Heather Key has just returned home from an on-location assignment in Miami. “My head is still spinning!” she shares. Which just proves that when it comes to work, there is no typical day. Not that change is something novel in her field of work. As a professional photographer, a “day at the office” could mean a studio near her home in Denton, on location in Dallas or, more recently, inside a $35-million-dollar manse located on Star Island – an ultra-exclusive neighborhood known for its celebrity dwellers in South Beach, Florida.
Between lifestyle shoots, fashion spreads and everything else in between, Key can’t imagine doing anything else that doesn’t involve her being behind a lens.
“Honestly, I’ve always been doing photography,” she reveals. “I was shooting throughout high school and college. I just always knew I wanted to be a photographer. Just straight from being a student to assisting photographers to actually shooting on my own!”
But aside from having her dream job, when it comes to family, Key is on cloud nine just the same. After 13 years with her other half – writer Jason Godi – life at home has found its own groove with sons: 16-year-old Ian Huckabee and 9-year-old Julian Godi. True, they do have their favorite weekend activities – going to the skate park in Denton to watch Julian skate, grabbing lunch and drinks around The Square, checking out a music festival or even just hanging out at home to watch movies or play in the backyard – but for the most part, weekends at home are hardly routine.
“The only thing that happens every weekend like clockwork is I wake up around 7am, drink my tea and work out – then the rest is whatever. My weekend is always different,” Key says. “We don’t have a set schedule, and it seems to work out best for us that way.”
Luckily, Key is able to spend most weekends with her family since she only travels about one week each month. Recently though, her latest gig for J.C. Penney (the department store is a regular client of hers) kept her away for nine days while she hopped from one exciting locale to the next. Deviating just a bit from her usual assignments, Key also did a bit of video work for a Kim Dawson model search.
Sound thrilling? Definitely. But in spite of being surrounded by all the glitz and glam that comes with being a photographer, Key’s muses continue to be the men in her life: “The boys inspire me by keeping me grounded in love. I know that may sound silly and simple, but it’s true. They are a constant reminder to me of what is important in life. No matter how fabulous my job is at times, staying at spa hotels, shooting beautiful people, traveling with my best friends while doing what I love, the boys are always the most important thing to me. They are always here when I get home with hugs and kisses – yes even the 16 year old!”
Last time you slept in:
Sleeping in to me is if I sleep until 9am. My body just won’t allow it! And I don’t know when the last time that was!
Favorite subjects or kind of photography you like to shoot and why:
I love shooting fashion and lifestyle photography, capturing moments and making people feel comfortable in front of my camera is my favorite feeling. Then you add some dreamy lighting and it’s like a natural high when it all flows together. That’s the amazing part of my job.
Highest parenting moment:
Traveling with my kids. I think it’s so important to live life and travel, and I want my children to feel that way, as well. I would say our family vacation to Kauai would be at the top of my list. We took a cruise around the Na Pali Coast then snorkeled on the North Shore. It’s a memory they still talk about often, and we all want to go back.
Lowest parenting moment:
What? I’m perfect – just kidding! As much as I love traveling for work, there are some days when it’s harder to be away than others and I miss the little things like taking them to school in the morning and eating a family dinner. It's hard to juggle my half-mommy/ half-fashion photographer lifestyle sometimes, but we make it work! Thank God for FaceTime!
Published April 2014