We had the good fortune of connecting with Kiara Gray and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kiara, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
Growing up, I watched so many people both peers and older talk down about themselves. I watched them discourage their body type, skin color, hair type, lifestyle, & etc. The list seemed to be endless. Yet, from a young age this societal issue weighed heavily on my heart knowing exactly what it was like to feel that way. I sought a way to provide authentic joy and vision to those struggling to see the true beauty that they uniquely radiated. Photography was that solution.
What should our readers know about your business?
We’ve all heard the term; ‘I got it from my mama.’ Genuinely, that’s where my story begins. Growing up, I remember looking up to my mama who chased a photography dream of her own. Watching her shoot, edit, and deliver with the joy she authentically fostered was something that stuck out to me. At sixteen, with a camera of my own, I quickly realized that this was so much more than just a hobby. I sought a way to incorporate my love for people, missions, and photography; Resulting in my business Kia G Photography.
As I sought to establish a healthy foundation, I wanted to create a brand bigger than myself. From a young age I have always had the biggest heart for any and all missions organizations. I always admired the selfless work they put out into this world and the good they bring to people. Moving forward, I thought it would be so special to not only promote my own work but the selfless work of these missions. This brought me to commit 20% of every commission to a mission organization of the client’s choice.
In regard to simplicity, establishing myself was far from easy. Not only is the photography industry competitive, it is flourishing! Hence, making it more difficult to get involved and prove the value of my own work. Not to mention, it is beyond easy to doubt your own work and fall into the trap that is comparison within this industry. Yet, in surrounding myself with positive, encouraging, and uplifting community, I was able to push past these mental obstacles and continue pursuing my own ambitious dream.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
South Florida; – Buffalo Tiger Airboat Tours
– Everglades National Park
– Hollywood Beach
– Bill Bags State Park
– Alabama Jacks (Seafood Restaurant, the BEST Conch fritters you’ll ever have!)
– Sawgrass Mills Mall (Was at one point the second largest mall in the states!)
– Jaxon’s Ice Cream
– Disney Springs
– Disney, Universal, Seaworld etc.
– Universal City Walk
– Downtown Orlando
– Old Town
– Deleon Springs (Their old pancake house is to die for.)
– Bok Tower (The highest point in Florida!)
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Two shoutouts specifically come to mind here. One; if you have ever heard the quote, “I got it from my mama” it is absolutely true. My sweet mama played a role in the photography business early on in my childhood in turn igniting my creativity. The joy that she fostered through the work she had been pursuing stuck out to me. Second; Both people as well as missions have remained so close to my heart throughout a majority of my life. My push to both provide people with authentic vision as well as supporting nonprofit missions in a way has stemmed from being so closely connected with many people working hard to help others. I wanted to be just like them. A few examples being Rapha International; a nonprofit working to save children from trafficking. Casas Por Cristo; a nonprofit working to provide homes to families throughout the Dominican Republic. Apache Youth Ministries; a ministry working to provide resources for native youth throughout the Whiteriver Apache Reservation.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kiagphotos/ – @kiagphotos