Today’s blog interview is close to my heart. I’ve know the lovely Kalia for a very long time. Way back in 2007 she was my daughter’s swim coach! Back then she split her time between the pool and the camera. These days she’s a full time photographer and does an amazing job! We’ve had her shoot all our family photos, and she recently shot my wedding. Her style is amazing and I will treasure our photos forever! I was so happy when she agreed to do the interview and I’m very excited to introduce her to all of you.
Tell us a little about yourself: Hi! My name is Kalia. I’m from Varna, Bulgaria. It’s a city on the Black Sea. (No Sharks in those waters!) My family moved from Bulgaria to Austria and then to Toronto, Canada. I’m so thankful I was able to experience each place- really gave me a love for travel! Eleven years ago we moved to South Florida. I met my husband in West Palm Beach and now we have two boys-3 and 2 years old. I’m really blessed to have my three men!
When did you first find your joy in photography? Years ago my dad shot film. I loved looking through his photos over and over again. While I loved everything “arts” related, I didn’t have a clue where my interests where leading. Shortly after I got married my dad encouraged me to try Photoshop. I would take pictures and then spend hours working on them. It was just fun for me! My mom looked at me one day and said “You love this. You are up till 2am doing this!” At that moment something clicked (cheesy pun intended).
When did you start the Kalia Lily brand? About 8 years ago. I would grab friends and family and just take their pictures for free- just to build a portfolio. The other components came after, with a lot of late nights and a lot of learning. The brand though is ever evolving. I want to give people a consistent product, but also challenge myself and try new things.
What do you find most challenging about running your own business? I would say wearing all the different hats. You aren’t just a photographer, you are a business. It might seem like most of my time is spent taking pictures but that’s just a small part. For example, tomorrow, a good part of my work day will be spent learning the new features on the latest version of a program. And juggling work and family…but I’ll talk about that more in question 7 ☺
What is the most rewarding thing about running your company? It’s hard to name just one because I feel so blessed to have this job. I get to meet amazing people and build lasting relationships with them! Many times I have captured a young couple’s engagement session, and now years later, I’m taking pictures of their growing family. Also, I’m really thankful for the freedom and flexibility! And lastly, I’m thankful that running my company allows me to be an artist every single day.
What do you do on your days off? I’m laughing out loud thinking about this because I always try to pack way too much into the day! I want to go thrifting, I want to paint, I want to go on a date with my husband, take the kids to the beach, see a friend, read a book etc. I never get to everything of course, but taking the kids to the zoo or downtown for dessert has become a favorite of ours.
How do you juggle work & family? This is a daily struggle! But here are a few things that help me. For one, I really don’t believe you can “have it all”. I might be able to have a little of everything, but to chase success in all areas of life, all at once, just leaves me feeling like a big, stressed out loser. Also, I decided years ago, that it didn’t matter if my definition of success looked different than other people’s. It my definition, I have a lot of snuggle time with my boys!
Who is your favorite Superhero and why? My mom! She possesses so many qualities I aspire to! I’m so thankful for her. From spiritual wisdom, to selfless love, to discipline, to her amazing cooking…I could go on and on!
Is there anything else you would like is to know?
Check out KLP online for some upcoming contests and to see our latest work! This summer my family went to Europe and this trip has inspired me to write more personal posts as well 🙂
If you’re interested in getting family photos done for the holidays, I encourage you to get in touch with Kalia. She is so sweet and s professional. You will not be disappointed!
Thanks for reading the blog, friends! Please support our local business owners. They are a very important part of our little slice of South Florida. Northern Palm Beach County has many small businesses that make living here great!
Are you thinking of buying, selling or moving in the Northern Palm Beach County area? Interested in how much your current home is worth? Just let me know, I’m happy to help, just contact me! Myself and the rest of the Sean Underwood Real Estate Team would LOVE to help you!