Hi. Hello.

I’m Kirsten Kowalski.  Also known as Ddk Portraits, “Mom” , “Deedee” or just “Heavy D”.  Also known as the lawyer/photographer who tearfully deleted her Pinterest boards.  But that was a while back.  (It still amazes me that post received so much attention – and still does!).

In any event, I am an attorney and a professional portrait photographer.  I am also a writer, a mother, a wife, a Grammy Award winning singer and an ex Solid Gold dancer.  Oh wait, the last two are just dreams.  Oops.  Darn.

I created this site to discuss legal issues photographers face, life, love and just anything in general that inspires me.  When I was a little girl, my grandmother, “Nana”, used to love those little tins of hard candy and she would share them with me.  My favorite was the lemon drop.  I just couldn’t get enough of that sweetness tinged with a biting sour that reminds me now of how life is – a lot sweet and a little bit sour.  So this blog is basically a hodgepodge of stuff I think about, stress about, laugh about or just feel that others should know about.  Hopefully it will educate, entertain, anger, frustrate, enlighten and maybe just inspire you.  Kind of like a lemon drop.

A quick bio so you know I have the credentials for the legal stuff:

I am a practicing attorney living in Vero Beach, Florida.  I graduated from Cumberland School of Law in 1996 where I was a member of the Cumberland Law Review.  I have worked as a litigator and as a transaction attorney, practicing mainly in the area of commercial real estate and shopping center development and leasing.  I served as VP Legal for Colonial Properties Trust for several years and then moved to Georgia where I worked with a real estate law firm and then was hired by Fickling & Company, Inc., a full service real estate company, as General Counsel.   I currently reside in Vero Beach, Florida where I have a photography studio across the street from the beach and practice law part time.  

I have extensive experience in real estate law, commercial leasing, contract law and corporate law.  I also hold a BA in photojournalism from Samford University. I have been published in various newspapers and magazines.  

Whew, okay so that should confirm somewhat that I am qualified to run this blog at least, right?  And it should tell you that I am a pretty busy woman.   I am also a mother with two beautiful daughters who require quite a bit of time and attention.  One is still young enough to fill my days with sweet while the other is a teen and provides plenty of sour (although still some sweet).  My point is that my time is at a premium.  So, if I haven’t posted in a while, feel free to give me a nudge.  Also, I am open to suggestions for articles! So, if there is a legal topic in which you are interested and want to learn more about, please drop me an email or leave a comment here and let me know!


8 thoughts on “About

  1. Nice to see your post. I have been a photojoumalist in print and broadcast for 40 years and represent the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) as general counsel. I post regularly on the NPPA Facebook page and tweet @nppalawyer. Please let me know if there is ever anything I can do to help. These days photographers need all the legal advice they can get. Thanks.

    • Thanks Mickey! Nice to meet you. Be careful offering help – I may take you up on that more times than you would like! haha.

  2. Hi Kirsten;

    I’m a semi-retired person looking to make a switch into my passion of photography. I say semi-retired because I am still an active angel investor in the edtech space and provide ad-hoc consulting when necessary. I operate all of this under an LLC today. My interest in photography is to pursue an MFA in photography and work on personal projects. Although unlikely, I may take on a client if the right oppty presented itself (likely more NGO than commercial and certainly not an individual). I am in the process of leasing a studio space to support my MFA and receiving business insurance quotes from my insurance broker to cover liabilities as well as insure my equipment. My question to you: given my non-profit bent in my photography interests, should I still consider forming an LLC and performing all activities (MFA, studio lease, and insurance, etc.) under the LLC? I am happy to engage your services if this more appropriate given my query.

    • Sorry so late in responding. I get so much spam that it’s hard to filter to the “real” comments. I would still do an LLC because it will protect your personal assets so long as you observe all corporate formalities. For example, if your equipment starts a fire in your studio space or if someone comes by and is injured, etc. You want to have as much protection as possible. Insurance definitely – not just for your equipment but a CGL policy (liability covering property damage and bodily injury) and an LLC for added layer of protection. Good luck!

  3. Hey there Kirsten! I am totally admiring your photography and your FB Posts! They are such an inspiration for a fledgling photo bug like me.
    I look forward to seeing more of them.

  4. Hi!
    Loved reading your bio! Love all of your photos and will never think of a lemon drop in the same way!
    Keep shooting and writing!
    Love ya!

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