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Community college photography grad enters workforce as aspiring entrepreneur

[SPOKANE, Wash.] Picture this: A community college photography student graduates with flashy new art skills and business insights. 

What started as a creative hobby suddenly grew into a larger opportunity for Taylor Kuykendall. With a camera, some studio lighting and a healthy dose of ambition, she set off on her journey to become a professional in the creative sphere. 

The Spokane Falls Community College photography student had been casually photographing for family and friends for years when finally, there was an opportunity for her dream to become reality.  

“Everyone said ‘why don’t you go into business?’,” Kuykendall said. “I knew with photography that I wanted to know the technical side of photography before I knew the business side because I have the artistic eye but wanted to know how to run a business.”  

Kuykendall was getting ready to sell her condo to enroll in the SFCC photography program when her uncle offered to pay for the courses. 

Returning to school at 33 years-old presented its own set of challenges, but with support from classmates, family members and instructors Kuykendall is graduating with her associate in applied science in Photography in June and is equipped with all the knowledge she’ll need to be a creative business owner someday.  

“She didn’t know what area she was interested in and became a bit overwhelmed with the depth and technical nature of the curriculum,” said photography and filmmaking instructor Erik Sohner. “I had several conversations with her letting her know that this was all normal and that there is a path to follow to achieve anything worthwhile.”  

Sohner said once Kuykendall found confidence in her work she began to flourish.  

“Once all the technical aspects came together— the lighting, correct camera settings, and everything else, I saw the photo come up on the computer and I was like ‘I did that’,” she said. “I can make beautiful images.”  

Kuykendall is carrying her confidence and creative business model into her post-graduate endeavors on the west side. 

“Seattle is a different market especially for start-ups and things that I want to look into,” she said. “I want to go be an assistant to people in the industry and learn more before I start my business. It’d be great to work under somebody and learn their techniques and even their business too.” 

Kuykendall is wrapping up an internship with Dean Davis, one of the largest product photographers in Spokane.  

Davis’s mentorship paired with the photography business classes helped Kuykendall imagine a more tangible future in this creative space.  

She's ready to take the steps towards entering Seattle’s photography small business market and create a business that empowers women. Whether it’s  

“SFCC’s photography program is where you need to go start if you want to go into any four year or beyond that. Something this program really teaches you is that there is no competition, this career is all based off what you want out of it,” she said. “This journey has been really humbling. It has changed my life.” 

For details on 2024 Commencement, view the SFCC Graduation Page.  

Posted On

5/28/2024 10:28:27 AM

Posted By

Kayla Friedrich



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