I sooooo hate writing about myself but I want you to have a feel of who your artist is, so here it goes.
My name is actually Katie Jo. I grew up in the small town of Remsen, Iowa. I went to high school at Remsen-Union where I was as involved in as much as I could, mainly sports! After high school I played four years of volleyball at Briar Cliff University (and 1 year of softball), this is where my name got shortened to Kj. I majored in New Media and got a minor in Business, both have been extremely useful. I always knew I wanted to have my own business someday.
In 2004, after a couple years of 2 jobs, long hours, and a super understanding husband, I opened Photography by Kj! I love being an artist and entrepreneur, making people see what I see through my lens, which is much more than a photo. It's an heirloom, a priceless childhood memory, a remembrance of grandma and grandpa, a glimpse of really how little they actually were, a celebration of time and accomplishments, but most of all its love. Love is all around us, and we celebrate it by capturing those times in our lives that are special, once in a lifetime memories.
So what about me? Ok, well, I love God, my super hot husband Jake, my 'sour patch kid' Jerzi Jo, my family & friends, career, and my dogs, Bean & Gully! I have so much love all around me, its amazing! I have amazing opportunities to capture your newborn baby, as small as they really are. Or your high school senior who is setting out to conquer the world. Or maybe your daughter who has fallen in love. Or your family before everyone gets married. Or, just maybe, its you who I get to capture. Whoever you are, I want to show that through the lens, every single time.
I am the photographer, however we do many events that require us to have more staff on hand. I have an AMAZING assistant Kay. She is bubbly, and friendly and very hard working, and always one step ahead of me (thank heavens)! We also have several people that come in to help us with events; Rachel, Tammy, Jake, Danni, Tina, Katelyn, Mindy, Taylor... We want to make sure your event goes very smoothly!
I currently shoot the cover photos for an AMAZING magazine, Siouxland Women Magazine, and I LOVE IT! I get to meet so many amazing people, entrepreneurs, and families, and all of them have made me feel very comfortable, I sincerely hope I do the same for them. I am truly blessed to meet all these very accomplished people.
I am past two year President of the NWIPPA, North West Iowa Professional Photographers Association, a member of the PPA, PP Iowa, and I'm CPP Certified. And even more recently, I've achieved by Photographic Craftsmen degree! I want to be the best at my craft, and with all of these I constantly strive for that! So it's officially KJ Wingert, Photog. Cr., CPP.
Well, what can I even say. I truly think God put Kay in my life. She is fun, friendly, honest, bubbly, happy, and most of all...a great person. She makes my life so much easier. She brings happiness to my day. She works her butt off at the studio, and she stays happy...literally ALL THE TIME! Thank you Kay. You are an amazing friend!
How I landed at Photography by Kj!
I was born and raised a Minnesoootan…you get it the long O. I attended private schools from Kindergarten through college. I am left-handed, with many different interests that make me who I am.
I love sports and played basketball in high school. Today my husband and I love to golf. He’s the good golfer, me, not so much. He taught me the game when we were dating, and now that the kiddos are grown and out of the house, we golf as much as we can.
I attended college with the pursuit of a medical degree. I worked for 30 years in the medical field. During that time, I stayed home for a short time while my kiddos were in grade school, who didn’t like to be cooped up in daycare in the summer time.
So my kiddos, my son Patrick is married to Jess, and have the most beautiful son…bias of course, but you know those grandmas..wink wink. My daughter Kayte is a pharmacist and works in central Iowa. She’s the one who takes me shopping…I do NOT like to shop.
I have a very creative side, although for many years the science side of me held that at bay. But I love to plant flowers and tend them. I did small landscaping jobs for my husband’s business for years. I am a learner at heart, so I love to learn to do new things and I’m not afraid to give most anything a try.
Growing up in a home with an entrepreneur, (my dad owned his own trucking company) it was easy for my husband and I to start up a lawn and snow removal service. Brian has worked hard to build the business and have helped along the way. I mowed yards while I stayed at home with my kiddos and now, I push snow in a few lots…mostly churches…less of a chance of me hitting something. I have a really funny story how I have the nickname “snow dragon” you can ask me about!
Along the way I became John C Maxwell certified in Speaking, Coaching and Training. This really fueled my entrepreneur spirit and heart for people. I left the medical world to pursue ministry options, but that didn’t seem to be where God wanted me. So that led me to a long period of a job search. I have to credit a very good friend who tagged me on Facebook about a job opening in February of 2017.
That job was an assistant for Photography by Kj. My best friend was a photographer, so I knew a little bit about the business, but really nothing about taking pictures. I still don’t-that’s Kj’s!
It’s really where I belong. I love that each day brings its own unique opportunity to encourage each and every client that comes through our doors. There is no day that is the same, so I am never bored. It’s the best job to have, and I plan on doing it for a LONG time!