Passion For Portraits

Passion For Portraits

by Steve Gamel

Sitting on the corner of Kim Ortiz’s desk at her photography studio is a small picture frame with an inspirational phrase inside that reads, “Do what you love, love what you do.” She makes no secret of the fact she cut that quote off the back of a corporate recruiting brochure years ago, and it’s perhaps the oldest keepsake she has in her office.

But it’s a constant reminder that she’s finally doing what she was meant to do.

“I’ve carried it with me to every corporate job – and I look at it every day,” said Kim, who owns Kim Ortiz Photography in the Castle Hills Village Shops. “We all have our strengths and our calling. This is what I was meant to do, and I love what I do.”

When Life in Castle Hills caught up with the longtime Castle Hills resident earlier this month, it didn’t take long to realize she has a lot of strengths. Would you believe this wife and mother of two girls and five dogs (she calls her fur babies the Fabulous Five) has a background in accounting and finance? She’s also a CPA, holds a Master in Business Administration, is very active in her community, has a passion for rescuing dogs, and currently serves as a District 1 D board member for the Denton County Fresh Water District. But after 24 years of working in the corporate world, Kim took a leap of faith with her passion for photography and built her studio at the Castle Hills Village Shops in 2014 to launch her career as a professional full-time photographer.

Take one look at the walls when you walk into her studio, and it’s easy to see Kim isn’t your everyday photographer. Some of those pieces include a beautifully framed mixed media painted portrait of her dog Lexie, who passed away late last year, and a canvas of Makai, a dog she rescued from Kauai. There’s also a beautifully painted family wall portrait, canvases of high school seniors, and a framed metal art piece of two children dressed in pajamas while having a magical experience with Santa.

“They interact with Santa, and I create the magic,” Kim said with a heartfelt smile. “It’s all about capturing the wonder of a child at Christmas.”

Kim is different from most photographers in that she has her studio, complete with a myriad of professional backdrops and state-of-the-art equipment and lighting. She spends thousands of dollars a year on continuing education and has done sessions with hundreds of families from Castle Hills and surrounding areas – most of whom seek her out because they want to also include their pet in their family portrait. Most family sessions include pets because they are only with us for a limited time.

All of that combined has helped create a product you don’t see all the time.

“I capture moments in time to create high-end heirloom wall portraits for people so they can remember their families, kids, and pets,” Kim said. “I want to give people an heirloom wall portrait that they can pass down to their children and grandchildren.”

Originally born in Vietnam, she and her family came to the United States as refugees in 1975 when she was eight.

“I don’t have any images of me before age nine,” Kim said candidly. “Even when we came here, we were still very poor and never had a professional family portrait done. My only regret was that I wasn’t able to capture a photo of the entire family before my dad passed. I did one of my mom last year, and I’m going to paint it soon.

“I think all families should have those moments captured. I want to be the one to help them with that.”

When Kim is not working in her studio, she spends as much time as she can with husband, Mario, and daughters, Ashley and Ariel. Of course, Mario and their daughters would say she spends the most time with her dogs. Kim has a passion for animal rescue efforts and has used her photography business to create a calendar fundraiser where people enter their pets to be on the calendar. Over the past six years of the calendar fundraiser, she has donated over $12,000 to rescue groups. This year, Kim is donating $100 to her favorite rescue group for each family or pet session booked at her studio.

Now that’s a woman with a genuine passion for her work.

“My goal as a photographer is not to be just any photographer,” Kim said. “I want to create art for a family so they can have images to pass down to their kids and grandkids. You want to keep those memories forever.”

972.814.9642 |
High School Seniors | Families | Pets | Headshots

Boutique studio located at the Castle Hills Village Shops
2520 King Arthur Blvd Suite 171, Lewisville, TX 75056

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  1. Kim Ortiz Photography
    Kim Ortiz Photography 24 May, 2018, 00:38

    Thank you Life in Castle Hills Magazine for the feature on the cover and inside. As a Castle Hills resident of 14 years and business owner in the Castle Hills Village Shops, I am honored to be featured. I love what I do as a portrait artist and I love dogs and supporting animal rescue.

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