After almost two years in business I realize I did one thing wrong. I never really introduced myself or explained why I do what I do in my blog. I mean, I have an about me section, but it doesn't fully explain why I do photography the way that I do it. I guess there's no time like the present.
If you don't know me; hi, i'm Kelly. I am the photographer and owner of Kelly Howell Photo. I live in Placerville, California. I am in an area that's commonly called Gold Country. It's called this because this is where the gold rush of California was active and lively. Its the beginning of the Sierra mountain range. Often when I say I am from California most people think I live on the beach. Many people don't realize that California has an amazing array of mountains, wetlands, farmlands, volcanoes and cities. I have traveled to many states and geographically California is still my favorite. It's weather and access to outdoor activities is an outside enthusiasts dream. It's what inspired me to start photography in the first place.
Since I was a child I have been artistic. I started drawing at a very young age. I remember having drawing competitions with my dad and grandfather. We would try and see who could draw the best cat or farm scenes or island scenes. I still love to draw today and paint, but I grew too impatient for it and I am also a perfectionist when it comes to things like that. So when I discovered photography it was an amazing fit!
I bought my first fancy DSLR camera in 2007 after getting my first full time job. It was a treat to myself. I bought a Nikon D40 with two kit lenses. I was taking pictures of everything from chicken (yes raw chicken, don't judge, hahaha) to cat toys to landscapes. I had no real direction I was just taking pictures. Did this bring me to where I am today? Maybe, I'll never really know, but it did give me lots of practice. There was a time in between when I first started and now where I didn't photograph anything at all. I get very unmotivated when I don't have direction. Then one day I came across a site called Creative Live in search of classes for an entirely different business I had. I discovered all the amazing photography classes they had and it reignited the spark I once had for photography.
After browsing all the amazing classes by world re-known photographers I came across a class called Family Photography: Modern Storytelling by Kirsten Lewis. As soon as I watched the first class I was hooked. It's exactly what I have always wanted to do, plus it was along the lines of my other love street photography. I just loved that you were focusing more on telling the family's personal story by giving them a third person's perspective of their entire day. Also, it was a revelation on how I could document my own son's childhood without staging photos. I was just so inspired by documenting my own son's childhood in this photojournalist style that I wanted others to be able to enjoy something like this too.
Not only do I love family documentary photography, but I love street photography as I mentioned in the earlier paragraph. Many people get confused on what street photography is and it's basic definition is candid photography in a public space. People always think you can only take pictures in huge cities like New York or Chicago, but it can be anywhere. Next year I'll be featured at the Gallery at 48 Natoma for my small town street photography series, which I am currently working on. See example below.
Since I am a drawer and painter at heart I love photography that is conceptual and is considered fine art. Some examples of this type of photography are photographers like David LaChapelle and Brooke Shaden. Their photographs almost look like a painting instead of a photograph and it's pretty stunning and I am automatically drawn to it. I hope to incorporate this into my photography this year and next with some self portraits.
Here is a list of projects I am working on this year and next year:
Fine Art Selfies
Small Town Street Photography
100 Things Your Child Should Do Before 10
Bokeh Night Photography
And some personal projects that I am undecided if I am going to share yet.
The running theme between all of these projects and why I keep taking pictures is the fact that I love people! I love culture and I love our differences because that's what makes the world so fascinating. I love meeting new people and knowing their stories, even if it's a conceptual story. I like to know why they do what they do. Why it excites them and I want to show that through my photographs.