Thursday, June 2, 2011

Photographer Interview: Kim Klassen

Kim Klassen.
Do you know her?
She is an artist, if ever there was one.

An artist and a giver.

Every week on her blog she gives away a texture.

That is pretty sweet, isn't it?
Come read her story and learn about

the art she makes with her camera-
and the art she makes with her life.

You are a giver. 
It is obvious after spending 
just 1 minute on your blog. 
What makes you give?

Fabulous question.  I'm a firm believer in giving...and trust completely in the process of what you put out comes back to you in multiples. A few years ago I found myself at a crossroads.  I basically decided to start my business path over…and one of the first decisions I made was to share freely…. put things out into the universe…This process has given me the most beautiful gifts of every kind in return.
I read these quotes by Eckhart Tolle…and really it sums the concept of giving up beautifully.  Whatever our faith I believe this principal applies and will work wonders in our life.
"Whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you are withholding from the world. Whatever you think people are withholding from you - praise, appreciation, assistance, loving care and so on - give it to them. You cannot receive what you don't give. Outflow determines inflow."
It looks like you started your blog 2 years ago. 
Did you ever think it would grow into what it is today?
Yes and no. :)
I think it was about 6 months before I started my blog that I really started to investigate the whole blogging world……  I was completely fascinated.  I told my hubby that there was this whole world online that I wanted to be a part of.  I said I was going to start a blog and make it grow.  
I was confident in that statement and knew it was a path I intended to take very seriously.  I believe strong stated intention is the beginning of successes.  But to be honest, it really truly amazes me that so many beautiful souls come and visit… sign up for my classes, send me emails.  It's a huge blessing in my life. And I am most grateful.
What is your favorite thing about blogging?
Oh definitely the connections with other passionate beings…. who really 'get' me. In my 'real-life'…there are few people who live a creative life…. and who understand how passionate I am about it.  Blogging has allowed me to connect with so many other women who are exactly like me!  It's fabulous.
Do you still see Leanne and Shayla? I loved that story. So sweet.
Oh my gosh….. no!  I'm sad to say they have moved several times. Unfortunately their Mom did not let us know where or leave us a number to get in touch. They were the sweetest, most adorable kids….  I will always cherish those after-school visits. :)
You live in a small town. 
How do you like that? 
That's an interesting question! If you had asked me that a year ago I would have said I LOVE it….  and I still do love it…. But I have this growing desire inside me….. a desire to explore other places….live somewhere new!  And it's the strangest thing… so out of character for this home body!  I believe it's the connection to the camera….the need to explore….. that's pulling me.  Who knows where it will lead… 
I wrote my Mondo Beyondo Dream list about 15 months ago…. many of the beautiful dreams I noted have already come true. One of the dreams was to live for 6 months in France or Italy…. (anywhere in Europe would be amazing)…..  So who knows… but I trust it will happen when the time is right. :)
Your children are older. 
How have you been dealing with the fact 
that they are growing up?
I have to say I  enjoy having grown up children.  I'm so in LOVE with my work that I don't tend to do a lot of 'remember when'... we went thru a very difficult time when my younger son was a teenager… I am very glad those days are past…. But I do love remembering them as sweet little blonde boys. They were seriously ADORABLE. :)
You love board games with your family. 
What is your favorite?
Who usually wins?
We do love board games. Trivial pursuit, tri-bound, Scene-it…..really any trivia game is best!  But I SUCK at trivia…and John and the boys totally ROCK at it.  So I pretty much lose every game. 
Tell me about your boys.
Brett is my oldest. He is now 20 years old!  Wow…that's crazy to think about! He is a beautiful soul.  He's a lot like his Dad…with a little mix of his Mama.  
He was an easy child….never really had any worries with Brett.  He works with mentally challenged people. And he's amazing with them. He has the perfect mix of kindness, compassion and steadiness that works so well. The clients respond so well to him.  
He works one on one with a fellow who's about 50 years old.  He doesn't speak but has signs and gestures to communicate. Just recently he took him into the city for the weekend (just the 2 of them)…they stayed at a hotel and he took him to an Elton John concert (this fellow loves music).  I don't know many 20 year old guys who could do this on their own.  
I'm super proud of him….  so happy he has the gift of compassion.  Brett really wants to pursue other things… maybe go back to school, but he's just not sure what he wants to do!  I keep telling him to trust in the process and it will reveal itself.  
Bryce is our baby. He is 19.  Bryce is a deep, sensitive young man.  He's an artist, but doesn't really know it!  He's searching for more…..but not quite there. He dreams of being a movie director or a writer… which isn't an easy path around our little world… He would like to go to school, but really needs to do some upgrading first. But like many artists he tends to wander.  
He feels things very deeply…..and I believe that is partly why his teen years were so difficult.  But I trust in time he will find his path. He currently works on the groundskeeping team at our local lake.  He says he wants a job like mine…. and I believe he totally could do it! But he needs to find that one piece….  self-discipline….perseverance…. I think once he finds that… the possibilities will be endless!  We are a lot alike… which is probably the reason we 'lock horns' continuously…..  He is longing to travel as well. I hope he does…. The world is big and beautiful…. and why not explore it when you are young! As much as we struggle with our relationship, I LOVE him dearly and admire this depth and sensitivity.  I know God has big plans for Bryce. I can feel it.  

