What she does: Kim Hartz owns Kim Hartz Photography near Rice Village, where she specializes in taking photos of dogs and infants. Her work has been featured in the magazine Life and Dog and three of her photos were recently accepted into the general and loan collection of Professional Photographers of America.
Hartz doesn't like to retouch her photos. "I try to get the image in the camera correct the first time. The only thing I might ever do is boost color or contrast just a little bit," she says.
It takes a lot of skill to get her subjects to cooperate. Hartz has it down to a science. For dogs, her tricks include whistles, toys, and treats, but she says the two most important things are meeting the dog in advance and having the owner fill out a questionnaire. That way, "I kind of figure out what the dogs respond best to, and since they've already met me, I'm not some stranger," she says.
Hartz photographs infants in their first 14 days because they tend to fall asleep easier. She also makes the temperature of her studio really hot, which helps relax the infant.
Why she likes it: Hartz has been doing photography since high school. Now that it's her profession she couldn't be happier. "I enjoy it because it doesn't feel like work coming to the studio every day. I get to play with dogs all day and hold newborns. There is no way to describe how fun it is," says Hartz.
What inspires her: Hartz is drawn to anything vintage or Victorian. She's an avid antique shopper and is always on the lookout for furniture to use as new displays in her photographs. "I have a thing for furniture and I have issues buying it. I have to get a storage space because I have too much," she says with a laugh.
Proudest moment: "When I realized that my photography wasn't just a hobby. I made it into a career, and I've worked really hard to get it to where it is now," says Hartz.
If not this, then what? "I love sports so I wouldn't mind doing marketing or advertising for a team like the Texans," she says.
What's next? Hartz hopes to get a Masters of Photography degree from the Professional Photographers of America.
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