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Conversations with Kearsten Leder

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kearsten Leder.

Hi Kearsten, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I grew up in a home with two artists for parents and I was always being exposed to new and creative things. My father used to take photos all the time and as a kid, I remember really enjoying seeing what he would take with his camera and then seeing the finished image after he developed them. I was five years old when we had Santa come to our school and he asked what I wanted and I said “a camera!” I went to Bucks County Community College in Pennsylvania and I was a fine arts major, studying subjects such as drawing, sculpting, film, television, acting, color theory and photography. I remember feeling like photography really spoke to me as I see a lot in people’s eyes, and I feel a still image of one face really can tell quite a story. I was smitten.

I started with film and now I am the world of digital, and it suits me so well as I have quite an imagination and I love to create images that are whimsical and intriguing. I moved to North Carolina almost three years ago and in a sense, I am starting over as far as getting my name out there. I have been doing photography and freezing time for over twenty years and my love for it only gets stronger.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The road to getting to where I am has not always been smooth and to be honest; I don’t think it’s ever supposed to be; this is how I keep learning and growing. However I will say once I moved to North Carolina, I felt doors opened for me in a way I didn’t expect and I have met a lot of amazing people, from models to hair and make-up artists, as well as other photographers.

Covid actually forced me to really work on my images as I had more time to do so and learn new techniques. Being someone who is an artist, I have always had a hard time pricing my work and time, but I have recently been published in several magazines and also won an award for Fashion Photographer of the Year from the North Carolina Fashion Awards, and it has given me a sense of accomplishment. I still prefer to price my work in an affordable way so I am not only able to help them but it’s a chance for me to meet more people, and that’s what my work thrives off of.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
My Illustrative images I feel are what sets me apart from other photographers as they are truly one-of-a-kind portraits that are custom designed for the client. The use of photoshop allows me to open up a world where anything goes and I can be as free to create as I want. Some of my images are truly very simple, where I may add a lion into an image or something as simple as a little bird on someone’s shoulder. Just a little something where the viewer may have to really think, “was that there?” But some of my intricate work can take up to several hours to edit as I am very aware of so many details to make the story as wonderful as possible and as “real” as possible.

Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
I would love for you to know that I do all kinds of portraits, everything from the corporate headshot to maternity and newborn as well as high-end editorial as well as the lovely family portrait. Oh and pets too! I always encourage people to include their pets in portraits, as they truly are part of the family. I am able to shoot studio images at my home as well as travel to location of the client’s choice. One more thing is I am also a licensed hairstylist and I can do hair for the shoots and also makeup if needed.

Pricing:

  • One hour session is $200.00 includes ten fully edited images
  • Mini session is $100.00 includes five fully edited images
  • Head Shot is $75.00 and up depending on hair and make up if needed
  • Illustrative work is $50.00 an hour for editing

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Mikayla Dacko MUA

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