Dear Photographer feature by Kerlyn Van Gelder

Dear Photographer feature by Kerlyn Van Gelder
Kerlyn Van Gelder Photography 2015 (1).jpg



Dear Kerlyn,


You are continually cultivating raw moments of connection and love you are inspired by. It’s an amazing thing to live and feel life so intensely and emotionally. Continue to allow that to flow naturally in your life and in your art. Your dreams know no bounds! You have achieved goals, ones you didn’t even think were possible when you first started. You always find the road less travelled, even if it’s in your own backyard. Don’t lose that need to explore, to see new things, to create new memories with your loved ones.

Remember to pause. Take the moment in, let it fill you with inspiration, and create emotional, breathtaking, honest, intimate stories. You have become so inspired by your life and your wild little one! Kane gave you new eyes and don’t stop seeking the adventure in life like he does!

It took you some pretty annoying internal struggles to get to where you are, feeling happy with what you’ve created. Don’t forget that, and as time goes on and life gets a little busier, remember the little things that you appreciate so much. Don’t be afraid to put yourself and your honesty in your photos. Live your life more authentically than the day before.

Listen to whispers from your soul, the ones that tell you you’re enough and you’re needed. You’ll fall down and you’ll cry but remember the One who gives you strength. Thank Him for your incredible life and sow seeds into your relationship with Him. Kiss your guys and fill them with love for every day is a new day for adventure, to create art, and to seek all the things that make your heart move.

Love, yourself.

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I’m Kerlyn! I am an autism momma to my adventurous son, wife to my high school sweetheart, adventurous traveller, and intimate storytelling photographer! I believe in the authentic storytelling of visual art and showing the vulnerable moments we feel that are unable to put into words. I am a lover of last light, intimate connections, and spontaneous memories with the ones you love!

W E B S I T E | F A C E B O O K | I N S T A G R A M 


21/31 epic summer sessions

21/31 epic summer sessions
Is this session personal work or client work?

This session was personal. I shot these while we were on vacation.

Tell us a bit about the magic of summer + the connection to your lens?

Summer really is magical for me. I take so many photographs over the summer, I’m usually still editing them during the long nights of winter. I am always immensely inspired when I travel or when am exploring the outdoors. I love to hike and discover new places, and am very fortunate that my daughters and husband also share that love of adventure. While it is hard finding time to fit work in while my girls are off from school, just being able to spend so much more precious time caught up in their wonder makes me see the world with new eyes. I find that because of my photography, I allow myself to slow down with my girls. Any other time I’m in a rush for one reason or another. Because of my camera, I let them take off their shoes and splash in the stream longer, I let them get extra muddy, I let them take the long way home, I let them pick extra flowers, I’m the one who is lagging behind and slowing up the walk because I’m taking pictures. I’m thankful everyday for that kind of magic.

What about this session makes it an Epic summer session?

I love this location. We’ve been coming here for a few years. Its on the bay which gets way less crowded than the beach side (most of the time we have the entire place ourselves) and at low tide the water pulls back so far I can really capture the vastness of it all. I love huge horizons and tiny subjects. When we are lucky, the laughing gulls are also here taking a break from the crowds.
There really is no way of directing two nine year olds over the din of the gulls, and there really, really is no way of directing the birds. Lensbaby lenses are manual focus. Can you see where I’m headed? I had to just shoot hundreds of images and hope for the best. It is never fun culling through that many images at one time, but when you start finding the gems, it makes it all worth it. I love the movement that the gulls bring into the frame, the frozen chaos. My girls are always sure that this will be the time that they will catch one. So they sneak, they run, they try surprise attacks, and each of their failures ends in hysterical giggling as birds wings are ruffling their hair while they lazily take wing and land a few yards away…where the whole capture attempt begins anew.

What else is on your summer bucket list to photograph this summer?

My bucket list is pretty much bottomless so I will save you from all of my grand dreams of travel and adventure! My girls and I have just started planning a road trip across the country, from coast to coast. It is something that I have wanted to do my entire life. It’s not going to happen this summer, but for now, we are having fun planning and researching.
Realistically this summer I just want to photograph with all of my heart. I’m taking a little hiatus from client work this year so my focus is solely on my family and my own whims. I’m exploring new techniques and ideas, being open to inspiration as it comes. We are taking advantage of some of the closer to home wonders that we have overlooked for the grander. I want to shoot more of the sea, I’ve always had a fierce connection to the ocean. I want to shoot more car trips, I love photographing from the passenger seat. I want to shoot more hiking, I love capturing my girls discovering new things in the wilds. I want to shoot more street photography…I have inane fear of photographing strangers but I see such beautiful and magnificent stories all around me.

What gear was used to achieve these?

I shot these with my Canon 6d and my Lensbaby Edge50 lens. I love the Lensbaby Edge lenses (I use both the 50 and the 80) for the freenlensed look I can achieve with them while having the security of the lens affixed to the camera. Because of that reason, I use them almost exclusively when I’m out in the elements, like at the beach or doing any hiking.

Any summer tips or photographer advice?

