Saturday, April 24, 2010

On Being 13

In my last post I demonstrated how I edit many of my photos. I think its important to point out that I don't always use this process. When I edit event portraits I don't edit this way because I have no other choice but the one with the beautiful couple standing in front of a back drop. When I'm taking pictures of interiors I would never use this process because clearly I would choose the images that show the room in its "best light."

That being said, the times I do use this editing process is when I need to tell a story or convey how I am seeing something and I want you to see it too. Work I assign myself is perfect for this type of editing. My dream is to show my work in galleries and to make beautiful handmade books. This is the kind of work that has no "client" and no direction other than where I want it to go.

Here are a few of the pictures I took of my daughter during her thirteenth year of life. I will be putting them in a handmade book along with pictures she drew. She was very sweet to let me follow her around. These images are the result of hours of shooting and hours of editing from stacks of contact sheets.

Amanda at thirteen was looking for her place in this world, with her friends, her sisters, and her parents. Its a time in a young girl's life when she is expected to behave like a young adult but still wants to be little. Its life filled with make-up, jewelry, and and tennis shoes. She needs to be cool yet may still sleep with a teddy bear. Amanda is a little sister and a big sister and just trying to figure out what all this means.



  1. Kelley you have done an amazing job! I totally love this idea and how with this series of photographs you seem to have shown so many sides to Amanda.

    For the first year of my little nephew Rowan's life I photographed him every month including the month before he was born with pictures of my sister, brother in law and Rowan as bump. Seeing how this beautiful little boy changed over the year was incredible but more so was the feeling when I gave my sister a book with the images in. It was a real emotional time and not a dry eye in the house; not simply because of the photographs but because of the meaning behind it all. You see, around 2 years before this, my sister's first baby (Lachlan) didn't survive the whole pregnancy and sadly died just before she had gone 'full term'. So, being able to give her photos of baby Rowan as he reached his first Birthday was emotional because of the relief that we'd all come that far and the realisation that 'birth' is a miracle.

    It's things like this that remind me just how important photographs are. When it comes to photographing those close to me, 99% of the time lighting etc goes out of the window...I just snap away at every chance to record them otherwise I'll just miss that 'moment'; does that make sense?

    Kelley, what you've put together for Amanda I really do think is amazing; can you imagine how she'll feel looking at that book in say 10, 20, 30+ years???

    Good on you; this is what photography is all about.

    Best wishes,

  2. Thanks Glyn! What a wonderful story, and you are so right about the memories. I have to agree with you 100% about what photography is all about. Being this is a second career for me I really see it as a way to capture my life and express my heart. Photography has really been a source of hope for me because I thought at one point in my life I lost everything i was and photography opened a new door.

    Thanks for the fantastic feedback always!
    = ) Kelley

  3. Lovely set of shots Kelley, a real story to tell that will last forever.

    I am with Glyn on this - lighting is secondary; photography is about the moment. And these ones will go on forever, Amanda will remember these moments forever.

    Best of luck


  4. Oh man, light is why I shoot, Its what draws me in. I can't help it, its like a drug for me. I think I may have been brainwashed about it early on.
    You both are fabulous, and really I had no idea anyone was reading my blog LOL.
    I'm so thankful for your input, you can't even know.

  5. Hey Kelley, I don't miss a thing thanks to Google Reader; your RSS feed is in there for sure.

    It's great to read about other people's life in Photography and what they're getting from it cos it ain't just about a light here and a light's deeper and there's so much more to it as you clearly show in your posts.

    I know I speak for Noel with this too; a great guy who has become a great friend...all thanks to photography.

    All the best to you,