We had the good fortune of connecting with Kate Ivy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kate, what principle do you value most?
I love this question! I think it’s one of the most important things to ask yourself as an individual, but also as a business. There is a Maya Angelo quote – “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” If you were to apply that to the photography field – people will forget your editing skills, or how quickly you emailed them back – what matters is how you made them feel. And there are quite a lot of people who don’t feel included.
So the value that matters the most to me is inclusivity. As a member of the queer community I will say how important it is to feel safe and non-discriminated against. I would only want this for my clients as well.
The wedding industry is saturated with straight, rich, skinny white people. And to be honest – I didn’t do much to change that in the beginning of my business. And I will challenge myself to do more. Many photographers call themselves “story tellers” but whose stories? We are on the hunt for the “ideal client” – but when you imagine them, what makes them ideal, and by whose standards?
Photographers have a gift, and there is no shame in making money using your talent, but as a human and a business owner you have the ability and responsibility to check in with yourself and make sure you are sharing all stories.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I love the story photos tell and how they take you back to a moment or place in time. Some of my all-time favorite photos are not of special events or everyone looking at the camera and smiling – but the “behind the scenes” of everyday life photos.
I never thought I could have a career taking photos and helping people tell their story. Although, couples and weddings are my jam – the thing I am most proud about is the Pride Project I did this last June. I did nine sessions – all people from the LGBTQ+ community and each one represented a different color. They shared some of their story and each color/session raised money for an organization or non-profit relating to LGBTQ rights or awareness. I had no idea what exactly the project would turn into but at the end I was so proud of what it had become and the people that helped be a part of it.
My journey has been a little bumpy, but not without learning from my mistakes! There is a quote about “smooth waters don’t make good sailors” and I strongly believe that it’s the challenging weddings or sessions that make me a better photographer and artist. Whether it is how to deal with family members and brides who have mmm….different expectations, or working with bad lighting and unexpected weather – you have to think outside of the box. It stretches you to find beauty and art in other ways that you might not think about normally. I have also learned to have EXTRA EVERYTHING. Extra camera, lenses, batteries, flash, change of clothes, etc.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Itinerary for things to do in Denver!
Obviously we would need to see a show at Red Rocks. We could tailgate before the show with some friends – grab some New Belgium beers.
The next day we would sleep in and grab some brunch at Snooze before heading to hike Lake Isabelle (a 5 hour hike). On the way back we would stop in Boulder at Japango for some sushi and people watching on Pearl Street. That night we would grab a late night cocktail at a speak easy like Williams and Graham or Boys and Girls Club.
The next day we would walk around Downtown and Rino – to see all the art and stop into Crema for coffee. Lunch at Park Burger. Head to the Contemporary Art Museum and South Broadway to stop in some vintage stores. Dinner at El Five. And then hit up some bars like Triangle or X bar or Tracks.
The next day we would do Jazz at the park at City Park and eat at a food truck.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am only the photographer I am because of the support and encouragement of those in my life. My family and friends and partner have been my number one supporters and I feel so lucky for their ongoing support. The community in Denver is awesome and there have definitely been times when I need to turn to a Facebook forum for help! And I would not want to forget a shoutout to all my clients – especially the ones in the beginning of my business who trusted me with their wedding or elopement. Knowing I was able to capture this day that is so important to them in the way they have dreamed is why I do this job.
Tayler Carlisle Photography