Snapshot: Heather Symes
Occupation: I own Heather Kelly Photography, where I specialize in newborn and family portraits. I’ll be celebrating my tenth year in business this fall! I’m also in the office a couple days a week for my husband’s business, Newtown Tick Control.
Family: My husband, Chris, and I just celebrated our 14th year anniversary. We have three children. Mason (12), Ryder (10), and Piper (8).
Pets: We have an 11-month-old puppy named Kawi, and a 4-year-old cat named Lizzie.
How long have you lived in Newtown? I’ve lived in Newtown for almost 12 years. We moved to the same road my husband grew up on and my in-laws are right down the street! He knew the previous owners of our house as he used to pet-sit for them when he was a kid. We bought the house on a handshake deal.
What do you like to do in your free time? So many things and not enough time! Lately I’ve been spending a lot of my time training our puppy. She received her Canine Good Citizen award and we’re currently working on therapy dog training. I also love to bake, scrapbook, sew, craft, puzzles, wake surf, cross country ski, and most recently kayak.
What is your favorite travel destination? Kauai, Hawaii. My husband and I went there on our honeymoon, and we went back for our ninth anniversary. We fell in love with Kauai, specifically Hanalei on the north shore.
What is the best part about Newtown? Newtown is such an amazing town to live in, especially my neighborhood, where we have the best neighbors. When my oldest was too young for candy on Halloween, some neighbors gave him books and other non-candy items. We weren’t expecting it and only went to a few houses to show off his Halloween costume. This past year, they have been a lifeline with trading vegetables and being able to have distanced walks outside.
What organizations are you part of in Newtown? I’m not on any boards, but I do volunteer to photograph all the puppies that come into The Exceptional Sidekick Service Dogs program. They provide psychiatric service dogs to disabled teens and young adults. It’s an organization that means a lot to me. Once my own puppy and kids get a little older, I’d love to volunteer to be a puppy raiser for them.
If you could spend the day with one person, who would you choose and why? I’d love to have one more day with my grandfather. He passed away over 16 years ago. He never got to meet my husband or kids. I’d love to have him meet them. He loved his family so much and would just adore them.
What is something you cannot live without? My camera! I have always loved to take pictures and look at old photographs. Photos are our legacy and will be around to carry on our story after we are gone.
What is your proudest accomplishment? When I started my photography business ten years ago, it was just a way to make some additional money while I was home with my children. Ten years later and my business continues to grow. Several years ago we converted part of our home into a newborn studio with its own private entrance. I’m really proud of all that I have accomplished, from just photographing friends to having clients traveling over an hour to have me photograph their newborns.