Kira, her father, and her kids

Kira, her father, and her kids

About Kira Kwon Marler

There is something powerfully romantic about a photograph that captures a moment. The emotion. The story. The personalities. The relationship. It might have been lost but is now forever-imprinted upon our hearts, our memories, and the paper we frame on our nightstands and walls.

Some of the photographs we grew up with defined how we saw ourselves. Our photographs became our memories... which says a lot about the importance of recording our lives in photographs. In today's climate of social media: SnapChat, Facebook, and YouTube, photographs have been redefined...

Or have they?

No matter how many snapshots you take with your smart phone or how recently you video-chatted with your mum, it's hard to equate that photo/video on your social feed with the portrait (candid or posed) you hang on your wall and pass down to your children. Even the box of my mom's old photographs, faded as they may be, are priceless to me. Photographs are irreplaceable. They take a moment, an expression, a feeling, and make it the foundational artwork of my life.

So how did I get here? I photographed friends' weddings in my early twenties, then my children, then friends' children and families until a friend said, "Why don't you do this as a job?" I took her advice. I started working as a professional photographer in 2008, joined the Professional Photographers of America, and attended WPPI annually. I learned from some of the most accomplished photographers in the United States (and beyond). I discovered the world of professional photographers was incredibly supportive and family-oriented. In 2010, I opened a 1,500 sq. ft. professional studio space in Peoria Heights. It gave me the opportunity to use a professional studio lighting system as well as natural light, and I could meet with clients after sessions and events to review the artwork together. I photographed clients in my studio and on location. I worked with families and local businesses to photograph events and create portraits that had a natural, authentic feel. 

In 2014, one of my clients (a Christian radio station I had long loved and supported), invited me to come on staff full time doing photography and graphic design. I became an on-air personality (something I never expected) and found myself working with the most amazing group of people I've ever known. Working for WCIC gave me the opportunity to consolidate my work hours to weekdays while my children were in school, so I closed my studio location and only did a small amount of free-lance work on the side from 2014 to 2017. 

As my children continue to be the focus of my energy, I am finally ready to welcome clients - past and future - back to my studio. Later this year, the transformation of a secondary space behind my home will house my new studio. I am grateful for how the time away from full-time photography these past four years has helped me to better understand who I am as a photographer and re-inspire my work. 

With that said, I welcome you to reach out to me regarding your wedding, event, or photography needs. Although I am only available on a limited basis, I will give my full heart, vision, and energy to the work I accept. I am looking forward to getting to know you and the beauty you want those who love you to remember in the decades and generations to come.