Anne, Joy, and I support all types of families in the Twin Cities. We want to help empower our fellow residents of the Twin Cities. So in an effort to care for all people, Family Fun Twin Cities is dedicated to highlighting Local Businesses owned by people of color (BIPOC) in the Minneapolis/St. P aul metro area.
Toward the end of 2022, Kira Miller, owner and photographer of Photo Affect Photography reached out to Family Fun Twin Cities. She is a marvelous person, a fun mom, and a talented photographer. Looking for a special artist to capture your family’s personality? Check out Kira’s work and let it speak for itself.
(And just for the sake of transparency, I cropped a lot of these photos to fit on our website a little bit better. Her work is HIGH quality. You can see the quality of her photos on her website.)
Who is Photo Affect Photography?
I’m a Saint Paul, Minnesota based portrait photographer. I have a soft spot for family portraits, but I also love photographing graduates and couples. When I’m not shooting, you’ll find me paddleboarding, spending time with my people, or watching football.
I’m from Washington state and have been in Minnesota for a few years. I’ve enjoyed meeting so many new people in Minnesota.
I’ve been a photographer for 8 years and it fills my soul in inexpressible ways. My photography style is natural, fun, and sincere. I strive to capture genuine emotion and to create beautiful, timeless photographs for people to enjoy for years to come. I believe that relationships change over time and that it’s important for them to be captured in all the various seasons of life. Each season is truly beautiful, and I find joy capturing them through my camera.
Even though I often took pictures for family and friends, I always felt like photography was more of a hobby but not something I could pursue professionally. I got my degree in psychology and was passionate about the work I was doing in the mental health field.
After my second child was born, I needed something that had a more flexible schedule and was less emotionally taxing. A part of me mourned leaving counseling, and it was important to me that whatever I did next was something that lit a fire in me.
With a ton of doubt, a little hope, and just enough confidence, I decided to take a leap and turn my lifelong hobby into a business. Baffled by the high prices of other photographers in the area, I had a desire to provide photography services to the community at a price that was affordable. In the fall of 2014, Photo Affect Photography was created. I started shooting any portraits I could book and soon figured out what worked and–just as importantly–what didn’t.
Now I mostly take pictures of families and I know that this is where I belong. I started my photography business in Washington and have continued it since moving to Minnesota a few years ago.
What is your Favorite Part of your Business?
I capture otherwise forgotten days in my client’s lives. I don’t photograph births, weddings, or big important ceremonies. I photograph families on the same day that they may have had soccer practice, dentist appointments, play dates, or any of the other daily activities that compose our lives. I think that makes this work even more significant. I photograph families on any average evening. These simple, seemingly mundane days for families can seem to blur together. Amongst that chaos, I get the opportunity to give families frozen, meaningful glimpses of what matters most.
There are no big life events here in my photography. But there is joy, connection, and authenticity.
It is an honor to capture the beauty of the love between families. That to me is the most rewarding thing about being a photographer.
What has been your Biggest Hurtle?
Starting out, I definitely had imposter syndrome. I didn’t feel qualified and wondered if anyone would actually hire me. I looked at other photographers who were extremely talented and doubted myself plenty. I quickly found that I didn’t love staged newborn sessions, nor did I have the drive to be a wedding photographer. For a time, that was discouraging as I had held the false belief that a good photographer excels in every aspect.
There was also a learning curve in being a small business owner. I felt like I was a good photographer but knew nothing about starting or owning a business and all that entails! I started Photo Affect Photography just slightly before business marketing took off on social media platforms. When Instagram became popular for businesses, I found myself doubting yet again. I didn’t have 10,000+ followers and I worried that not having those followers was some sort of reflection on my abilities. I have gradually gained confidence and found my niche, but it wasn’t always clear.
Most recently, moving from Washington where I had established clientele to Minnesota where I didn’t know anyone has been tough. The pandemic hitting shortly after the move made it even more difficult to re-establish my business. It has taken time, but fortunately, I have been able to meet some amazing people and have had opportunities to grow here in the Twin Cities
What do you want to Leave as a Legacy?
I want to leave the legacy of authenticity, in all its forms.
Where to find Photo Affect Photography