Featured Photog: Kansas Pitts

Kansas Pitts

Kansas Pitts Photography

Site : Facebook

I am always so excited to share a new Featured Photographer with you all each week, but it’s especially exciting to share this sweet photog!  I have just been blown away with Kansas’ stunning images.  She shoots it all … newborns, children, families, weddings … and she is a true “pro” in each field!  It’s rare to find a photographer that is talented enough to do that.

I am so honored to showcase some of her work here for you all!


Q. Tell us a little about yourself in just two sentences and include a picture of yourself.

I think my family picture says it all-love amidst the chaos. My husband is, aside from my father, the most amazing man I have ever known and our kids are the most energetic, crazy, fun muses a photographer and mother could wish for! They are my life.

Q. What do you shoot with and what is your favorite lens and why?

I have a few 5D Mark II’s and am hoping that the Mark III comes out soon and blows my mind-Canon is disappointing me right now (only 9 selective focus points and my autofocus just plains sucks). On the other hand, their glass rocks! Basically I love anything prime or wide. For newborns 50 mm 1.2 L and everything else I love a good wide angle or my new Canon Zoom Fisheye 8-15 mm.

Q. When did you start shooting for fun and then move to shooting professionally?

I’ve been a hobbyist my entire life-started with film in my late teens and moved up through the ranks to a Canon Powershot (a whole 3 megapixels). Finally bought a DSLR in 2007 and started exploring and shooting in late 2008-full time by mid 2009.

Q.  Are you formally taught or self taught?

100% self taught but I have taken a few newborn workshops in the last 6 months or so-invaluable when you go to those who can really rock a newborn session;-)Changed my world…Oh and I can’t discount all the fabulous forums where amazing photographers share their tips, tricks, inspiration, and art!

Q. What is your specialty and how did you decide to specialize in that area of photography?

I don’t have one! I don’t know if I will ever decide on a specialty. I love my brides, I love weddings but I also <3 seeing all my vacationing and local families, and who doesn’t absolutely swoon over that newborn smell? Not to mention, I love the challenge of doing it all-all the time!

Q. How many sessions are you shooting a month?

It varies wildly. We live in a very tourist driven area (Santa Rosa Beach-between Destin and Panama City, Florida) so in the summer I can go from 5 weddings and 20-25 sessions a month to this January, for instance, just a few family sessions, 4-5 newborns, and a handful of engagements for brides who are taking time to come down and finish planning their coming year’s wedding.

Q.  On average how long to do you spend editing each session and do you listen to music while editing or just enjoy the quiet?

If possible I tend to edit a session or wedding in a single editing session (not including culling) and while it is fresh on my mind. Clients typically receive images to view within 48 hours for a portrait session and 3-4 days for a wedding. For portraits I estimate about 2-3 hours, newborns a little more, and then weddings probably 5-6 hours. For weddings and newborns (which are the hardest to cull for me) I cull two separate times so I can have fresh eyes the second time and really get the cream of the crop;-)The only time I edit quiet is if I am caught up in my images and the music runs out otherwise I have it blaring! I may have the most diverse music library ever-from rap to country and even some Christian.

Q. What is the best marketing tool that works for you or was a total waste of time?  Do you advertise in print?  Do you offer referral bonuses?  If yes, please share a little.

My business is a little different from most in that almost all my weddings (probably 80%) are from destination brides coming to our area to get married and obviously my portraits, newborns, etc. are almost exclusively local clients. So I am marketing and brand managing for many markets and completely different ones at that! I feel like the most important thing for me is SEO on my blog and website and as I become more established locally, referrals have come. My focus this past year has become newborns-I really want to find my niche there so I have put up displays in local OBGYN offices which has begun paying off. I don’t pay for print advertisement however I do freelance work for a few local magazines in exchange for advertisement in the magazine. I get editorial experience and advertisement-its a win/win! I am also honored to have had them allow me to use press passes to do out of the box things like photograph my Seminoles a few times this year.  Stadiums are my new favorite thing to photograph!

