Well I’ve basically been a serial entrepreneur since elementary school. When we first bought a computer back in the 90s, I printed flyers to promote my newly opened pet sitting business. It eventually failed because my clientele was very limited due the fact that I wasn’t able to leave the street I lived on ha! Thanks Mom and Dad!
Anyway, so let’s talk about photography and how I got into that. You know how I was just telling you that I’m a serial entrepreneur? Well in college, I found myself designing jewelry. Nothing too fancy, but I ended up catching the eye of some local shops and eventually brides! At some point I told myself I needed to hire a photographer because my iPhone photos weren’t doing the jewelry any justice! After my first session with a photographer, I decided I wanted to invest in my own camera. It hardly took me any time to learn how to use it and I was really enjoying taking pictures of everything and anything! The next thing I knew, people were asking me to take their family pictures and photography accidentally became a part time job for me.
Business kept progressing year after year and I remember my friend telling me “you should do this full time” and I kind of laughed because I had never even considered that as a possibility. And then things just started snowballing from there. I was asked to do a couple weddings, I was flown to New York for an engagement session, and bookings just started pouring in.
In August of 2017, it was all coming to a head. I was having a very difficult time managing my full time job as a small business consultant and my photography career. I loved photography, but was it enough to pay the bills? Would I have customers next month? After many tears and conversations, I decided to take a chance and I haven’t looked back since.
Pursing photography full time has been a dream come true and I thank God every single day for blessing me with the ability and the opportunity. A lot of people tell me that my business seemed to explode overnight, but I’m here to tell you that it didn’t. I basically worked two full time jobs until my life was coming to a serious crash. Everything outside of work was suffering. That’s when I knew I had to pick.
I’m here to tell you that whatever you’re dreaming about or pursuing, you can do it. Listen, I literally laughed – in someone’s face – when they told me I should consider photography full time. I am proof that whatever you pour your heart and energy into, that’s what’s going to thrive.
I was originally born in Seoul, but I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. Well, I use the term “grew up” very lightly haha. As soon as I turned 18, I moved to Atlanta, Georgia with my sweet Mama. A few years later, I met by best friend and married him in late 2015. We currently reside right outside of Atlanta and have 2 fur babies together.
When I’m not taking photos, I run a food blog (@FoodByMonicaK) which is still very much in it’s infancy stage. Food and overall wellness is a passion of mine and I can talk about it forever!
“Hiring Monica was probably the best decision I made for my wedding! Her photos are incredible and I am constantly getting compliments on my engagement and wedding photos! From the first time I contacted her, Monica has felt like a friend- super kind, responsive and professional. She’s a great communicator and really listens to your vision and makes it happen!
My wedding day was quite stressful and overwhelming and she really stepped up to the plate by taking initiative in rallying the wedding party and getting every photo I asked for! My husband and I are awkward in front of the camera but Monica made us feel relaxed and made us look like naturals in the photos! I love candid photos and she really captured what I hoped for! I really am so thankful I have found my forever photographer- we’ll definitely use her in the future for kids and holidays!”
"Let the beauty of what you love be what you do."
I’m obsessed with books just as much as I’m obsessed with binge watching tv (Game of Thrones and Grey’s come to mind), anything food related, and fitness. I also love Jesus, but I do cuss a little (sorry mom).
My favorite things to eat are bibimbap, kimchi cold noodles, kimchi fried rice, butter chicken, and the #2 or #3 from Cafe Rakka in Hendersonville, TN. I also do love a fresh donut from time to time and if I order a pizza, it has to have extra sauce. If I can put sriracha or franks on it, I probably will.