Capturing moments for 15 years

Photo by Alan Warren, Messenger-Inquirer | awarren@messenger-inquirer.com Kate Higdon, left, and Kristin Aull, of Captured Moments Photography, inside their award-winning photography studio business at 801 Old Hartford Drive.

Eighteen years ago, Kate Higdon gave birth to a daughter -- and a business.

Both Jillian Higdon and Captured Moments Photography -- the business -- are still thriving today.

Higdon was executive director of PRIDE -- Public Responsibility In Designing our Environment -- a community improvement group, at the time.

But the seeds were sown for Captured Moments when she held her newborn.

"I always loved photography," Higdon said. "My mother subscribed to National Geographic. I would look at the pictures and wonder why my mom's pictures didn't look like that."

After their daughter was born, Higdon's husband, Jason, "got a nice camera," she said. "He used it the most, but I took pictures of her too. Then, I started scrapbooking with her pictures. Other moms saw the pictures and asked me to take pictures of their kids. That's how we got started."

Taking pictures of her own daughter and her friends' kids led to the creation of Captured Moments 15 years ago last month.

"We lived on Parrish Avenue in the J.Z. Moore neighborhood," Higdon said. "Jason's parents were remodeling a house down the street and I used it for photography on Wednesday and Friday mornings and on weekends. Business spread by word of mouth."

The studio moved to 801 Old Hartford Road about 10 years ago.

Higdon said she and her husband started the business "right when photography was moving from film to digital. And Jason was on the cusp of the technology."

They both prefer digital photography, she said.

"Film has a grainy element that can be beautiful," Higdon said. "The photographs of Ansel Adams would be very difficult to capture on digital. But digital can do a lot more than film."

The business' name was inspired by the couple's favorite quotation: "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

"That's what we do," Higdon said. "We capture the precious moments of life -- a child looking at a toy, a child looking at mom."

She said, "We've seen many photographers come and go in Owensboro because they weren't marketing themselves. The ability to adapt and pivot is necessary in any business. And the ability to market your talent."

Higdon said, "It's rare to have someone who is both artistic and a business person."

But she said her husband brings the artistic side to the business and she handles the marketing and business.

"At first, all I wanted to take pictures of were newborns and pregnant women," Higdon said. "I was obsessed with babies because that was what was happening in my life. But we've moved into more family portraits and high school senior pictures. Those are the biggest part of our business today."

They don't just take pictures.

"We sell the experience," Higdon said. "Kristin Aull is our senior portrait photographer and she runs the studio. She has a consultation with the seniors before the appointment to get to know who they are. For family portraits, we relate well to kids and know how to make mom look good. There's a lot of psychology involved."

Captured Moments doesn't do a lot of weddings today.

But Higdon said, "That may change in the future. The future is always very exciting."

Probably the most unusual part of the business is the underwater photography, she said.

Smartphones have somewhat altered the landscape of photography in recent years.

"They haven't affected our business," Higdon said. "But they have hurt some photographers who are just starting out. It's not the tool, it's the artist that makes the better pictures."

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com

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