Tell us a bit about your approach to the work you do, your time in the business and a few personal facts about you.
KK – I’ve been in business officially for a little over 3 years but have been photographing for over 20. I began when I inherited a Zeiss from my grandfather, a world war 2 veteran who documented the medical camps with it. I approach my work with a sense of empathy and love as I enter people’s homes, families, and hearts to make honest portraits of the truth of this season of their life. I try to be very present with them; attentive to their ways, their affections and the moments that count.
LW-I’m a dream catcher, not only in my personal approach to life but in my professional world of creating images as well. I live for catching moments that disappear all too quickly, for somehow capturing a moment that only those involved actually felt, unaware that others saw it. Small tangible details that I first see through my lens, then get to see again when editing is what excites me. This is why I make photographs. I’ve really only begun to find my voice and I think that my daughter helps bring this emotive and nostalgic side out in me. I see me in her. When I see her joys and remember my own growing up, it makes me feel what I am seeing through my camera. I want others to see it as well.
Tell us about your feelings regarding community and other photographers?
KK- I love our community; I have many very good photographer friends, they make up the majority of both my friend group and my client group! With any large community, there can be difficulties and conflicts and photography is not immune to that. I’ve experienced troubles in our community as well but overall I believe in a surplus mentality. There’s always enough to go around so we can all afford to share. I love connecting with people who get the ups and downs of being in a small business and also being an artist. It’s a unique set of joys and woes and having friends who really get it can really make life easier on tough days.
LW- What a community I feel as though I have found! I have my niche. I have my small group of photographers I know and can turn to for true advise, free from judgment and free from fear of competition. I think that is hard to come by in such a large pool of talent. I’m somewhat of a guarded person, I hesitate at first to share but the overwhelming support & truth of this community has amazed me (and pulled me out of creative blocks many times :)). For this I am so thankful.
What was the experience collaborating with another artist?
KK- Lauren and I have collaborated together before so we didn’t really find too many difficulties in setting this up. I adore Lauren’s photographic voice; so based in sensation and detail. I found shooting together to heighten my own awareness of the textures and details, while also enjoying the camaraderie that having a friend along lends. Shooting together helps the whole session feel more like a coffee talk with friends, relaxes the subject and gives a sense of intimacy that can be hard won sometimes.
LW- This isn’t the first time I have shot with Keziah, I took her on as a mentor last winter and she arranged a learning session that we shot together. This was SO hard for me, I was completely out of my comfort zone but also eager to learn. One of my most favorite images ever created came from that session!
Were there any hurdles?
KK- We definitely wound up cropping each other’s arms and toes out of a lot of frames! HA! I think the biggest hurdle was definitely just the physical space. We are both close shooters, so there were moments in the session where we’d be shoulder to shoulder working. Our other major hurdle was scheduling; we both book out fairly far in advance and are working moms juggling school runs and households so finding a date on both our calendars with good light was a super challenge!!
LW- I felt an initial uncertainty how the session would flow, not wanting to step in the way of her thought or vision and visa-versa. Scheduling was a little tricky too:)
Your best photographer/session advice? How would you approach sharing the same subject with another artist?
KK- I think, like any session, approach with a combination of planning and intent ( what do I want to make today?) and the openness to feel inspired by your subject, the light and locational details. I am always very inspired by water and Lauren rolled with it, she was taken with some fluffy dandelion bush things and we shot there for a while as well. I think allowing yourself the flexibility to just be like, ‘oh I love that, lets try and work with it!’ lets you break your own boundaries and create something amazing.
Sharing a subject is kind of a moot idea, we all share basics. It’s fun to work side by side and see another person grind their gears as they think about the same set of information as you but differently/ It’s inspiring to try and expand as you incorporate their want list and your own into a session.
LW- Know what you want to get from your session. I truly believe that sharing a client with another artist will be difficult for some, but for others, if you can find a complimentary voice in this crazy, creative field then you are fortunate. Collaborate as much as you can when you find that.
What gear was used to achieve these?
KK- I shoot with a Canon Mark3, sigma 35 ART 1.4
LW- I use a Nikon D750 with a Sigma Art 20 mm 1.4
Will you collaborate with more artist in the future, if yes Who would be on your list to work with?
KK- I would definitely do it again!! A dream list of collaborators? hmmmmm, that’s a super tough one! I’d love to work with Justyna Butler, Devon Hall, Tatum Pfieffer, Candice Zugich.. I could go on!
LW- I have not yet considered collaborating with other artists , I think i would need to have an existing relationship with that person, as I do with Keziah. I think to have another intensely creative individual work along side you in your coveted space requires deep trust and appreciation for the other and what they create as well. I believe that is rare. I would certainly collaborate again with her!
K E Z I A H ‘S G A L L E R Y
L A U R E N’S G A L L E R Y
ABOUT THE ARTISTS :
K E Z I A H K E L S E Y
Keziah Kelsey is a former art educator, an artist, and fine art photographer, in 2014 she pivoted from high concept styled shoots in the fashion world to intimate, raw, and real portraits of family, motherhood, and childhood as she began her own family journey. Her photography business has grown from a side hustle to full time and has deepened in tune with the seasons in her life. She now offers full service, end to end professional photography as well as mentoring, classes, and workshops for budding photographers.
She has recently been honored with 1st place in the 2017 Shoot & Share competition and is a member of NAPW, the Motherhood Society, PPA and a Click Pro. Her work has been shown at multiple, international galleries and published extensively in the last few years.
L A U R E N W R I G H T
I am a Mother, a Wife, and an Artist. I love each hat I wear equally. They each teach me something new every day, and what I learn I like to bring into my work.
I struggle and dig deep every day for what makes me happy with my art. I actually crave (in a weird way) the struggle of keeping my mind feeling creative and heart filled with joy from my work. I want to constantly create & feel the rush of seeing an image perfectly depict a moment or intimate detail that only those in the image experienced but now is tangible and felt just by viewing it.