We had the good fortune of connecting with McKenzie Coyle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi McKenzie, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
The root of happiness is different for everyone, but in my life it comes from relationships and my faith more than anything else. I could travel the world, have any material thing, book the best weddings and have any success defined by societal standards, but if not for the people in my life and my relationship with Jesus I would feel a major lack of purpose. I’ve always said when I travel alone it’s never as fulfilling to me because there’s no one to turn to and share the experience with. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take any excuse to travel, but for me it’s people that make a place. I have so many amazing people in my life, and I truly believe you reap what you sow. That’s true for everything, but I think quality relationships are more important than anything. They’ll be there when you’ve had a hard day, when you lose out on an opportunity, don’t have money, etc. Loving people and being intentional about relationships is always worth it. Aside from my relationships, my faith is what I put my hope in. I think it’s crucial to have hope in something higher or bigger than yourself. It provides a sense of joy, peace and contentment that surpasses all temporary feelings of happiness and carries you through the inevitable low moments. I think anything that brings you consistent joy, peace and contentment is what true happiness is and that’s what those two things are to me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a wedding and lifestyle photographer and I shoot both film and digital, which makes me a hybrid photographer! I’ve had my photography business for 5 years and I’ve learned so much along the way. If a business owner ever says it’s all easy, they’re lying. Even though it’s not easy, and there are moments of doubt and struggle, it’s always been worth it at the end of the day. I get to create and do what I’m passionate about, and I’ve been able to be a part of so many celebrations and joyful moments. I’ve travelled to places I wouldn’t have otherwise gone, and have met so many amazing people and couples and for that I’m so grateful. I think the biggest thing I’d want people to know about me, and most photographers, is we pour our hearts into what we do and we truly love and care for the people who invite us into their intimate and most special moments. It’s an honor, and something I haven’t, and will probably never get used to. Those moments are what make the struggles worth it! The biggest things I’ve learned over the past 5 years are to truly stay in your own lane and don’t be afraid of the word “no”. Ask for help, reach out to people you want to work with even if it seems out of reach, work hard and always seek ways to get better and learn more! I always tell myself, it’s already a “no”, so you’re not losing anything by asking.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
It’s honestly a little hard to remember life before COVID and doing things out and about! haha I’m going to pretend it’s summer because it’s my favorite time of year in Denver. Getting a pizza to go from Proto’s and eating it in Confluence Park near Riverfront would definitely be on the itinerary because I spend a lot of time there in the summer. I’d also probably take them to Vail for a few days because it’s my favorite mountain town in both summer and winter. We’d go to a concert, go brewery hopping in RiNo and also hit all my favorite coffee shops. One of my favorites is called Sapor Coffee Concepts, and I’m actually here right now as I type this!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This question is so hard because there have been so many people along the way who have been there to give me a hand, mentor me, be a listening ear and support me in all kinds of ways. A few of many I’d like to highlight are my parents, friends and photographer, Carrie King. There are many people who’ve been a part of my story and who I could attribute my success to, however the people I mentioned are the ones who have been consistent and without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. My parents encouraged me to leave college, take a leap and start my own business when I was a young and naive 20-year-old. They took me seriously and believed in me when few people did. They invested in my business and bought me my first professional camera. My business was able to lift off the ground because of them. My friends are the people who keep me laughing and get me out of my head when I’m overthinking. They’re also a crucial part of that work-life balance and have always supported me and encouraged me too. Lastly, I want to recognize Carrie King. She’s an amazing photographer whose work I admired long before I ever met her. I attended her workshop in New York a few years ago and since then have gone on to second shoot with her for the past few years and now consider her a close friend. Carrie is someone I admire not only as a photographer and business person, but also a human being. The wedding industry can be a tough place to find genuine, lasting relationships and Carrie’s been one of those people for me. I appreciate her mentorship and friendship so much.