LaToya and James Carey are an atypical couple. They are focused on building their business, KG Inzpirations, their family and the community.
The company specializes in signature photography and design services, drawing from James’s audio and visual design and film production background, combined with LaToya’s retail banking experience.
“We specialize in (photographing) individuals and believe with us they are seeing the essence of themselves or the person being photographed in our work,” said LaToya, who serves as the firms’ creative director.
After relocating from South Florida, the Careys found the burdens of careers and long hours were interfering with family and community concerns.
“We’ve got two boys that are solely dependent on us so we had to figure this out, and we did,” LaToya said. Taking advantage of the experience James had in posing, lighting and other aspects of photography, they decided to strike out on their own.
“Before we knew it, we started a business,” LaToya said.
In addition to signature photography, KG Inzpirations offers a variety of services, from website design and marketing materials to creating branding assets. While that was always an important side of the business, it became even more significant when the Covid-19 pandemic upended the economy and daily life.
“For photography, you can’t do it six feet apart or digitally or virtually, so our focus shifted to the design services,” according to LaToya. “That is what helped us when it came to the pandemic because we were able to shift and focus on what we could still offer the community.”
The commitment to be a good corporate citizen extends beyond the firm’s services, however.
LaToya said a few years ago James was working on a client project and did an online search of the phrase “Black male.” The results were disheartening.
“To our surprise it was all negative,” LaToya said. “There was very little representation of the Black male.”
LaToya found the same result when she searched for “Black female.”
That led to the creation of an exhibit called “rePresent,” pronounced ree-present, to model positive images of African-Americans.
“We decided we were going to make a difference in our sphere of influence and highlight those who are making positive changes right here in our community,” LaToya said.
Last year was the first year for the exhibit, which was held over two days in a 1,300-square foot space. This year’s exhibit, which ran earlier this month, was for nine days and took place in a 6,600-square foot facility. And next years’ is going to be even bigger.
“It was a responsibility that fell into our lap to use our platform to make a difference, and it has grown in leaps and bounds,” LaToya said. “We are looking forward to doing it next year, and from the feedback we received, we need to make it a month-long event with longer hours. We are already in the planning stages for next year.”
Even with a business to run and planning the next rePresent exhibit, the Careys keep focused on their family. That isn’t hard considering the company is named for their sons Kenneth and Grant.
“They are our biggest inspirations,” LaToya said.