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Changing the Conversation on Trauma | Personal Brand Photography Pittsburgh, PA

The best part of my job as a brand photographer is getting to work with amazing women who are bravely chasing their dreams. These amazing women aren't blessed with unshakeable confidence or courage. They are everyday women standing up and saying today, I will be the woman I know I am.

In December I teamed up with GrlPwrProjects to give away a personal branding shoot with one amazing female-owned business here in Pittsburgh.

Katie Maloney was the lucky winner and this brand shoot couldn't have come at a better time as she was in the midst of rebranding to launch her very first book Cake Pops & Coffee A New Conversation About Trauma.

Katie's view on the conversations that surround trauma and her desire to change and expand those conversations is refreshing and empowering. Through raw honesty and humor, she is here to help trauma survivors change the way they conversate forever!

Personal brand shoot in Pittsburgh studio for trauma coach Katie Maloney.
Brand shoot for book launch by LeeAnn Stromyer.

What prompted you to start your business?

When I first started working through the trauma that I experienced, I found that the only resources available to trauma survivors were therapy or support groups/movements. Both of these resources are incredible.

But I was already going to therapy and I had attended trauma support groups/events and all of them were surrounded by so much seriousness and heaviness.

After a certain point, I needed more. I needed to be able to laugh about some of my experiences trying to navigate relationships or careers or life after experiencing trauma. And I needed to do this with people who have similar experiences as me.

I wanted a way for trauma survivors to gather and work through their trauma in practical, easy ways while laughing and having fun.

Studio lifetsyle brand photography by LeeAnn K photography.

At the end of the day, what impact do you want to have on the world as a business & person?

I want to start a new conversation about trauma. I am going to be very honest with you - I stopped going to events for sexual assault survivors a long time ago. And for a while, I felt guilty about it. How could I claim to be all for empowering people who have experienced trauma when I don’t go to events for trauma survivors?

The answer was a little harsh but simple, “Because I feel depressed AF during those events.”

Because I feel depressed AF during those events.

The first time I attended an event for survivors, I felt incredibly empowered. I shared my story out loud and was immediately supported by a group of people who, in their own way, understood exactly how I was feeling.

Simply having a supportive space to tell my story out loud was incredibly empowering. But as I continued to attend these events, the experience turned from empowering to depressing.

I was sharing the same stories over and over again and I no longer felt powerful doing so.

Instead, I felt stuck - stuck in the past and stuck in my old stories. “What’s next?” I thought.

I wanted to talk about more than just my memories of abuse.

I wanted to talk about how to work through my fear of intimacy so that I could hold someone’s hand.