about kristen simental

3 minutes to read


Questions? I usually respond within 24 hours. Send me an email.

How I became a photographer

When I was 7 years old, my second-grade teacher brought in her photographer husband into class. That day at recess, I went up to my teacher and said, “Mrs. Morrow, when I grow up I want to be a photographer.” She looked down at me sweetly and replied, “Kristen, you can be anything you want to be.” It was then and there that I decided I was going to be a photographer.

I got my first camera when I was eleven years old. I spent the next decade or so taking pictures for fun, but eventually landed a job working for a popular “alternative” clothing company where I mindlessly shot photos of belt buckles and t-shirts for three years. I did, however, get to meet David Hasselhoff, Elvira, Tiger Army, and Paramore. It was, to say the least, a good learning experience. After that, I found myself shooting headshots, portraits (corporate and family), events, and occasionally product for small businesses. I started getting wedding photo gigs and it took off. It was fun for a while, but it wasn’t what I really wanted to be doing. I began to reconsider my path.

How I became a writer

Around the same time I fell in love with photography, that same lovely second-grade teacher read us a most amazing story. It was All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury. That day, I not only became a hardcore Bradbury fan (I’ve met him four times, have been in the same room with him two other times and kissed his cheek once), but I also decided I wanted to be a writer. I wrote short stories and comics for fun. In high-school, I started to get serious about it. I wrote a story about a girl who accidentally kills her mother and everyone thought I had mental problems. I was put into therapy. Not kidding. At the time, I mostly wrote what could today be classified as Young Adult stories. They were ridiculous and cheesy.

In my ’20s I buckled down on an ancient word processor and wrote a real, live novel. It was terrible and embarrassing (not in a charming way) so I threw it away. It was also in my ’20s that I started branching out into writing music reviews. Back in the day before Pitchfork, Stereogum and the like, I ran a small music e-zine. I worked myself sick for about ten years making no money and suffering. It included several volunteer staff writers and a music-oriented podcast – long before anyone knew what a podcast was. I even got to interview some of my musical idols and got into concerts for free. It was glorious but fruitless. Around the time I gave up on the e-zine, I started to shift focus back to photography, but with a real intent to make a living at it. Which leads us back around to writing. One night I had a vivid dream and wrote it down. It sounded like an awesome story so I started writing it for real. The rest is still in progress…

Not a lot of my old writing is still online. Here’s what I could find.

Other Old Stuff: