For as long as she could remember, Kaye Ford wanted to be a photographer. She and her camera were inseparable. She’d take it anywhere with her to capture whatever caught her eye and improve her skills. But, no matter how good she became, Kaye was plunged by anxiety and doubts about her calling. Did she really have what it takes to make it as a photographer?
Her love of photography is so strong, she kept pushing despite her insecurities. Today, Kaye is an established photographer who shoots Youtube ads and global ad campaigns for brands, does workshops and talks at major UK events and captures what goes on behind the scenes at London Fashion Week.
But her biggest accomplishment to date is, perhaps, photographing HRH the Duchess of Cambridge and having her picture published and credited in Vogue Magazine! Well done, Kaye!
In this interview, Kaye tells all on how she got started, how she dealt with self doubts and what helped her succeed:
What is your dream and how are you currently living it out?
My dream has always been to have a career in photography and I am currently living it out by doing it. Every thing I have ever dreamed of doing I have worked hard to achieve. I dreamt of photographing London Fashion Week and I then made it happen. I don’t really have a current dream to strive for, but I am currently living my overall dream of being a photographer.
What steps did you take to get started in the beginning?
I never put my camera down. Honestly. I always had a camera with me and was constantly taking photographs to better myself and to learn and to this day I am still doing that really. I always have some kind of camera with me and never really stop taking photographs.
What challenges did you face to pursue your dream and how did you overcome them?
Rejection was the main one. I always have this fear that nobody likes my work and that I am not good enough for some people and I don’t think anybody really takes rejection that well. But also self marketing is a pretty hard one too that I am still finding challenging. Social media makes self marketing a bit easier, but there must be more I can do also?!
Just do it. Don’t stop taking photographs and don’t stop learning.
What mindset shifts did you have to go through to turn your dream into a reality?
I am not business minded at all. My mind is very creative and whilst I love the creation side of my dream, I just can not apply business sense to it in order to turn that creative dream into a reality. I am lucky in that I have been able to turn my dream into a reality, but my mindset has definitely had to become a bit more ‘professional’.
How do you deal with fears and self-doubt?
With this, this is where I am always then going to my boyfriend with my fears and self-doubt and we talk it out. I am heavily prone to self doubt, anxiety, and imposter syndrome and I simply talk to him constantly. We end up having the same conversation 3 million times over before my brain accepts his truths.
When did you realise you had made it?
Have I made it?! Most people say I have but again, I am always striving for more. I seriously underplay my career also and almost think that my achievements are just small when really I should scream and celebrate them. I guess November 7th 2017 is when I myself finally accepted I had made it because I photographed HRH the Duchess of Cambridge and not everybody can say they have done that. But way before that I have been achieving things only others can dream of. Youtube ad for a brand? done. Global ad campaign for a brand? done. Workshops and talks for brands at MAJOR UK events? done.
What personal characteristic helped you the most in achieving your dream?
I am friendly af. That is literally all I can put it down too. The fact I will talk to anyone and everybody says I make them feel so comfortable when they are in front of my camera. I’m just a naturally bubbly character.
Do you have any daily habits or rituals that have set you up for success?
No. I now feel like I should do…
Fave personal development/business book: I have never even opened one up.
Inspiration: Tim Walker.
Mantra to live by: YOLO BITCHES.
Breakfast: Nothing, I skip breakfast. Oops.
Fave app: I don’t have a fave but my most used are Twitter, Instagram, NFL Fantasy, Mystic Mondays and my banking app lol.
What are three lessons you’ve learned on your journey?
- It is OK to say no to some things.
- Schedule in down time, this is especially important if you are self employed and freelance.
- You never stop learning.
What advice would you give to other women who want to become photographers?
JUST DO IT. Like my fave Shia LaBeouf says, make your dreams a reality and just do it. Don’t stop taking photographs and don’t stop learning.