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Meet Kaci VanderHoek of Kaci Lou Photography in East Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kaci VanderHoek.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story?
I have always loved photography. I started with an instant polariod camera, then a digital camera, then darkroom classes in Junior High and College. In 2014, I took on my first paying clients for family portraits and some engagement portraits. I knew how to properly expose a photo but not much about working with clients. My favorite part was telling my clients how beautiful they were and see their eyes light up. Over the next couple of years, I found myself getting most excited about shooting engagement sessions and decided I needed to second shoot a wedding to see if I liked it. I LOVED IT! My first wedding was a low-budget wedding of an older couple in a dark, tungsten lit church…and it was beautiful. From that night, I have focused all of my efforts on serving couples that are getting married.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
For the most part, everything has been wonderful! A couple of my mantras are “Make it work, then make it better” and “Keep moving forward”. My first few photo sessions the photos were not very good. The lighting was terrible and the photos were fuzzy. Sometimes I would take feedback really personally, but now my work is so much better because of it. I’ve definitely made a lot of mistakes, but luckily the rest of the experience with my clients is great so they always forgive me. The actual wedding day is always a challenge. It is like the Olympics of photography because there are so many types of photography (product, documentary, portraits, landscapes, etc.) and lighting situations (DJ lighting, pitch black, noon, sunset, etc.). I am constantly investing time and money into my education so I can deliver the best photos no matter the situation.

Kaci Lou Photography – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I focus on wedding wedding photography. I especially love adventurous couples that like to be outdoors. I hope when people think of my photos they think bright, sunny, love and laughter. I am really proud of the fact that my business is not just about pretty photos. I get to help create and capture memories for them that they can look at every day. I get really involved with my couples since I am there with them through the whole wedding planning process and all day on their wedding day. One of the best feelings is being able to help them relax and just enjoy their big day. The experience with me is definitely different than with other photographers. One thing that really sets me apart is that I love canvases and albums. A lot of photographers just send over the digital files, they get posted on social media, then they are never seen again. I believe every couple should have a beautiful canvas hanging up in their living room or bedroom from their wedding day as well as an album on their coffee table. Every time they see that photo they will be reminded of the joy they felt. They can easily relive their wedding day to help them through hard times.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success in life is having a work-life balance. I have 2 little children and a wonderful husband. I try to run my business in a way that puts my family first. I really value my own marriage and that is part of the reason why I love being a part of others’ wedding day. Sometimes I can get really down about our place not being clean (my toddlers pretty much undo anything I pickup ha) or that we don’t own our own house yet or I don’t have all these destination weddings like other photographers seem to have. So I sat down and wrote out what a daily success is to me and that includes-praying, reading, hugging my family, letting my family know I love them, and helping someone else. Success in my business is all about helping someone else-either my clients or another photographer. I also keep my goals written down in my planner and it feels amazing to reach them.


  • Portrait Sessions begin at $349
  • Wedding Collections begin at $1875
  • All of my portrait clients receive a print credit to use towards prints, canvases and/or albums

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All taken by me-@kacilouphotography. One was during a styled shoot with Ryan Lindsey and another The Amburgeys.

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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