Remember picture day? Mom would wake you up hours before the school bell rang to dress you up, while daddy reviewed the steps to tying a windsor knot. As we flip through the pages of our yearbook we remember the moments that captivated our hearts and made us smile...
Continuing our Q&A series, we sit with fashion photographer Kim Myers Robertson. Her story begins backstage & behind the curtain directing and writing plays, shortly transitioning her passion into the world of film and photography. Today, she joins us 'behind-the-scene' at editions of petitePARADE capturing those "aww-dorable" moments that make it to the final edits of our memory book.
pP: You began your career as director and writer for plays utilizing creativity and intuition to depict make-believe worlds and scenes. What made you go into fashion/ commercial photography & videography?
KMR: I’ve loved fashion from the beginning. As a child I wrote and directed my own shows but also STYLED them! I called Vogue when I was around 9 years old to check on some boots that I liked and was just shocked when they told me the price! I’ve always been interested and aware of style and it seemed an obvious path for me from the start. When I came to New York I worked for MAC Cosmetics developing their colors, image and branding. I then went to work in magazines and found myself on fashion shoots as an assistant with the most amazing stylist mentor. I started taking pictures of street scenes, and my friends, styling them and doing their hair and makeup. At one point an editor saw some of my pictures and gave me my first job shooting. I was really lucky because I was naive enough to be completely uninhibited! I shot what came naturally….with a little glitter and leopard of course! I always thought of fashion shoots as little stories in my head so moving into film and video was an organic natural evolution for me. It still feels like I’m playing like I did as a kid.
pP: How has the business of photography & branding changed since the rise of social media?
KMR: Social media has changed everything! Instant exposure can be a blessing and a curse depending on what you want to put out there. The amazing thing is having the power to be in control of it. I think it’s important as an artist to know who you are and be clear in projecting that. To be honest I was skeptical at first because I felt like it was an invasion of my privacy…but now I’ve embraced it and enjoy it. I’ve discovered so many cool people and future collaborators through Instagram! I use it to show some of my work but also sides to me that people may not know about like fun times with my family.
pP: Your work has garnered the attention of American & global brands including Vogue, Marie Claire, Covergirl, & Elle (to name a few). How did you get your "foot in the door" & begin working with such high-profile and creditable publications?
KMR: I was very lucky to find myself surrounded by very talented and like minded people from the beginning. If you want to hang out and just get by you go someplace else- but we all come to New York to DO something. I was focused and I have a lot of energy! The people I first met and hung out with in NY have all gone on to be super successful artists, editors, actors, designers. We were always creating and collaborating.
It was such a fun time when everything felt like a blank canvas. We did gallery shows, designed clothes , performance pieces, little movies, songs. It was not a boring peer group. Luck definitely helps and being in the right place at the right time. But being proactive and putting yourself out there really increases those chances. You have to take the shot!
pP: Aside from operating your own business/brand, you are a mother to four children. How do you balance your time between photoshoots and playdates? Do you include your children in any of your projects? Do they have an interest in the arts?
KMR: I am very lucky to be blessed with four awesome kids. They inspire me every day and make me laugh through all the crazy chaos! When my two oldest were little I took them on a lot of my location shoots. It was a great experience for all of us and they learned so much. As my brood grew it became harder although the two youngest now join me occasionally. Of course I’ve shot all of them because i think they are absolutely beautiful inside and out. I also have my adorable husband who is also an artist and comes from a huge family- so together we’ve been able to figure out how to roll with it! That being said, work sometimes can feel like a vacation! I do my best to be there for them as much as possible- but sometimes the hair doesn’t get brushed!
pP: Name three children's brands 8-year old, Kim Myers Robertson, would dress in.
KMR: 8 year old Kim would mix it up with some Bonnie Young, Stella McCartney, and Zara! Oh and I love BonPoint!
pP: Share a piece of advice/ quote for kids aspiring to become photographers,videographers, & editors.
KMR: Accentuate the positive! My grandfather used to say that to me and I’ve made it work every day even when I was feeling discouraged. Don’t wait to get started if you want to be in film or fashion because there is inspiration all around you. You don’t have to be in NYC to make it happen because it all exists inside of you. Especially now with social media just make something and send it out there into the world. You can’t please everyone but you’ll be amazed at the great stuff that comes back to you and you start to build a little web of people like you…who then go on to be the next generation of influencers and artists, and best of all friends!