Katelyn Mae Pruitt

Who are you and what do you do?

Hello! I am Katelyn Mae Pruitt and I do….well, I do things that make happy. Currently, that is photography and video.  I am constantly starting new adventures and journeys. I will hit the ground running towards anything and everything that intrigues me and challenges me.  But no matter my journey and what path I decide to take that day (week,month, or even your yeeeeeear) art and creating art has always been my inspiration.

Where are you from?

I was born in Jacksonville, FL on a naval base in a hospital that no longer exists. Sounds cool, right? I wish I remembered it. We then moved from Florida to Indianapolis,IN to Merrillville,IN to Crown Point,IN back to Indy…then to Bloomington aaaaaaand back to NWI in a town called Schererville. After writing all of that, I realize I could have just said I am from Indiana…….

I’m from Indiana.

How did you get started?

Well, I would style hair (I was a stylist for 6 years) for various photoshoots and loved watching the photog do his/her thing. I would stay for a bit after I would do hair and just watch, wanting so badly to take the camera and capture what I saw in my brain. I would get the images back from the photographer and get so frustrated that it wasn’t photographed the way I saw it. As a creative, it was also hard for me to take someone else’s creative direction. I wanted to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it, So, one day, I went to the closest camera shop in town (Gary Camera) with all the money I had and bought my first, over-priced basic camera with a lens that “looked cool.” The rest is history. (aka- the rest is too much to tell and you haven’t got all day)

Do you have a side hustle or hobbies?

Aside from helping my husband with his business and being a Mom, photography and video is where all go my focus and energy goes. I have a one track mind.

What was one of your biggest mistakes and what did you learn from it?

Ohhhhh my goodness. I am mentally reaching into a baseball hat of all my mistakes and picking out one at random. I would have to say my biggest mistake was wasting my time at 9 to 5 jobs that I hated but thought I was “supposed” to do.  I bounced around quitting them all, trying desperately to find what made me happy. We all only get a certain amount of time here on Earth….and it should ONLY be spent doing whatever makes your heart full. If you wake up dreading going to work, if you wake up with a pit at the bottom of your stomach, if you wake up only wanting to go back to sleep, if you wake up HATING your life….then YOU ARE WASTING YOUR TIME. I am talking about your time here on Earth, people. It’s limited. It’s precious. It’s fleeting. Don’t waste it doing things that make you unhappy. Find what makes you happy, wrap your arms around it..and run.

But I digress….

What are the top tools you need to do your job?

My brain. My creativity. Making sure I am constantly thinking of new ideas and ways to make people feel something when they see my work. If I am having a bad day or feeling stressed, I take a break. I let my brain have a minute. When I am photographing people, I want them to feel at ease. I want us all to feel comfortable and vibe with each other. I want to be fully present and in the moment with them…and if my mind is stressed and elsewhere…then I am not at my best. Taking care of yourself is so important. YOU are your most important tool.

But if you meant like an actual, physical object….then my camera 🙂

Who or what inspires you and why?

My husband, my kids and music. They all make me feel so many emotions on a daily basis that, in-turn, inspire my shoot/videos. Happiness. Sadness. Anger. Love. Peacefulness. I also love bouncing ideas of off my husband and hearing his feedback. Most of my ideas are set to music. So more often than not, I have him listen to a song and then I tell him what it made me think of for a possible shoot or video.  And my kiddos are my driving force. I want to show them that they don’t need to have a 9 to 5 to be wildly successful. I want them to see that with hard work and vision, anything is possible. Also, IG has some really dope artists and pages that inspire me as well.

What do I love about NWI?

I love the artist community. I love the connections. The support. There is  no competitiveness and it is truly so refreshing.

What resources are you finding to educate yourself?

I take a lot of online workshops. FB and IG have tons of live feeds for artists to hop on and take notes. Also, local bookstores have tons of photography books to browse through and brush up on your craft. Also, reaching out to local artists is a big one for me. Like I said, the artist community is so helpful and anytime I have a question, it is always answered with enthusiasm and then some.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in your industry?

See question number 5. But, financially, I would say do some research before you go and purchase a camera. I took all my money, went to a local camera shop and with ZERO knowledge, bought a $1,700 camera. Did it serve its purpose? Yes. Was it what I needed? No. Do your research. Save up and get equipment that you will actually benefit from and not be a waste of your hard earned moolah. Also, don’t stress and worry about being so technical with your skills. Don’t worry about impressing other photogs with your equipment and knowledge. DO YOU. Do what comes naturally. Do what feels right. Be in the moment. All the other stuff? You’ll figure it out. Until then, just enjoy doing what you’re passionate about. That’s the whole point. Right?

What’s next for you?

Beeswax Not Yours, Inc.

Kidding.

But it’s a secret. Stay tuned.

Where can we you find you?

I am currently rebranding myself and my website BUT…you can find me on Facebook at Katelyn Mae or my IG at katelynmaepruitt. Let’s be friends.