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Art & Life with Kristi Harris

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristi Harris.

Kristi, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
My mother was constantly behind the camera when I was a kid. Snapping so many photos that by the time my two siblings and I were teenagers most of our photos were of us rolling our eyes, or my brothers favorite- sneaking in “the finger”. I left my tiny hometown as soon as I could for college and never looked back. I was on my path to medical school when I met the man who is now my husband- a man destined for the military life. After graduating, I gave up my dreams to follow him across the country and start a family. I always toted a camera like my mother, taking the normal smile-and-say-cheese photos of my small family.

Then when I was 27 the unthinkable happened, my little brother was killed in a car crash. Suddenly all of those eye rolling photos from my childhood were a treasure. No one was mad that he got “the finger” in his photos- because that also meant he had a snarky little grin. His death affected me in so many life-changing ways, but it especially made me pick up my camera in a different light. I am no longer just taking photos because that is what you do when you have kids, I am documenting “the good old days”. The good moments, the hard ones, the little hands and feet that I will surely forget with time. Our life is a crazy one- I stay at home with four children that are constantly on the go. But I am determined- in this social media crazed age- to not simply shoot for likes online, but to capture the moments that define my life in the present.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I have always had the creative bone. I sew, and paper craft. I have built giant wooden projects and taught art classes. I’ve taught tiny music classes and creative science classes. But I really love to take photographs. Not only do I want to get the “smile pretty” poses for families, I like to get the raw gritty stuff. The photo of the kids jumping everywhere while mom looks lovingly (and exhaustedly) at her babes. Shooting a birth is my absolute favorite, raw emotion and love and exhaustion all wrapped up in a tiny little package. Seniors in high school are also a favorite because I like to see the end result of all these years of hard work from the mamas. I like to talk to the mothers of the kids to really get a sense of what the journey is like, and how it’s going to change now that their baby is a senior in high school. I also do realty photography during the day- because a girl has to eat. I hope that years from now, when my clients are a little older with a few more wrinkles they can look back at their photographs and be able to feel these moments in time.

Do you think conditions are generally improving for artists? What more can cities and communities do to improve conditions for artists?
I think that is a loaded question. It is much easier for artists to showcase their work, both online and in person. The internet is a vast place so your work could more easily catch a break and become very popular. There are also so many more events outdoors that you can showcase your work. However, the idea of being to survive off of an artist salary is impossible. If someone doesn’t appreciate your work, or thinks they can do it themselves they ultimately won’t purchase your art. I love that we have so many venues advertise, and there are so many talented artists out there of all different styles!

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I publish some of my work on Facebook, Instagram and my website. If you are interested in booking a session, I answer messages from all of those venues.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Kristi Harris Photography.

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