Kyla Goff Focuses Her Photography and Coaching Skills on Tweens
âOur teens and tweens are suffering,â says Kyla goff. âThey are full of anxiety, stress, self-esteem issues. It breaks my heart.”
Goff, a local photographer, runs workshops that aim to teach children who they are before they grow up.
âWe all have a motivating value system,â says Goff, âbut few of us know what it is or how to use it to our advantage. A certified Force Development Inventory Facilitator, Goff has put her own motivational value system into practice and says it has changed her life.
âI’m so excited to implement what I’ve learned for a younger age group,â she says, âhelping them navigate themselves while getting to know others. “
Goff’s photographic images are powerful. A model walks along a sand dune as an impossibly long train swirls around her. The fighters clash in Goff’s “rain room”. Even when he shoots a cute child, Goff shows them that he transmits strength.
12-year-old Jaya is leaving the premiere of a two-day session with Goff and trying on dresses. Dresses? Yes, Goff combines his photography skills in his coaching. Wait a minute, she and the girls are talking about knowing their love tongues. (Jaya’s was affection, which means she prefers hugs to gifts.) The next minute, they find ways to feel beautiful and strong. They will also receive photos.
Why does Goff focus on tweens? Childhood is important, she says. Trust can be taken from others. She saw it.
His own upbringing during those years of his life was âwe moved a lot,â which means about every six months. She made new friends everywhere she went, felt confident even with her own physical flaw – a gap between her teeth, which was eventually resolved.
âI adapt to change easily,â says Goff. Yet she also chose to stay at her high school in eastern Washington to graduate by staying with friends while her parents left. She started working in fast food as a teenager and entered management at the age of 19. She was motivated.
As a photographer, she sees those who focus on weddings, motherhood and newborns. While she is happy to take on a variety of clients, she focuses on girls ages 9-15. âThey were left out. “
Goff builds relationships with them. They may not feel comfortable immediately, she knows that. “I want them to see themselves as beautiful.” Too often, young voices think they are “too fat” or “too thin”. These words are entering people’s heads.
To get to this location, Goff attended numerous photography workshops, as well as Dave Ramsey’s leadership training. She also added certifications for coaching and emotional intelligence of cognitive behavior.
Rather than doing one-on-one sessions, Goff runs small group workshops, so the girls can bond with each other.
âI’m planting seeds,â she said. It’s not just about talking to them or even talking to them, it’s about showing them. Goff asks the girls to stand back to back in the same room and explain what they see. Looking at the same things, they see things differently. They talk about their surroundings, their experiences and the things that shape them. How do people deal with conflict? Some are leaders. Some are followers.
It’s okay to be different from each other. They explore something that is part of their âcoreâ and comes easily to them, as opposed to a âchore,â which is more difficult and can break trust.
Goff recently celebrated his 30th wedding anniversary. She grew up children and grandchildren.
Prior to his photography and coaching, Goff owned coffee shops and a daycare center in eastern Washington, then in Blaine after moving here in 1990. His first foray into photography was landscapes; she sold her photos through Etsy.
Goff’s training for the transition to portrait photography included workshops in Atlanta, Denver, Nashville, and Las Vegas. She found a current portrait mentor on one of these trips which was invaluable. She has had her workshop for three years. Two of those years he was at Bakerview Square in Bellingham.
Goff first saw the rainroom concept – imagining massive amounts of water spraying everywhere like rain – in Vegas in early 2020. Whatcom County certainly had no such thing. With the help of her entrepreneur husband, Goff’s rainroom was built during COVID. Setting up and cleaning up after shoots is a lot of work, but the end product is unforgettable. She recruited dancers, athletes, and martial artists to use their skills in there, capturing their kicks, jumps, and twirls.
“Anyone can shoot [a picture], “she says.” But not everyone can edit. “She spends twice as much time editing to make sure her subjects are at their best.
Goff is currently recruiting tweens for his Aspire Confidence workshop. Visit tweencoach.com for more information. Goff is also available for one-on-one coaching.