We had the good fortune of connecting with Keiki-Lani “Keiki” Knudsen and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Keiki-Lani “Keiki”, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
For me, the most important factor behind my success, has been not only been believing in myself but having a community of people around me who support me.

From friends to family members, there have been a lot of people along the way who really helped me get to where I am now. But at the same time, had I not believed in myself from the beginning, the level of support from them would not have been the same. One of my favorite quotes is from Michael Korda; “If you don’t believe in yourself, then who will believe in you?” That quote has really stuck with me for a lot of my career and serves as a constant reminder for myself.

But along with that, I’ve had the pleasure of working with really great people who turned from being clients into life-long friends. I am so incredibly lucky for those who fall into that category because they really have shown me so much support from the beginning. They always somehow manage to keep me in mind for work and it has been so wonderful having them in my corner along the way.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
First and foremost, I am a lifestyle and fashion photographer before anything else. I love photographing people. Getting to know someone from behind a camera, really getting deep and personal with them and watching them get comfortable with me is my favorite thing. I’ve always kind of had the ability to get people to open up, and with my camera in hand that exists even more.

My career and the path that got me here was not always easy, and it definitely doesn’t seem to ever get any easier. When I first started out, my parents were never really thrilled with the idea of me pursuing this career. For a lot of years that was really hard, but I get it, who wants their kid to enter an uncertain career path ya know? But even with all of that, I still kept it up and it got me to where I am today. I never really imagined my career would turn into what it is now. I certainly never imagined getting paid to travel the world for my photography, let alone for festivals around the world.

And that’s honestly the thing I’m most proud of.

I’ve made this career myself, through connections and letting my art speak for itself – I did this. I’ve been so incredibly lucky to get to work with some of the top photographers in my industry, and I’m even more lucky to call some of them my friends. People I once would geek out over, actually know my name and know me on a personal level and that in itself is pretty cool. I never imagined it would turn into what it is today but I’m almost certain the girl I was when I first started photography back in high school would be so stoked to see what/who I’ve become.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh man this is a hard one, especially because all of my friends are from LA.

But at the end of the day, I think it would all come down to really visiting some of my favorite cities surrounding the LA area. From driving down to the OC for a day to spend at the beach and get a change of pace from the city, to driving up the coast a little bit more to see the scenic views. I think that’s what I would spend most of my time trying to entertain them with. I love all of the scenery in and around Los Angeles (when the smog isn’t insanely bad that is).

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
A few of the people I want to shout-out are some of my favorite photographers. My friend Gina (@ginajoyphoto) – she is amazing at the types of photographs she gets. I don’t see her always getting recognized for her work, but she is one of the best in our scene. My other friend would be Virisa (@virisayong) – she is not only an incredible portrait photographer, but she’s a huge inspiration. I don’t think I know any other photographers out there that hustle quite like she does, super proud to see her growth over the last few years.

Another shoutout would be to all my other photographer and videographer friends (there’s too many to name) out there working hard to reach their goals and to create meaningful art. You all are such an inspiration, every single day.

Website: www.imkeiki.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/imkeiki

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/imkeiki

Image Credits
For my self portrait: Photographed by Matthew Parchen Artist: Gareth Emery for Insomniac Events Model 1: Luxmuse Model 2: Steph Sinn Model 3: Jasmin Gronski

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