Today we’d like to introduce you to Ksenia Pro.
Hi Ksenia, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
As a first-generation immigrant, who just moved to the US from Russia eight years ago, things have not always been easy.
My husband and I moved to the country right after we got married in our early 20s with a little over $500 to our name, not knowing anyone here, except his employer, to chase the “American dream”, and the first four years were not “dreamy” at all.
We had to get by, solely relying on his intern level income, as I was not legally allowed to work for the first three years under my visa.
On top of that, we couldn’t afford a car and had to walk (living in suburbs of a small town, a short HOUR walk to downtown). Even when we saved some money for a car, there was a challenge of getting the driver license without actually owning a car to practice or even go to the local MVA. Looking back, even facing all these challenges and frustrations, we were happy and considered every new challenge as an adventure.
Long story short, I was trapped inside the house for the first two years, not having resources to just get out of the house and experience life. After living a busy life in a big city, always being on top of my class at school and killing it at work, this was far far from my dream life.
The only resource I had was time and a small circle of people that I got to know little by little. So I found the opportunity to volunteer at a local visual arts center to advance my English and spent most of my time perfecting my photography skills (I picked up photography last year of college).
While I couldn’t get paid jobs, I was collaborating with local creatives and building my network. This was the foundation of the 6 figure (and growing) photography business that I own and run today.
The next day after I received my GreenCard, I filed to form an LLC and was finally open for business. Having a degree in Business and Finance certainly helped me stay organized and navigate the waters of being an entrepreneur, and hunger for work and tenacity were the qualities that certainly helped me build a sustainable creative business.
By working with local business owners, bloggers and influential individuals, I was fortunate to get known as a portrait and fashion photographer in the DMV area and have loyal repeat clients.
In less than four years, I brought my business from zero to six figures and managed to grow even during global pandemic by providing value, excellent service and sharing my creativity with clients.
In April 2021, I’ve opened a boutique portrait photography studio and gallery space in Gaithersburg MD, and I’m on a mission to empower women through fashion and modern glamour photography by sharing their stories in a fashionable way.
I offer fine art fashion portrait experience for women who want more and who are tired of being the last thing on the priority list. It’s perfect for women who are on a personal development journey, or going through major changes in life or simply feeling stuck.
I also offer maternity, family and mommy & me sessions that are centered around motherhood and the bond between the woman and her family, especially the children. As a mom of a busy toddler, I know firsthand that moms often stay unseen behind the camera. Moms deserve to be seen and heard and looking fabulous in their maternity and family photos.
In addition to that, I work with local women entrepreneurs and women, immigrant and minorities owned brands and small businesses to help them tell their story, shape and share their message through photography and video. The positive impact that we can have on the local community by working together, helping each other grow and serving the community – this is what drives me every day in my business.
I’m also starting to share my knowledge and experience with others and inspire upcoming photographers, especially those who feel lost on their journey because they face certain challenges or limitations.
I’m active on YouTube, Instagram and launching photography courses and educational resources for photographers and entrepreneurs who want their message to be seen and heard.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Even though things may look perfectly amazing on social media, running your own business is never a smooth ride – from customer service, time management, finances and cash flow, taxes, pricing, tech – I just had to figure things out as I approached another roadblock. And sometimes looking at your numbers at the end of the year and knowing how much work you put in, it can be discouraging if you don’t bring home as much as you hoped for. But every year, I made changes to the way I do business and my business grew every year because I wasn’t afraid to look at the numbers and do the hard thing.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I can describe my style as “fashion photography for everyday modern women” and it comes across in all the genres I specialize in
– Maternity and family photography, focusing on moms looking amazing in their photos;
– Magazine-style portraits, where I bring modern glamour photography and the magic of a good makeover to everyday women;
– Personal branding photoshoots that are designed for modern female entrepreneurs – creative, fearless and client-oriented.
Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs or other resources you think our readers should check out?
I love discovering new podcasts, these are my favorites: Style Your Mind, Being Boss, New Generation Entrepreneur, Feminine and Fulfilled.
Recent books that inspired me: Girl On Fire by Cara Alwill Leyba and The Soul Sourced Entrepreneur by Christine Kane.
- Portrait Sessions – $399 session fee + image/print collections starting at $1150
- Personal Branding – starting at $990
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.kseniapro.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kseniaprophoto/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/kseniaprophotography