UNION — Kim Lemons was the subject of a photo shoot on Tuesday that photographer Amanda Ferguson titled “Jill of All Trades.”
Lemons is a single mother of three who also juggles attending USC Union full-time and a photography career.
“Those pictures show how we are,” Lemons said. “The four of us are always together, and everything in the picture is a huge part of our daily lives.”
Lemons originally attended USC Union from 2002-2004 — majoring in criminal justice — and took a semester off when she had her second child. After a nine-year break, she enrolled again this semester.
When asked why she chose to go back now, Lemons said that going through a divorce made her realize she had to support her family and she would need to complete her degree to do so.
“It’s a harsh lesson of not leaning on someone to take care of you,” Lemons said. “I want to show the kids you don’t need to rely on anyone but yourself.”
Lemons said she enjoys her English class with professor Randall Ivey, who taught her during her first stint at the university.
“He remembers when Corbin (now age 10) was a baby and sat in my lap during class,” she said.
Lemons has changed her major to graphic design and is involved with a number of extracurricular projects at the university on top of her already hectic schedule. Her academic adviser, John Crocker, calls her “Wonder-Woman” because of the many projects she undertakes.
Lemons will create the cover art and photos for this year’s edition of Spillage, which is USC Union’s journal of art and letters with copy written by current and former students. Lemons will also serve as photographer for the university’s Bantams baseball team as well as create the poster for the university’s upcoming production of “The Porch Gatherers,” by Lee Lawing.
“She’s taking on all this work outside of the classroom and on top of being a single parent of three children who all have different interests — football, modeling, etc.” Crocker said. “If you have something you need to get done, you can count on her to get it done in addition to being a good student and good mother.”
Her children — Corbin, 10, Isaac, 9, and Ansli, 6 — each have unique personalities.
“Corbin is the take control, sports child,” Lemons said. “It’s hugely helpful, actually. He goes to photo shoots and helps line up settings and colors and change lenses.”
She said Corbin is also interested in photography and often takes photos with his own camera when she photographs weddings.
“It’s amazing what he gets from his eye level,” she said.
She described Isaac as the most loving member of the family.
“He’s so kind hearted,” Lemons said. “He’s silently brilliant. Corbin calls him the nerd of the family, but Corbin and Ansli joke that one day he will be president and they will have to answer to him.”
Lemons described her six-year-old daughter, Ansli, as a “sassy little diva.”
“Everybody sees her with her hip thrown sideways with lip gloss, standing on her tip toes,” Lemons laughed. “She butts heads with Corbin because she likes to take charge, too.”
Ansli was photographed by Supermodels Unlimited in October and will appear in the December issue. She will also appear on the cover of the “Who’s Who of 2013” issue next summer.
Structure Is A Good Thing
Lemons said her day-to-day activities require structure.
“Balancing everything is insane,” she said. “Routine is majorly important — an absolute must. You have to make charts and time schedules.”
Lemons said her bedroom door is a “ginormous” calendar containing everyone’s schedules. She attempts making time for everything by combining activities. For example, she might study on the sidelines of Corbin’s football games while keeping a cowbell in her hand to ring in support of her son.
“Corbin gave me the best compliment ever,” she said. “He told someone, ‘No matter how much stuff she has to do or how busy we are, she’s never upset or mean. You would never know she worries.’”
Lemons is also a member of the School Improvement Council at Lockhart School. She says above all else, she wants her children to know that they are important.
On top of parenting and being a full-time student, Lemons is also owner and operator of Raven Photography — formerly known as Kim Eubanks Photography.
She said she has enjoyed photography since she was a little girl and got a camera for Christmas. In 2008, Lemons decided to turn her hobby into a business.
Since then, she has shot photographs for a number of businesses as well as individuals. She mentioned that she particularly enjoyed photographing the doctors of Mary Black Hospital.
“I had done pictures of some of the News Channel 7 anchors, and Connie Legrand — who had left to do PR for Mary Black — requested that I do the pictures there,” Lemons said.
Lemons said another interesting shoot was for the Union County Sheriff’s Office. She photographed various departments of the sheriff’s office for calendars and photo releases.
“I liked it,” she said. “I was nervous, but they were all very friendly, and the sheriff is always an awesome person to work with. He is very friendly and doesn’t try to be an intimidating authority figure. You wouldn’t know he was in a power position if you didn’t know him, which is always good in a small town.”
Other work Lemons has done includes photography for local artist Adam Powell’s CD cover, which led to her photographing Savannah, Ga., group Killa Kane for their CD cover.
“You have to be friendly and put yourself out there, or none of that stuff ever happens,” she said.
Lemons named her business after “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe.
“I have always been a huge Edgar Allan Poe fan — I read the kids Poe and Shakespeare,” she said. “A lot of that seems to be lost now, but there are some major lessons in those stories. I love the fact that at ages 10, 9 and 6 they recognize those stories and pick up on some things adults don’t even pick up on.”
Lemons talked about seeing her 6-year-old daughter Ansli washing her hands in the mirror. When she asked her what she was doing, Ansli said, “It’s like Lady Macbeth.”
Her children are what drive Lemons to pull off such a hectic schedule. She said it’s common for them to be with her when she is conducting photo shoots, and she wants them to learn a lesson.
“The path of least resistance isn’t always the best path,” Lemons said. “No matter what, go after what you want and don’t let anything get in the way.”
Staff Writer Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 29, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.