There are a number of questions that I am regularly asked, so I thought I would write a post that addresses them.

  1. How long have I been in business?
  2. How did I get started?
  3. Where did the name Chickpea come from?

Let me start with that last one first.  When I started my business in 2009 (oops, I guess I actually answered the first question first!), I decided right away that I didn’t want to use my name for the business.  It is a very common practice, many photographers use their names and I wanted to be different, but that isn’t the whole story.  I like my name; unfortunately people frequently have difficulty pronouncing my last name and I felt that would get old really quickly for both myself and my clients.

I started as a pet photographer and I knew I did not want to pick a pet genre specific name like purple leash or sit stay photography.  Instead I wanted a name that could still be used if I choose to expand at some point in the future.  And most importantly I wanted a name that was catchy and memorable.

Over the period of several days (maybe even weeks) my spouse and I tossed dozens of names around, trying to decide what sounded like THE right name.  This many years later I can’t even recall all of them any more, though I do remember Little Red Fox Photography was one.  That came from my love of the book “The Little Prince”.  However, it was not quiet right either.

Then one day my spouse, who happened to be a middle school English teacher at the time said “How about Chickpea? It is one of my favorite words in the English language.”  As soon as I heard it, I knew we had THE right name this time and Chickpea Photography was born.

Now, as to how I got started – well it is simple really – the short version is I just spent 30 years wanting to be a photographer and then finally decided to do it.  The longer version is that I knew I wanted to be a photo journalist when I was in high school.  In fact, it says so in my high school year book.  Right under my senior school portrait are the words:  Career Aspiration – Professional Photographer.

I had dreams of traveling the world working for National Geographic or Time magazine, but life has a way of interrupting our plans.  Believing the well meaning advice of my elders that I could never make it as a photographer, I abandoned my dream and instead got a job working in a boring beige cubicle.  That actually turned into a good career in in Corporate America as an IT Manager, but it was still just a series of window-less cubicles for nearly 30 years until one day I saw those forgotten words in my year book.

I picked up a camera again, taught myself how to use it, entered contests and charity auctions and realized it was long past time to start living my dream.  Being a professional photographer and owning your own business is a dream, but it is also a lot of hard work, though I’ve never regretted my choice to leave that cubicle.

Cyndi Kuiper Photographer

Cyndi Kuiper Photographer