All images by CreativeSoul. Used with permission.
“It’s an honor to be part of the Canon Explorers of Light program,” says photography duo CreativeSoul. Their hard work has certainly paid off. Not only in accolades they’ve received but also in their quality of work. There’s good professional work, and then there’s the best in class. For CreativeSoul, their portfolio falls into the second category, as they produce children’s portraiture at the highest standard. We caught up with both Regis and Kahran to learn more about their recent success and to see what the future holds for the pair.
CreativeSoul’s Essential Gear
We recently switched from the Canon 5D series to the Canon EOS R5 which we love – the image quality is amazing and the high speed focusing is perfect for working with kids so that we can capture every moment. Our go-to lenses are the Canon RF 28-70mm f2L and the Canon 85mm f1.8. When we are in studio, we like to keep it fairly simple so the 28-70 gives us the range we need to get a variety of angles without having to switch out our lens all the time.— CreativeSoul
Phoblographer: So, CreativeSoul, not to start a fight, but what’s the most challenging part of working as a photography duo?
CreativeSoul: Honestly, the most challenging part of working together is trying to find time away from our business. When you work together as a couple, it is easy for work to spill into our personal lives. To help us achieve work/life balance, we try to find little moments such as dinners out and quick weekend getaways.
Phoblographer: And the most enjoyable part of being CreativeSoul?
CreativeSoul: We really enjoy each other’s company, so having the opportunity to work together is part of what fuels us to keep going when things get tough. We love that we have created a business that is uniquely ours. And we’re able to celebrate its success and legacy together.
Phoblographer: What made you decide that children would be the main focus of your photography business?
CreativeSoul: We were always finding ways to take creative photographs of kids – whether it was pulling the kids to the side during a family or wedding session or coming up with creative concepts for our nieces and nephews when we first started out. We eventually realized that we wanted to focus only on the side of the business that we loved, so we made children’s photography the main focus for our business.
Phoblographer: These are not your everyday headshots, and children are known for short attention spans. How do you keep them engaged?
CreativeSoul: Bribery! No, seriously, we’re pretty good at taking cues from kids and recognizing when their energy is getting low. We allow for lots of breaks (and snacks) to keep them going. Our sessions also tend to be fairly interactive – the kids go from various stations during the shoot (such as hair, wardrobe styling, etc.) so that tends to keep them engaged.
Phoblographer: Do you do much editing in post?
CreativeSoul: It depends on the final look we are trying to achieve. Most of our images have just basic editing in post, however we sometimes use post processing to expand our capabilities. For instance, we once had a request to create an underwater mermaid scene. We did not have the ability to do the shoot underwater but were able to use the power of post-processing magic to create the underwater scene.
Phoblographer: We adore the clothing used in many of your images. How do you come up with what your subject will wear, and where is the inspiration coming from?
CreativeSoul: We typically style most shoots ourselves. We start by asking the kids to describe the shoot of their dreams. From there, we develop an overall theme or concept then pull together wardrobe and props we think will work with that theme. We pull inspiration from everywhere – movies, childhood memories and more. But we always try to include cultural elements to make it our own signature style.
Phoblographer: What skills do you feel you both have that make you such a successful photography duo?
CreativeSoul: We think one of the things that makes us successful (and makes it easy for us to work together) is that we both bring our own individual strengths to the business. Kahran has a background in marketing and handles the business side of things. Regis is the technical guru and makes sure our equipment is set up and running smoothly. He also handles lighting as well as creating custom pieces we may need for wardrobe or props.
Phoblographer: You recently joined the Canon Explorers of Light program. Please, tell us how it feels to be selected.
CS: We built our career on Canon cameras (starting with our PowerShot long ago,) so we are happy to be able to represent products that have helped us become successful photographers. Also, we’re thrilled to stand beside all of the other amazingly talented photographers in the program. We also like the ability Canon gives us to teach and share our craft with other professionals and the next generation of story tellers.
Phoblographer: Can you share with us a pivotal moment in your journey? A time when you thought, “We’re going to be successful with this.”
CS: Early in our career we created a few personal projects that were uniquely our style – to this date those shoots continue to be among our most popular shoots. One example is the “Roller Girls” shoot which is always an instant favorite. Our social media following grew about 20,000 followers in a couple of months just from sharing personal shoots that related with our audience. It was at that time that we realized we could make a living doing what we loved.
Phoblographer: How do you see your photography business evolving?
CS: We often say that we are more than just photographers – we would like to continue evolving our business into more of an empowerment brand for kids of color in the future. We’ve recently launched an online shop which contains empowerment merchandise such as back to school items, books, calendars and more and plan to expand our efforts in the future.
Phoblographer: These are difficult times due to the pandemic. How have you been impacted professionally, and how are you overcoming any challenges you have to face?
CS: The most difficult transition we had to make during the pandemic was cutting back on our travel. We were used to traveling to various locations about once a month, and now we are shooting mostly in our Atlanta studio location. We are grateful that many of our clients have made the switch and are now coming to us for shoots.
The biggest piece of advice we have for photographers during this pandemic is that it is important, now more than ever, to be able to set yourself apart from other photographers. We’ve found that many clients are looking for alternatives to things they were traditionally spending on such as vacations and birthday parties, so offering a valuable service and creating a lasting memory for them can help keep you afloat during this time.
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