Did you ever want a little girl?
Yes! I have often wished there was a girl in this house of boys. But I'm thinking maybe God will bless us with a grand daughter someday. :)  
Do you ever think you will run out of words to paint?
No, there are so many beautiful words to share with the world. :)
Do you have specific studio hours? 
Or do you wander in whenever you can?
I start work in the studio around 7:30 and work till 5:00ish.  I usually come back to work for several hours in the evening as well. I do take 4 mile hike on the trail with our goldendoodle, Ben during the day. And after dinner we go for a 4 mile bike ride as well.  
I stop for lunch when my hubby and son come home… It sounds like long hours, but I LOVE almost every moment of it. It rarely feels like work! :)
If you could go on a photoshoot any where in the world, 
where would you want to go?
Who would you take with you?
Definitely I would want to go with my hubby!  And I would say Italy….  but the dream list is long for sure!
If you could only paint with 1 color for a week, what color would you pick? 
Oh what a fun question. I would have to say white.  I'm in LOVE with white these days!!  White makes everything look beautiful. :)
In February 2010 you had a photoshoot with a model, tell me about it. Were you nervous?
I wasn't really nervous….probably because it wasn't a paid job… So that pressure was off!  It was LOADS of fun.  I hope to do more soon… I have better equipment and more experience now…so it would be fun to put it all into action!  :) 
Do you ever think you would like to focus more on taking pictures and less on painting, or do you think you have a nice mix now of both opportunities?

Oh I would say definitely my focus is already more on photography.  I love the art of it! I do a lot of stills, nature shots and landscapes. I would like to try some life style shoots l…  But the days zip by so quickly…..someday I hope to!
I still love my painting and creating…. and I don't foresee letting that go.  But photography is the ART I am most passionate about!
How did you feel the first time your work was featured in a magazine?
I felt giddy!  It was very exciting!!  A complete thrill!!
What is your favorite season?
I would say Autumn.  I love the colors of autumn… the idea of cuddly sweaters and curling up to watch a movie...  But right now, I'm dying for summer to come.  :)
Do you have a quote to share?

 I have so many quotes that I love... but here's one I'm loving lately.

'Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you!'
Dr. Seuss

Have you always been an artist? Did you ever have a job outside of the art field?
No, I didn't discover my artist until I was almost 30.  But I know it was there all along……  a part of me that I couldn't really name.  I worked for years in a department store….  I did a lot of display work… LOVED THAT…. I suppose I was creating art in a way….
 But after we bought our antique home… and I wanted to fill it with primitive art pieces…. I started to dabble with paints etc….  And that's how it all began.  It was completely life changing…….
What made you decide to have a class online? Have you loved doing those?
The online class offer was one of those 'in the shower' ideas…. It just hit me!! And with that, I went for it!  I LOVE teaching… 
I also love taking online classes! In fact I'm a bit of an online class junky!! It's so fun to learn right from your home. The talent and sharing online is phenomenal!
You are a big flickr fan. Tell me how that has helped you on your photography journey?
Flickr is the first place I would recommend new photographers to begin! It provides incredible inspiration! The community is so giving and uplifting! It's also an amazing place to network!  In my opinion, Flickr is a must for photographers!

