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Rising Stars: Meet Julie Kern

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julie Kern. 

Hi Julie, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My name is Julie Kern, proud owner of Julie Kern Photography. I grew up in Carlsbad, attended California State University San Marcos, and I am lucky to still call San Diego home. I am also a special education teacher in the Poway Unified School District. I live in North County with my husband, two children, our baby who is due April 2023, and our two dogs, an energetic boxer puppy and an always hungry, playful lab. 

My passion for photography started in 1997 when I was fifteen years old. My brother, who was seventeen years old, died in a car accident coming home from the Colorado River. I learned from this very young age that you can never have too many pictures, especially when photos are the only thing left to remember a loved one. 

After my brother’s accident, I started saving up money to buy disposable Kodak cameras, taking lots of pictures, and getting the film developed (when I saved up even more money). I had mostly minimum wage jobs in high school, so this took a big chunk of my paychecks. 

In 2007, I purchased my first digital camera for a vacation to Europe, as a gift to myself for earning a Master of Science degree in Special Education. I fell even more in love with photography because I was able to take many more pictures and print them to display around my home. I also started making more photo albums and giving more pictures as gifts to friends and family. 

When my kids were born, my passion for photography grew exponentially. My son, Lawrence, was born in 2010, and my daughter, Sharlin, was born in 2019. I use photography as a way to document their milestones, the many things they like to do, their unique facial expressions when they are excited or contemplative, and the various stages as they mature. 

At the beginning of 2022, I officially started Julie Kern Photography with a little motivation from a friend, Vesna Rysdale. She was also my first formal client. I will forever be grateful for her! I want to thank some of my early clients: the Pickslay, Daniel, and Reyes families. I am grateful for your support and for believing in me! 

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?
Starting Julie Kern Photography has been a humbling experience. I have extreme love and passion for photography, and foundational photography skills; however, there is always more to learn. Luckily, I work with a mentor who is a seasoned photographer; she provides me advice and coaching to support me along this journey. 

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a strong believer in the Maya Angelou quote, “life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” It is my honor to photograph these special moments for San Diego families and give them pictures they will admire and appreciate for the rest of their lives. 

I grew up close to my extended family. Every Sunday after going to church in the morning, we ate breakfast and played at my Grandma and Grandpa Kern’s house. There were eleven cousins in all, aunts, uncles, my immediate family, and my grandparents. Some of my best childhood memories were made on Sunday mornings and I continue to cherish these memories as an adult. Family is at the core of who I am today and what I value most in life. 

In my photography business, I specialize in families. When I do a photoshoot with a family, we start with portraits, but the best pictures come from the family just naturally interacting with each other. Some of my favorite photos include capturing a younger child looking admirably at a parent, a nose crinkle smile that accompanies an unexpected belly laugh, a proud older sibling holding their baby brother or sister for the first time, the sparkles of joy in the eyes of expecting parents as they gaze down at their soon-to-be baby boy or girl, or the flirty glace between Mom and Dad during the “controlled chaos” of a family session with young kids. 

In my photography, I bring together the passion I have for the great outdoors and my love of families. I am deeply inspired by nature. I love a beautiful sunset or sunrise, hearing the waves crash at the beach, feeling crisp mountain air on my face, admiring the stars of the desert sky, and hearing birds chirp in the morning. When I work with families, I help them choose beautiful outdoor locations that show their unique interests and personalities while providing a beautiful background for their photos. 

Here is a recommendation for Julie Kern Photography from one of my past clients: “Your unique way of capturing those special moments through photos is so beautiful, and your energy is contagious, welcoming, and fun. You made me feel comfortable and time flew by… Thank you for sharing your talents. I can’t wait for others to experience the same.” 

What are your plans for the future?
I have worked with a lot of friends and family up to this point and I am looking forward to growing my business. I am excited to bring joy and happiness to San Diego families and clients through my photography. I would love the opportunity to serve your family by turning the precious moments into cherished lifelong memories! 

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