The only thing I can say is just have fun. Use your photography as a way to get into the moment…with your children, family, friends, significant other, or even just yourself. Just go with the flow and don’t give into the urge to amend and direct the scene. Try and use your photography as a way of slowing down and really taking note and enjoying the things that capture your heart and imagination. Make the most of the longest days of the year. Don’t even stress about perfect lighting, perfect composure, etc…if you feel it, shoot it! What you shoot with your heart will always mean more to you than what you shot with your head.

I crave the sun and I’m happiest when I’m barefoot. I am inexplicably drawn to the ocean and I love epic long car trips, finding new places, and museums. I collect vintage photographs and old books. My girls and I look for treasure everywhere we go, which almost always is found in the form of pretty rocks, funny pine cones, and gnarled feathers….most of which end up going through the wash at the end of the day. We live in a small town in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Pennsylvania.
I am moved by gritty, emotive, and real photography. I tend to shoot the way I dream, blurred, surreal, and a bit dark. I love my Lensbabies and am quickly amassing a collection of vintage film lenses.

W E B S I T E | I N S T A G R A M | F A C E B O O K
E M A I L 

19/31 EPIC SUMMER SESSIONS |Feature by Mary Beth Photography

19/31 EPIC SUMMER SESSIONS |Feature by Mary Beth Photography
Is this session personal work or client work?

This session is client work.

Tell us a bit about the magic of summer + the connection to your lens?

I absolutely love summer. The dreamy effect of these images and the fact they are shot with film make me feel nostalgic. I wanted to shoot this session how it felt, not just the way it looked through my lens. The beach, the love shared, and the whimsy tones in these images all remind me of the magic of summer.

-What about this session makes it an Epic summer session?

To me the connection and the the way  these images make me feel makes this an Epic summer session. The love this couple shares paired with the tones that only film has to offer, makes them magical. I wanted to shoot these images the way the session felt, not just the way it looked through my lens. The out of focus shots were purposely shot that way for a more dreamy surreal look. And hands down shooting film in direct sunlight was the right choice.

What else is on your summer bucket list to photograph this summer?

I have so many things. I am traveling two more places this summer, Tuscaloosa, AL and Denver, CO for sessions, and I can’t wait to meet the families there and visit new places. I love to travel and with my kids out of school plan all of my travel sessions in the summer. Next summer I’d love to do sessions in SoCal and maybe even Paris, France. I’d say that would be summer bucket list for sure.

What gear was used to achieve these?

Mamiya 645afd
Mamiya 80mm
Fuji 400h Film

Any summer tips or photographer advice?

I guess my only advice as a photographer would be to shoot what you love, and say no to all the rest. Find what sets your heart on fire and go and do that. The most magical sessions, come from that fire of passion.



Mary Beth Johnson is a family & child lifestyle film photographer located in Northwest, Indiana. She loves her littles, color, all things film, and lacing up her running shoes. Capturing connection is what she strives to do.

W E B S I T E | I N S T A G R A M | F A C E B O OK | E M A I L 

Dear Photographer Featuring – Tara Herron Photography

Dear Photographer Featuring – Tara Herron Photography

Dear Tara,

You will start your photography journey so you can capture the sweetest times. Take photos often. Practice. Don’t get frustrated because you think you are not learning fast enough. Give yourself lots of grace as you navigate this new journey of motherhood and photography. You will learn so much over the next few years and truly find happiness through creating your art. You will endure intense emotional pain when your daughter, Halle dies, but that will become your biggest inspiration. You will find an unwavering passion for creating magic from everyday moments as you push through the pain to once again find happiness. You will find inspiration in movement and light. The light will become a powerful force driving you to keep Halle’s memory alive. Unfortunately, you will have some career disappointments along the way. Your confidence will be shaken when you fail to get accepted by Click Pro. However, you will redeem yourself a couple of months later when you win the Shoot and Share grand prize. In the future, you will continue learning by doing multiple photography workshops. You will meet wonderful photographers and fellow moms who also share the same passion. Always remember to stay honest and true to yourself. You and your children will appreciate the photos even more as they grow. Live in the light, always.


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HI. I’m Tara. I’m a family and lifestyle photographer based in Nashville, TN. I’m blessed with a supportive husband and together we are raising 2 amazing children. I’m a light seeker and coffee drinker. I love to travel and met new people. Photography is my therapy.


Dear Photographer feature by Can’t.Stop.Staring Photography – Peta Hood

Dear Photographer feature by Can’t.Stop.Staring Photography – Peta Hood
circa 2012

A letter of encouragement to my past self,

I see your incredible curiosity. Your sense of wonder. Your tendency to stop and take notice. Your dedication to celebrating the little things. The things others don’t always see: The miracles of nature. The magic of light. The cheeky shadows. The intricacies of connection. The beauty hidden just beneath the surface of the mundane. The miracles present in daily life. The fascinating nuances of human behaviour. The never-to-be-repeated moments of joy. The milliseconds “in-between”.

Thank you for your dedication to celebrating these things. Even when your inner voice trembles with fear. Even at times when doubt causes your heart to sink deep into your throat. Thank you for your dedication to shining a light on what would otherwise not be fully seen. This awareness is a gift. It is something to be treasured. It makes you unique. One day it will serve you incredibly well as an artist.

