Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristen Giles.
Kristen, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
There has always been something inside of me that was so simply satisfied taking care of people. Taking care of my family, even strangers was (still isn’t) a chore to me, it was something that brought me a sense of calm. Service called out to me so loudly that I could never ignore it. In my mid 20’s I started on the path to becoming a registered nurse. I went through a few years of hair-pulling classes and late night studying to get into the program (all the while with two babies and a deploying husband to take care of). In the middle of nursing school, we moved, I transferred schools and started again. More classes, more stress, more anxiety and more panic attacks about failing and someone taking my spot in the program. I had to change something, I loved taking care of people but I had to take care of myself too. If I was broken, I would never be able to care for my family or anyone else for that matter. So, with much thought and lots of tears, I hit pause on school and took a break so see if that was really what I wanted.
I never felt like a quitter, but I needed to complete my degree. I needed to finish it for myself and hopefully to show my girls an example of strength or at the very least, perseverance. Then, one random day, through some sort of cosmic intervention, I decided one day to stop in at an art school and see what they had to offer. Photography. Ok, that could be cool. So, I signed up – transferred as many of my medical credits that would be accepted and got a BS in photography. Everything has grown from that decision and continues to evolve into something new every day.
I truly believe that my love for this craft was born out of a pure joy for taking care of people. It started quite literally with seeking to care for people physically as a nurse and has become something that I would have never imagined. I can take care of people in a different way through something that make me excited to get up in the morning and something that I actually can’t wait to study more about.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I have been fortunate enough to make connections with so many people. It is through my experience traveling with my husband and family that I have formed lifelong bonds. I have also been able to engage with other cultures through my travels. The common theme among my work is that we are all connected whether it be by a wedding, a creative project, a travel blog, or even a beautiful friendship. It is the connection that I have with others that inspires me and has fostered my creativity.
I am a portrait photographer based out of Houston but traveling as much as possible. I have spent the last seventeen years traveling and living in different places with my husband who is in the Navy. I have fallen in love with the beauty that each place has to offer.
I am well known as a wedding photographer. My focus is on creating a story for my couples that goes beyond typical wedding photography. I want my work to speak to the feeling of that day. When my clients see their images, I want those feelings to bubble back up to the surface. Seeing them have an emotional response to my photos drives me to keep creating. The connection between two souls is something that we are all fortunate to be able to experience. And since we can all experience that connection with another person, we can all connect with the art created from those moments.
As my creativity matures, I have branched out into collaborative projects, travel photography, and some commercial photography. I consider myself an empath. I feel so deeply and that comes through in my art.
Do current events, local or global, affect your work and what you are focused on?
The role of art is simple: you have to create change. That doesn’t mean that you have to make all of your work political, but sometimes simply making people happy is a political statement. We have the luxury of access to information, even if it becomes dim and muddled with lies. We have the luxury to speak out. And we have the gift of choice.
I don’t shoot weddings simply because I like pretty things. I work to show others that there is still beauty to be had in this world, even when it feels hopeless. However, I am able to express my somewhat political voice in my other work. I recently lead and collaborated on a Traveling Dress Project where our artists redefined concepts of beauty.
I don’t think the role of artists has changed all that much, there has always been an innate burden and responsibility to interpret society. I simply think that we can make choices and celebrate diversity. This is the role of an artist.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
My work can be viewed through my website www.kristengilesphotography.com as well as through my various social media accounts.
Cypress, TX 77429
- Website: www.kristengilesphotography.com
- Phone: (281) 467-7768
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/kristenkgiles
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/kristengilesphotography
Headshot taken by Leah Leftwich of Leah Nicole Photography www.leahnicolephotography.com