Throughout my teenage years I went to YOUmedia weekly - finding mentorship, friendship, and resources readily available to help me grow my passion for photography into a full fledged career path. My mentor Brother Mike was the reason that I decided to pursue my dream of fine art portraiture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He was the one who got me my first feature at The Huffington Post at 16 years old, helped me become a part of one of my first exhibitions at The John F. Kennedy Center at 18 years old, and was a major part in helping me find my love of empowering young women. If I had known where I would be now just a few years after his passing, I think younger Katie would be fairly impressed. :)
This past weekend I was lucky enough to be a part of a panel discussion and tabling event at YOUmedia's space in the Harold Washington Library of Chicago, back where I originally got mentored by Brother Mike all those years ago. I LOVED getting to speak to the next generation of artists, designers, creative directors, business owners, and entrepreneurs about the creative career path I've chosen as a fine art portrait photographer and how they can incorporate their passion into their profession! I made so many sweet and genuine connections with the women present as both professionals and young people, and I can't even express how happy and thankful I am to have been a part of the day.