Thank you for living and loving with your entire heart + soul. With intensity, passion, and honesty. Always. Dedicated to telling the truth. And fiercely working towards worrying less about whether it will be well-received.

Thank you for working hard. For being willing to dream. For your unwavering dedication to your ideals. For your desire to succeed. For taking notice of the fire in your belly. For nourishing it. For fighting hard to keep it alive. Keep going.

Thank you for remaining curious. For questioning whether there is a better way. For remaining open-minded. For having hope. For trusting in the process, despite a vast landscape of unknowns.

Thank you for your love of learning. For your intense desire to find out more. For your gentleness and compassion. For your kindness, and capacity to give.

Thank you for taking the road less travelled. For trusting your intuition to be your companion and your guide. For having the courage to be different. Keep going.

It is here that you will find the light.

The light that eventually illuminates your truth. The light that guides you home. To that place that was always within you. The place from which you were born to create. Have the courage to stand firmly in it. Even when you feel you are being pushed from the sides.

You are not like the people standing beside you. You were never meant to be. Your uniqueness is your creative gift.

Be gentle with yourself. Keep going.

Let your truth be your guide.



Peta Hood is a creative, natural light photographer based in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Queensland, Australia. Peta‘s style is honest and raw, and she is particularly drawn to creating black and white images with a nostalgic feel. She has a particular passion for documenting childhood, and motherhood, and has just embarked on a photographic project called “The Light of the Moon” – a curated series of written stories and black and white imagery of motherhood, that will be published in a beautiful book.

Dear Photographer | feature by Chloe Lodge


DEARPHOTOGRAPHERBLOG_ChloeLodgePhotography_Pic from 2010
First images , 2010 



To the photographer I am today and the one still waiting to find herself, 

Be a work in progress. Don’t fight it, rush it or agonize too much that you’re not where you want to be right now. You are right where you need to be.

Breathe into your down times. They will come, enforced or not. Through life circumstance, artist’s block or perhaps both. Stay believing that your creativity and productivity will return, it never leaves you, it just quietens for a while. When the winds change and your head clears, things may even feel stronger and more interesting. Allow life to shape you, it’s what makes your voice uniquely yours. Don’t be afraid to embrace your darkness because it’s from this that you will also discover your light. Recognize your love of pleasing others but also remember not to drown out the whispering from your soul in the process.

Be unapologetically you.

Embrace the moments when everything feels right and creativity is flowing. Don’t be afraid to work hard and don’t be surprised when you succeed. Love what you do even when you hate what you do. Life is about the balance, the ying and the yang. There’s just no escaping it. In the end art is worth the fight, it’s a gift to have the time and freedom to create. Just keep working and keep progressing, each day is there for us to see, feel and capture anew.



Chloe Lodge is a lifestyle photographer currently based in Dubai. Her slightly obsessive love of light and shadow is evident in her work both indoors and out, and her voice consistently sings throughout every story she tells. Chloe is currently taking time out from client work to nurture her art and her soon-to-be-born baby girl. As a Brit married to a New Zealander with their dual nationality son who was born in Malaysia their family has a truly International flavour. Over the past six years they’ve lived in Paris, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai and the Seychelles.




Dear Photographer | feature by Amy Rushbrook of Lark + Bear


Amy Rushbrook Lark + Bear

Dear (future) Photographer,

You set big, lofty goals. You always have. You set out to achieve the impossible, conquer it, then aim for the next impossible. Just remember that these successes do not define or determine your core happiness. Remember to pay attention to the way your boy cuddles into the home of your chest, the way light flickers and dances on the walls of your love-filled home, the way their laughter and their touch is like medicine for the soul. Don’t forget the simple joys of collecting eggs or reading a good (actual paper) book. Don’t forget what it feels like to feel your toes in the cool earth. Keep aiming big, keep striving to achieve the impossible, fly as high as you dare to dream, but remember to just stop, be present, pay attention and enjoy the simple and the quiet. Stay grounded. That is the core of your happiness, and no success will ever trump that.

CURRENT WORK DEARPHOTOGRAPHERBLOG_larkandbear_0008DEARPHOTOGRAPHERBLOG_larkandbear_0001DEARPHOTOGRAPHERBLOG_larkandbear_0002Amy Rushbrook Lark + BearDEARPHOTOGRAPHERBLOG_larkandbear_0004Amy Rushbrook Lark + BearAmy Rushbrook Lark + BearDEARPHOTOGRAPHERBLOG_larkandbear_0007


Amy is a family lifestyle photographer and educator based in Melbourne, Australia and is passionate about celebrating the imperfect; the “wabi-sabi” of life.  She specializes in teaching and photographing love stories for appreciators of the unconventional under the Life: Unmade banner. Amy salutes the mess of life; the weird and wonderful connections, and the beautifully chaotic and different.  She loves working with those who are brave enough to just be themselves, and not feel like they need to project an image of perfection to the world.  At home, Amy is Mama to one and coparent to two beautiful babes, and is happily strolling through life with her bearded love.