Monday, January 10, 2011

meet the founder of clickin moms Kendra Okolita


We'd like to welcome to the Savvy blog the founder of the wonderful Clickin' moms forum, Kendra Okolita


Thank you for being a part of our "Inspiring Women" series!


How long have you been a professional photographer?


I was a professional photographer for a little over 2 years.  I am currently on hiatus so that I can spend more time working on ClickinMoms and just being a mom and photographer to my own kids.  To be honest, I'm not sure I'll go back to taking clients full time.  All too often I see women jump into business because they feel like it is the necessary next step after they have mastered their skill and have invested in all the greatest gear.  I think I fell victim to that without realizing it.  I love my clients and love taking pictures, but I was not very good at time management or business management.  I didn't like the business end of the business - haha!  Ordering, packing, delivering....I dreaded all of that.  I know some people love it though!







Did you start off as a success or spend some time figuring it all out {how to make the money}?


I was lucky enough to be surrounded by successful photographers when I started my business.  They were so generous with their experience and advice, so I was able to make a profit in my first year.




When you first started photography, did you have a mentor that was instrumental in your success?


I didn't have one mentor, but I had some very good friends in the business at the time and they really helped me along.   Kristin Brown (http://www.kristinrachellephotography.com/) and Lisa Harrison (http://www.lisaharrisonphotography.com/) were my lifelines!  I think I will owe them margaritas for life





We love Clickin' moms and think you have created an amazing community of women photographers. Tell us how you came up with the idea for it? Are you amazed at how successful it has been?

It started because I had a handful of friends (some professional and some not) who wanted a place to chat about photography.  We wanted anyone to feel welcome to chat about their love for photography, no matter what level they were at. One of the most amazing things about photography (or any art) is that you can find a common ground with anyone.  Even the most novice photographer can render me speechless when they shoot from their heart.

I am incredibly amazed by it's success!  It sort of took on a life of it's own and I can't take credit for that.   Our members are such generous and kind people - it really is amazing!




www.ClickinMoms.com
It must be a full time job running Clickin' moms, are you still photographing clients?


I am not photographing clients right now, although I do plan to take on clients again on a very limited basis someday.  ClickinMoms is a full time job for sure, but I have a ton of help! Sarah Wilkerson, Kristin Brown, Lisa Harrison, Lynne Rigby,  Kathryn Page, and Megan Moore all help manage the site and keep it fresh with tons of new ideas.  We also have an incredibly talented team of mentors who are devoted to making ClickinMoms great and helping our members.





We'd love to hear your top 5 list of advice "to inspire" other photographers...

1) Be yourself!  It's fun to explore the latest trends and techniques, but try not to loose yourself in them.

2) Just because you are a great photographer does not mean you have to be in business.

3) Just keep shooting!  Don't get distracted by fancy gear or competition.  The more you shoot, the better you will be. Even the best photographers constantly strive to refine their craft.

4) Surround yourself with people who love and support you.

5) Be yourself.  Art is subjective! People want to see YOU in YOUR art. That's why they hire you! Because only you can "do what you do".





We all have our special family traditions for the Holidays, will you share with us a few of yours?


Our kids (8,8,5 &3) all earn enough dollar bills to go to the dollar store and buy gifts for our immediate family.  I set them loose in there and they fill their little baskets with very thoughtful treasures.  They wrap and tag their gifts themselves and are BEYOND excited to give them on Christmas.  My favorite gifts are the sponges, earrings, and night lights that came from the dollar store




Please help all of those photographers struggling to keep up in this busy season...how do you maintain a "happy" life during the Holidays?


For working photographers I always recommend to start booking Christmas sessions early (July) and end early.  I never booked clients after November 15th.  This gave me time to complete outstanding orders so that I wasn't in a total panic throughout the month of December.  Holiday orders take longer than regular orders because of card design and gift prints.  It's also hard to coordinate with clients during November/December because they are busy too.


Thank you Kendra for joining us!


If you are not a member of Clickin moms, now is the time to join! Kendra is offering Savvy readers  20% off any subscription. Just use coupon code SAVVYNEWYEAR. Such a sweet deal from such a generous lady. They are also having the amazing affiliate contest going on now until Jan 31st...you can earn great prizes for referring others {click our links below to join if you are interested :)}



CMpro


Clickin'Moms



Guess what else Kendra is offering Savvy readers...a chance to win TWO LIFETIME MEMBERSHIPS to Clickin moms! I told ya she was a generous lady.


