UM student turns passion for photography into a business

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UM student, Kirsten Faulkner, putting her photography skills to use on campus. Photo by Leah Bushey.

Leah Bushey
Oxford Stories

UM senior Kirsten Faulkner became interested in photography in the spring of 2017 when she signed up for a photojournalism course at the University of Mississippi. Always creative, the Metropolis, Illinois broadcast journalism major expresses it through photography.

Faulkner recently started her own photography business and hopes to continue with photography after graduating in May.

“I have created an Instagram and Facebook account in hopes that people will see my work and hire me to take their photos,” she said. “I have a range of things I like to photograph, and so far, I have had people contact me about taking their business headshots, engagement photos, graduation photos, and content for a blog. I hope to continue to have this on the side with whatever else I choose to do for my career.”


One of Faulkner’s favorite photos she’s taken on the UM campus. Photo by Kirsten Faulkner.

Faulkner’s favorite thing about photography is seeing different perspectives through the lens. “When I look through my lens, I can adjust my focus and change how someone might view a picture,” she said. “I create where their eye goes when they look at a picture.”

Faulkner sometimes struggles trying to get the perfect picture.

“I am the type of person that I will give my full attention and effort to produce my best work,” she said. “Sometimes that can be very challenging for me, and I struggle being content with my work. I always try to do better, and that is my least favorite part about it.”

Faulkner said it’s hard to say what her favorite photo is, but she likes ones she took of the Phi Mu Fountain and of her roommate.

“I love the lighting in both of these,” she said, “and what makes them my favorite is how I manipulate where your focus goes first in the photo.”

Faulkner said it’s important to have many skills as a photographer.

“I also want to set myself apart from other photographers so I try to be unique in my work,” she said.

One of Faulkner’s clients, UM student Brittney McCoy, enjoys working with her.

“I have been approached by various brands to promote company products on my social media accounts,” McCoy said. “I can depend on Kirsten’s photography skills to always represent myself and the companies I collaborate with in a professional manner.

“Kirsten never fails to make me feel very comfortable in front of the camera. She is patient and always a pleasure to work with.”


Faulkner’s roommate, Brittany McCoy, posing for a photoshoot. Photo by Kirsten Faulkner.

Faulkner bought her first camera in December of 2016.

“I was so excited to learn how to use all the features it came with in my photojournalism course,” she said. “I was really lucky I was able to learn how to properly use my camera in this course, because it takes a lot of time and practice in order to get the settings right for different types of photos.”

Faulkner enjoys talking about her camera and its features.

“I use a Canon camera, and I have a variety of lenses,” she said. “One of my favorites is a Canon EF 50 mm lens. I am able to control how much is in focus in my photos to where you can hardly tell what is in the background.

“Another tool I have is a external flash I can connect to the top of my camera to add light throughout the room without it being too intense on my subject.”

Faulkner credits UM with helping her discover her passion for photography. She learned about cameras and how to take the best pictures.

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