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Art & Life with Kelli Emery

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelli Emery.

Kelli, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I got my first DSLR when I was active duty Air Force living in the UK. Through my travels, I developed a great love for photography. I decided to pursue the medium further by enrolling in a Digital Photography BA program at the Art Institute of Tucson in 2010. After having children, I opened a studio where I focused on newborn and maternity photography for three years. After spending a lot of time at home documenting my own family, I began to develop in my ability to focus on storytelling and documentary based photography. I closed my studio to focus solely on documentary and lifestyle photography in 2017. I now enjoy doing mostly weddings, couples, families and senior portrait sessions. My goals for 2019 are to do more in-client home lifestyle sessions and documentary birth sessions. Photography has the most impact for me when it captures emotion and real life, so that is what I hope to give my clients with the work that I do.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
Lifestyle photography allows me to create images that are inspired by real life, emotions, and experiences with my clients. Getting them in front of my camera with the purpose of having fun, being passionate and expressing connection is always my main goal. I am able to achieve this by creating an environment where looking perfect is not the objective. Cutting loose, letting yourself go and trusting that I will make you look awesome even with all the awkward things I ask you to do. Being silly is a big part of helping clients relax and increase the chance of having great shots! At the end of a session, I want my clients to feel like we were just old friends hanging out and having a great time. I want my clients to feel like I captured their true self and how they feel about themselves on their best day. I want them to laugh out loud with joy and gasp with delight when they see their images. I want them to say “she got us”, “this is our story”. I want my art to be their legacy, something that they grow to love even more over time.

Do you think conditions are generally improving for artists? What more can cities and communities do to improve conditions for artists?
I feel very lucky to be a part of such an amazing community of artists here in Tucson. There are so many wonderful groups, meetups and resources for photographers here. I have been able to grow as an artist so much because of the connections I have made with other local artists. Over the years I have only seen these groups grow in members and support for one another. Whether it be discussing topics of professional development, referral outreach or personal mentoring all the connections I have made have promoted the attitude of Community over Competition. We all want to succeed and support each other often! Helping artists thrive in Tucson is all about appreciating and supporting the arts! Come out to see artists at shows and vendor displays. Understand the value of photography and in the investment that artists put into their own businesses. Having opportunities to have others see your work is key in growing as an artist and is a wonderful thing for a community to support.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Maternity Styled Shoot models provided by Tucson Doulas, HAMU by The Powder Room. Fresh 48 newborn model provided by Tucson Doulas.

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