an open letter to all of my clients ...

At fourteen I found myself in the delivery room with a family friend, hands shaking on my point and shoot camera as I attempted to document the immensity and weight of birth. A pink skinned, red-headed baby girl came into this world that day with ferocity and spirit abounding and just like that, I started my career as a storyteller and photographer. 

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Like most things in my life, this began by a happy accident. I spent the next few years fumbling through this small business of mine: building a clientele, parsing out what my “style” was, investing in new camera gear, figuring out how to ask for help, practicing how to say no, and discovering the importance of saying yes. Since then, i’ve photographed nearly 900 families in birth centers, apple orchards, and living rooms all across Minnesota. 

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Through photography, I’ve witnessed birth and death, families separated and reunited. I’ve learned that the habitual routines of the everyday can be just as formative, just as beautiful as the biggest experiences in life. To say that I’m grateful would be an understatement. This has changed me - all of me - photography has made me bold, it’s made me soft. It has opened me to the world and all of its wonder and cruelty. It has given me a platform to be able to tell stories I believe in, and, more importantly, it’s given me the chance to help others tell their own stories. Over the past eight years, you’ve allowed me the grace to grow and learn while still being young. You’ve let me create imperfect work and you’ve loved it anyway, you’ve loved me anyway. Thank you for inviting me into your homes and letting me love on your kids. It’s shaped me in more ways than I could ever describe. 

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Kadi Tiede Photography has been the biggest constant in my life as I’ve grown up. Since photographing my first birth when I was fourteen, I started and graduated high school, left my parents’ house, moved to Saint Paul, fell in love with my best friend. Two weeks after I married her, we had our first foster placement, a six day old baby girl. We got to love her and call her ours for seven weeks. She became my greatest responsibility and privilege, and every hour with her was grace without language. Love began with her, the one who made me a mother. My hope in this has always been to say yes to the risky, unshakable love that is all around us - love amidst uncertainty, love in spite of inevitable loss, love that exists only because of someone else's grief. 

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For years I thought that being a photographer was the truest, most important part of me. It was the identity I clung to more than almost any other, it was not only how I made ends meet, it was my truest passion. I’ve learned though that this isn’t exactly right. Truthfully, photography is not at the center of who I am … 

Love is. 

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Jeanette Winterson wrote, “why is the measure of love loss?” No other question occupies my heart or mind more than this. Life is this brutal dance of love and loss, joy and grief existing in paradox. Each day I want to accomplish two things: learn more about the complexities of love and care for people well. 

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I’m privileged. As i’ve grown up, my initial interest in photography became a career. It has continued to support my practical needs and teaches me more about love daily. It has allowed me the liberty of moving towards love, of being a foster parent, a gift I couldn’t begin to thank you for. 

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Now comes the most humbling part of entrepreneurship: the ask. In order to keep taking in newborn foster babes, I need you to support my business. If you feel moved, book a session with me. I will pour my entire heart into making images for you that you’ll cherish and in return, you’ll be directly supporting these children. I want to continue giving kids a safe place to land, a family. I need you to be able to do that. Help me create a home, a space of unconditional love and security for these babies. It matters more than I can tell you. 

If you’d like to book a session with me, you can do so by sending me a message here. I would be so grateful and so honored. 

Allow me to use my skills and passion to tell the story of the love your family holds as you help me love mine. 

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