By Steve Hubrecht 

[email protected] 

 A local woman is launching a new business with a special event on International Women’s Day.

Invermere resident Jewel Casey has lived in the Columbia Valley for two years, and recently decided to turn her passion and considerable skill at photography into a full-time business: KC Images.

She’s not one to do things by half measures (in her own words: “I’m jumping in with both feet)”, and has set up a photo shoot event at Kinsmen Beach on Friday, March 8. That’s International Women’s Day and the timing is no coincidence. 

The photo shoot is open to local women and is meant to celebrate and capture empowering moments as well as the diverse and inherent beauty of all women.

Casey told the Pioneer the idea for the photo shoot came to her while watching some of Dove soap brand’s self-esteem project commercials which try to challenge traditional beauty stereotypes by promoting women of all different body types and ethnicities.

“I want to do something like that, but here locally,” said Casey. She wants her photo shoot to help women feel confident and beautiful, emphasizing their unique strength and their individuality.

The event will have a backdrop of the lake and mountains, and although details are yet to be 100 per cent ironed out, Casey is planning on extras such as gift bags for each woman and a special night event.

International Women’s Day is important, Casey explained. She’s seen firsthand many examples of discrimination and outright sexism in past jobs and wants to do something to help turn that tide.

Casey grew up in Brighton, Ontario, and first fell in love with photography when she was just nine years old. Her mother bought her a green Olympus handheld point-and-shoot digital camera. During a trip to Ontario Place amusement park Casey shot image after image of a giant bucket of water tipping over.

“All day, I was obsessed with capturing the water falling out,” she said.

Casey’s fascination with capturing the moment remains to this day, but after graduating from high school she first pursued other careers, going to college for policing, becoming involved in the food and beverage industry, and working as a mechanic in the automotive industry.

“The automotive industry was very eye-opening. There’s pay grade differences and perception of capability that women have to deal with. There was a lot of chauvinism and sexist comments.  There was a lot in food and beverage as well,” she said. 

“For women, especially young women, it can be tough. You either have to just listen to it, or you stick up for yourself. But if you stick up for yourself you start to get labelled. You get called rude or the b-word.”

Back in early 2022 Casey decided to change her life completely, moving out west to the Columbia Valley. She took a job with Fairmont Hot Springs Resort and stayed in staff accommodation initially, before finding a place to live in Invermere and now starting KC Images.

So far she has focused on real estate and event photography. She’d been busy recently shooting the Recreation Adapted (RAD) Society’s Polar Plunge, a Valentine Day dinner atop Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, and another event for ULLR.

“Everyone does have a camera right there on their phones these days. So to stand out you need to do something different than just snap a photo. And that’s what I offer – it’s more than just a photo,” said Casey.

The International Women’s Day photo shoot on March 8 will begin at 11 a.m. at Pynelogs, followed by a march around town starting from Pynelogs at 3:30 p.m., concluding back at Pynelogs at 5 p.m. Tickets are $75. 

Time slots are available for booking. To find out more visit www.facebook.com/kcimagesss?mibextid=LQQJ4d, www.facebook.com/share/9WiJCakKpojMtvVd/?mibextid=9l3rBW or email [email protected].