Edmonton & Area CrossFit Photographer {Heather} Sneak Peek

Inspiration/inspired/inspirational are not words that I use lightly, so when I had a student in my photography class come up to me and tell me that I was an inspiration to them, I couldn't help but feel an enormous well of confidence and pride. It got me thinking a lot the last few weeks about how I got where I am today, running a successful photography business, teaching photography classes, supporting my family financially and really doing a job that I love. The truth is that I used to be the most introverted, shy, unconfident, self doubting person, someone who would never take chances, never try anything new, never take risks, always letting the fear of failure hold me back. It took me 30 years to figure out that sometimes, taking risks, stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something that you never thought you could do is one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself. 

For me it started 3 years ago when after thinking about starting a photography business for the better part of 5 years, but always letting fear get in the way, I took a risk and booked my first clients. My whole first year in business was full of sleepless nights, self doubt and constant fear that I wasn't good enough. I constantly compared myself to others, and I greatly under valued my time and talent and basically worked for free. I honestly don't know why or when my attitude changed, but in the past year I have gotten to a place where I am more confident in myself and my business than I ever was before. I raised my prices to a sustainable level and now I book families who aren't just concerned about price, but who love and value my work too. And I took a huge step out of my comfort zone and started teaching photography classes, something that I never dreamed I would have the opportunity to do; And wow it is so rewarding being able to share my skills with others, something that I will keep doing whether it's through teaching or eventually mentoring other photographers, I have found another love and purpose. This year I am taking on the risk of opening a new home studio in my small town, and just last week I made my first huge financial decision on my own purchasing and financing a new vehicle as a business owner, something that I worked so hard for, but really never believed would happen. The point I want to make is that doing things that scare you, that take you completely out of your comfort zone, are so worth it, it really helps you grow as a person. I saw a quote this week that summed it up perfectly - "Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will'' ~Karim Seddiki

I couldn't think of a more appropriate session to share with you all that ties right into the topic of inspiration, hard work and doing something that you never thought possible. My dear friend Heather, who I have only had the pleasure of knowing for the past year, approached me in the fall to photograph her at her gym - Leduc CrossFit. I have only known the Heather that you see in these photos, a strong, beautiful, hardworking mom of three. What I learned when I did this session earlier this month was that Heather had been working incredibly hard with her trainer for the past several months to not only become incredibly fit and strong but also for a normalized relationship with food and with herself. I encourage to read more about her incredible journey on her blog. Heather, you are truly an inspiration, thank you so much for having me capture this special time for you. I hope you can look at these photos and feel a great sense of pride in how far you have come. Enjoy. {K}

Edmonton Family Photographer {What to Wear for Fall Family Photos}

School is in full swing, the days are getting cooler, fall is almost here; which means the busiest time of the year for me, photographing your beautiful families. I often get several emails leading up to fall mini sessions asking for advice on what to wear. I generally refer you to Pinterest where there are thousands of pins on what to wear. This year, since my family is prepping for family photos ourselves, I thought I would share the fool proof way I dress our family for photos as well as some dos and don'ts that always apply.

Walk in any store, or browse any store online and it won't take to long to find pieces for the whole family that coordinate nicely together. So step one is decide where to shop. Some of my favorites for the whole family - Old Navy, H&M, Zara, Target, Joe Fresh, Gap. 

Everyone is generally afraid of patterns, but I'm telling you right now, a simple pattern is ok as long as not everyone is wearing it. I like to limit it to two patterns in my family of five, and luckily I was able to find a pretty feminine blouse for myself that coordinated well with the bolder pattern I chose for two of my girls. Here are the patterns.

Now this is where  coordinating the rest of the family gets easy. If you look at both patters you can easily pull out four colors that coordinate beautifully. Maroon, Navy, Mustard and White.

Color scheme nbyw.jpg

Now it is time to shop for the rest of the family using the colors pulled from your pattern as your color guide - easy, right?

Some things I am looking for when shopping for my girls are clothes that are comfortable and that have some detail or movement to them. Dresses are great options for younger girls for some candid spinning photos. For boys, look for shirts with collars or pocket but avoid any logos or wording. Again a simple pattern, like plaids for boys or florals for girls are great options. My husband usually gets the color that is left over, which in this case was navy. While collard shirts are great options for guys, my husband is almost always in a t-shirt so I got him a navy tee with some button and pocket detail. Pair your top with well fitted jeans and some accessories and you are ready to go.

