We talked to: Kimberly Vadelnieks Photography
We recently had a lovely conversation with Kimberly of Kimberly Vadelnieks Photography. Read what she had to say about her business!
Welcome to the community! Could you give us an overview of your business? What made you choose Northampton as the location for your business?
I’m primarily a photographer and digital artist, and I’m passionate about doing portraits. I started with photography at 8 years old, and have always been drawn to photographing people. I also studied psychology because I am so interested in and fascinated by people’s personalities. In recent years, I have begun focusing on luxury boudoir photography, creating a safe space for womxn to step into that side of themselves—a space in which they can feel free to let their hair down, connect with themselves, and feel truly beautiful.
Because I did some modeling in my younger years and experienced some unsafe situations with photographers, I’m even more attuned to making sure that my clients feel cared for, seen, and respected. I also got into wedding and elopement photography when friends started asking me to shoot their ceremonies. It’s such a thrill to capture that first look and the love and joy that couples experience on their special days.
I moved out here from wine country in California last year to be with my partner, and I have already fallen in love with the Valley. I am also an herbalist and am passionate about foraging for plants and fungi, and this area has some amazing fungi. I feel so fortunate to be doing what I love, while also living in an incredible place!
And how are things going in general for your business?
It was definitely challenging moving 3000 miles away and trying to meet and connect with other creative people. I wasn’t able to do a lot immediately, so my photography was not as visible. I also worked as a behavioral therapist to children with autism initially, which I really enjoyed, but I had to stop due to some recent health issues and surgeries that required me to take more time to focus on my health and well-being. Now I’m finally able to be at a point where I have more visibility as a photographer in this area—my schedule is filling up with gigs and I’m so excited!
What are some challenges you’ve encountered in the past two years since the beginning of the pandemic, both personally and professionally?
I don’t think I’ve been happier—I just love it here. The community has been wonderful!
As a business owner, what do you do to unwind/relax/rejuvenate?
I find cooking and baking for loved ones to be very relaxing. Being in nature is also so important to me, and I’m excited to get back to foraging as spring weather sets in. I also love spending time with my partner and cat at home. I enjoy traveling when I’m able to do so. I was an au pair for a while when I was younger, so I was really lucky that I got to do a fair amount of traveling!
Is there anything you’re excited about regarding the business in upcoming months?
I’ve got some really darling couples whose weddings I am photographing this summer. And as soon as it’s lush and green outside, I’m going to have more models and creative ideas flowing. It’s a little cold to have someone scantily clad in nature right now for a boudoir photoshoot!
Another photo avenue I want to explore is offering portraiture of kiddos on the spectrum. I know how hard it is for many people to get quality photos of their kiddos, and I want to make it as accessible to all families and as many situations as possible. I see that as being a totally different type of setup and approach, where I’ll meet the families in advance to establish a relationship and make the kiddos feel safe and comfortable. Then we’ll go at their pace—if taking photos becomes too overwhelming, we can stop and regulate and reconvene another day if necessary. I’m just excited to be able to offer this type of service, and with my background with kids on the spectrum, I feel like it’s the perfect way to connect two of my passions and make others feel cared for and seen.