We had the good fortune of connecting with Crystal Berklite and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Crystal, what is the most important factor behind your success?
There are so many things that have played important factors behind my success, but I feel like the biggest factor has been support. Support from family and friends through encouraging me in my business endeavors and offering assistance in various little ways. Support from clients by leaving me positive reviews from their experience working with me, by sharing my business page or social media posts, referring me to people they know who are looking for services that I offer, and of course coming back and allowing me to continue to document their families. It is so important to have people behind you who want to see you succeed!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I feel like my work and editing style is “true-to-color”/vibrant at a time when moody edits are predominant. I truly love and appreciate all editing and photography styles, but in my own work I always gravitate to vibrant colors with little change to the original tones of the environment. Something I am most proud of (and incredibly excited about) is opening up my first store-front studio space in my town! After 3.5 years of dreaming, my dream is finally becoming a reality and I can’t wait to complete the renovations we are doing and have a professional, inviting space for my clients to relax during their portrait session. This journey has not come without challenges and sacrifices along the way, but the road has been worth it! You have to overcome the challenges by focusing on your goals and the positives as well as using your support system for encouragement and guidance. I have learned to be patient, and that it’s okay to ask for help. Also, one of the best things you can do is find someone who is taking a similar journey, or been through something similar, who you can build a relationship with, chat with and bounce around ideas with. I have a couple of photographer friends who I deeply value and trust, and we want to see each other succeed. I was in my thirties and married with two children when I discovered my dream job was specializing in newborn photography- it is never to late to pursue what makes you happy! From the very beginning, I knew that newborns, baby milestones, and maternity were the types of sessions that I wanted to focus on and brought me joy, so I began with the intent of specializing in those areas and today continue to specialize in those sessions, especially newborns, which is my greatest passion. I am always learning and finding ways to improve my business and client experience. I can’t wait to see what’s to come in the next 3 years!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
“Uptown” Columbus! My city is located in Alabama, bordering Georgia, so I call Alabama and Georgia home. 10 minutes across the bridge into Georgia is our downtown area (Uptown). There is so much to do. Many amazing restaurants and stores to check out, the Riverwalk to enjoy sightseeing or exercising, and many free community events and concerts. Some of my favorites include Mabella’s (the best cheesecake), the Black Cow (delicious steaks), Woodruff Park (fun splash pad and play area for the children), and the Whitewater zipline and aerial course for a little adventure (or big adventure if you’re afraid of heights like I am!).
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband has been my biggest supporter! He doesn’t have a creative eye or always understand everything that I am doing for my business, but from the beginning when I decided to start my own business, and over the last few years as my business has grown, he has been such a big supporter and helper. I started my business while working a full time job M-F, so my own work with photographing sessions and editing had to take place on weeknights and weekends. We have two small children so he dedicated a lot of time occupying them while I was working. Often this would be several hours at a time when I was photographing a newborn. He has hauled props and things to and from locations for me, built things for me, and been a listening ear to my frustrations and my excitements. With his support, in the last year I was able to leave my other full time job and focus solely on my business, that I love so much, to further help it grow, and most recently opened my very first store-front (With his assistance in painting and remodeling)!