Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Feels SO good to write what's on my mind

When I called my mom yesterday afternoon, shortly after publishing my last post, she didn't say hello.

"You came out of the closet!"

I laughed. "Yeah, and it feels good."

To be honest, I was mostly worried about what the photojournalists I work with would think -- two of my friends in particular. They have given me tips over the years when I've asked, shown me different things to try and even helped me construct my camera goodies Christmas list after I invested in my first SLR.

But, much to my relief, both of them weren't too surprised. One even went so far as to say it was a natural fit.

"Your stuff of Allison is way better than any mall studio," he said, making me instantly want to hug him.

The other is coming over on Friday to give me tips on exterior lighting and hopefully allow me to take pictures of him and his wife, who is due with their first child in a few weeks.

Why was I so worried again?

Add that to all the support I've gotten here, and I have enough good-vibe fuel to propel me through this very demanding effort of getting established. Then again, the hard part is done. The fun part of taking photos comes next. I just have to round up some willing participants.

In the meantime, I plan to use the model I have constant access to: Alli.

Not wanting to blind her while I got used to firing my lights, I practiced on Jerry's Rambo bobblehead doll first. He was staring at me from his shelf in the kitchen as I looked around for something to shoot.


The first few shots were so bright it looked like he was lost in a blizzard. But once I toned down the output strength, he suddenly appeared in all his big-headed glory. Rambo looked amazing.


When Allison woke up from her nap, I stuffed her in a gorgeous hand-me-down dress, grabbed a beautiful antique chair my grandmother got her for Christmas, a teddy bear and went upstairs.

I didn't want anything overly posed, so I just tried to capture her as she played. I got about 10 minutes, maybe 15, before she ripped the dress over her head and dropped Rambo so hard on the rug that he broke both legs in a clean split at the shins.

And he had looked so tough with his machine gun.

But even in that short amount of time, I got three shots worth showing off to my family. It was so exhilarating to have the freedom of a studio. I didn't have to worry whether there was a wet towel on the bed in the background. Or a rogue sock on the floor.

It was just Allison. Lovely little Allison. Just being her expressive self.

After I toned each one, I shot off three overly excited e-mails to the relatives I thought would care, as well as the photographer from my hometown who helped me select equipment.

Granted, I'm sure no one would be brave enough to say, "Um, Kelly? You wasted your money. Try and recoup what you can on eBay."

But I still took their encouraging responses to heart.

In the meantime, I uploaded them to my Kodak Easy Share account so people could buy a print if they felt so inclined.

Then the e-mails came.

Kodak wouldn't fulfill any orders until they had written consent from the professional photographer who took the photos and owns copyrights.

I shot back a quick e-mail to my parents before faxing my consent.

"I'm sorry this is a complete pain in the ass, but SWEET!"

I know it's only three photos of my own kid, but it feels like I'm off to a good start.





Diane said...

AMAZING. The black and white photo is stunning. Are you using fully white backgrounds? How are making it appear that she is coming out of thin air?

Kristy said...

Beautiful portraits. Congrats on your new profession!

Anonymous said...

those are so awesome!!!! black and white is def my fav!!!
can't wait for to see what you do with jax
loffe me

btswt said...

I love love loveeee the second one! Allie's expression is SO CUTE!

Keep it up, Kelly! I can't wait to see more work from you in the future!

Lindsay Willman said...

The BW photo of Alli is wonderful!! Congratulations!!

Anonymous said...

Those are fantastic! I love them all, but I am drawn to the B&W one - it is really special. Thank you for sharing the pics. I know this is going to be amazing for you.

Anonymous said...

i think you will enjoy this site

Ashley said...

these are fantastic! i have read your blog for many years, and always admired your photography. i especially love the black and white, although they are all great. congrats kelly!

Hannah said...

Simply put: Amazing. End of story. :) The black and white is definitely my favorite, but they are all beautiful! I cannot wait to see more as you travel further into your journey!

Annie C said...

These are amazing! I am so excited for you! I cannot believe how talented you are...(well I can but you know what I mean!)

the_plainsman said...

Hmmm...A woman who is able to paint pictures with words and turn pictures into memorable photographs. Good stuff, Kelly!

How about a portrait of Jerry looking sadly at his broken Rambo bobblehead?

Ps. An epoxy type glue will be a more permanent fix for Jerry's Rambo than the super-glues, or if all else fails, there's always eBay to find a replacement!

aj said...


I admire all of this for 2 reasons:

1 - You are following a dream, and making it come true, and I think that might be one of the most beautiful things we can do with life.

2 - Seeing as how I was a Graphic Design major, and took several photography classes, I have many friends in the photography business. Close friends. Ones that inspire me continuously to take better shots. I decided to link you over to all four of their websites, so you can have a looksee.

