Word is spreading about local photographer

by Vanessa Lenz            Kim Billings of East Troy is quickly making a name for herself locally by capturing moments with her camera. With a recent decision to work as photographer fulltime, her name is likely to spread even faster.  Her business, Kimberly Ann Photography, evolved after the birth of her daughter Caitlynn in 1998. Billings said she wanted to catch every moment on film and even took up scrapbooking to better document life with her new baby. Soon after, Billings started to get her scrapbook pages published in publications for Creating Keepsakes Magazine and Better Homes and Gardens.  Her interest in photography intensified when her husband John bought her first digital single-lens-reflex camera. “I started taking pictures and it was incredible. It was like magic,” she said of its ability to fire off multiple frames at a time.  Billing’s photography business started as a part-time venture while she continued to work in the engineering department at Wisconsin Electrical Manufacturing. After each job, Billing’s clientele grew as more people asked if she could take photographs of them too.  “I realized this is my passion. This is what I loved to do,” she said.  Over the past two years Billings has grown even more serious about her work. As a self-taught photographer, she worked to learn as much as she could about her camera and honed her ability to use technology and respond to light. Billings said she is continuously trying to educate herself on new technology.  Today, Billings provides on-location, custom photography. She specializes in infants, children and family portraits and senior photos.  “I travel to their home or their choice of another location whether it be a park or an urban type of session,” she said. “New moms are extremely excited to find out that yes, I will travel to them with my traveling studio and they do not need to leave the comfort of their own home with their newborn baby.” Billings said she tries to shoot in natural light as often as she can. “I love the look of natural light and natural locations as well,” she said. “Interacting with the child and getting the natural expressions and smiles not the cheese grin in and out sessions that you get from chain studios.”  Billings said she also likes that every client has a story to tell and likes to capture them through different phases of their life. It’s not surprising that Billings tends to build longstanding relationships with the people she photographs. With the use of her blog, Web site and Facebook account, Billings has made discussing and sharing her photographs a natural extension of her photo shoots.  She offers sneak peeks from her latest sessions, a client proofing option as well as descriptions of her most recent shoots online. Billings also encourages visitors to post comments and share their thoughts on her photos.  In her most recent blog entry, Billings described a day she spent photographing “miracle twins.” The twins were conjoined at birth and given a small chance for survival, but remained happy and healthy at 2-years-old.  “I was so honored that they let me into their home and into their lives to take these photos,” she said. “…[I] was immediately drawn to the candid photos because I could feel the emotions in the photos and it brought me right back to being there with this family.”  She also detailed her experience as volunteer photographer for recent American Cancer Society events, “Strides Against Cancer” and “Shooting for a Cures.” Billings, whose mother was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, said the organization’s work is “near and dear” to her heart.  Billings said it’s the desire to capture such “lasting memories” that keeps her inspired.      Billings’ Web site can be viewed at www.KimberlyAnnPhotography.com. 

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