We had the good fortune of connecting with Kie Tate and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kie, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Coming up with the name is the biggest piece but it came easy. Something unique and that says its me! I combined my first and middle name together and it just stuck with me. Then figuring out what your brand looks like is fun but also nerve wrecking. From your logo, to theme colors & tagline (if you have one). It becomes overwhelming. I didn’t become an LLC until this past year, so my business is pretty new but I have been photographing since 2013. I also graduated in 2013 from Living Arts College in Raleigh, NC. Having the hands on knowledge plus the book smarts is very important ! This gift can be taught but it comes more natural to me. Even know I would still say I’m self taught, only because I like to experiment with light and push the boundaries of “what’s on edge”. Filing for an LLC was one of the best things that I have done for my business!
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 am the CEO of KieChey Photography, LLC. A professional photographer based in Raleigh, NC. Staying humble is my personal & professional goal. There is always more to learn, so I try to remember to use my gift on purpose. My focus is to create clean cut editorial content. I love working with people of color especially because we have so much history within our skin. I can sit & stare at a portrait for hours, picking my brain to interpret it millions of ways but still be in awe. I am set apart from the rest because my work speaks for itself. People recognize my work when they see it. I am very detail oriented and so when it comes to my images portraying a natural look, I crush it! I am most proud about how I can put a vision together from scratch. I will have an idea and pick out the theme colors, hair, makeup, wardrobe, props, the set-up, etc. I go above & beyond when I bring everything together. It sparks a fire in my heart that the passion I have for my art can be displayed how I envisioned it. I am very proud of my work that has been published in 3 magazines and counting. I got to where I am with years of practice, education and consistency. I would say these past two years have been my hardest. I finally figured out what my niche was I dove into a few things that I was procrastinating on for so long. You can’t progress with areas in your profession that you’re lacking. I challenged myself to start playing with studio lighting & videography. This journey has not been easy at all. There were plenty of times that I wanted to give up & find something else that suited my interest but then I remembered why I picked up a camera in the first place. I love what I do & the feeling I have when I’m in my natural element is unexplainable. This is what I was meant to do and I would be wasting my gift, all the time it took me to get where I am if I quit. I made a vow to myself, as long as I can see and am able to hold a camera, I will never stop. Lessons, lesson, man many many lessons and still more to come. Everyone is not for you (that can be used in a profession or in daily life). Every client may not be a good fit for you and I learned that by dodging the red flags & continuing on working with the client until it became stressful. Never put yourself in a situation that is not comfortable. I accept the lessons that are on my way because it only helps me grow & become wiser and it humbles you as well. Putting your trust in my hands to create the best experience will change your life! Since I was a kid, I’ve always had a camera in my hand but it didn’t hit me until I was in college that being a photographer was destined for my life. I have worked my fingers to the bone to get to where I am and I don’t plan on letting up so easy. The harder the challenge is, the harder I will push to gain what I’ve earned. My brand is growing & I can’t wait to see what comes next!
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?
Raleigh has a lot to offer, especially in the summer! I would recommend a few restaurants downtown, like The Pit, Relish, The Cowfish & Bad Daddy’s Burgers. If they want a variety all at once, we can check out the Morgan Street Food Court. Most excitement will find you if you’re downtown long enough! First Fridays are the best because it showcases local talent and many places participate like the CAM museum, Jazz cafe (C. Grace) where you can sit & groove to some talented artists. There are a few drive-in movie spots that we could catch & relax or find a hookah-lounge. There are plenty near NC State campus. When you have a sweet tooth, I would suggest Insomnia Cookies, they are the best cookies I have ever had in my life. The location is also by NC State. Every now and then there are festivals downtown that you can attend like the CarribMask. I am a sucker for creative meetups and shootouts, it’s a good way to network with new people who love to do what you do!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family (Parents & Son) have been my biggest supporters! They have encouraged me even before I stepped foot into L.A.C. (Living Arts College) Shanita Dixon has been a long time friend of mine, since day one she has been nothing but love and light upon my creative journey! We push, encourage and support each other. I love you sis! The creatives that I have connected with along the way have definitely inspired me to keep pushing and have showed me that being myself is all I need to succeed. The support is like no other when it comes from a group of people that are striving for the same dreams as you are!
KieChey Photography, LLC
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