Recently, I was hanging out with my two-year-old and 10-month-old daughters. It was a normal day full of chores and Netflix kiddy shows with songs those that get stuck in your head for days. It was all the usual stuff…except for the fact that we had some leftover cupcakes from a birthday party looming in the kitchen. “I want cupcake!” my two-year-old chanted. Sometimes, I try to be the cool dad. And what’s cooler than a cupcake before lunch? I agreed to her demand but under one condition; she had to eat it in the kitchen because I had just vacuumed the floor. She accepted these terms. I focused my attention on the TV for two seconds (I had to find out if the cartoon character found his missing letters yet or not) and I turned back to see crumbs of smashed cupcake all across my freshly cleaned living room. My toddler is covered in frosting and my baby is crawling along the crumb trail, scooping as much as she could into her mouth.
Babies can be so fun sometimes.
And nobody knows this quite like Kandi Anderson. Kandi is the owner and operator of Kandi Anderson Photography, a photography business that focuses (pun not intended) on some very unique clientele…newborns and infants! I know some people who shoot weddings, senior pictures, nature etc. Kandi herself even photographs industrially, commercially, and even aerially…but to specialize in newborn photography? This was very interesting to me.
So, Kandi and I met for coffee and we began talking about her story!
It turns out, babies hadn’t always been front and center when it came to her day-to-day life. This thirty year Carlin resident actually spent twenty years of her time as a high school secretary. But after she retired from the school, her skill and passion for photography begin to develop (again, pun not intended). She explained to me how she started out taking senior pictures and thought maybe she could find her niche going about photography in that way. She began working to cultivate her craft and even decided to attend a photography conference and attend some classes. However, it turned out, the only break-out she could get into the day of her attendance at this conference was on newborn photography. So, she figured, why not? It was a good thing, everything just “happened” to turn out that way. Because it was in that seminar room where her love for taking pictures of little ones was born (pun not intended). From Atlanta to Spokane, to even Canada, she began traveling, learning, and growing her skills under the tutelage of some of the best infant photographers in the world. And she would bring her knowledge, experience, and passion back to our very own Carlin, Nevada.
Her story was great! But in my mind, taking pictures of infants all day must be rough; it’s not like they exactly show up ready to strike a pose like some GQ model. “What exactly does it look like to work with babies in that type of setting?” I asked. With a smile and a very calm and gentle demeanor, she explained. Through her hands-on training and personal experience, she walked me through how she had every little detail already thought through and planned out before the families even arrive for their appointment. From the temperature of the room where the pictures take place, to the fact that she comes prepared with a wardrobe all set and ready to provide the child with for the shoot, to even having a space dedicated just for newborns where she works her magic. I could tell, she had thought of it all. “I’d say I’ve had only maybe two children in six years of business that may have been a little much.” She laughed and celebrated with me.
“The hardest part of owning a business like this isn’t even the infants, it’s in the fact that as a small business owner, you have to wear so many hats. You have to do it all, from advertising to taking the pictures themselves. I’d say the photography business is 10% taking pictures and 90% doing the actual work of running a business.” She joked.
“What about specifically being a photographer in the Elko area? What’s that like?” I inquired. “I have never done it anywhere else!” She explained. “I would say the biggest thing would be working with people’s schedules and knowing how to flexible.” With our community being a mining community not everyone who wants to make an appointment has a nine to five job, so this really was something I could understand. That being said, Kandi expressed how much she was encouraged by doing business in our area because we’re still “small town” enough where one business owner could reach out to another and offer advice and support. “It takes a village!” She insisted.
As we wrapped up our conversation and my caramel frappucino reached the bottom of the cup, I asked her if there was anything she wanted you (those reading this blog) wanted to walk away knowing about her and her work. Her response? “I want people to know that when I take pictures, I’m documenting love. And I do this by treating my clients’ babies just like I would treat my own.” And I could tell, through the sincerity of her words and tone, that she truly did mean what she said. It was a real delight to zoom in on what she is doing in our community (this time, pun intended).
If you are interested in Kandi Anderson’s work, you check out her website at http://www.kandiandersonphotography.com/ or contact her by phone at 934-5023
You can see all the amazing things she is doing by taking a look at her blog https://www.kandiandersonphotography.com/kapblog/
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