Q. What do you do to “stand out” from surrounding photographers that you’re competing with?

Ahhh the age old question. I don’t like to think of it as competing. I like to think of it like we all have our own unique way of styling, shooting, and editing. If we all bring something unique to the table we aren’t really competing, we are providing unique products that appeal to different people. We are like apples…some are sweet and some are tart, some are soft and some are not! Everyone has their own tastes;-)Someone who likes a Granny Smith won’t compare them to a Fiji in deciding which to get! I’d like to say my style is dramatic, yet intimate. I love to give people magazine quality images with a dramatic flair but also catch them in the quiet, sweet moments. I like warm, lush, and colorful images but I also like very moody black and whites. I want people to look at my portfolio and immediately know that I am the one for them just by seeing my style.

Q.What was your biggest mistake and how did you fix it?

Not being able to balance work and family. I took up too much of my quality time with my family last year making sure I answered every email instantaneously and editing when I should have been playing. I haven’t figured it all out yet but this year I am setting better boundaries while still trying to serve my clients with the best customer service possible.

Q. How did you find your style? Any advice to new photographers on how to find their own style?

Honestly? I think 2011 was the year I really came into my own style. My advice is to experiment every chance you get-make time away from paying clients. Look over your library of images and try to see the similarities and see what catches your eye the most and try to perfect it. Your clients need to see some consistency so they seek you out for your style and know what they are getting when they hire you. I would say I have a flair for the dramatics-I love wide angles, warmth, dramatic poses and colors. For newborns I love simplicity with a splash of color and fun props;-)

Q. Please share your favorite image and tell us what makes this your favorite?

I could show you some of my favorites that are so because the sunset was spectacular or the bride was gorgeous or all the elements just seemed to mesh into something special but instead the image that comes to mind is this one of my third child, Presley Grace. She was almost 5 weeks early because she was measuring super small and we didn’t know why but when she came out she was perfect (Apgar of a 9) at just a mere 4 lbs 15 ozs. This is my husband watching Shannon, the nurse that became my advocate & really held our hands through my entire labor and delivery (full birth story here: http://photogingmama.com/day-thirty-seven-threesixtyfive-a-superbowl-baby-a-birth-story-a-year-later ), check Miss Presley Grace out shortly after birth-the room was dark and quiet and there laid my camera on the side table so I quietly picked it up and caught this image-it makes me tear up every time I see it. She is now a very healthy and happy almost 2 year old!

Q. Can you show us your shooting space?  If you are shooting inside can you show a simple pull back shot or lots of images if you have a large studio.  If you shoot on location please share an image of you favorite location.

This year we moved into a much needed larger home. The bottom floor has a mother in law suite with fabulous natural light. It is perfect for my studio-it has changed my newborn photography. Shooting in the same location gives you the ability to have consistency in your light, make a comfortable spot for your clients, showcase products, and it allows you to have all your props at hand-endless possibilities! It’s not yet exactly where I want it, but it’s coming along!

Q. Is there anything you would like to promote?  Maybe a mentoring you offer or any side projects.

I am just announcing Mentorships for 2012 – you can find out more here.  Also I started a labor of love last year (complete with a still unfinished 365 project) where I share tips, tricks, pullbacks, and more with my fellow photographers but also a little bit about me, my family, and how I display and organize our personal images. It’s definitely worth following (head over and scroll down the right hand side to Networked Blogs and follow me or like me on Facebook and you will see the posts.)  Photoging Mama

Q. Please share an image of your Prop stash!  This doesn’t have to be an organized space just an image showing off your addiction.

I am a certified propaholic for sure-my husband just shakes his head when the FedEx/UPS/USPS guy walks up to the door daily! Sometimes I even hide the boxes;-)But I <3 being able to provide my clients with fresh & fabulous touches to make their session unique.

More of Kansas’ stunning work:

Thank you again for sharing with us, Kansas!



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Amanda Larson - January 30, 2012 - 2:14 pm

These pictures are so amazing! I love your style, in every picture that you have displayed here. I too am a fan of wide angle/fish eye, you portray people in their element and make them look beautiful. Great work!

Jessica Peters - February 1, 2012 - 7:47 am

I love her images and style! I especially love the one of her daughter, that made me a bit teary. Beautiful.

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