ALLISON CORRIN PHOTOGRAPHY
Tell us about your business:
Allison Corrin Photography is a natural light lifestyle and documentary photographer based in Kansas City.
When did you know that you wanted to start a business?
I’ve always written, always used a camera as long as I can remember. It’s been a way I have been able to not just document these last seven years of being a mother, but reflect on them. However it was just recently that I realized it’s all more than just using a pen, using a camera. It’s an endeavor of the heart.
I attended Kansas State University and became a teacher in 2006. When my husband and I became pregnant, I started a blog mostly to keep my in-laws updated. Soon thereafter, my husband convinced me to spend the majority of our tax refund on a DSLR camera and despite my protesting many other more practical ways to use it, he won the battle and likes to remind me often that this whole journey is due to his wisdom and insight. In 2011, I had been blogging and taking enough pictures that I gathered the courage to ask a few friends if they would let me take their pictures that summer. One yes became a handful of referrals and gradually over the next few years, God opened doors and established connections for me until my husband and I felt secure enough to trust he would continue to prosper what I had slowly begun to call a business. Since, it has grown exponentially and provided not just financial provision for my family, but a passion that has blessed and grown me more than I could have ever imagined.
What is the hardest part about being an entrepreneur?
I finished the 2012 school year expecting our third child and was regularly booking enough photography clients to replace my teaching income. Still at that point though I felt strange calling myself a photographer. Something about it felt novel, and knowing how many others knew so much more than I did, I battled insecurity every time I would let that word come out of my mouth. I don’t know what I would have considered success, but I kept striving for it. Perhaps it was just the right client, perhaps a dollar amount I needed to earn, regardless it always felt out of reach. Too often as creators, we look around and face intimidation. Too often we look within and face insufficiency. Too often in the pursuit of growth, we waste ourselves in the process, we get lost in the relentless pursuit of competition and striving and forget that the art is already within us.
When you are in a rut, where are your favorite places to go for inspiration?
I glean a lot from not just visual inspiration, but music and the written word. When my soul is feeling thirsty, fanning my creativity curled up with a rich, honest book often refreshes my outlook.
What is your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur?
My photography is my business. And yes it’s a passion that’s birthed tangible provision for my children, my family. But more than that, I know my life has changed because the practice it requires is spiritual. And it’s not about the camera now. Because beyond expressions and connections, I can’t take a step without seeing the woven branches of a nest tucked in refuge, the unfolding of color dresses limbs, the scattered majesty of wildflowers, the glimmer and rise of illumination beginning to bask across the day, its taught me to see, taught me to wonder, taught me to worship through and despite of and because of the daily.
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing at the beginning of your journey, what would it be?
Early on, God allowed me to receive some pointedly negative feedback in regards to my photography. In fact, I was blatantly told, “step back, take a long break, reevaluate everything you’re doing, your images are flat, anyone can take the pictures you take.” The deliverer wasn’t intending to be cruel in this criticism, but regardless, I was devastated. In an industry where originality and creative genius is everything, I felt like a fraud. I racked my brain and scoured the internet searching for this art I lacked. I looked around me and searched desperately for how I could become more “creative”. For quite awhile I wallowed in my disappointment and insecurity.
And yet, it was through this pain that I realized what photography was. It wasn’t about me or competition or how creative I could make myself be, but rather, it was simply a calling for me. It was the path I had been led down. And in the same way I wasn’t going to give up, I wasn’t going to strive because this art, this craft, this journey wasn’t anything of myself but simply a calling, a reflection, an exhale of what had been breathed into me. If I could, go back to those moment, I would whisper, “Allison, just wait. This will pass, and the best is yet to come.”
1. A light laced morning in bed with the piled limbs and squirming bodies of my five children and handsome hubby.
2. A long run
3. Creamed up hot coffee
4. Flowers on the table. Well, actually flowers anywhere and everywhere.
5. The Golden Hour
FAVORITE QUOTE >>
If you could say one thing to an entrepreneur who is struggling to find their way, what would it be?
Simply put, I believe this immense desire to create is one divinely hidden within us because we ourselves are God’s finest, most beloved handiwork. And by allowing whatever has been created and placed within us to flow freely from us, uninhibited by any sort of fear, real or imagined, it is then that we most clearly reflect the Creator Himself, the first and truest Artist. And when we gaze towards and inhale only True Beauty, our souls are renewed, empowered to exhale the Beauty hidden within us. And it is only then that our lives will radiate beyond the ripple, extending infinite circles of influence and testimony and blessing outward into generations of lifetimes to come.
After receiving her bachelor of science in education from Kansas State University in 2006, Allison Corrin French taught in a premier Kansas City school district for six years and began building her photography business, Allison Corrin Photography in 2012. Since then, her passion for the craft of making photographs that tell stories of life’s most vulnerable, tender and authentic moments has deepened through her personal and professional blogging, CULTIVATE, her photography workshop series and her work with the social enterprise she and her husband started in 2015, the Freely Given Movement. Allison resides in south Kansas City with her best friend and fellow dreamer, Chris and their five children, Ellie, Tristan, Judah, Lucy and Rosie, and drinks a lot of coffee.
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