Can you believe I have never used a texture? Can you give a quick little lesson on how to use one?
You must try playing with textures…..  Check out my 'textures in ten tutorial'…basically you open the texture in photoshop or elements….like you would a photograph….and you drag it on top of your image. You then can adjust the blend mode of the texture layer to allow your photo to show through. You gotta try it. :)
Who is one of your photography inspirations?
Oh gosh…there are so many amazing photographers out there….. i could go on and on…  lately I'm LOVING Irene Suchock. She photographs cities like New York, Montreal…. and on and on… so extraordinary…..  'sigh'

Are you listening to any special song right now that we could share?
It's funny… I do love music…. but I love silence very much too.  When i am working at my desk I love silence… When I'm making art/painting I listen to music….  A new fav song is 3 wishes by David Thomas Junior. 

I also love Andrew Belle, Jack Johnson, and Joshua Radin….

What advice would you give a mommy with a little one and a new Canon Rebel. Where should she start first?
I would say photograph your little one… as much and as often as possible. Move out of auto mode…. try aperture mode. You don't have to worry about jumping right into manual. 
There's tons of info online. 
I would love to go back in time and have my nikon with me as the boys were little. They are very uncooperative about getting photographed. I think if they grew up with the camera around it would be different!!  
The more you use that new Rebel the more amazing your photos will become. And study the manual or buy a good guide for your model….. get to know it well!  it really makes all the difference. :)

Kim on facebook

{This is what I did in my studio this week!
I put this post together ; )}


Shey said...

the flower shots are beautiful but I especially like the raspberry and sugar picture, it made my mouth water. =P~

Rebecca said...

Kim is awesome. I love her textures and the class I took over there was really good too. These photos are terrific. Love them.

Marla said...

Fabulous images. :)

Marla @

Buckeroomama said...

Kim is one of my inspirations --both as an artist and as a person! I never really "got" texture until I found her site and took one of her courses. She makes the most amazingly beautiful textures and her photos are gorgeous... soft, soothing, understated, and soo pretty!

Thanks for doing an interview with her... LOVED learning more about her. :)

Marjorie said...

Love her flower/fruit photos! I never knew about the texture feature on photoshop. Great interview!

kelly said...

Oh so wonderfully awesome!! I found a new song I really like too. :)
Thank you for these interview. I just love them!

Farmgirl Paints said...

wow a lot of people mentioned her on my blog recently when i asked about their favorite photo blog, but i hadn't had a chance to check her out. thank you! her work is beyond beautiful. i've never done textures before either. it seems so intimidating. i'll have to read her tutorial.

Caseybumpinalong said...

Another wonderful interview! She is definitely an artist.

Anita Johnson said...

Excellent...AGAIN. I really enjy Kim's textures and you did a great job letting us know who is really behind the paint talented. Both of you. (-:

Cecily R said...

I love Kim Klassen! Like you said, she is a giving artist if there ever was one.

Jennifer @ Studio JRU said...

Kim's work is amazing! These textures look like so much fun... something I should give a try! Such a great interview Becky. I always love the insight into these fantastic artists through your questions! :)

Tracy P. said...

Oh sure! Just when I'd gotten the raspberry and chocolate temptation out of my head, you brought it back from another angle.

Seriously. What an artist. She makes me want to click on that tutorial link. To think I could make ART out of my photos. She makes it sound so easy and look SO STUNNING!

Thanks so much for sharing, Kim (and Becky!)!

M said...

WoW! The best interview yet...I have a lot in common with her....although my photos don't come anywhere near hers :)
Happy Thursday Night

Ky said...

