We are thrilled to introduce our new Director of Education, Kara Webb of Simply Heaven Photography, to the NAPCP Member Community! We reached out to Kara in a fun and personal Q&A about what led her to this position, and her thoughts on helping us open the NAPCP School. Welcome, Kara!
NAPCP: Kara, we are delighted to have you here! Tell us about how your love for photography started, and a little bit about your journey along the way.
KW: I am so excited to be here! It’s an honor to be a part of the NAPCP team, and I’m looking forward to serving our members!
My love for photography started in college. Texas Tech (my alma mater) has a satellite campus for short, summer field courses, including many hands-on science courses. I loved the campus so much that I took every offered course that would fulfill my undergrad requirements. I ran out of science courses but had a summer session left to fill before graduation. There was a senior level photography course taught by an amazing professional photographer, and students always looked like they were having fun. I begged the professor to let me join even though I knew absolutely nothing about photography. He caved and let me register. The professor was very gracious concerning my lack of knowledge, and I learned photography by jumping in headfirst. This was back in the days of film so I bought my first camera, box of slide film, and tripod specifically for the course. If I could relive a few weeks of my life, my time at that course would be one I’d have on repeat. A love for photography as a hobby was born then, while the inspiration to turn it into a business came after our second child was born and I took a break from teaching.
Here are a few of the images Kara captured during her photography course.
NAPCP: What do you love most about NAPCP?
KW: I tried reaching out to several forums and other professionals during my first few years in business but could never find the right fit. When I found NAPCP, it was so friendly and personal. Different than anything else I’d experienced. The positive community of professionals who genuinely care for each other and for the success of the industry was such a breath of fresh air. I love how the focus of NAPCP is to elevate the industry in not only our photographic standards but also in the way we treat each other. I also love how everything NAPCP does is polished, and relevant to photographers of all levels.
NAPCP: We love how your professional career has come full circle. Tell us about your background in Education, and how you plan to bring your experience to your role as NAPCP’s new Director of Education.
KW: My undergraduate degree is in General Science with a minor is Education. I was awarded a fellowship while still in college, where I was lucky enough to be immersed with the the region’s top teachers and professors. We wrote curriculum for traveling science labs and held workshops that elevated the pre-college science programs throughout the state. We also attended and presented at national conferences where I gained a wealth of experience about what good teaching consists of. Although my love for photography was born in college, I didn’t see it as a viable profession at the time, especially as immersed as I was in education with my fellowship. Upon graduation I knew I had to put that knowledge to good use, and began teaching 8th grade science. I was awarded as the Rookie Science Teacher of the Year for the State of Texas after my second year in the classroom.
We moved to North Carolina for my husband’s job, and had our first child before I began teaching high school science. When our second child was born, I felt I needed a break and took some time off. I soon discovered being a stay at home mom wasn’t for me, and decided to start my photography business, Simply Heaven Photography. Teaching has remained a passion of mine, and I look forward to helping those with a message unpack and present their information in a meaningful way.
NAPCP: What are you most excited about in our Member Community’s growth over the next few years?
KW: I’m very excited to help bring so many NAPCP member’s requests for education to life! The new educational component of NAPCP will carry over the same uplifting spirit that is already within our wonderful Member Community. Everyone has something to teach and something to learn, no matter what skill level they are at. The goal of the “learning center” will be to connect those with a message to those with a desire to learn in a variety of ways. It is based on needs we see in the industry and it will look different than anything else out there. I’m so very excited to bring the learning center into form and even more excited to share it with everyone!
NAPCP: Tell us about your family and some of your favorite things to do together.
KW: My husband, Lance, and I just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. We have three kids named Graham, Allie, and Gunnar, and they keep us on our toes! There is never a dull moment around our house – it’s always full of noise, friends, and school papers. A messy house means happy kids, right?
Our weeks are crammed full of activities like dance and Cub Scouts, so our weekends are full of unstructured things like bike riding and playing in the backyard.
NAPCP: What is one thing you’d like to tell your family as your start this new journey with NAPCP?
KW: We have some possible changes coming within our family that may force my photography business to take a backseat, and I’m not sure what it will look like on the other side of the change. I’ve learned that I’m the best mom when I have a job in addition to raising my children. When I have time away, using the adult side of my brain, it enables me to come back to them refreshed. Hopefully that’s something other moms can relate to. I’m excited about this new position within an organization I love, to help me stay fresh within the industry, and use my skills from teaching and writing curriculum. It’s my way of continuing to elevate the industry and make our world a better place!
Header image courtesy of Christy Johnson of Be True Image Design. Family images courtesy of Leah Cook Photography.