I kind of thought no on would really care about my name change when I went from Kayleigh Lynds Photography to 16 Seasons, but more and more people have been approaching me about what the name means. People are curious and what I thought would be a personal double entendre has turned into a burning curiosity from friends and family. While most of my family and close friends will instantly know why I included the number 16 in my name a lot may not and I really had to decide whether I was going to share this little personal tidbit of my life. In the spirit of the movie CoCo, the new disney movie on repeat in my house, I have decided to share.
In 2013 I lost an integral part of my being. When I lost my God Mom I literally thought my world was ending. I still remember one of my best friends having to come to my aid frozen in a parking lot not able to come to terms with the fact that I had to go into a funeral home where they were planning her funeral. And while the year did not get any better, I survived. No, I thrived. That year I beat a virus that attacked my heart and had me in isolation stumping doctors and the next year I gave birth to a beautiful baby born in January and decided to seriously hunt down the dreams I had for so long been convinced were of the pipe variety and never really attainable. I picked up a camera with intent this time, and with my aunt gently guiding me from Heaven, I walked into my destiny.
My aunt was born on January 6 1968, and while this may seem like an unnecessary piece of information, it is actually the most integral part. See, January 6 translates to 1…6. From the moment I said goodbye to my aunt I have not stopped seeing this number at least 10 times a day. It is so obvious that my town of Spruce Grove, lies between highway 16 and 16A with my house being exactly 16 km away from Edmonton. My next door neighbours house number? 16.
in 2015, almost exactly 18 months after my first boy, I had my second son. One in January, one in June. One in the first month, one in the sixth. My Aunt was born on the first month, myself, the 6th. When she left his earth a piece of my heart went with her and I vowed that she would never be far from my heart and mind.
The ironic thing about my original photography name, Kayleigh Lynds Photography, is that it is actually also my auntie’s initials. I decided to change my name because my world and career has evolved past just taking photos. More and more, people are coming to me to write a blog piece, an article or even coming to my page for my stories and not necessarily for my photos. I decided an entire overhaul was necessary. Less teal and pink, more rose and black. I have changed a lot, learned even more, and grown so much as a photographer, writer and entrepreneur. It is important to me to now have a name that would be inclusive to my new path of diversifying what I do. The name change is also to include those that work with me on weddings, assisting and mentoring. I am self made to a point, but I owe a lot of my success to the help and guidance of others. And I have second shooters who are even more talented than me! I have an amazing tribe and it’s about time my name reflects that I know and understand I do not do this alone. I didn’t get here by myself.
I have been raised by several extremely strong, caring, independent women and a couple of those women started an empire. They have had three generations and four family members working side by side at one point. As a Mother of two boys I can only imagine the pride my Grandmother felt when she saw us all together. The salon grew from two small salons to one massive full service salon and spa in downtown St.Albert. I still remember my Grandfather creating art on the ceiling while I grouted the tiles I would later walk on while managing it. The only problem was, that even though the salon was the most beautiful salon I had ever seen, i wasn’t meant to stay. I was a photographer and artist through and through. I wanted to create art, and enjoy beauty of the world, not just the human form. I wanted to do what my aunt and grandmother had done, follow their dreams. I wanted to have the same pride and satisfied exhaustion they felt running their universes. While I can’t see myself managing a salon again, or become a hair stylist, it doesn’t mean I don’t acknowledge and respect exactly what that taught me. I am blessed with half of the work ethic of my Grandmother (if you’ve seen my Grandmother work you know why half of her work ethic is a gift), and the hustle of my aunt. I was raised by these women to keep going, to not give up, to not back down. I have watched almost a dozen women leave that salon and spa and open their own businesses. I know it breaks their heart when we leave to do our own thing, or even become their next door competition, but I truly hope they see what an inspiration they are to women everywhere. I have seen single moms working at a department store hired by my aunt go on to open their own successful business with several staff underneath them, thanks to my Aunt and Grandmother. I have seen stylists start with them straight out of high school, not even a stylist, and move on to have a family and be able to support that family working from home. And first hand, I have seen a 5 year old girl sweep hair off her grandmothers floor and become a full time professional photographer being paid to travel to the mountains to follow her dreams. Leaving the salon felt like I was leaving my family behind, and in a way, I was. My name, 16 Seasons is an homage to my Grandmother and Aunt as it's new shade wheel the beauty industry uses to classify people as to what kind of tone looks best on them. We used to classify our colours by if we were Springs, Winters, Summer or Falls. But recently, they added shades, tones, pure tones, and tints, making it…. 16 Seasons. I got my start in the beauty industry and it is a large part of who I am and why my photos are the way they are. I was raised on the colour of wheel of life and it is so fitting and serendipitous that while I am diversifying, expanding and opening my world, that the colours of the world are too.