Featured Artist: Simply Life. Images By Kelli
♦ Tell us a little bit about you.
Hey there! My name is Kelli, I was born & raised in a suburb outside of Chicago until my husband and I packed up and moved to South Carolina. Now we live 30 minutes inland from North Myrtle Beach in a small town called Green Sea. There’s a soon-to-be 12 year old son, an 8 year old daughter, and 2 kitties that make up our fun, crazy little family. They are what makes my world go round. I’m a data entry specialist, for an insurance company, by day and a photographer by night. I’ve always thought photography was interesting, as far back as high school, but it was 5 years ago that I got my first DSLR –like camera; a Sony mirrorless camera. I was hooked from that very first ‘click’.
♦ Are you following your passion?
Honestly, I’m not a full time photographer but I’d still have to say ‘yes’. Photography, and the learning of it all, has been so therapeutic in a lot of ways. Being able to take something ordinary (or even something you wouldn’t notice) and making it extraordinary is pretty amazing.
♦ What tools to do use to create? (Photos are lovely).
In my bag… I shoot primarily with a Sony a6000 and either Sigma 30 1.4 and a Sigma 19 2.8 lens. I have 2 manual focus film lenses (Petri 55mm and Yashica 50mm) that I use for Macro and freelensing. I also have extension tubes for macro photography. Then I have a couple gadgets that I try to be creative with; a prism, copper pipe, fairy lights, and colored powder.
♦ When did you fall in love with your art? How long have been doing it?
I don’t know when I fell in love with it. I’ve always had disposable cameras (in the 90’s) and point and shoot cameras there after. So, I’ve always had an interest. I think I might have truly fallen in love with it, though, a few years ago when I really dove in and started learning my camera and what it could do.
♦ What sort of work do you specialize in?
I don’t think I specialize in 1 particular genre. Some people might think that is wrong, but I just enjoy taking photos of everything. If I had to pick a genre that I’m better at, I would say macro photography.
♦ Do you create personal work often?
I create personal work every day. I’m always trying to learn new things, try new things, and develop into a photographer that truly inspires others as well as myself.
♦ What or who got you started in your creative medium?
When I get asked this question, I always wonder if that person gets sick of hearing this or if it truly empowers them knowing that they’ve had such an impact on someone… I hope it’s the latter ;) Jessica Orlowicz of Peach & Port. When I started following her, she was a blogger and photographer. The way she captured her family life and the places she’s lived in were so, so inspiring. That is what I wanted to do; document my kids, family and life in the way that she did. She is now very successful in her editorial/commercial business and I still am inspired by her.
♦ Who are some of you favorite artists past or present?
Wendy B Photos, Slice of Love Photography, Krystal Weir Photography, just to name a few. They each have their own style and I am constantly getting inspired by what they do.
♦ What are some of favorite inspirational communities?
There are a LOT of communities out there, but there is only 1 that is truly about every artist and inspiration, and that is The Artistic Soul.
♦ Do create other types of art? What kind(s)?
Right now, I don't. When I was younger I made a lot of friendship bracelets, so every now and then I make one for my son and daughter, but that’s really it.
♦ How do you balance your personal/family and passion?
It’s actually pretty easy since they’re all one in the same. My photography is mostly my family/personal life so I think it’s cool that I get to combine them together.
♦ From where do you draw your inspiration?
All the photographic communities out there. All the photographers that are sharing their new techniques or ideas.
♦ What kind of workflow apps do use?
I use Lightroom, Spark, & Photoshop.
♦ What kinds of creative collaborations have you done?
I am part of a Collaboration FB Community and I take images of products for Etsy shop owners. It’s been an amazing process. I get to stage their product (whether it be a flatlay or a product in action) and it’s always such an awesome feeling when they love it AND you see your image in their shop!
♦ What’s your favorite online communities?
Let’s Collab, The Artistic Soul, Creative Hustler, Dear Photographer, and ClicknMoms. When a group of people can put aside the competition aspect of photography and come together to continuously help, teach, and inspire others… Those 5 online communities are that for me.
♦ What’s two art mediums you couldn’t live without?
Obviously, photography. I don’t want to think about what a mess I’d be if my camera broke. Another one is watercolor art. There is something so beautiful, and what appears to be effortless, in the lines and colors. It’s peaceful and I enjoy them.
♦ Do you work with any charities or special projects? Which ones?
Special projects, I have 1 that I’ll be starting. I want to photograph and tell the stories of school aged victims of bullying. I think some schools are too complacent and allow things to happen that shouldn’t and I’d like to bring awareness to that.
♦ If you could go back in time, what advice would give to your young artists
wanting to follow their passion?
Always follow your passion in life. Work for it. Don’t let anyone take it away from you. It’s yours, own it. I started later in life, and I kind of regret it. Don’t be like me ;)
♦ What tips would you give to our viewers in an inspirational rut?
Go outside and try something new! Whether it’s trying to capture a
sun flare through tree branches, taking a close up photo of a flower, or trying to get that awesome shot of your kid doing a cartwheel… try it. Do something different, you may be surprised to find how much you love something.