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Salty Soul Highlight - Kristen Brown of The Sunset Shop

Erin Wilson

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It has been awhile since we had a little inspiration and highlighted A Salty Soul!  Our designer Rebecca introduced us to Kristen Brown who splits her time between Costa Rica and Savannah. Amazing, right?  She is a photographer, a surfer and an embracer of life!  We are excited to share her story and hope you will check out her work here

Q: Where were you living prior to splitting time btw Costa Rica & Savannah? 

A: The Big Apple, aka New York City!

Q: What inspired you to make a big life change?  And are you happy you did it?  

A: I was ready to make a change -- at that point I was prepping to get my MBA. Then I took a surf lesson and it literally was love at first wipeout! My New Year's resolution in 2011 was to learn how to surf, so with that first surf lesson that year, I was determined to learn how to surf. A couple months later after surfing in Rockaway (NYC) all summer, I went to Costa Rica to surf. It rained all week, but I had a blast surfing. Three months after that CR surf trip, I went back to surf and happened to meet Robert August, who shapes at the surf camp I was staying at. One day he came up to me and commented how diligently he saw me working every day -- I was studying for my GMATs while on vacation. He then asked if I was good at "marketing and promotions" -- I laughed and said I worked at a big bank. But, Robert had planted a seed and eight months later I landed back in Costa Rica to work for him. Don't regret it one bit!

Q: Tell us about your photography!  We love that you help everyone take the beach home with them!

A: Awwww, thanks!!!! :) Soon after moving to Costa Rica, I couldn't help but notice how beautiful the sunsets were. Like jaw dropping, out of this world beautiful! I first started photographing them to share with my family and friends, and then one day I had an idea to make postcards using my sunset photos - - especially since all the postcards I had seen in Tamarindo looked nothing like Tamarindo and/or used ugly stock photos. The postcards have done extremely well in Tamarindo -- so everyone that has purchased a postcard as a souvenir or sent one as a souvenir has a piece of what I like to call "Pura Vidadise". Selling my postcards inspired me to pursue photography for clients as well (I photograph a lot of families on vacations and destination weddings), and last year I opened my online print shop, aptly named The Sunset Shop. Before I launched the shop, if a client wanted a print, they had to reach to me first. After working one-on-one with several clients, I wanted to make it even easier for anyone to have a piece of the beach at home with them, so I went to work designing The Sunset Shop. I still love working one-on-one with clients if they need help picking out the best sunset print for their space or if they have a question about sizing, and I also love how a client easily can navigate to my shop, pick their favorite print, and voila!

Q: What range of work do you do?  

A: I'm a natural light, lifestyle photographer -- meaning I love working with natural light to create beautiful and natural photos. Lifestyle photography is pretty much that -- all about capturing how people naturally are in the environment around them with a little bit of natural posing or direction. I shoot a lot of families that are on vacation in Costa Rica, destination weddings, elopements, or anyone else that wants photos just because they want life captured. Pretty much if you're down to laugh and have a good time, I'm your photographer! I also love photographing for brands and editorial work -- my photos were recently featured in Harper's Bazaar UK March 2018 issue -- pinch me!!!! AND, last but not least, my favorite thing to photograph are sunsets!!

Q: What are some of your favorite spots in both Tamarindo & Savannah?  

A: Pretty much anyplace on the water or with a water view! In Tamarindo, I love photographing at low tide on the point, as well as at the river mouth. I also love to hike up the hills in Tamarindo for the gorgeous views! Savannah is special because there is so much natural beauty with the marshes, rivers, and beach, as well as charming downtown Savannah. 

Some of my favorite spots to hang out in Tamarindo and surrounding area are: Pangas Beach Club, El Chiringuito, and Lola's in Playa Avellanas

Some of my favorite spots to hang out in Savannah and surrounding area are: The Wyld, Forsyth Park, and Skidaway Island

Q: What is a piece of advice you would give others to pursue their dreams and the life they want to live? 

Sometimes you just gotta take that first step! For me, that was quitting my corporate job and moving to Costa Rica. I by no means didn't have everything figured out when I went to Costa Rica, but with a lot of hard work, determination, and passion, I found and am pursuing my passions, photography, chasing sunsets, and surfing (almost) every day! My "life / happiness bank" is pretty darn full! :) 

All photos courtesy of Kristen Brown.

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