Spotlight on Kara Kamienski | The Reset Conference


There are some people that walk into your life that just leave a huge impression on you.  Kara is one of those people.  She has such an incredible warmth & sees the humor in everything.  I wish she lived closer so I could hear that laugh more often!  But, beyond that amazing personality, Kara is an incredible photographer & business woman.  She has grown her business by leaps and bounds and continues to push herself harder to new levels of success.  I think she must drink a ton of coffee, because I’m not sure when she rests! haha!  She is very active in her kids Catholic school & is one amazing wife & mommy.  I can’t wait to hear what she shares with us at Reset.  I know you’ll walk away inspired.

Meet the adorable & super funny Kara Kamienski.   (I promise you she will have you laughing at Reset!)


Tell us a little bit about yourself…

I am lucky.

I have an amazing hot farmer husband who listens to country music and drives a truck and wears only Wranglers.    He is the stereotypical all-American boy and I adore him.

I have a gorgeous 9 year old daughter who is a diva obsessed with purses, Dancing with the Stars, and singing.  I pledge that one day she’ll be famous and make up for all of the agony we endure having to listen to her sing all.the.time.

I have a hilarious 7 year old son.  He is freckle-faced and has a dimple and pretty much rules my heart.  The kid is so.stinking.funny and I absolutely love to watch him play sports- because he rocks at them.

I run a crazy busy photography business that I love every minute of.  I literally can’t go anywhere without seeing a scene and calculating aperture, light, and what sort of post-process vintage sunflare I can add to it.  It’s a problem.

I love a lot of things.  I’ve more than once been accused of claiming something is my ‘favorite’ (and then saying it again like 2 minutes later).  I am fully obsessed with wearing boots, drinking coffee, the Pandora Soft Rock station, America’s Next Top Model, Ulta, Starbucks birthday cake pops, and snow.

I absolutely despise mean people, selfies, grocery shopping, running, and my boobs (for real).

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What keeps you inspired?

Every once in awhile, I’ll get sick of working.  I’ll tell myself I could just throw in the towel and be done with it all.  And then I’ll go somewhere without my camera, and I’ll see a shot, and it will literally burn me inside that I can’t capture it.  That feeling is what inspires me to know that I am where I am meant to be.

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Favorite Software (presets, actions, templates, etc?)

Oh dear…I have a lot of favorites.  For workflow- I’m obsessed with Photo Mechanic.  I also am in love with Smart Albums.  I live by the VSCO presets.

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Favorite Photo Find

I’m a huge fan of the VSCO facebook site.

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What is your favorite photography accessory other than your camera?

My intern.  HAHAHA:)  just kidding.  I’d have to say my ‘money maker’ strap.  Add two cameras onto ‘the girls’ and this homegirl was having some serious back issues.  ‘Money maker’:  1, Kara’s back: 0.

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If you could only photograph with one lens, which would you choose?

85 mm 1.4:)  bokeh baby.  bokeh.

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What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?

I hope people can see how much I love my job through my work.  I want so badly for each of my clients to feel as beautiful when they see their pictures as I see them through the lens.

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What do you think are some clichés in photography you steer away from yourself?

um…color processing.  🙂  j/k.  sort of.  I feel bad answering this question because I think there are a lot of things that people do that WORK for them- they just don’t work for me.  It doesn’t mean I think they’re dumb or useless, they just aren’t right for me and my biz.  Some examples of that- having a studio, in-person sales, a crap ton of off-camera flash, editing in bright and bold color, etc.  Just not for me:)

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If you could be invisible & had your camera…where would you go & what would you photograph?

Aaron Schock.  just kidding.  (sort of).  honestly, my children.  I think they turn things on for me and I hardly get the real deal.  In those moments- I think it’s hard to capture their true emotions because I’m torn between being a mom and being a photographer.  for the good times and the bad times.  I wish I could sometimes capture them when they are just truly being themselves without knowing I’m there.  (but with my fav 85 lens- that’s virtually impossible now, isn’t it!)

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5 words your friends would use to describe you.

Crazy.  Funny.  Driven.  Smiley.  Busy.

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5 words your spouse would use to describe you.

Bad cook.  Great mom.  Clean.  Intense.  Annoying.  (truth)

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What talent would you most like to have?

I wish I could cook.  Like crazy amazing meals that were super healthy and everyone devoured.

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Your laugh…loud and obnoxious? Quiet giggler? Full-on snorter?

‘Most Obnoxious Laugh’ winner at band camp- 2 years in a row baby.  This girl.

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Wish you had more of…? Wish you had less of….?

More:  time in a day, hair on my head, rooms in my house, family who lived close, patience with my kids, hooded sweatshirts.

Less:  boobs.  definitely boobs.

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Greatest loves of your life?

God, my husband, my kids, my family, my Ugg boots, Lancome mascara, and Starbucks.

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Most embarrassing moment??

Well, so many to put.  THIS year’s was when I was asked to speak at Bradley University to a class about owning my own business.  One of the students raised his hand and asked me what advice I would give to my ‘starting out’ self.  I confidently told him that I spent too much time worrying about what others thought and comparing myself to others- and then putting myself down.  I told him my one piece of advice would be not to ‘self-defacate’.  I meant ‘self-depricate’.  Instead, I told a classful of college students not to crap on themselves.  #inspire

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Something that is overrated?

Donuts.  ugh…

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What’s your BIG dream?

I’d love to be a part of something way bigger than myself.  Not sure what that is yet- but I’m confident God is leading me in the direction He wants me to go.  This photography gig literally fell into my lap 5 years ago, and prior to that- was seriously not even on my spectrum.  I have to believe that there is a plan.

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It’s Friday night at 9pm…what are you probably doing?

Most likely charging my batteries, cleaning my equipment, and beginning my weekly panic attack the night before a wedding.

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If you were granted 3 wishes, what would you choose?

  1.  Happiness for my children.  that’s really all I would wish for.

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