She sounds awesome! I'm going to check her out over the weekend when I have more time.

Yay! Comment leaving is working for me!

Have a good one, Becky xx

Wanda said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Kim!! Have followed her blog for awhile now. Always get her textures and listen in when I can. She's such a giver. I was also thrilled when she joined the Shutter Sisters. Pretty cool.

I guess I relate a lot to Kim because I paint too. And, oh yeah....we're both Canucks!!!

Susan said...

Oh my what a treat!! Thanks Becky.

She is an all time favorite of mine.

I really need to learn how to do textures.

I'm going to get a whirl.

Thanks once again for such an incredible interview.

Sharon said...


urban muser said...

kim's photos are always an inspiration. great interview!

Reviewer11 said...

Wow, talk about art! Some are so beautiful, others leave quite an impression. Bravo! :)

Bonita Rose said...

I love Kim and all her art.. she is indeed a true artist in her divine element.. all her photos are works of art.. and she's from where I'm from, Manitoba Canada! Love her. xo hugs here fr JRU

Carissa said...

Her photos are beautiful... I love how the words are incorporated into the pictures :)

Just Bits and Pieces said...

Thank you for sharing such an amazing interview!! I've loved following Kim Klassen for a long time's so wonderful to catch a glimpse into her life!!!

Maddy said...

I love the way she implements her textures into her photos! They are beautiful! And I loved hearing her story to discovering her passion. Since I'm in my 20's and still haven't figured out what's next for me, it's encouraging to hear someone else say that they found their passion later on in life!

AMKreations said...

What a beautiful, inspirational, feature! I love autumn too...and her photos are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing and linking to Sneak Peek!

Karen O'Donnell said...

Once again a beautiful interview Becky! And Kim is just amazing! Tell her that I had three boys and always missed having a girl in the house....I now have 4 there's hope for her!

Love Letters To China said...

I think you missed your calling Becky. You should be in the journalism field. Love the questions you come up with. I've heard of Kim but never visited her blog. I'm now going to follow her blog and "like" her on FB.

Awesome job!!!

sonyamacdesigns said...

Ok ... this was one jammed packed interview and you both ROCK!

Formerly known as Frau said...

Amazing talent Becky I love her pictures they are a work of art.

junelle said...

Yummy in every way~ I am so glad to be introduced to someone so profoundly *good* ! I would love to meet her and have her live next door to me.

What a blessed interview!

stephanie garcia said...

These pictures radiant beauty and peacefulness!

Iona Nicole said...

Lovely post! So long, it takes up the whole first page! :)

photowannabe said...

A classy, interesting artist Becky. She is certainly comfortable in her own skin.
Kim has a beautiful style of photography. Enjoyed this interview very much.

Anna said...

Loved this interview! Kim is such an inspiration to so many folks. How fun to see such a collection of Kim's work all together. Super Beautiful!

LaJuana said...

LOVED this and the last bit of advice touched me. I just bought a new Olympus and was ready to pack it up and send it back because it's different than my old Kodak...but without reading the manual I see I haven't given it a chance. Many thanks!

randee said...

Thank you for doing this interview.
I have learned so much from Kim's
classes, without ever meeting her.
This was nice.
I only wish I understood the world of blogging as much as I've come to understand my photography and photshop with Kim's help.

Hildred and Charles said...

Wonderful post and interview, - Kim opened a whole new world for me, and although I don't post my textured photos as often as I should, I spend a lot of great evenings exploring possibilities and creating.

Thank you Kim, - and thank you Kaishon....

erin said...

wowza!! i am a big fan of Kim's and your interview is one of the best i have ever read.......mainly because you asked the questions that i would have asked.....that, and of course Kim's gorgeous images!!

"texture tuesdays" at Kim's site are a major blast!


Scott said...

Great interview. Love her photos and have been visiting her blog for a while now. Good stuff!

*Lissa* said...

Wow. These photos BLOW ME AWAY!!! Amazing!

ART*ticulation said...

Awesome interview awesome photos awesome PS work!!! You rock Kim!!!

