For Kim Ortiz, starting her own business was all about finding what she calls her “why.”
Inspired by her favorite things— pets, families and photography—Ortiz launched her Lewisville-based photography business, Kim Ortiz Photography, in 2014.
The studio specializes in headshots, high school graduations, family portraits and pet photography.
Ortiz, however, is not a lifelong photographer.
With an accounting degree, a career as a certified public accountant and a master’s degree in leadership, she spent 25 years in various corporate jobs before finding her “why,” which can be distilled into a simple phrase—creating permanence in a temporary world. Ortiz did, however, take a photography course at Collin College before opening her studio.
“Nowadays, when you leave this earth, the only thing you have left is your photograph of your family,” she said. “I want to create beautiful wall art of families so that they can pass it down to their kids and grandkids.”
Her need to immortalize carries over into her pet photography, another one of her specialties.
“Pets are like family,” she said. “You want photos of your pets in case they pass away because they aren’t with us very long. You’ll have something special to remember them by.”
As she spoke of her passion for pets, Ortiz held tightly to her dog Leilani, a long-haired Chihuahua and papillon mix and the newest addition to her home, alongside five other rescue dogs. Not only does she have a penchant for rescue dogs, but she also gives back to the rescue community in a creative way each year.
Ortiz’s annual pet calendar features photos of 12 local cats and dogs, all of which she photographs herself. The calendars are then sold, and Ortiz donates 100 percent of the net profits to a local animal rescue. This year she has chosen Rescue Row and Chihuahua Rescue and Transport.
“It’s a passion of mine to give back to the animal rescue community,” she said. “This is my seventh year. It’s a lot of fun and a lot of work, but I love it. I get to meet all kinds of dogs and their owners who absolutely love their pets.”
Ortiz also offers annual holiday photos, a project she calls the Santa Portrait Experience, which begins Oct. 20. The experience allows children to spend 15 to 20 minutes with Santa Claus.
She said the private holiday photoshoots let families skip long lines and the stress of the mall and instead focus simply on holiday joy.