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Rising Stars: Meet Kenny Felt

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kenny Felt.

Kenny, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I always wanted to be a writer for a magazine and then I discovered photography… My first job out of high school was for the local newspaper, as a photographer. I thought if I applied for that job it might provide an opportunity to become a writer.

I went from zero experience with a film camera to learning all the tricks and developing my own black and white film and just fell in love with it all. I changed my major from elementary education to photojournalism and the rest is history. This is my 15th year as a photographer.

Right out of college, I photographed the Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas Jayhawks & Pittsburg State football games for an agency based out of California and was published in Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and a variety of other publications. After a few years, I really fell in love with portraits.

Now the bulk of my work is weddings, seniors & family portraits. This is my “mission statement” that’s displayed all over my studio and on my bios. “I always wanted to be a writer. That was my dream. Until I discovered photography. I’m still drawn to words today but there are just some things

Some rare and beautiful things, that I believe only a photograph can speak for. I’m out to capture what others cannot see for themselves.
I want to help you feel beautiful. I want to give you the chance to step away from the craziness of life and just have fun, believing you’re worth it. I want you to know how special you are and how confident you can be. Life moves fast. And I think we forget to stop, breathe, and pay tribute to how far we’ve come, how much we’ve grown, and who we are becoming day by day.

Those milestones deserved to be marked. At the end of the day, I want to leave that mark. I want to give you something that is real. Something that lasts.”

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?
Of course not! Every season brings its own challenges but those bumps in the road have definitely made me a better photographer. 2020 started out as one of the most difficult but turned into one of the best years I’ve ever had as a business owner.

Regular challenges would be the constant hustle required to continue to get paid to be creative. There are obviously a lot of repeat clients but most people only graduate high school once, get married once, etc. So, even though business is great and I’m busy beyond imagination, we’ve always got to look ahead and prepare for finding new clients.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I really photograph anything and everything. Most of my work takes place in Eastern Kansas and Western Missouri… so quite a large area. My specialty would be in capturing relationships, whether that be amongst friends, family members, or a couple of lovebirds.

I’m most proud of my relationship with clients. I try and treat them more as friends and family rather than business transactions and that’s not something that’s difficult to do. I love the people I get to photograph and am honored and grateful for those who have remained loyal to my work and come back year after year.

For personal work, for the past few years, I’ve been creating images for the #enditmovement to help bring awareness to human trafficking. Each January/February I dedicate several weeks to promoting the cause and bringing people into the studio as well as having pop-up locations to make portraits for people to post on their social media pages on the national Shine A Light On Slavery Day.

What do you like best about our city? What do you like least?
What’s not to like?! There’s so much diversity in the people and in the structures, I get to use as backgrounds for my images.

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