They are all different, but amazing. Hope these inspire.

Tim Dodd - http://www.timdoddphotography.com/

Ryan Morrison - http://www.ryanmorrisonphotography.com/

Shun-Luoi Fong - http://www.shunluoifong.com/

Noah Henscheid - http://www.thefotostem.com/

Anonymous said...

I don't know beans about photography but those look so good and I think Kodak said it all. You're well on your way. Congrats !!!


Jessica said...

These look great, Kelly!

Maryum said...

THAT IT AWESOME!!!! I'm excited for you!!!

Anonymous said...

I know you're just starting, but just FYI, Shutterfly has a site specifically for professional photographers to sell their pics-

And the black and white pic of your girl is AMAZING!

Anonymous said...

Sorry - the link didn't show up correctly - here it is:

Erica said...

This sounds like a great idea and it looks like you've already had a great start! I know in my hometown there are a ton of photographers who have studios in their house and do a lot of baby pics, wedding, pics, and senior portraits and they are very successful. So a small-ish town where there aren't a lot of commercial photography stuff are great places to have private photography businesses. So good luck with everything I'm sure it will be great because you are incredibly talented!

Shal said...

LOVE it... OMG You are amazing! the b and W is my favorite.. but the colors ones are awesome...

Sorry to hear about Rambo's demise, I'm sure Jerry is taking that hard...

And what a compliment from KODAK... hehe that's very cool

Keri Garrett said...

That middle photo, the B&W, is AMAZING.

Wendy M. said...

Great job!
Love the second one.

maejen said...

Kelly this is wonderful! Congrats and good luck on this new photography adventure. It is so great that you have found yet another avenue to express yourself AND increase your income. The photos are great, and like others have expressed, the second one is amazing. What a great photo!

jess said...

I am SO excited for you! They are beautiful pictures! I have actually been wanting to do this recently also, and I'm a bit jealous of you owning the Nikon D90 (I've had my eye on it for awhile). I'm glad we could finally find out what your long term project was =)

Amy said...

Kelly, you're going to be amazing! Those photos are beautiful. Best of luck on this endeavor!

Janice said...

Oh my gosh, those pictures are STUNNING! Print out that black and white one and hang it up somewhere! amazing, congrats and keep going!!

Amanda said...

Like I said before the photos are not just beautiful cuz Alli was your model. You have a natural eye. Just beautiful!

Jennifer Suarez said...

Looking good! The black and white is my favorite as well.

Fit Mama said...

great news! great pics! I would totally make a stop in mid-PA on my cross-state trips to get some pics like this! way to go!

Anonymous said...

Like everyone else, I love the black&white photo because it's so natural and so Alli. Congratulations, and keep on updating us :D

cnjweber said...

You are SO hired! We will drive to wherever you are to photograph any 'upcoming' events...:) Congrats for taking the leap...I've often thought what if I could do that w/ my photography, but then alas I found ultrasound...its sort of like photography! So we'll look to you for the rest! Congrats and good luck! So proud of you!!!

cnjweber said...

PS love the black and white. priceless expression!

Kara said...

Love the black and white one! It's perfect for the picture,and perfect timing for the shot.

Tiffany said...

You are living my dream! Congratlations Kelly, I hope it goes wonderfully.

Nina's Mama said...

I love the photos! I really do wish I lived closer for you to take a portrait of my little girl!

Anonymous said...

Man!! I think you are the woman of many talents :) You are a great writer and a great photographer. Can you give me lessons? :) Glad you are so happy!

Ray said...

I KNEW IT! I KNEW IT!! =D I remember reading a while back that you had been interested in photography. Those photos of Alli (and Rambo) came out great. I really hope this new project turns into a big and successful business for you. The best of luck to you!! ;o)

Take care.

Kirstin said...


Anonymous said...

Kelly, these are really great! A great place to order photos from is www.mpix.com. They color correct, so the pictures arrive more professional looking than from Kodak or Shutterfly or your local store.

Barbi52373 said...

These are amazing photos. I've been reading your blog for years now and feel like I know you and Jerry. I listen to Jerry in the morning on my way to work. Your writing inspires me alot. I'd love to have you take some family portraits of us, my husband and 8 yr old. We haven't had a family portrait done since my daughter was 1 1/2 yrs old, hubby hates going into a studio. We are from the Lock Haven area but I'd still love to travel for some great pics. Congratulations on coming out. Good Luck

Kristin said...

Ohh my gosh, they're beautiful =D
You've got to be so excited!


Anonymous said...


Candi said...

Great job! Thanks for sharing some of your work!

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you'll even read this but wow, if you compare your pictures here to your pictures today, you can see how much your work has evolved. Isn't it great? Touch wood. :)

(Sorry I was randomly reading your archives, you don't post much these days. :|)