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Life and Work with Vonda Klimaszewski

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vonda Klimaszewski.

Vonda, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am originally from Dallas. I graduated from Booker T Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. (At that time it was called the Arts Magnet.) I spent two and a half years at SMU then moved to the east coast where I graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester New York with a degree in Photography. I am classically trained in photography, the old school way, using film and a darkroom.

I was married with two children. After several years of raising kids and an unexpected divorce in 2007, I began my digital photographic career. After five years photographing children and families, I changed to high school seniors and their families with a little corporate headshot work on the side.

In 2012 I began working with my high school alma mater and photographed the seniors each year. As I saw the enormous talent that flowed through the school, I realized that there were thousands of graduates from my years all the way to today that are out in the world. Who are they? And what are they doing now? So I created a book about those graduates with my friend and fabulous writer Susan Hamm. That was launched in 2017. I photographed over 50 artists for the book. There are 67 interviews and portraits. It is a testament to Dallas and the amazing talent being nurtured here and at the school.

Photography has made some important changes in the last 15 years and my business has changed as a result. I started with families, changed to seniors and now I am changing once again. In 2020 I am focusing on personal brand photography – to create content for entrepreneurial creators needing high-quality content on a regular basis. I will only work with eight people a year so relationships can be built and sustained to create relevant ongoing photography to build brands. This is a new and exciting direction with so much opportunity. I am really excited about it.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The biggest struggle along the way has been the changes in technology that have put a camera in everyone’s pocket and social media that is hungry for a constant flow of imagery. I love technology and all the digital everything but I was not always so in love with it all. Now that I embrace the new technology, the world is my oyster and I am excited to be apart of the newest of everything.

For women starting out, I would say make a career before you have kids. And then also lean into your girlfriends and keep them close. You will need each other for a lifetime.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Vonda K Portraits – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am most proud of my book, Fulfilling the Vision, about graduates from Booker T. Washington. It was and is a gorgeous book and testament. Here is an article about the book.

http://whiterocklakeweekly.com/alumna-captures-essence-of-booker-t/
www.fulfilling-the-vision.org

I am known for photographing the last eight years (and counting) of artists/graduates that will be the next generation of artists and influencers. And as of late, I am known for teaching photography at Booker T.

But my newest and most exciting endeavor? I solve the modern problem of providing fresh photographic content for entrepreneurs and online influencers. I provide brand photography for entrepreneurs and online influencers. There is such a need for constant fresh content. Content that is commercially released for any use with the ability to edit and change the images as needed to be used for anything and everything. The best part of the service I provide is three months’ worth of images in one day of shooting. All images are cropped and sized for each platform being used. Additionally, I can help my clients organize and prep three months’ worth of images and load them to a scheduler to automatically load to social media while they are busy running their business.

This is a new direction that provides a high level of relationship and customization. So I will only work with a few people per year. I have three people I am currently working with and I will only have time to accept eight people per year. So I am looking to fill five more slots and then I will not accept more so I can take care of the people I have an ongoing contract.

This will be my first public declaration to do this new work. I expect I will be booked solid within a year. So anyone looking to establish a relationship with a photographer will want to get with me soon to see if we are a right fit for an ongoing relationship. I am excited to find the right eight people this year.

Who have you been inspired by?
Jill Bryan of Creative Oasis Coaching is a big inspiration to me. She has helped me in so many ways over the years. Most recently, to help me be ready to take my business into this new direction and excited to embrace the technological world we live in now.

Annie Leibovitz has been my photographic inspiration. Her portraits are the best of the best! If I am stuck for ideas looking at her work can really help me.

Pricing:

  • Environmental portraits starting at $350
  • Personal Brand Photography starting at $1800
  • Corporate Headshots starting at $275
  • Actor Headshots starting at $200

Contact Info:

Arlo Eienberg in Dallas, Deep Ellum for Book Fulfilling the Vision

Nadia Washington for Book Fulfilling the Vision

Image Credit:
Vonda Klimaszewski, Kathleen Stockdale

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