The PURA Muse is a woman who inspires us with their values, beliefs, business, content or work ethic. This woman is aligned with the goals & motivations that we strive for each day here at Pura Botanicals - and if they are already a Pura lover, it makes it all the better! Our monthly muse is working to elevate their community through their career-path, business, volunteerism, or their commitment to wellness, and they consistently advocate for well-being and intentional living.
The PURA Muse October 2019: Karmen Meyer
Tell us a little bit about what inspired you to become a photographer? Was there someone or something that drove you to pursue this career?
Well my interest in photography started quite young actually. My mom was hobby photographer and always had her camera in hand, taking photos of my sisters and I - despite our frequent complaints. It was her baby, and at the time I truly didn’t have much interest in photography outside of doing my best to avoid being a subject. That all changed though when I left for my first of many travels. My mom sent her beloved camera along with me (Thanks Mom!) to document the adventure, and that is when it all began to click.
I filled roll after roll of film. And I discovered I really loved telling visual stories and capturing slivers of time. But I still had my doubts that I could ever have a photography career. And to be honest, I had my sights set on being the first woman in my family to go to university and have a big, impressive degree.
But the thought just wouldn’t let me be and I ended up applying to NAIT's Photography program and the rest is history! I guess that is a long-winded answer; I could have just said that my Mom and my love of travel where my original inspiration. 10 years later, I am still deeply inspired by those two things. Additionally, the individuals who I photograph, the women who show up & share their stories, are a constant source of inspiration. They allow me to capture a little bit of their essence and trust me to help build their brands or tell their stories through photography. They are the ones that keep this otherwise challenging career inspiring and exciting!
How would you describe the process behind building your business and brand Karmen Meyer Photography? Is there something that you wish you knew from the start or a piece of advice you wish you had received?
Haha - well how about slow & steady, with a side of chaos. I was quite young when I started my business, just 21-years old. When I take the time to look back on it, honestly I think my cluelessness and optimism were my greatest start-up assets.
It wasn’t until after my daughters were born that I truly began to recognize my own ‘brand’ and strangely, my individual power. I started to set boundaries, charge my worth, and say 'no' to things that didn’t light my fire. I have come to realize that I want to be present for my family, and create work that leaves a positive mark on the world. Even if it is just a teeny tiny mark. My photography is a tool I can use to build others up and support them on whatever journey they may find themselves on. I want to hold up a mirror for them, to remind them how freakin' awesome they are! A piece of advice that I wish I received when I was starting my business is...create what makes your heart sing!
What role has your community (whether that be your local community or the photography community) played in the success & growth of your personal brand and business?
Oh wow - my community has impacted my business in so, so many ways. Mostly, it is those little, perfect, genuine gestures that have impacted me the most. Words of encouragement, taking care of my kiddos while I'm working, sharing and genuinely engaging with my work, or simply showing up to a photo shoot despite having fears or nerves about having a photo taken.
Are there any pieces or projects you have worked on that you are particularly proud of, or stand out in your mind for some significance?
Goodness, there are so many. I am particularly proud of some recent work I did for Dote Magazine's upcoming body positivity issue! I have wanted to see more diversity in the media for a long time now, and it is AMAZING to be part of such an important shift.
As your family and your business have grown how do you think your definition of ‘self-care’ has changed? And now as an incredibly busy woman, entrepreneur, and mother, how do you practice self-care?
Over the last several years, my definition of self-care has completely and intuitively changed to protect my mental, physical and emotional health. Self-care for me now means creating flexible boundaries and learning to let go of things that are out of my control are a constant work in progress. It means taking time to be alone without distraction, even though it’s harder then ever.
Self-care and self-love have become absolute essential survival skills to me. And I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always do a very good job. But that’s just a part of the journey I am on. A journey I hope my daughters will witness and be inspired to embark on themselves. So that they may truly care for and love themselves.
XOXO, Karmen Meyer