the third spotlight in our boss babe interviews is with babetown e retreat educator kala rath of kala rath photography.
TBC: Can you tell us a little about you?
Kala: I am a 26 year old photographer based out of Fayettevile, Arkansas. I have been married 5 (almost 6 years) and we have a husky named Lizzy. I am a car enthusiast and a serial entrepreneur. I am obsessed with dogs, I love binge watching shows on Netflix and I love cold, cloudy, rainy weather!
TBC: What was the driving force behind your starting your business?
Kala: I spent 6.5 years in college at the University of Arkansas bouncing from major to major - 9 major changes on paper to be exact. I could never find “my thing” until I asked to borrow my moms digital camera. I fell in love - again. I hadn’t had an interest in photography since I was a young teenager who used to shoot film. Started begging friends to let me photograph their kids. While in nursing school, my mom had a friend who delivered her baby boy who weighed 2 pounds and 8 ounces. At the time, it was undetermined if he would make it home. She asked me to take some pictures of him while he was in the NICU. It was then that I fell in love with being a visitor providing the family with memories of their baby while in the hospital as a photographer rather than the idea of being a nurse. I then decided to pursue photography as a business and withdrew from nursing school.
TBC: What is the best piece of business advice that you’ve ever received?
Kala: Outside your comfort zone is where the magic happens.
TBC: What made you decide to specialize in all photos involving babies and their moms?
Kala: Honestly, I didn’t really make a decision. It just kind of happened. Struggling with infertility for many years, I had a change of heart in the way I was documenting newborns with their parents. I used to do posed/studio newborns with all the props, headbands, outfits and poses. But after the struggles we experienced with trying to have our own baby, I realized that if I ever had the opportunity to have newborn photos done for my own child, I would want something much more intimate, emotional, and lifestyle-like - photos that showed the love and connection and just the bond between a mom and her babe. After rebranding my business, it just happened organically. It’s what I fell in love with, it’s what I showed in my portfolio and it’s what people wanted to book me for.
TBC: Besides running a booming photography business, you also run The Infertility Project. Can you tell us more about your heart behind this?
Kala: It started as a photographic project (which is not yet published) and flourished from there. My friends, Jennifer and Sam Blakeley are the creaters of NewbornPhotography.com and Sam is the one who built the website community himself. He created a mirror platform of NewbornPhotography.Com for The Infertiltiy Project. It is an online resource for those with infertility with private forums, an education center, leading professionals in the industry available to answer questions and so much more!
TBC: How are you able to juggle being a photographer, mentor, and business owner?
Kala: Honestly, it’s not an easy task. I also work for my in-laws dealership as a marketing and SEO manager and I handle the community outreach, blogging, photographing and all that fun stuff for them too! I definitely have my hands full. I eat 2-3 meals a day at my desk, and I have lots of post it notes.
TBC: Your blog posts are just adorable! Your most recent one had a letter written by dad! What do these connections with your subjects mean to you?
Kala: Thank you! Intimate connections mean everything to me. I love making my clients and readers/viewers feel overwhelmed with love and emotions when they view my images. When I ask parents to write love letters to their children or spouse, I have hopes that it is something they also keep for themselves forever. I hope that they take a few minutes out of their busy day to stop and realize what it is they are thankful for and why they get up everyday and how blessed they are to have those special people in their lives.
TBC: Where do you see your business going in the future?
Kala: I honestly have no idea. I feel like there is a delicate balance between being an artist and being a business owner. Sometimes it’s really hard to mesh the two together. If you do photography full-times as a means of income, sometimes you have to make sacrifices as an artist. If you do photography just as a means of expressing your heart and soul and money doesn’t mean anything, you make sacrifices financially sometimes. I try to always make my art come before money and rely on other sources of income as a means of financial support. My heart and my artistic journey is ever-evolving. I have no idea what the future hold for my artist soul, but I hope I will always follow my heart says.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
The list would be smaller if it was where wouldn’t I want to go ;) Seeing Dolomites in the winter in Italy is on my list. Switzerland too.
What is your favorite dish?
Anything spicy and soups
Which babe in history would you want to have lunch with, and why?
Jackie Kennedy and Lizzy Hale of Halestorm
Do you have any weird talents?
This may be too weird, I have predicted 6 friends pregnancies by having dreams about 4 or 5 days before they found out they were pregnant. No clue what that means or if it’s a talent though. *Laughing*
Are you an early bird or night owl?
Early bird as long as I get my 8-9 hours.
What was the last book you read?
I don’t really read many books for pleasure. I like to study hormones and natural medicine though and I read a lot of those kinds of books.
What is your favorite social media platform?
I use Facebook the most but prefer Instagram.
What is your go-to drink?
Anything, I love coffee, tea, kombucha, IPA, red wine.
What can’t you leave home without?
My phone and ID in case I want a drink. *winks*
Best thing about where you live?
Everything. I love my town. We have the one of the highest ranked farmers markets, best place to live, most affordable place to live, etc. It is a little slice of heaven in the Ozark mountains.
Are you a dog or cat person?
What is your guilty pleasure?
Wine, takeout, and Netflix
What is your favorite quote?
That’s the thing about art - see. If it’s done right, it will make you questions everything you are.
What is your favorite movie?
A household favorite for us is Pulp Fiction. I also love Adventures in Babysitting. I am a huge 80’s movie lover.
What is the #1 song you can’t stop listening to right now?