How to enter...


"like" us on Facebook...follow us on Twitter...and spread the word about our site...we love it when you gossip about us...good gossip that is! Then come back here and leave your comments to win!


Two lucky winners will be chosen Wednesday, January 12th at midnight...and we will announce the winner on Jan 13th. Good luck...and join the fabulous ladies over at Clickin moms!

103 comments:

  1. Fantastic interview! Kendra is one of the sweetest, kindest people you could ever hope to meet and I'm honored to call her my friend. Her warmth and generosity is reflected in the community she created - CM is full of incredible women!

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  2. I follow you on twitter AND have liked you on facebook!

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  3. I'm a recent Savvy follower and love it here! (i have already liked on FB!)

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  4. Loved reading about Kendra. I have liked Savvy Photographer and retweeted. @ATorriniPhoto

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  5. Added you on FB (Clickin Moms) & Savvy.. (have already been a Savvy fan for a while!) :).. AND listed you on my busines page as a favorite! :) You guys are great! Would love a membership to Clickin Moms!!

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clickin-Moms/144244264619?ref=ts&v=wall#!/pages/Salome-Photography/128409540526103

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  6. Oh, and I don't have Twitter, but if I did I'd be a follower there too! :)

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  7. Set up a Twitter account just for this! Tweeted here!

    http://twitter.com/#!/SalomePhoto

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  8. I loved reading about Kendra. It is great to get a little glimpse into who someone is. :) I already like you on Facebook and just followed you on Twitter. Oh and retweeted! :)

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  9. I follow you on Facebook and Twitter! I also retweeted this @ http://twitter.com/#!/namathison

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  10. I like theSavvyPhotog on Facebook. :)

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  11. Yay Kendra! And Yay ClickinMoms! :)

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  12. I follow both of you on twitter!!! @JJanes9500
    This is fabulous!!!!!

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  13. I like The Savvy Photographer and Clickin Moms on FB!!!!!

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  14. Posted about both sites on FB profile page here http://www.facebook.com/jessica.janes

    Would love to win this!!!!!!

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  15. Shared about your sites on FB fan page here http://www.facebook.com/pages/Captured-by-Heart-Photography/104574349593513

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  16. Tweeted @JJanes9500

    Wonderful opportunity!!!!

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  17. Blogged about and posted links to both sites on my blog here http://capturedbyheartphotography.blogspot.com/

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  18. I follow both the savvy photographer and clickin moms! Thanks for the opp!

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  19. I liked both Clickin Moms and Savvy Photographer on Facebook. I've heard so much about both!

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  20. Tweeted it, Facebooked it, and following on both!! I love ClickinMoms and would be there already if I had the money. You both totally Rock and I admire both the Savvy Photog and ClickinMoms very much!! ♥♥

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  21. I like you on facebook!!!!!!!:)

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  22. I like you on FB and I follow you on twitter! thanks so much!

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  23. Wonderful interview! Liked on fb and followed on twitter. Thanks for the opportunity!

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  24. Love the Savvy Blog! Have liked you and tweeted would love to be a "clickin mom" as well.

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  25. Wonderful Article. Kendra is truly an inspiration and CM is a wonderful opportunity. I love being a member and a mentor :)

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  26. CM is an amazing community and I'm so happy that Kendra started it. I don't know where I'd be without it!

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  27. danielle antonucciJanuary 10, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    i like both the savvy photographer and clickin moms on facebook!

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  28. Already a FB fan, already a follower on Twitter. I retweeted this post (RKILP).
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

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  29. I definitely "like" you!

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  30. What a great opportunity! I liked The Savvy Photographer on Facebook, was already following on Twitter, and tweeted about the great interview and contest!

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  31. i tweeted about the giveaway

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  32. i followed on twitter!

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  33. I liked on facebook

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  34. I like on Facebook and follow on Twitter and I retweeted!!!

    @AimeeLashley

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  35. Liked you on facebook. What a generous prize!

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  36. Liked you on face book, and don't have a twitter account.

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  37. OMG I would love a subscription!!! Please pick me -- posted on Twitter and Facebook :)

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  38. Just found your site thru clickin moms and love it, liked you on facebook and follow on twitter 2!

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  39. Would REALLY love to win this! I am following you on fb and twitter!

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  40. Liked you on facebook!