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

I am always in awe of gifted photographers!

Cindy said...

Wow! Thanks for doing this...I have run across Kim's blog before...I feel like I have just read a magazine article and I am so inspired to do some art photography! The pictures were all so awesome!

libbyquilter said...

what a fantastic interview/post~!
i love knowing more about kim klassen and seeing more of her beautiful photography. and the sweet sound bite~!!~ it's all so well done.

i am now going to have to check out your blog a bit while i'm here.
i bet i'm not sorry . . .


Sheila A. said...

This is the best interview I've read, maybe ever. Usually I get bored. I loved this! Great job.
And I love Kim. Thank you much.

Casey Freeland said...

Your use of focus is AMAZING! I think the chair/book piece towards the end was the most emotive of the bunch. So partial to this style. True art.



Roadside Rustic said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. It's nice to meet you. You have such a beautiful blog with amazing photos.

maureen said...

I love Kim. She is one of the most giving, supportive and encouraging people on the internet these days. I'm not sure what I enjoyed more, seeing so many of her beautiful photos in one place, or reading her words. Thanks for sharing the interview.

Kathy said...

I'm a huge fan of Kim's and truly enjoyed reading your interview with her. She's so inspiring. Thanks for sharing this.

Bright blessings,

Roberta said...

I'm always a fan of anyone who takes such beautiful pictures. Great interview and someday I hope I can just figure out how to work my camera in more than the auto Thanks for all the beautiful inspiration. Have a wonderful week. Fondly, Roberta said...

okay, so i'm seriously considering spending some of my hard earned cash (teaching high school religion) to purchase a digital camera...what do you recommend?

Krystyn said...

I just love your features. A photographer and a painter? So very impressive.

Megan said...

I really enjoyed this interview! I liked your questions a lot - they weren't just generic, but actually specific to Kim. Thanks for sharing :)

Leilani Rogers said...

I got lost in these images! Great interview. :)

Thanks for the comment on my blog today!!! It's so nice to meet you. :)

Pam D said...

Becky, I don't know how you do it. You find these amazing people and you get them to open up in incredible ways. Kim's art is so lovely; you know how very much I love textures, so her work is especially beautiful to me. And in reading her comments about her youngest son, I see myself and my boy. Kim, I may be in touch when my son hits his teen years, for advice and a shoulder to cry on! Your work is truly lovely....

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

how completely lovely on so many levels! reading this makes me realize that i need to set time aside for the passions i love-- like photography and writing. when they get pushed back over and over again, i am not as full.

oh and the textures are GORGEOUS! rebeckah, you really should give them a try! super easy!

Marilyn said...

Great interview with a very special lady. Her photography and digital editing are quite incredible. Yes, she is very giving, and we are lucky to have her in our lives.

Eleanor said...

Great interview! I love these. I had never used textures either, but I'm thinking now I may try and learn how. I started to read about using these and also 'actions, but just got confused =).

Miriam said...

What a beautiful lady Kim is, thank you for this interview. I use her textures since taking her class and now I take photos with a texture in mind! the photos you have used on here are simply beautiful

Lisa said...

Wow! beautiful post Becky! Love that you used the "In Studio" button too. So cute :)

I have been to Kim's blog and drolled I have always to intimated to use the texture. It's so cool to read she is a little like me...finding herself as her kids grow. :)

Thanks for doing these I always love them.

Jill said...

This was fun.

Sarah said...

Gosh I love her photography and textures.

Anonymous said...

Kim, this interview was amazing, just like you! So exciting to hear a bit about your personal life. I must say as a word of encouragement, and from the mom of 5 children, when they become full adults, like 25ish, they become your best friend! The frustration of a teenager is crazy, but in the end, it is ALL worth it! I promise you! Mine are now 22, 24, 25, 28and 28. Also, when they bring home the grandbabies (I have 6/one on way) it's the BEST!!!!!!

Angelia Sims Hardy said...

Wow, she is a breath-taking soul. It shines through her art, her passion, and her abundance for beautiful life. Love this. Every piece.