As some of you may remember, my story is that Lenses and Laughter Photography came to fruition at a time when I had lost everything. I was a young 25-year-old who had worked her ass off to be named an associate director at a local Day Hab program, only to have that pulled out from under me due to budget cuts. I was devastated, to say the least. As I was navigating being unemployed, figuring out how I was going to pay my bills, and overall, in a tough situation, I picked up my camera after a long 4-year hiatus, despite everyone around me telling me ‘You’re not a photographer.’
I named my business Lenses and Laughter because I wanted a bit more laughter in my life. I wanted to be the person who brought more laughter to other people’s lives because I knew what it was like to be constantly reminded you’re not good enough, to feel like you didn’t deserve to be photographed, to never have a photo printed of you, to simply not feel like you weren’t worth it. While I was surrounded by this, I didn’t want others to be. I wanted to be that light for someone else – and these past 6 years have been everything and more.
As I’m sure you’re all aware, I started off small with family and couples sessions, and after a year of photographing here and there, I took off and did my first wedding in 2018. (Shout out to the real MVPs who trusted me that first year!) Those few weddings turned into more weddings, turned into going to Mexico, which turned into traveling all over the world with my business… and well, here we are.
Among the first few weddings I photographed - and I won an award with the top image. It felt like a dream that was falling exactly into place. - Summer of 2018
Lenses and Laughter gave me more laughter in a time when laughter was anything but, it was the driving force for me to go full-time, it has been the name that I’ve been so very proud to display these past 6 years. This business has grown with me, but in order to continue growing, somethings need to change.
Which is why I’m proudly announcing that from here on forward, Lenses and Laughter Photography will now be operating under Kenzie Gates Photo (LLC). I will forever hold on to where I started, but I’m excited to take ownership of my art, to have people know who I am when they look up my business name, and overall – to expand this business to even greater heights. I’m excited that I’m in a place where my business name doesn’t need to remind me to laugh a little more, that it’s just something that comes with who I am. I’m glad that I can simply be me – and that those goals I had in the beginning – to make people feel worthy of having a photo printed of them, or even to have that dang photo taken, is simply a product of working with me, which is a dream come true. This business is a dream come true. So thank you for joining me on this journey, and continuing to come along – here’s to new beginnings! I’m so THRILLED to see where Kenzie Gates Photo goes next.