Working in Clark County: Kate Singh, photographer

By Mary Ricks, Columbian news assistant



Working in Clark County

Working in Clark County, a brief profile of interesting Clark County business owners or a worker in the public, private, or nonprofit sector. Send ideas to Mary Ricks: mary.ricks@columb...; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.

Kate Singh, facing burnout after a 35-year nursing career, was ready for a change. She went back to college and studied graphic design and launched an award-winning photography career. "I take the time to make the best photos. I like letting people see they are special and look alright."

Name: Kate Singh.

Job/employer: Owner of Aevum Images, 703 Main St., 360-735-1595.

Age: 60.

Professional background: An Army nurse for 20 years, followed by 15 years at Southwest Washington Medical Center. Started Aevum Images in 2003.

Education: Singh joined the Army shortly after high school, during the Vietnam War. After leaving the Army she studied graphic design at Clark College and earned an associate's degree.

Residence (community): Shumway.

One word to describe yourself: Creative.

How you got this job: Demand. Shot my first wedding for a co-worker and booked five more from that first one.

Most rewarding part of job: I like letting people see themselves in a very positive way.

Most challenging part of job: It is a challenge when people come in and say "You are the pro, tell me what to do." That makes it hard. I am trying to tell their story, so I need to understand their personality to be able to translate that into a pose.

Personal/business philosophy: To be able to live life to the fullest, giving value to the people I meet.

What motivates you: I am an artist at heart and I like creating art.

Favorite moment of my job/career: My highlight is when the light goes on for folks, when they believe they are beautiful. They see what I can see. Another favorite moment was when the Portland Metropolitan Photographers Association named me Photographer of the Year in 2004 and 2010 and Member of the Year for 2010 and 2013. To have other photographers recognize your work is real satisfying. It's validating.

Something you would like to do over: If I had it to do again, I would have worked for someone and learned the business part of owning a studio before opening my own studio. I just learned the photography part.

Best feature of my community: It has a heart. When there is a charity event, the turnout is huge. People do care about their community.

What would make your community a better place: I embrace ethnic diversity.

Favorite restaurant/pub/coffee shop/store: The Main Event is only a block from my studio and I like their happy hour. They are so supportive of the community.

Hobbies: I love to go play in my flower beds, travel and take photos of old barns.

Volunteer activities: I volunteer to take photos of charity events like the Dream Big Community Center, the Glamorous Gams benefit for The Children's Center and I am doing my sixth cover for the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce vision magazine. I do volunteer with CDM Services and I am on the board of the Oregon Professional Photographers of America.

Favorite travel destination: Rome is fascinating. In 2006, I visited Cape Town, South Africa, and fell in love with the people.

Most interesting book in last 12 months: I love the book, "Prayer of the Cosmos" by Neil Douglas-Klotz, a translation of the Lord's Prayer from Aramaic to English.

Most interesting play/movie/arts event: Saw the musical Les Misérables in Portland this past summer.

One thing you want to do this year: I was in Korea 30 years ago when I was in the service and I would like to go back this year.

Something you want to do within five years: I would like to travel more, relax more, and maybe I will have grandchildren.

Person you'd most like to meet: Maya Angelou and Billy Graham. I would have loved to meet Mother Teresa. I gravitate toward people who have touched the world with simple acts of kindness.