Hi :) I’m Kayci Lee Springfield. For the first half of my life, everyone called me ‘Kayci’, and somehow it turned into ‘Kayci Lee’. Either name is fine, but Springfield feels really long (when I write it, it's all scribble after the 'g') and I basically only use it to sign legal documents. I was born around Birmingham and have lived here all of my life. Over time, I’ve grown to love it more than I imagined I ever would. (especially now that Birmingham’s moving back up in popularity – I’m pretty sure it’s all the awesome food).
My photography story is a little different than Brittany’s. She’s always been amazing; everyone that knows her knows that. When I was around 9 or 10 years old, I somehow got my hands on my dad’s old film camera, and I was immediately National Geographic’s most talented freelancer. Seriously, I was this little ninja trying to get ‘nature’ shots at the creek behind my house – one foot up on a tree branch, one foot on a rock. I had no clue what I was doing. I was also an avid basketball photographer with that same film camera when I was about 10. It lasted a week, and I'll let you imagine how good those photos turned out. Over the years, I would LOVE photography and then not care to be serious about it at all. I never thought it would be my job (I did dream of photojournalism, but never pursued it. I'm dumb.). I went to school for business. I wanted to be in pharmaceutical sales, so I graduated from the University of Montevallo with a Bachelors in Marketing.
In college, everyone always assumed I was studying photography because it was my job (I worked for a photography company) and all of my projects revolved around it. I always acted like everyone had lost their minds when they assumed that; I was absolutely not going to be a photographer. Needless to say, one thing led to another, and I guess God had other plans for me, because in May of 2012, I started Kayci Lee Photography. Brittany and I had become friends when we worked together in a photo-lab (we just talked and edited our own pictures) and several years later she asked if I would shoot a wedding with her at the beach…so our first wedding together was at the beach. We left so early, I’m not even sure it was daylight, and we didn’t get home until about 3am. All I remember about the drive home is singing Sweet Home Alabama and Freebird at the top of our lungs trying to stay awake - true Southern ladies. Less than a year later, we decided to do this thing together…. and that is how we became Sweet Julep :)
I guess I can list some "interesting" (probably not so interesting) facts about me. I feel so eclectic that I don’t even know where to start. I love music, absolutely love it. I’ve played the piano for most of my life, but I’m not amazing at all, and I panic and mess everything up if anyone is around. When I was younger and had piano recitals, I would always tell my teachers, "Just be ready for me to butcher this", and they never believed me... but as predicted, when recital time would come, I would panic in my brain, forget the music, and wind up improvising half the piece. My last teacher learned to embrace it and laugh. I'm about 50/50 on most things. One side of me is this artistic adventurer ( sometimes I wish I was raised like Tippi, the girl that was raised in Africa among the wild animals - amazing ). I play music and paint pictures, and then I take my shoes off and run outside. The other side of me is this business-minded dreamer that constantly wants to start some new company or make new investments. I really love researching and learning new things, especially about people. I love to study the way other people think; I probably should have gone into psychology, but.. here we are, haha. I'm a pretty active person; I don't sit around well. I go on walks every day that last for hours. I don't really ever watch television anymore, but when I do, it's usually the Food Network. If I had an unlimited supply of money to spend at Whole Foods and Williams Sonoma, I'm pretty sure I'd never leave the kitchen and y'all would all beg to come and eat at my house.
I love to read. My favorite author is Charles Martin and I quote his books like they came from my own brain. Over half (maybe more) of my wardrobe is dresses. Definitely more than half of my wardrobe is black. I played basketball and volleyball for years, so even if I look completely un-athletic, I actually love physical activity and sports. Overall, I’m a pretty outgoing person. Meeting new people/talking to people is probably what makes me feel the most happy. It's what I'm most natural at.
Loving people so much is really a huge part of the reason that I love photography... especially wedding photography. The artistic side of me loves that I can make art and actually be good at it... unlike playing music where I have to really work hard, and then I'm the only one who can enjoy it.. and unlike painting/drawing, where I am completely inconsistent. Portrait photography is something that both Brittany and I love because we can create it, in a sense. It lets us take a person and show them how beautiful they are, and I love that... but weddings are filled with such real, unpredicted moments. Being a photographer honestly involves a lot of faking things, a lot of staging, and a lot of planning. But there's something so fulfilling about being able to see a REAL moment that we didn't necessarily choose the location of or the time, and we didn't help create it, but rather watched it evolve and then we get to capture it and save it forever. It is unparalleled to any other type of photos we take. It honestly feels like giving and receiving a gift at the same time.
I don't have a very big family, but I love the little one that I have. My parents have been married for 32 years now, which seems to be getting more rare all the time, and they are both incredible people. My brother and I were gifted with a rare breed of parents, for sure. I also have a brother for a best friend, which has made my life pretty wonderful. We're only fourteen months apart, so we grew up almost like twins. We used to go on so many crazy adventures together - no one would ever believe us when we told them haha. He gave me a pretty wonderful sister-in-law, and friend, and two beautiful nephews a few years ago, so my family is pretty wonderful. I'm pretty blessed on that front.
Also. I am not a crazy cat person... but y'all, my cat is just about my favorite thing on earth. Her name is Kitty.
Above all else, the most important part of my life is my relationship with Christ. I am honestly a loser of a person without God leading my life. This goes for photography, as well. I continuously pray that if this is the gift that God wants me to use, then He's in charge of it and all glory goes to Him. I'm honestly just a happy, free-spirited person. I want to travel the world and eat food from every culture and backpack through so many countries and hug an elephant (I love elephants) and meet so many people and ask them all 1,000 questions about themselves. I hope to one day adopt a child. I hope to inspire someone else through photographs the way that I am continuously inspired by them, every day. And I hope to be the kind of person who gives more than they ever take and that loves people to the fullest extent.
If you want to know the real reason that Brittany and I love photographing weddings, it's because we're two people who can't stop observing life around us. We just so happen to do it with our cameras... and after we both had shot a couple of weddings we realized, what is there better to observe than this? One of us is full of energy and always wanting to chase a dream, while the other is a little more realistic and always keeps our feet on the ground. We're opposites, in a way, but we compliment each other well, and at the end of the day, we never cease to share the same goal: We want nothing more than to let you experience through your photos, what we experienced watching your love story unfold.