Kimmie McKinney Photography won in the category of Best Photographer at the E-T's Best of Erath awards gala.

We sat down with McKinney and learned why she fell in love with photography and how it brings out her creative side.

1. McKinney was involved in yearbook in high school where she had the opportunity to do film photography and work in the dark room, which fueled her interest in photography.

2. She started her photography business 10 years ago thinking it would be easy but she quickly learned there’s a lot that goes into photography besides just taking pictures.

“It’s a misunderstood business,” she said. “I didn’t understand it all until I got into it. You think, ‘Oh, someone’s just taking a picture. It ought to be super cheap.’ But the investment is high and the skill level to get to that point where I think I'm at took a lot of money, time, sweat and tears.”

3. McKinney loves taking pictures because of the creativity that she’s able to bring into her work along with the chance to meet interesting people.

4. She specializes in children, family and senior photo shoots. She does not photograph weddings or newborns.

“I love my seniors in the spring, so I'm gearing up for that and trying to find new locations. I love my seniors because I really get to be creative when there’s just one person in front of that camera versus an entire family,” she said.

5. She used to teach pre-school at Stepping Stones Day School and loves photographing children – even when they’re misbehaving.

“I love the little ones because even when they’re misbehaving, they’re just giving you fabulous stuff,” she said with a laugh. “Parents think they’re acting terrible, but I love what they’re giving me.”

6. McKinney is never afraid to knock on someone’s door and ask if she can use their property for a backdrop.

7. What sets her apart from other photographers is her editing style, which she describes as “rich, warm and vibrant.”

8. For her shoots, she tries to incorporate props for the background.

“This year, I had a ‘51 international pickup and a ‘51 Ford out in the field so I had something that was the main focal point. I did some over the summer that was unicorn minis with the little girls and I bought these dresses and it just looked very magical; it completed the whole thing,” she said.

9. McKinney is always willing to mentor aspiring photographers and answer any questions they have.

“I welcome people that are getting into it,” she said. “I’ve let people tag along with me on shoots. I've mentored people over Facebook and messages. I love to correspond with other photographers and help them out if they have questions.”

10. She is best friends with four other photographers in town and they bounce ideas off each other.

“We grow together and each of us has a different style in a different area, but we’re good together. It’s community over competition,” she said.

11. McKinney has three kids, 17 and twin 14-year-olds, and has a little dog named Zoo-Zoo.

“I like to pride myself that I give really good high-quality work to people,” she added.