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  41. LOVEE following your site! I am a big fan! I posted this giveaway on my Facebook here;
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000636722260

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  42. I would love LOVE to win this! I have been wanting to join for such a while but just don't have the funds right now! I've liked you on facebook so now I've got my fingers crossed :-)

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  43. I just found this website. Love it. I also just "liked" The Savvy Photographer on Facebook.

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  44. Thank you! I liked you on FB and follow you on Twitter. :)

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  45. Following on Twitter and liked on Facebook :) I LOVE Kendra's photos :)

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  46. I'm already a fanon FB! Great work!

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  47. Liked on facebook!

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  48. I follow you on both, and spit out a blurb this morning! :)

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  49. Thanks for the contest! I LIKE you on facebook, but I don't do Twitter, (yet)

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  50. I LIKE you on FB! Thanks for doing this contest!

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  51. I liked you on FB!!!

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  52. Another new fan here and I've already told a friend!

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  53. I just found this site looking for faux wood floors and stumbled onto what I have been looking for! My goal this year is to work on my photography and I am excited about savvy photographer AND clickin moms. Oh, and I just liked you both on Facebook.

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  54. Great interview!

    Already "like" on facebook! :)

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  55. "like" you on facebook and posted about it!!

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  56. sorry, forgot to leave the link: facebook.com/ernietreu
    please only count as one comment :)

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  57. I follow you on twitter. mybaybah

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  58. I like you on fb. Great giveaway!!

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  59. Tweet!
    http://twitter.com/#!/MyBaybah/status/25096618743169024

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  60. I liked u on Facebook & follow u both on twitter! @debblucy

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  61. Like and follow! Tweet! www.twitter.com/sweetcaptures

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  62. I loved reading this. I have been told to join Clickin Moms by a friend, but haven't yet and this would be perfect as I continue in my passion of photography. Love to follow your posts on Facebook.

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  63. Incredible interview. Thank you so much. I "liked" you on facebook. I come hear daily for inspiration ...

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  64. Am a follower on Twitter and just tweeted about the giveaway!

    @jenjenparker

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  65. Love your site & Clickinmoms. I tweeted.

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  66. Liked on FB! Great article :)
    http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/profile.php?id=1465262533

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  67. Been liking y'all on fb and following on twitter for quite some time ;)
    And I tweeted about you today!
    @ReneeBowen
    http://www.facebook.com/ReneeBowenPhotography

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  68. not only do I LOVE SAVVY photog & clickin moms, but I'm also a "liking" FB fan :D

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  69. Wonderful interview! Liked and trying to follow -- something seems to be up with twitter at the moment! ; )

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  70. I posted on facebook as well!

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  71. like you guys on facebook and follow you on twitter!

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  72. I follow The Savvy Photographer and ClickinMoms on Twitter. Both very inspiring!

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  73. FB likes and Twitters follows always! http://twitter.com/ ladysharkgirl and http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=631845301&ref=name

    Love Clickin' Moms but don't have a lifetime membership yet. Savvy and CM rock!

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  74. I'm now a facebook follower!!

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  75. I love Clickn' Moms and would love ANY type of membership! I follow on twitter @lifeamateur and Facebook!

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  76. Oh wow! What a great contest! Both sites are very inspiring, as others have said, for any level of photographer!! Great article/interview as well!!
    ~gillian

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  77. Been a fan of Savvy for awhile and added Clickin Moms now! Can't wait to start seeing your posts!

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  78. New Savvy follower here!

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  79. I follow you on twitter AND liked you on facebook! Thia is such a wonderful prize!!!!!I really ready hope I win this one!!!!!

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  80. Love to see all the things you share with us! Thanks for the awesome giveaway...

    I shared the blog on fb here http://www.facebook.com/marceneperry

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  81. Just 'liked' you facebook page! Thanks!

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  82. Natalia aka MaygirlJanuary 13, 2011 at 4:12 AM

    so cool chance! thank you a lot! I keep my fingers crossed!
    I like you at FB
    http://www.facebook.com/update_security_info.php?wizard=1#!/profile.php?id=100000218117810

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  83. Natalia aka MaygirlJanuary 13, 2011 at 4:14 AM

    I spread the word at FB, thank you for the great chance, sweetie!
    http://www.facebook.com/update_security_info.php?wizard=1#!/profile.php?id=100000218117810

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  84. i follow you on facebook twitter and have spread the word there and there ;-)

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  85. Katherine GualtieriJanuary 13, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    I tweeted!

    http://twitter.com/#!/KatherineNaomi

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  86. Katherine GualtieriJanuary 13, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    I liked you on Facebook :)

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