Here is what we ended up with, all from Old Navy. Dresses for my two littlest, a blouse for my oldest and tops for my husband and I. I actually ended up with a tunic style top with some detail that I may wear instead of the blouse. I just love the pops of mustard yellow, perfect for fall.

kelsie kelly photographer_style guide1.jpg

What I love most about these clothes are that they are so us, clothes that we could easily find in our every day wardrobe. I know we will be comfortable in them and in turn be more relaxed in front of the camera. 

Accessories will really pull your look together. Jewellery, scraves, and belts are great options for ladies.  Belts, watches and fun socks are great for the guys. You can never go wrong with a brown boot for fall, but any scuff free shoes will work and can add some personality to your photos. 

Some do's and don'ts to always remember. Logos and any wording on clothing is a big don't. Avoid wearing white alone, and definitely don't try to be matchy matchy. Do choose timeless pieces - scarves, blazers, cardigans, simple outfits for baby. Patterns are ok, just keep them on a smaller scale.

I hope this proves helpful to you as you prepare for your family photos. I am so looking forward to seeing so many return families from last year and meeting some new families too. Thank you to everyone for all of your amazing support year after year. {K}

Edmonton Newborn & family photographer {New Referral rewards}

I'll tell you a secret, running a business is scary. Two and half years ago I left a well paying stable job to become a full time photographer and business owner, and it is the scariest thing I have ever done. While I am so lucky to have an amazing husband that supports our family, we have three girls to take care of and that means I need to help provide for them. Those first six months of my photography business being my sole source of income were racked with sleepless nights and the constant worry no one would ever book me again! Yet every time I worried my email would bing and another family would come calling.  Now almost 2.5 years into my business I can finally sleep a little easier, because of all of the amazing families who not only keep coming back to me year after year, but who always pass my name on to their friends and family. You have all turned my fear into optimism, and I am so thankful to all of the amazing families who trust me to capture their precious memories while giving me the gift of always being there to create memories of my own with my family.

I am happy to announce that beginning April 1, 2017 I will be offering special referral rewards to all of the families who recommend me to their friends and family. For every family you recommend to me after April 1, 2017 that results in a booking you will receive 10% off your next session fee, or a free mini session or mini album for every 6 families that you recommend that result in a booking. So tell your friends about me and make sure they tell me that you sent them! 

My family is getting ready to move to a new home in just over a week, so I have spent the past few weeks trying to capture as much as I can of them in the house we are in now. Here is a little snap shot of the time I get to spend with my girls thanks to all of you. 


Edmonton Lifestyle Family Photographer {Click Away 2016} Renewed and Inspired

This past weekend I travelled to Seattle to take in my first Click Away, an amazing conference that celebrates women, and for the most part mom photographers, and provides three days of immense knowledge from some of the most talented photographers from around the world. To say I came away inspired would be an understatement. I learned so many technical things that I can't wait to incorporate into my sessions, but most of all I left with a renewed focus on my photography business and what I need to do make sure that I can continue to do this job I love and deliver the best experience to all the families I am lucky to meet.

My renewed focus really has me thinking what is it I love to do, and what am I best at? I have always loved capturing the authentic - connections, love, the real you and your real family. When I go back and look at all of the photos I have taken the ones that I love the most aren't the posed, smile at the camera moments, but ones like a mother breathing in her sweet baby, families smiling and laughing together, the candid moments that are truly a moment in time. I love coming into your homes and seeing how your family ticks and acting as a keeper of memories for you, not just the smiles, but all the in betweens. I love seeing a way a mother holds her child close, or how a dad makes his kids laugh. The photos I take should never be about me and my vision, it should all be you, the real you, your family, not me.

Will I continue to guide you through sessions, absolutely, but will I take a step back and let your family shine for who they really are and in turn give you photos that aren't just pretty but that make you feel something? Truly do my job as a keeper of your precious memories? The answer is yes and I can't wait to dive into my sessions with this renewed sense of focus and purpose and give you photos that will truly mean something to you. 

I'll end with some of my favorite moments in Seattle. 


Year One

One year ago I embarked on my dream of becoming a full time photographer. Photography was always a passion of mine and I had been avidly practising for more than ten years, so I didn't ever question my ability to be a photographer, but putting yourself out there as a business is a huge step and a scary one. Luckily I started out with an incredible support system that included my amazing husband who always encourages me and so many friends and family who were willing to be the very first families that I captured as Kelsie Kelly {Photographer}. 

