Where did the name RIVER EIGHT & CO come from?

Hello and welcome to my new beginning. My long time, planning, saving, dreaming of this business. I’m Kay Kawada, the owner and head photographer of River Eight & Co. I originally came up with the name River Eight from my last name in Japanese, Kawada. (The Kawa means river.) And I chose eight for two reasons. One, eight is from our youngest son, his nickname is Hatchi (Which means the number eight in Japanese). Secondly, In Japan, they say that Eight gives an idea of growing prosperous because the letter (八) broadens gradually. The Japanese thought of eight (や, “ya” another way to say eight) as a holy number in ancient times. And of course, “& CO” would be the rest of his siblings. Being a mother is something I always dreamed of and I wanted my business to be like a big family. I have a 5-year plan hoping to make this business bigger and all the people that work with will be like family.
This is my youngest almost 2-year-old son Hatchi. Photography by Jordan Keenan Photography

About Me

My husband and I are originally from Japan, but I was raised in New Jersey and a few years ago we moved to Ponte Vedra, Florida. (Closest airport is JAX and that is 2 hours away from MCO/Disney). It took time to get used to, but now I don’t know if I can go back and bare winter with the little one. I sure do miss pizza and delis back in jersey for sure. Loved how you didn’t have to pump your own gas and how people drove like they had places to be. Of course, my friends, I miss tremendously but some come to visit so that’s always nice. That being said, I do love the weather here and how friendly people are. I know bad things can happen anywhere but I feel safer here for my children.
Before this, I was a flight attendant for 15 years for a major US carrier. I flew internationally since I was also hired as a Japanese translater. I loved going to Tokyo, and being able to eat, shop, and see family. I saw the beauty in every city but I wish now that I have children, I ventured out more. I wish I still had this job so I can take my kids on my trips! I just couldn’t see how I could have made that work with no help and four children.Everything happens for a reason right?

If I ever have free time, I am usually cooking (i love it!), gardening, or taking care of my plants. I have a collection of plants and mugs. I also like organizing things. I know I’m a dork! I love showing my kids new places. I live to see their eyes light up. My favorite sound is ALWAYS when kids belly laugh. Hearing people laugh in general makes me laugh. I love funny! I love jokes. I drink black coffee first thing in the morning and then green tea or ice green tea for the rest of the day. Although when I have greasy food, I love my seltzer! I love taking baths. I am allergic to CATS and my favorite smell is leaves and wood burning.

So how did I get here?

I am a mother of four, the oldest is a girl and the rest are boys. I started photography right after my second child was born in 2011 and started my business in newborn and family photography. I am in love with the idea of photography where I can capture moments with baby and offer products that will last over 200 years. I am not only photographing for mom but for her great-grandchildren, to look back on. That speaks to my heart and I am honored to be able to that for people. For a different reason, but still something I strongly believe in, is photographing branding images for busy women entrepreneurs. There are so many women while raising a family, juggling family life, marriage, and their dream job, they still manage to try to do it all. They are ambitious and I want to help women who need more time. More content, more images, more support, so they can work on their genius zone and free up more time for them so she can go focus on their family. I want to support more women like me.
This is My second. He is the reason I picked up my camera. Photography by Jordan Keenan photography.

What is it like to work with me?

People have said, I am attentive, considerate, direct, and funny (but in a sarcastic way. Oh come on! I’m from Jersey! lol) I don’t like talking about myself, but I am confident that I will get things done, and if something goes wrong, I will fix it. My client will be my priority, and will only work with business owners if we are a good fit. It is important to me to have positive, and kind people around me. So, if you are a Debbie Downer or a Negative Nancy, I may not be the person for you. I value time, for I believe that time is money, and I value relationships. I put my heart and soul into everything I do and I am sure, to have full communication with you through the entire process. So yeah, thank you for reading thus far. I am scared yet excited for a new chapter in my life and thank you for all of your support. For those of you who haven’t started your dream job, but want to, all I can say is JUST START. Your mindset will shift. If you need support or advice, feel free to reach out. If I can not help you, I will refer you or direct you in the right direction. I will do what I can. I believe that a good community can help you grow so much. In my world, the only competition you have is with yourself. I always believe in community over competition. Hope to meet you soon.

“ A rising tide lifts all boats”

Appreciate you,

Kay K

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