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Meet Krysteena Foglio

Today we’d like to introduce you to Krysteena Foglio.

Hi Krysteena, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I grew up not so fortunate, we were a poor family where my Mom stayed home to care for us 5 children while my Dad worked full time overnight, so naturally, he slept during the day, leaving my mother to tend to us kids all day. I can remember on special occasions my mother would purchase a disposable camera and splurge on getting the pictures developed at Walmart.

One of my fondest memories was helping my mom snap pictures at events like Easter Sunday’s egg hunt, or my brother’s birthday party, then going with her to drop the camera in the box for the one-hour waiting period to get the images made. We would go look through the clearance rack, or play the video games in the electronics section to pass the time, all the while waiting to hear our name over the intercom.

It was like Christmas morning every single time we got to open that envelope and sift through each of the images I took. It was then that sparked my joy for photography and art. I have lived in the Kansas City, Missouri area my whole life. I am proud to be part of this beautiful city that embraces art. I feel as if it has provided me with opportunities and inspiration as I grew into adulthood. In elementary school, I had an art teacher that we called Mrs. Floyd that was a huge inspiration to me.

She encouraged creativity and really pushed me to pursue my natural talent as an artist. It lead to me taking advanced art classes while in middle school, as well as exploring my curiosity in the world of photography. It was a very basic class, but we got to develop film and use a dark room. It was at this moment I knew what I wanted to do that I knew what my calling in life was. I continued to take advanced art classes in high school and also took another film photography class as well.

I received several point-and-shoot cameras during this time, and I would practice shooting what I thought were the most quality images there were. I learned how to compose an image so that it was aesthetically pleasing, and I feel like my background in art really helped with this. I then, as a birthday gift in my senior year of high school, received my very first DSLR camera. From that moment, I don’t think, for the next few years, that you found me without that camera attached to me.

I learned how to use it out of auto mode in college as I took more art and photography classes. I have always enjoyed drawing and painting and creating art, but my real passion is found in the art of photography and editing. I started with art, moved to film photography, then went to digital photography. I am mostly self-taught when it comes to the digital side of photography but I wouldn’t have known where to start without my art and film photography instructors.

After college, I went into the workforce. I didn’t start my own business, but still took pictures and started working with up-and-coming models to try and create a portfolio. I worked for the Lee’s Summit School District for 9 years but during that time I also worked for JC Penney Portrait Studios, then went to work for Interstate Studios as well. I was trying to learn and soak up as much information as possible.

To this day am working on getting my business up off the ground so I can do it full time without supplementing with other jobs, but I love seeing my business grow. My business started as KB FotoImage Photography, then as I upgraded my website and equipment I changed the name to KB Focused Imagery. I now not only do photography but art as well.

I sell prints of images I take, and stickers I draw and make myself. I have also drawn logos for other small businesses that are up and coming as well as a book cover so a self-published author. I cannot wait to see what I do with this profession next, but the opportunities are endless.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road in the slightest. It is still hard and has its trials that I am working through but it is also very rewarding.

I have dealt with picky and ungrateful customers, I have dealt with the theft of my art and photos, and I have dealt with a lack of clients and lack of income. But at the same time, I have had repeat customers and clients, and each of the hard experiences has been a learning tool for me.

I now know a bit more about how to protect my art from theft and how to talk to difficult clients. I still have a lot to learn and I am sure I have plenty more highs and lows as well.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I currently work for an avionics repair station full time doing admin work and assisting in repairs, but I recently just had my son a month ago and am working very hard to increase my revenue with my art and photography so I can stay home with him and create a professional schedule around him. I also want him to grow up seeing that he can do anything as long as he puts forth the effort.

I think I have always been afraid of failing and that is why I have always done something else with my business. I specialize in natural light digital photography. I mostly take portraits and lifestyle images but have also done product photography and composites.

I am most proud of how far I have come with the quality of my images. Considering my digital photography skills are all self-taught (composing an image, taking the image using manual mode, and then editing and printing photos). I think what sets me apart from others is my personality and willingness to adapt my style to my client’s wants and needs.

I love trying new things and strive to continuously mold my style to portray my personality more while also providing a product my clients love. I am an energetic and outgoing person who isn’t afraid to break into song and dance during a shoot to cut the awkward tension.

I love to hype up my subjects and find beauty in all things. I enjoy creating art and taking images that have meaning.

Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
Believe in yourself! I think that is the hardest lesson I have had to learn. I constantly would compare myself to others, and second guess if I was charging too much.

What you have to realize is your value in not just your product but your time. I wish I would have known this when starting out. I would have made the leap sooner to make my business a stand-alone success.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Krysteena Foglio of KB Focused Imagery

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