When it comes to taking the perfect photo, it’s all about being yourself and living in the moment, and that is something Troy Kleinpeter does every day. Troy, or as his grandchildren call him, PawPaw T, has been capturing special moments for families in Baton Rouge–and beyond–for years. What started as him just “fluffing the dresses,” as he likes to say, with his brother during wedding photo shoots, has transformed into a career that’s an exciting family affair. And that’s the best part because, to him, family is his biggest blessing. Troy’s love of family, life, and his quick wit make him a joy to always be around.
Tell me about your children.
T: Taylor is a mom and an RN at Woman’s Hospital in the NICU. She’s very bubbly and focused. She knows what she wants in life. Chandler works in the electrical field. He lives his life to the fullest, and he’s a good kid.
What’s the greatest thing about being a dad?
T: Having two wonderful children like we have. It’s a blessing to have two focused kids.
What are some things you do together as a family?
T: Our family portraits and keeping up with the tradition of taking them. Kelly and her dad are both great cooks, so we have a lot of family meals together. We also have a tradition of having coffee together at 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day.
Tell me about your grandchildren.
T: They’re the joy of our lives! Charlie is a busy body and Landry is a little sweet potato that you can’t get enough of. I am enjoying my PawPaw status.
What do you enjoy most about being a grandparent?
T: Spending time with them. Charlie comes to visit a lot and we feed the fish and the chickens, and collect the eggs together. I love getting out in the yard and playing games with them.
What brought you to start Kleinpeter Photography?
T: My brother was photographing weddings and I started helping him. I would call it “fluffing the dresses” then because I was there making sure everything was in place for the photo.
What do you love most about your job?
T: Meeting the people and interacting with them. They all have different personalities. Photography opened the door that allowed me to meet so many different people and travel.
How do you find the balance between managing a business and family time?
T: It’s challenging, but sticking to the schedule. If you say you are going to be somewhere, then you stick with it. Also, making the effort to separate business from personal.
What are some things you want to do that are still on your bucket list?
T: Travel more. Go to the states that I haven’t been to, and go to the hunting destinations I haven’t been to before.
What advice do you give your children?
T: Be yourself, live your faith, and be a leader.
How is being a dad different from being a grandfather?
T: I get to spoil them and give them back. It’s the biggest joy knowing they are well taken care of. They love unconditionally.
What’s something you do as a grandfather that you don’t do as a dad?
T: Let them get by way more. I don’t correct them as much. I let the parents do the parenting.
What are the holidays like with the entire family? Any traditions?
T: Kleinpeters are loud, so they’re loud and full of life, and we always have meals together and open presents on Christmas morning. We like to keep that going.
What’s the best parenting advice you have ever received?
T: To be honest and have a life of faith.
How has your parenting style changed over the years?
T: You get a lot softer, but I let the parents parent now.
What do you value most about your family at this stage in your life?
T: I am blessed with healthy children, and I get to see them almost daily. I’m thankful for the daily quality time.
What do you do to take care of yourself?
T: I have to have downtime, so I go hunting and fishing. Just being outdoors in the woods gives me time to get away from the hustle and bustle.
What personality trait of yours do you hope your children also get?
T: Being fun and crazy. I want them to have fun in life and enjoy life to the fullest.
Do you have any advice for other parents?
T: Show as much love as possible, but don’t lose the fun. ■
In my fridge, you will always find…eggs from my chickens.
Favorite movie growing up…Radio Flyer and E.T.
My guilty pleasure is…hunting, fishing, and popcorn.
Music I’m loving…70s rock and roll and country.
I feel my best when I’m…with family.