Written and Photographed by Kristin Dvorak
Kate Longley’s necklace holds a dainty gold charm with the word ‘build’ engraved on it, which is the local photographer’s personal mantra. She has worked hard to build her home photography studio; a gorgeous little shed in her backyard that offers ample sunlight. Longley’s goals stretch beyond the scope of her growing photography business, Eloise & Peas. Her latest endeavor, Free Women’s Headshot Day, is meant to uplift women in the community.
What started as a fun birthday tradition quickly turned into a full-blown community-building-girl-power-networking moment. During Longley’s birthday month she has offered a free or discounted photo session. This past March, however, she wanted to do something different. Enter the Free Women’s Headshot Day. The offer exploded with inquiries. So many women reached out to Longley that she had to kindly turn down several requests due to time constraints. “When the first event booked up in less than two hours, I realized there was a real need for it. People either don’t have the resources, don’t know how to access it, lack the confidence or just don’t want to pay for headshots,” she says.
Now Longley’s goal is to uplift women in the community through a shared experience, providing them an opportunity to mingle with others in and outside of their industries and inner circles—all while getting an extra boost of confidence in front of the camera.
These sessions are much needed for fellow photographers, bloggers and ladies whose brands and businesses thrive on the web. Longley welcomes women of any circumstances though, even if they don’t need a professional photo. If you just want to feel extra pretty for the day and get some updated photos of yourself, don’t hesitate to sign up, she encourages. After the event, each woman gets 10-15 fully edited photos.
Longley explains that she’s meeting more and more women that want to link arms. “We all want to move forward while helping other people, but we have to remember to leave the ladder down in order to build those people up with us.” It’s where the popular phrase ‘community over competition’ comes into play. In short, you’re allowed to relish your own success while still leaving room—and an open hand—to allow others to reach their goals, too.
The next free headshot event is scheduled for Jan. 18, 2020. For information about future events and other photography offerings, follow Kate Longley on Instagram @eloiseandpeas or email her at [email protected].
Here’s how Free Headshot Day works: