Today we’d like to introduce you to Kaitlyn Clink.
Hi Kaitlyn. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I started doing photography when I was in 8th grade. I couldn’t put down my mom’s camera. When high school came around, I started having my best friend model for me. I enjoyed finding fun locations, outfits, and poses. By junior year, I started asking if I do graduation photos and family photos and if I’d be willing to photograph events. I was so excited, but early on, I also learned how much time and energy it took, and I began to charge. My small business was developing. I created a website and started to focus more heavily on my social media presence; in my senior year of high school, my little business was taking off, and my work had progressed immensely. To this day, I love capturing moments for graduating seniors, couples, families, and companies.
Over the last few years, I’ve gotten into automotive photography. I’ve always loved cars, and when the pandemic hit, I had no clients, so I picked up my camera to take photos of cars instead. When things started opening back up, I went to a car meet. I was so surprised at how quickly I got traction- but there are not as many women with cameras at car events, so it helped me stand out!
I made a separate automotive photography page and focused more heavily on that (@krc.auto on Instagram). For the last 2 years, I have had more automotive clients than portrait ones. I never saw that coming! But it has been the most fun experience, and I’ve gotten to work with many of my dream cars and have made many friends along the way.
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?
It has not been easy photography is an amazing industry. Still, it is incredibly saturated, making you work much harder to stand out and find clients who will book you for your style, skill, and personality rather than just price shop. I sometimes get discouraged, but I always remember that photography is my absolute passion and what fills me up. I will never stop creating art and capturing the important moments in people’s lives.
With my automotive photography, I’ve had extra challenges. Being a girl in this industry helps me stand out, but it also can be a disadvantage. Some people doubt my ability and my knowledge of cars or feel that they can take more advantage of me with my pricing and what I have to offer. Some people take every opportunity to make fun of girls in the car scene and try to make us have to prove ourselves extra. I have dealt with very hurtful and inappropriate comments and individuals who do not value my time or effort. But luckily, these bad experiences are far outweighed by the good ones. Starting my automotive photography journey helped me thicken my skin and be confident in myself.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a portrait and automotive photographer. I have been doing portrait photography for over seven years and automotive photography for about two years. More recently, my reputation has shifted mostly to an automotive photographer as most of my bookings over the last couple of years have been Automotive clients, and my automotive Instagram took off! I have an equal passion for both types of photography, and I need them both in my life to keep the balance. I love working with individuals such as families and seniors but mixing in different car projects and getting to experience those as well.
I am most proud of establishing my presence in the Phoenix area as a skilled car photographer. There are so many talented photographers in this state, and I am happy to be a part of it. My social media has grown to over 7000 followers, and I am excited to see it grow more. I am proud of the friends I have made and some very cool clients I have gotten to work with that I would never have expected to have years ago. My work has been posted by several car manufacturers themselves, which I hope someday leads to a foot in the door doing photography and advertising for some big names in the car industry.
My unique perspective and more sensitive nature are part of my personality and what people expect when they work with me. What I believe sets me apart from others is my focus on building friendships with my clients while continuously showcasing my creativity in my work. This is also where I believe being a girl in the car industry becomes a benefit.
Because I do have a background in portraiture, I am often peoples’ choice for getting photos with their car. One of the biggest compliments I have received is that when I shoot a woman and a car together, I make the car an accessory to her rather than the woman an accessory to the car. I want my clients to feel confident and comfortable, and with my portrait background, I can combine these two subjects into one beautiful image.
Every creative in the Scottsdale and Phoenix area has a unique style and skill set, and from what clients have told me, they come to me because they love the sharpness and tones in my images and see my progress every time. I attend school in Texas, where I have many clients as well, and I hear very similar things from them too.
Do you have any advice for those just starting?
My biggest advice to anyone starting in photography is not to give up and know your value. Developing a creative portfolio is so important, but never let people undercut the time, effort, and skill you put into your work on top of the cost of equipment alone. Focus heavily on marketing yourself and getting your name out there. Use every connection and opportunity to your benefit and see how you can help others. I also would stray away from viewing other photographers simply as competition. We can be friends! It is more of a community where they can help you, and you can help them. And someone else wins; it’s not your loss. Sometimes I struggle with comparison and start to feel jealous, but it gets us nowhere. We all have creative abilities, and there’s a place for us all in the industry; you have to work hard, and it can be yours.
The automotive industry is less forgiving than portrait photography, and it is important to have a support system throughout your journey.
- Website: Www.kaitlynclink.com
- Instagram: @krc.auto
- Twitter: @kaitlynclink
- Other: Other Instagram: @krc.portraits
Kaitlyn Clink Photography