WARREN — Kim Guthridge Floyd is made of strong stuff. Growing up with three brothers — Jack, Bob and Mark Guthridge — can have that effect.
She has been married for 30 years to her husband, Phillip, who is a disabled veteran dealing with Parkinson’s disease. Kim Floyd is also a veteran. She served in the Army and was stationed as a guard in Washington, DC, under former President Ronald Reagan.
Floyd, who owns a photography business called Phoenix Photography, recently showed off a picture of a sunflower field that was used by Austintown artist Ron Moore Jr. (who also has Parkinson’s) as inspiration for a painting that raised $30,000 to send to a Ukraine fund. She said her photo and Moore’s subsequent painting show the importance of collaboration.
Floyd is a self-proclaimed tomboy. Her oldest brother played baseball with Major League pitcher Dave Dravecky at Boardman High School and later joined the Navy. He died in an industrial accident in Virginia.
Floyd said she first became interested in playing sports when she was 4 and was the batgirl for her brothers’ T-ball team. She also became interested in photography about the same age when her grandmother gave her an old camera.
Floyd was raised in Boardman, attended the Boardman Local School District and played every sport she could while growing up. In fact, she was a member of Boardman’s first soccer team.
However, her dreams of continuing to play sports ended during a championship softball game against a team from New York.
“I was hit so hard in the back of the head that I wound up with a cracked skull and was not allowed to play anymore,” Floyd said.
That injury was the catalyst to her deciding to pick up her camera again. And because Floyd could not play sports anymore, her next natural choice was to photograph sports. She began photographing school sports and took photos of Lynn Bowden Jr. while he was playing for Warren G. Harding High School.
Floyd’s love of sports and photography have her dreaming of becoming a photographer for a professional sports team or a sports magazine. She said the quote, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” by Fred R. Barnard has influenced her, and she wants to “Inspire young women to become sports photographers.”
Floyd likes to think of her mother and brother looking down on her and being proud.
“I am a strong supporter of women’s sports and the youth of today,” she said.
Floyd begins photographing children from T-ball and follows them through graduation.
She loves to see “The kids just light up when they see her coming with her camera,” and it is “Great to see how they improve through the years.”
Floyd will photograph both boys and girls sports teams, but her heart lies in being a role model and encouragement for girls’ sports.
The name for Floyd’s photography studio, Phoenix Photography, comes from her motto, “Sometimes you have to die a little inside in order to be reborn and rise again a stronger and wiser version of yourself.”
“With all I have been through in life already, I consider myself like a phoenix. A phoenix symbolizes eternity, strength and renewal,” Floyd said.
She said she believes that part of God’s plan for her is being able to help show these young athletes and their abilities, and also to show young women that being a woman sports photographer is possible.