About Kristen Penoyer

Kristen is a professional photographer and self-professed "food nerd" with a passion for documenting the culinary world from seed to plate. A serial creative, she's launched several photography related businesses. Kristen has lived in five countries, crushed grapes under her feet in Argentina, spent days on goat farms, educated by South American sommeliers, and mastered the art of Uruguayan wood coal grilling. 

My Story

From finger puppets to farm-to-fork documenting, serendipity always has a way of finding me. 

When I was young, creativity first found me, thanks to my artistic mother. Latching on with joy and ferocity, I had my hands on everything from sculpting to crochet, knitting, macramé, paper crafts and ceramics -- even elaborate Southern Belle hats and dresses made out of paper (oh yeah!).

I got hooked on photography the instant I developed my first roll of film in an alluringly noxious high school darkroom -- so much so it became my hobby and obsession, and I entered the industry professionally soon after.

Four years later, I joyfully (and some say obsessively) worked behind the camera as a wedding and portrait photographer, as well as reveled in the artistic processes of post-production, design, product development, and education. It was a fully hands-on experience, and I loved every pre-and post-processing minute.

Soon teaching found me, and in addition to launching my own boutique studio, Kay Photography, I was invited to host small workflow and album design classes specifically for photographers. The classes were eventually converted into articles, which then became the seeds of a successful industry publication used in colleges as a teaching tool. 

Then business success found me, when I co-founded Design Aglow and was blessed to work alongside a world-class creative team. We developed award-winning products for professional photographers, including templates, e-classes, actions, presets, magazine articles, and marketing tools. 

Now, with over 15 years of photographic and business experience, the culinary world has found me, and I’ve never felt so spiritually and artistically alive. I’ve crushed grapes under my feet in Argentina, spent days on goat farms learning about cheese production, learned from South American sommeliers, gotten stung alongside beekeepers, inspired by talented chefs, and mastered the art of Uruguayan wood coal grilling. 

My life has brought me full-circle, from making lip-smacking lemon meringue pies in my grandmother’s kitchen to working closely with chefs, farmers, and boutique food producers to help tell their stories. 

I’m blessed to have lived in five countries and to have visited more places than could be counted on ten sets of hands; I could not ask for more. You will usually find me in Vibram Five Fingers bumming around coffee shops, hiking, or at the gym.

The latest antics of this avid foodie and aspiring wine connoisseur are easy to find on my Instagram feed, so stop by and say hello!