On my first trip to Kenya in 2009, the team leader gave me his Nikon DSLR camera and appointed me as the trip photographer. I had always loved taking pictures and was excited to be given the responsibility. As we arrived in Africa, I quickly began looking for interesting things to photograph. Everything was so different from the life that I had left, just hours earlier. Over the course of two weeks, we worked in several schools and feeding centers. I saw great poverty and hardship, but also experienced a level of joy that I had not encountered in my own culture.
As a result of sharing our stories and photos when we returned home, many people decided to donate the funds to help to build a new school and give a life-saving surgery for a little girl named Mercy. I was amazed by the great impact that we could make around the world! I fell in love with photography and sharing peoples stories.
A few weeks later on my 23rd birthday, my husband gave me my first camera and encouraged me to start Kim Hayes Photography. I took my cousin’s senior photos and posted them along with my Africa pics on Facebook. A bride contacted me, asked if I would shoot her wedding for a thousand dollars and everything grew from there!
Seven years and over 100 weddings later, our photography business is now our main source of income and is providing for us to spend extended amounts of time in Kenya. When I was a young teenager, I memorized the Bible verse, “Delight yourself in the way of the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” I can honestly say that photography was not the plan that I had for myself, but God gave me this business and a great passion for what I do. Photography is a gift that I never knew I wanted and would love so much! Thanks God :)
David and I are now working with the non profit: Real 4 Christ Ministries in Kenya, Africa as their Missions Trip Director and Child Sponsorship Program Manager. We are so grateful for our photography clients, because their business allows us to continue doing what we love for a greater purpose.
Each person that I photographed had a story that wrecked my heart and changed my life forever. Throughout the trip, I shared my photos on our teams’ blog and Facebook page. Many people at home were commenting that they felt as though they were with us on the trip and anticipated each days posts.