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Rising Stars: Meet Abby McLain

Today we’d like to introduce you to Abby McLain.

Hi Abby, 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?
When I was 16, my mom got me a Nikon Coolpix for my birthday. I was so excited and took my camera with me everywhere. I started getting creative and taking photos of friends. By my senior year, I’d taken 5 of my 33 classmates’ senior photos. My senior year, I also job shadowed a local photographer that took my senior photos. Needless to say, I was hooked!

My freshman year of college, my parents got me a Canon Rebel, which was a hefty step up from my little digital camera. I started establishing myself as a more serious photographer. I started by taking my step-sister’s wedding photos and started my business. I started booking enough business in college that I was able to start buying upgraded equipment and generating a consistent book of business. In 2019, I moved from my college town, Columbia, MO to Kansas City and started from scratch. I was scared but had a full-time job to make ends meet. In two years’ time, I was able to leave my full-time job and start my business full time. As of July 2, 2021. It’s been by far the scariest jump, but not only have friends and family shown up for me to support my business, but I’m serving multiple new clients each week and am able to fully support myself with my dream.

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?
This journey has certainly not been a cakewalk. I struggled severely with anxiety and depression while in high school and college. It made getting out of bed the biggest challenge of my day. I really neglected my business during this time. After I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in 2018, my struggles seemed to just grow even more challenging. I thought moving to Kansas City would solve my problems, but unfortunately, mental illness doesn’t care what ZIP code you’re in.

For a good year in Kansas City, I didn’t go out of my way for my business. If I booked business, great, but if not, I didn’t care. But that was my sign that I had let it get too far, and I decided to seek help. I got with my doctor and made a game plan to fully commit to my wellness and success. In this time, I met my future husband (who will officially be my husband next June!!), I bought a home and was able to pour myself to my business. While the hard days still find a way to sneak in, I’ve gained an incredible support system and have a career that makes me want to get up each day. I am now living a life I wasn’t sure I’d live long enough to see.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I specialize in weddings and couples photography, but I’ve been lucky enough to have my clients want me to be there for everything! Whether growing their families, milestones for their children or buying a new home. I’m most known for the way I connect with my clients. It’s so important that every client feels confident in their own skin so I can capture their true story through my work. So much of my business comes from word-of-mouth referrals because of the way I conduct myself in my sessions. It’s always my goal to make my clients feel like they’re working with an old friend. This way, not only do I have the chance to connect with them but to make sure their vision comes to life because they become their most authentic selves.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
My parents, first and foremost, deserve credit for my success. They saw what a heart I had for photography and storytelling (and they didn’t get mad at me for not using my degree). They bought my first pieces of equipment and have never missed an opportunity to share with me how proud they were of me and how much they believed in my dreams. I would be remiss to not give remaining credit to my amazing fiancé, Jon. If it weren’t for him, I would have never been able to take the leap to pursue my business full time. He’s never been afraid of the risk or unknown. His complete confidence in me allowed me to believe in myself in the same way and make the big choice to take my passion on as a career. They have all played such crucial role in making my dreams a reality.


  • Mini session (30 min) $175
  • Full session (1 hr) $300
  • 8-hr Wedding ($2000)
  • 6-hr Wedding ($1500)
  • Hourly wedding ($300/hr)

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1 Comment

  1. Cora Gripp

    August 24, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    Congratulations Abby! I knew from the start of your God given talent in photography and you honed your skill with persistence and perseverance. I’m so proud of you

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