Meet Kimberly Combs
TDR Brands International spotlights Power Moms who show inner strength and courage, while simultaneously loving and nurturing family, during the pursuit of their dreams.
Tierra Destiny Reid: Please give us a brief recap of your career.
Kimberly Combs: I am a portrait photographer that specializes in high school senior portraits.
TDR: Please tell us about your children.
KC: I have been blessed with 2 amazing children. My son, David is 16 and a Junior and my daughter, Danielle is 15 and a sophomore. Both attend Marietta High School. Both of them are exceptional students academically. They are part of the International Baccalaureate program which is a rigorous program of study that teaches them to think more critically & challenge what they are told. It teaches them think from a local & global perspective. And I am so proud of their standard of excellence. Along with juggling course studies, both are athletically active. David plays baseball & Danielle softball both for their year round travel teams & their high school. Both are striving towards academic & athletic opportunities at the collegiate level.
TDR: How are you juggling your passion with the responsibilities of parenthood?
KC: At times it's easy, at times it can be difficult. But the beauty of being an entrepreneur is that I can tailor my schedule around my children's needs. I only have 1 opportunity to raise my children and therefore they are my top priority. Because they are both in high school, it is easier to schedule my business priorities. Unlike if they were grade school age when they need parents the most.
TDR: What are some of your struggles and how do you work to overcome them?
KC: Learning how to say "No". It's second nature for me to always say "yes", "sure I can…no problem". I've learned to take time to pause and respond in a way that gives me time to look at my schedule and get back to them. I've learned through the years that someone else's "emergency" does not have to be my "priority".
TDR: What are 2 resources you use to help you stay motivated?
KC: 1. I have 2 very dear friends that are also photographers. We Skype regularly. Share information. Attend workshops together.
2. Prayer helps me stay motivated. I ask God to give me strength, opportunities, the right people to guide me along my journey to work my passion. Because I know He is the One who planted this seed within me. I have to stay obedient to Him. Every time I do, He surprises more than I could ever imagine.
Here's a testimony to that….last year in April, I was really running on empty. At the time I was juggling a full time job, my 2 kids schedules, and my elderly mother. I was tired and ready to give up my passion. During one week, I was tuning into a live online worldwide photography workshop. While listening to the content of the workshop, I took a leap of faith and entered into the online photo contest by the instructor (now mind you, I've tuned in and watched several workshops prior to this one. Never had the desire to enter any of the contests). The last day of the workshop the announcements came on for the contest. As they were calling 3rd runner up, I glanced over to see the photo submission on my iPad and thought "what a cool photo", then 2nd runner up…I though "oooo pretty backlighting photo". Then the workshop moderator said "First place goes to Kimberly Combs" and I literally went into complete shock! When my image popped up on the screen (that is viewed worldwide) I thought my iPad flipped over to iPhoto!
Once I gathered myself, I cried and thanked God because I knew this was Him. This online contest was God's way to tell me "Kim don't give up…You have greatness in you…Trust me"
TDR: What is your favorite way to pause?
KC: My favorite way to pause it to be alone. If it's walking around a park or hiking a nearby mountain. I need time by myself.
I crave solitude. It allows me time to think, meditate, and "re-boot" so that I can have the energy & enthusiasm to face whatever come before me.
TDR: What has been the scariest moment or crossroad in your journey?
KC: The death of my mother last year. It is still a difficult time of my life. I'm learning how to live without her. It is a new normal. I miss her tremendously. I am so very grateful for my 2 children who have been my support during this most difficult year. We've had to draw strength from each other. My kids were very close to my mother. When my son was born, my mom came to live with us so that she could care for David while I returned to work. She cherished her grandchildren. She loved us so much.
This past year has been the most painful & difficult year for me. It has been debilitating. I've suffered a tremendous loss of my mother. I literally gave up on life itself. Many weeks & months I could barely shower or get out of bed. But as the days went on, God's mercy & love has sustained me. I've had to consciously put myself back together. Piece by piece I am "gluing" my life back together because I know my mom would not want to see me like this. She sacrificed so much in her life in order for me to have more than her. So I owe it to her. To pass on the same legacy she's passed on to me so that I can pass it on to my daughter.
TDR: What would be your greatest advice to other "Power Moms" wanting to pursue their dreams?
KC: Don't give up! You will have the thoughts come that say "you're not good enough", "you're not worthy", "no one will buy into this", "you're wasting your time", etc. You MUST fight these thoughts. They are rooted from the enemy. You see the enemy wants to feel less than, defeated, and worthless. But you have to tell that energy to go somewhere else. You serve a Mighty God and He wants nothing but the best for us.
TDR: What word best describes the legacy you want to leave for your children and why?
KC: Determination & strength. Life will knock you down. And at times you will feel hopeless. But you have to fight like hell. Stay determined to your vision & your passion. You are not here on earth by chance. You were thought of and created by God. And it is amazing that we are here on earth having this experience. So do what you love & love what you do. Don't let anyone tell you anything less.
TDR: How can others collaborate and support your mission?
KC: I would love to empower women & girls to love themselves first and foremost. Take care of yourself first. I'm working on partnering with local community organizations to help women & girls in need.
Connect with Kimberly:
Facebook - Facebook.com/kimberlyannportraitphotography
Instagram - 1kimberlyann