Who I Am
My name is Crystal-Lynn but all of my friends call me Crystal or CKe (SEE-kay). I was born in Honolulu, HI in 1990. The middle child of 3 daughters, my childhood was full of getting a natural Hawaiian sun, playing on the playground barefoot, hula dancing, and ukulele playing. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn to swim until much later so surfing was not a sport I enjoyed - I leaned more towards tennis and volleyball.
My family and I moved to Henderson in 2005 and I’ve been here ever since! I enjoy the variety of sights and experiences the mainland has to offer but I do miss the weather and food in Hawaii. My only complaint is that these Vegas summers are killer. #melting
I never intended to pursue a career in photography. My first camera was a disposable one with which I captured all of my elementary school memories for my own custom yearbook. You could say that's where the creative side of me was born and nurtured. I made several personal yearbooks made out of spiral notebooks and journals and decorated them with cut fabric, stickers, drawings I did, and other scrapbook-esque items.
In high school, I decided to pursue a career in criminal justice with a goal of being a crime scene investigator. I was attracted to the idea that I could serve my community by giving a voice to those who couldn't speak for themselves - I could tell their story. Fast forward, I've found a path that still allows me to tell your story - one of beauty and love - that can be passed down through the generations.
I’m a dog-mom, amateur gardener, romantic, INTJ, spontaneous singer, and bibliophile who’s enjoying her newly discovered curly girl status. I love my faith and am constantly falling deeper in love with Him as He pursues my heart.
(kah-LAY-ah) is Hawaiian: “Joy”. She’s my energetic, squeaker destroyer, and cuddle-loving blessing on four legs. She's my life-changing blessing who's always up for a road trip adventure!
All things should be done with great love.
Your emotions are powerful. Use them wisely and err on the side of love.
It wasn't supposed to go this way; I had a plan and it was a good one. But when I began allowing my story to be written by the one who knows me best, I discovered a path that is so much better than I could've ever dreamed. It's been a mixture of hills and valleys and I'm seeking the joy and grace in it all.
Photography was a hobby born from a desire to capture the memories of my childhood. I was both saddened by the fact I couldn't buy a yearbook every year and excited by the idea that my yearbook would be full of memories from my year; it wouldn't have snapshots of events I didn't attend and people I didn't know. I could focus on my classmates and the things we did together - exactly how I wanted to remember my childhood.
I asked my parents for a few disposable cameras every year and glued the photos in notebooks and journals. Then I used these yearbooks for my friends to sign at the end of the year. I often needed to hunt down my yearbook because it was making its rounds amongst everyone as they reminisced.
In high school, I decided to pursue a career in criminal justice with a goal of being a crime scene investigator. I wanted to be part of something bigger than myself - I wanted to serve my community giving a voice to those who couldn't speak for themselves - I could tell their story. After I graduated college with a bachelor degree in criminal justice, I was eager to start living my purpose but every door was closed to me. Looking back, I can see that whenever the door was shut, I sought a job that allowed me to continue serving and building relationships with the people around me.
But I'm a little stubborn. I thought I'd jump headfirst into a military career - good benefits, strong community, and retirement in 20 years. God put a giant stop sign on that plan when He reminded me that I would carry the responsibility of keeping my comrades alive and the potential to harden my heart - the heart that cares, loves, mentors, and seeks peace - was too great.
PEOPLE SEE YOU DIFFERENTLY THAN YOU SEE YOURSELF
I quickly abandoned that plan and sought guidance from my closest friends on the type of person they see me as. None of them saw me as an officer.
One of my best friends said I was always happiest when I had a camera in my hand and, although I tended to take some pretty goofy real-to-life pictures, everyone was appreciative that I was around to capture the memories. She suggested that I look within and ask myself if this path brought me peace.
It did. It still does. From being designated the unofficial-official photographer in my youth group to today, I'm working in my original purpose - telling people's story.
What story do YOU want me to tell?
In My Spare Time
I wear so many hats - photographer, business owner, security guard, and youth group leader. Then I have all of my heart activities - playing with my nieces and nephew, chatting and praying with my Blessed Is She sisters, and reading. But I will always jump at the opportunity to create and decorate with my hands. My proudest moment was finishing a balloon arch for my sister’s baby shower! #SoManyBalloons
It’s that rush of endorphins from building something by hand and then being able to gift them to others. It’s being able to look at something and seeing all of the planning, prep, and sore fingers that all came together into something beautiful.
Instead of scrolling Instagram or Facebook, I’ll scroll through Pinterest planning just about anything I can DIY - party decor, home improvement projects, desserts to create, and so much more!
MY CURRENT PROJECT:
Building my own custom bookshelf. I chose to make this myself (with a LOT of my dad’s help) because I couldn’t find a modular that had different sized shelves and a display area in the middle. As always, Kalea supervises.
PERSONAL BLOG POSTS
Kalea - My Joy
I wish I could freeze this moment
Remember the time you'd wrap your arms around your best friend you haven't seen in Forever and hold them tight; hold yourself together as you laugh harder than ever before; close your eyes and breathe in the smell of a newborn baby - all the moments that make you wish time could stop and last forever?
Those moments are why I love what I do.
Photography is more than taking pictures; it's your memories brought to life. With my skills and joy, you'll receive tangible memories of where you are now; with every baby eyelash to every laugh-line and all the love in between.
My portrait style is less focused on "smile at the camera" and a lot more "enjoy the moment".
Why? Because at the end of the day, when you hold these photos in your hands or see them on your walls, you should remember the moment with the greatest fondness of you and your family rather than me.
When you pull these portraits out 20 years from now, I want you to see each person as they were in that moment - everyone's personalities and the connection you strengthened that day.