more about the business.
I am known for beautiful, “Wow” portrait photography. My specialty offering, The Beauty Session, is more of an exclusive “Model for a Day” pampering photography experience. It’s great for mother/daughter, girls day out, maternity and seniors.
We first meet for a consultation to design your session and talk about how you would love to be photographed. You are given wardrobe suggestions and ideas, and we go over all the details of the process so you know exactly what to do. On the day of the session, you start with a full, pampering, hair and makeup application by one of my professional makeup artists. When you are done with them, you look like a million bucks. This alone often gives women the courage and confidence to really put all of themselves into the session!
Next, you spend approximately 2 hours of photography time in the studio with me. You will have guided posing, with multiple outfit changes, photo backgrounds and image looks. (Plan a night out afterwards, because you will look and feel wonderful!) Within 2 weeks, you come back for your own, personalized Reveal Session, to see the best of your images, totally retouched and ready for you. You only purchase the portraits that you love, there is no obligation to buy. My goal is to make them so magnificent, that you want them all!
I do a similar session with my Personal Branding sessions, where you can opt-in to have the hair and makeup done. A Branding Session is generally more business focused and offers you digital packages of portraits for your marketing, print and web use. You choose those images that you want professionally retouched that very day before you leave the session.
My Headshot Sessions are for busy professionals who want a sharp, contemporary look, yet don’t have a ton of time to dive into options. These sessions are fast and provide you with images that you love that will put you out ahead from what you currently are using. In and out in and hour or under.
Clients have reasons for why they need a portrait taken. Additionally what I can offer them, with their new sparkly images, are things like photo web banners, web advertising, business card layouts. I can help them cover their graphic design needs, like those, to make proper use of their images for marketing. My design skills are a plus to continue this promotional conversation with them.
I am most proud that I find most of my clients become friends. There is a level of trust and intimacy which comes with this level of photography which carries into the rest of life. I am so grateful to the many men and women who have honored me with the task of taking their photographs and creating images that are outstanding for them!
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I see this genre becoming more and more popular! When you look at the portrait work in Vogue magazine, it is a look that people want, “Magazine style”. With the high end of refinement in photography and digital cameras, no one is stuck with the traditional offerings of high volume, store photo studios to get their images taken anymore. The sky is the limit, I think this “modern glamour” will only increase in popularity and what is possible to achieve.
- Address: 4725 Tonopah Avenue San Diego, CA 92110
- Website: KarenFloydPortraiture.com
- Phone: 619-206-4042
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit for Karen’s photograph: Designs by Chelle
Above photographs: Hair and Makeup by Chelsea Rose Beauty