Bohemian Photographer Mom on the Street: Wendy Kathleen McElfish

Bohemian Photographer Mom on the Street: Wendy Kathleen McElfish

Wendy’s passion for photography naturally bloomed into a business after years of teaching art and starting to teach photography classes. Her business is now blooming more and more as she captures the beauty of families, children, and couples. Read on to learn more about this Bohemian Photographer Mom on the Street, who juggles her business and family life with creativity and endless love.

Meet Wendy

I have been married to my husband for 19 years.  We have four boys and four doggies (two dachshunds, one beagle, oneChawinee).  My husband and I are both teachers.  I have been teaching for over 22 years, and for the last 12 years, I have been teaching high school photography.  I began my photography business in 2010.  My work has won contests and featured in magazines and an advertising campaign.  

Bohemian Photographer Beginnings

Being a creative soul, what made you interested in photography?

I fell into photography by accident.  Before 2010 I had taught and worked as a drawing/painting artist.  In 2010 I had a miscarriage that really emotionally wrecked me.  To deal with things, I took my two and four-year-old sons out with my camera and started to take photos of them just being kids.  I had no idea what I was doing; I just knew what looked good to me as an artist.  I posted what I had been taking on Facebook and got a wonderful reaction from people.  Friends started asking me to take photos of their kids and families. 

At the end of the school year in 2010, the high school where I was the art teacher told me that because of declining in enrollment, I would be transferred to another high school in the district where I would be teaching Digital Photography.  That summer, my little hobby morphed into Wendy Kathleen Phototography and Mrs. McElfish’s Photography class.

Bohemian Photographer Work

What are some of your favorite photos you have ever taken?

It sounds self-serving, but the ones of my own four boys still tug at my heart when I look at them.  Outside of my boys, the photos that show the pure raw emotion of a person are my favorites.  It may be the groom tearing up as he sees his bride for the first time, the big brother giving his little sister a huge hug or the teenager loving on his dog who is aging.  I also love the quiet, shy, non-smiling photos of children.  There is something so very haunting and powerful with children when you look into their eyes.  When you can capture it in a photo, you have a glimpse into something profound. 

How have you seen your style develop over the years?

My photography has stayed the same, but my editing style has definitely morphed over the last 12 years.  Knowing how to take a good photo is one thing; learning how to edit in photoshop is a whole other discipline.  I remember crying when I opened Photoshop for the first time.  As my skills have progressed with photoshop, the more I’ve been able to refine my editing.  I try to stay away from too many editing fades, although I have fallen prey to them in the past.  

What is your favorite thing to photograph? People.  

Friends and Family Support

Do your husband, family, and friends support your photography? 

My husband and my parents have been my biggest supporters and cheerleaders.  My husband is so accomodating with watching the boys when I have to go on a shoot.  He has even rearranged his schedule to help me out.  He is also my voice of reason.  When I get down about my work or an aspect of the business, he can help me see things more clearly.  My parents have also been a huge support system for me, either by words of encouragement or a listening ear when I’m upset about my photography. My friends have become many of my clients, and many of my clients have become my friends.  It’s getting harder to separate the two. 🙂

Where can people find you and your photography on social media and your website?
IG:  @wendykathleenphoto FB:  @wendykathleenphoto

Bohemian Photographer Style

Which three words best describe your style?

Bohemian, Punk, California beach

Who’s your favorite style icon?

Gwen Stefani

What’s your best style advice?

Don’t wear workout shoes with your outfits.  Vans yes, workout shoes no.  It’s a pet peeve of mine. A necklace or earrings can change the plainest outfit into something more.  

What article of clothing/accessory would you not want to live without?

A Black or White Tanktop.

Which trend would you want to see make a comeback?

70’s style.  Low cute jeans and leather fringe!

What should NEVER make a comeback?


What fashion/style did you love at the time but now cringe when you see old photos?

I’ve never followed fashion trends.  The worst photos are with me in high-waisted jeans, but those were all they had at the time.  I used to roll them over at the waist.  I was a bit of an outsider/punkish/artsy in high school, so I was usually not wearing what everyone else was.

Stilettos or flats?

Heels every time over flats!  Boots and jackets can make an outfit. 

Bohemian Photographer Family

What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family?

When my oldest boys were younger, it was going to Disneyland every month with our passes.  Now that they are teenagers, sports and school events take up most days and evenings.  We now do lots of movie nights.  All six of us will pile around, including the four dogs, turn off the lights and enjoy a new or old movie.  It’s getting harder and harder to nail down an evening when someone doesn’t have an activity outside of the home.

Best parenting advice:

Be present.  Let the cleaning go.  Put down the phone. Your kids pay more attention to what you do than what you say.  

Parenting true confession: 

Oh, boy.  My bad parenting only started after I had the 4th child.  I think I lost most of my brain cells. I have also forgotten to pick a child up from a friend’s house and the baseball field.  My house is 90% of the time a giant disaster zone.  

Bohemian Photographer Life

What’s your favorite show to binge-watch?

Little House on the Prarie

If you could pick anyone to star as you in a movie based on your life, who would it be?  

Christina Appelgate or Drew Barrymore

If you could go shopping with anyone from history, living or deceased, who would it be?

Gwen Stefani!

What’s your favorite way to unwind at the end of a long day?

Snuggling on the couch with my four doggies or sitting in my new jacuzzi that I just got last month.

Bohemian Photographer: Capturing the Love of Families

We love how this Bohemian Photographer Mom on the Street has shaped her photography business around capturing the beautiful special moments of families and the different phases of life while teaching and raising a fantastic family of her own. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with her work.

And for more interesting and inspiring moms, check out FamilyApp’s Mom on the Street page!

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