At the time I had a four month old baby girl (keeping me up all night) along with two older daughters, so juggling a new business and family definitely took some time to get used to. In the end though, I get to spend more time with my girls than I ever did before, and I can always put them first which makes all the hard work and late nights so worth it. 

One year later and I can happily say my business is thriving thanks to so many amazing families who have trusted me to capture their precious memories. I feel so lucky to get to do something I love and am passionate about everyday and it is all thanks to you. Thank you for your amazing support. I look forward to capturing your beautiful families for many more years to come. 

Love {K}

Edmonton Fitness Photographer {Candice} Sneak Peek

I've known Candice for several years now, and am proud to call her a dear friend. We both had to step a bit out of our comfort zones for this session, but in the end Candice totally rocked her session and looked amazing! She has become a true inspiration to myself and so many others that are striving to live a healthier life. You can see what she is all about and let her inspire you at www.facebook.com/candicerowbotham .


Edmonton Newborn Photographer {Now offering Fresh 48 Sessions}

As a mom to three beautiful girls, some of my most precious memories are of the day they were born. After a very long 9 months of anticipation the moment I met each of my girls was one of pure love and emotion and one that I will never forget. The days and weeks that followed though, those emotional, tiring weeks, are a blur. The days that I became a new mom, a mom to two, and a mom to three, the sweetness of my baby girls when they were brand new. What I would give to go back and have some of that time captured.

I am happy to announce that I will now be offering {Fresh 48} Sessions exclusively to my maternity & newborn clients. What is a {Fresh 48} session? Fresh 48 photography is a special session for those new families who want the first few hours of their newborn’s life captured. Held within the first 24-48 hours of your baby’s life, these lifestyle sessions are perfect for remembering that first day forever. Shots of your little one’s tiny toes, first yawns, sweet details and those quiet moments between you and your new little one. I will come to your place of birth within 48 hours.  Not meant to replace a traditional newborn session, no props or posing, it will just be me capturing your baby’s sweet new moments in a fresh natural way.

{Fresh 48} are offered alone or to clients that book a maternity &/or newborn package for an additional $250

. The sessions are 30-60 minutes at your place of birth and include 15-20 fully edited high resolution images.

Due to the fact that I will be on call for these sessions, I can only offer a very limited number of bookings per month, so it is best to contact me and book early. 

Here is a snapshot of a {Fresh 48} session I was honoured to photograph this spring. Enjoy. {K}

Edmonton & Area Family Photographer {Sisters Family Session} Sneak Peek

Last fall I got to photograph the sweetest baby boy so I was thrilled when his mama contacted me to do some photos of her, her little guy, and her sisters this past weekend. The relationship between sisters is so special, I can say so because I am blessed to have two sisters myself, so having the opportunity to capture these gorgeous ladies really having fun together was a blast. And little Crosby was as chill as he was the first time we met. These sisters live on opposite sides of the country from one another so I hope that they can look back and cherish this visit together with these photos. I was so excited to shoot on the first evening of daylights savings, and as you can see we sure lucked out with the golden light on this night. Enjoy. {K}

School Portraits {Shouldn't they have personality?}

Last month I was meeting with a prospective new preschool for my daughter when after bringing up I was a photographer the preschool director asked if I would be interested in doing their school photos. While school portraiture isn't exactly my specialty, it got me thinking, shouldn't these annual snapshots be more than a cheesy backdrop and forced smile? Shouldn't these photos have some personality? I started researching school portraits on Clickin Moms (my daily go to for anything photography related) and found that there definitely is a market for a more boutique style school photography. The benefits compared to the traditional outlet include high end portraits at a fraction of the typical price for parents, and less paper work and organization for schools. Ordering can be done online, and parents are given up to 8 poses of their children truly being themselves with the option to purchase prints or digital images as well as other high end products like artisan quality canvas prints. 

In preparation for an up coming meeting with the preschool, I did some portfolio building this past week. While I am still not 100% decided on entering the school portrait market, I am not closing the door to the possibility. When was the last time you bought your child's school photos? Would these type of images be more appealing year to year? If this is something you think your child's school would be interested in, definitely feel free to pass my name on or contact me. {K}