Today we’d like to introduce you to Kimberly Caldwell-Legree.
Kimberly, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
All of my life, creative expression has been my driving force. Standing apart from the crowd and doing things a little different is what I do best. I am constantly trying to find new ways to grow. My journey into photography began as an artistic person, I have always loved art. And way back when I was in middle school, I was always the one with the camera when out with friends – I just hated the week-long wait to see if you got anything good (back then we had to develop our film). But when I had my own kids, I wanted to capture every milestone, from messy cake faces to action sports shots to graduation day. I can’t stop freezing time & creating these snapshots so when I look back at these one day, it will bring me right back to that very moment. When it comes to family, the moments feel like they flew by, time passes so quickly, and I want to remember it all.
While taking pictures of my son’s little league baseball team, one of the parents asked me to take their family pictures, they were my first paying clients and that is how I started my photography business in 2008.
Only 2 years after being paralyzed from my chest down from a disease called Transverse Myelitis.
My arms still worked and it was my passion. I now have a small business that I love and never does it feel like a job.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Being paralyzed for one is always a challenge. Because the world is not wheelchair accessible. If you spent the day with me out and about, your eyes would open up to a whole new world. One most takes for granted. There are steps everywhere, the doors aren’t automatic and some aren’t wide enough to get through. Tables in restaurants have lips underneath that make rolling under impossible. Don’t get me started on handicapped parking. The disability world just wants to fit in. We just want to be like everyone else and be able to go everywhere too. I can’t speak for everyone, but for myself, I don’t want to stand out. I get looked at enough. When I go out to eat, I don’t want to get into a lift to get into a restaurant or have all of the tables have to get up while they are eating so I can wheel by to get to my table, to have to do it again on my way out. No, I’d rather stay home. I could go on and on.
But photography, it’s my business. I know what places are accessible, and I always make it work.
You’d be surprised at how many have not booked with me once I told them I was in a wheelchair 🙁
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a professional portrait photographer. I am self-taught. I started my business in 2008. In Michigan, the winters are cold and we don’t do any shooting outside. So, during the winter months, I take classes. I’ve spent thousands on classes throughout the years to learn all that I can about photography. I specialize in high school senior photography, but I love it all. All genres. I’m most proud of following my passion and creating a small business that I love. Most of my business comes from word of mouth and Google reviews where I have all 5-star reviews. My disability has not stopped me from doing what I love and I wish that others in a similar situation could see that life doesn’t have to end because you are in a wheelchair. It actually made me stop and smell the roses. When I became paralyzed from Transverse myelitis, I was a mom with 3 boys ages 10, 8, and 2. I also worked and they were in sports and it was crazy hectic Mom’s life. I never had time to stop and smell the roses. Then this happened. I had no choice. But the choice I did have, was to give up or fight. I chose to fight!
Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
Being a mom makes me the happiest. My 3 boys are now 26, 24, and almost 18. Being a wife makes me happy, my husband is my soul mate, and not only do I love him, I like him too 😉 Being a Dog Mom makes me happy. I have 3 dogs and they give me unconditional love and no matter what is always by my side. Being a daughter to the best supportive and loving parents in the world makes me happy. Being a sister to 2 big brothers makes me happy. And being an aunt, almost as happy as being a mom. It’s a title I am proud of and I have the best nephews and nieces.
And coming this year… I am going to be a grandmother. I cannot imagine the happiness that he will soon bring into all of our lives!
- Session fee $150
- Portrait Packages start at $499
- Studio and On-location sessions are available
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.kimberlycaldwellphotography.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/kimberlycaldwellphotography
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/kimberlycaldwellphotography