Going from the big business, adult-only world of being an international tax attorney to crawling around on the floor with a camera making monkey sounds for children is one scenario Julie Floyd never imagined for herself fifteen years ago.
Floyd, the photographer who founded and owns Classic Kids Photography, followed her passion when she turned her back on a lucrative position with a large Chicago law firm and began her photography training, and the gamble paid off big-time.
From Law to a Labor of Love
Floyd graduated from Northwestern Law School and went on to work as an international tax attorney. Instead of having her head properly buried in the tax code, however, she often dreamed of a job where she could create and be with children.
After the birth of her first son, she took her new baby to a child photographer and, in the process, fell in love with the art and the profession. Having always had a love of photography and a distinctly creative side, Floyd decided there and then that her calling in life was to create art with children and her camera.
For two years, Floyd apprenticed in that photographer’s studio. Then, her husband was transferred to San Francisco, and that’s where Classic Kids was born.
At first she photographed friends’ kids for free and hung samples in children’s clothing stores. Her work was fresh, hip and somewhat irreverent, yet all in black and white. Her client base grew quickly by word-of-mouth. It did not take long before Julie was shooting full time and replacing her legal salary.
A Mom First
Floyd believes Classic Kids was the perfect solution to achieving a work and family balance.
“I love being a mom, and I’m thrilled to have a wonderful career where I can be a good mom and still be able to produce my art and run a national business,” Floyd says. “Classic Kids allows me to produce beautiful art and experiment creatively while doing what I love most, which is working with children.”
A Snapshot of Success
Floyd, 46, is now a highly sought-after children’s photographer and Classic Kids has 9 studios across the country: Winnetka; downtown Chicago; Greenwich, Conn.; New York, New York; and 5 studios in California. The company boasts 52 employees nationwide.
Floyd has trained other photographers who share her passion. She also owns a pristine lab facility in Evanston, which does all the film processing and hand printing, as she is a long and steadfast believer in the superiority of film over digital imaging when it comes to fine art portraiture.
Classic Kids distinct style has caught the eye of celebrities, royalty and media nationally and internationally. The company’s work has been featured on Oprah, and in national publications such as Woman’s Day, Cookie and Better Homes & Gardens.
Julie has always been a strong believer in giving back to the communities that have enabled her success. Classic Kids has been a significant donor to hundreds of schools and nonprofit organizations throughout the country. In 2009, Classic Kids donated goods, services and cash totaling nearly $250,000 to various deserving charities.
Julie has just begun donating her services to a new favorite cause, the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation. http://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org. This charity matches a photographer with a family who has just lost, or who is about to lose a baby, so that the family will have beautiful photos by which to remember their child.