We had the good fortune of connecting with Kim Belverud and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kim, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Work life balance has always been important to me, yet something I’ve struggled to achieve. In my office, I have a magazine clipping with a drawing of a woman with 4 arms – one is holding her daughter’s hand, one is holding an apple, another is holding a book, and the fourth one is typing on her laptop. She’s sitting on the minute hand of a large round clock with her son on her lap. I have two other magazine clippings – one with a seal balancing multiple items on his nose, and one with a woman balancing on a tightrope. These 3 images are all pinned to a bulletin board as a constant reminder to maintain my balance. For the longest time, I believed work life balance was set by my employer, that it was their responsibility not to overload their employees so that proper work life balance could be achieved. I honestly didn’t think it could ever happen. It wasn’t until I started running my own business did I realize that I was the only one responsible for achieving the balance and that it had to be a daily conscious choice. As a business owner wearing multiple hats, it’s much easier to lose sight of balance. At the same time though, I also acknowledge how important it is for both my personal and professional life to ensure that I do balance it well.
Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
There are hundreds of photographers in San Diego and I have been fortunate to meet dozens of incredibly talented ones in this area. We may have all chosen photography for similar reasons – to document fleeting moments, to capture love and connection, to hold on to childhood moments, to preserve a feeling or emotion – but we all have a unique journey that shapes how we tell those visual stories; a distinct inner voice and style. When I first started out, I was only striving to create beautiful pictures. I was documenting a moment in time and how people looked in that moment. What I strive to do now is well beyond that. I want the entire experience of the photo shoot to be memorable. I want it to be fun, enjoyable, and peaceful. I want it to be a slice of time when no one is scrolling their phones or thinking about text messages, emails, or work. I want everyone to be fully present with each other and then I want to capture how that feels. I used to be bound by rules of what makes a technically or compositionally correct image, and while I shoot with that understanding, I don’t ever want to be restricted in order to visually tell the story that I want to share. If my image makes you feel something, then I have achieved what I have been working towards since starting my photography journey.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My best friend lives on the East coast, so I would take her to places where we can enjoy the weather and views, as well as spots she can’t get back home. We are both in our 40s with kids, so our take on the city would look a little different than a visit in our younger years. Despite our age though, we both love to dance, so a hip hop class would definitely be on the agenda. I’ve been taking classes at Culture Shock for years and while the dance center had to close due to the pandemic, the classes through their non-profit organization have started back up, so we would absolutely be there. We would hit up some of my favorite beaches and try the local cuisine. We would stop off at Windansea Beach and then take a hike in Torrey Pines. One of my favorite places to view the sunset is Sunset Cliffs, so a stop there would be on the list as well. She loves Thai food, so dinner at Supannee in Shelter Island is a must do. My favorite place to get pizza is at Volare, in the Midway area, so one night we would go there to get it to go and then head up towards Mission Bay to Fiesta Island and eat there while we sit by a fire, eat s’mores, and watch the Sea World fireworks.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without the love and support of my mother. We’ve been through a challenging journey the last 5 years since losing my father, but despite that, she’s always been a huge support in all that I have pursued in life. Her encouragement has always been appreciated. Secondly, I owe much to my husband who has supported me through all the ups and downs of owning a business.
From a professional standpoint, there are so many amazing photographers I have met along this journey who’ve helped me. I’ve taken courses, from so many talented artists, and gained so much knowledge and helpful guidance from each of them. Beyond the learning opportunities I’ve had, I’m just so grateful for any encouragement and support that I’ve received, whether it came from a fellow photographer or a client. Every kind word and compliment has meant so much to me. I’m also incredibly thankful for the photographer community. One of those communities in particular is the Click Community. I’ve taken a number of online courses and breakouts from them, as well as in-person retreats, conferences, and workshops. I’ve been able to grow so much in large part to the generosity and kindness of so many within this amazing community.