We are thrilled to be joined today by the lovely Kelly Adams. Kelly runs photography business Kelly Adams Photography based out of Brisbane and has a beautiful distinct style to her work. Kelly joins us today to share a little behind her inspiration and her business!
Please tell us a little about yourself. Were you surrounded by ‘artistic’ people when you were growing up?
Oh no… I grew up in rural Far North Queensland where the landscape is harsh & the people are completely practical.
How has your childhood influenced your photographic style?
My childhood has probably mostly impacted why I value photography so much. I don’t really have that many photos from my childhood, it just wasn’t such a big deal to my folks… and I’m sure that’s still how a lot of people feel. Would you believe, we didn’t even have a professional photographer for our wedding! Yes, I know it’s a crying shame. Almost 10 years on… major regret!
But that’s the thing about photography, it’s so much more meaningful & valuable down the track. And you can’t get these moments back, time passes by so quickly and the incredible & truly magical quality of photography is that it allows us to hold onto & keep on telling the story of a moment & place in time that has well past.
Where and how did you learn your craft?
I’m still learning! And I hope that never stops…
I already had a career… well so I thought. But after spending a few years photographing my travels while living overseas I fell in love with everything about photography. When I returned to Australia I started a Black & White Darkroom Course, I did this just one day a week for a year, and then decided to do a Bachelor of Photography at Queensland College of Art, just for the fun of it! I had no intention of being a professional photographer at this point. I just thought it would be super cool to learn more about it. But it wasn’t all fun & games, there were many late nights & a few tears too… I had my two babies along the way, still worked in my other job and all while I studied… it was a pretty crazy time for my family & I when I think about it, but worth it. I really appreciate having this formal education as a foundation, the incredible exposure it gave me to great great photographers of past & present, but also the exposure to the amazingness of photography as an art form and to look & think critically at my work.
Do you have a mentor, or someone who you admire who has influenced your work?
Oh boy, there are so many outstanding wedding photographers in Australia & in just Brisbane alone, seriously we have some of the best of the best here… Creativity in wedding photography is being pushed beyond the limit. Not only do you have to document the story as it unfolds but create art too. It really is a very exciting time to be a Wedding Photographer; we are in a time where it’s no longer good enough to keep doing the same old!
I have some truly very talented & successful peers in the industry that I have to thank for helping me along my way. They have very generously shared their experience & knowledge with me, which has truly been invaluable.
But really, I try to look outside of wedding photography for my visual inspirations & influences. I certainly sway to being influenced mostly by Fine Art Portrait Photographers such as Thomas Ruff & Rineke Dijkstra… although my brides & grooms can smile if they like.
I see that each capture from a wedding day really is a portrait. And of course my couples are always the biggest inspiration. After the ceremony & when I’ve got just the Bride & or Groom (together or individually) in front of the lens, I really try & slow it all down… I guess I’m always looking to capture the essence of the bride, groom & the spirit of their relationship at this momentous time in their life.
What is your mission statement for Kelly Adams Photography?
Ohhh should I have one… to get one 😉
Are you known for a particular style of photography?
Ummm… a style… emmm… I’m not so sure about what defines a style… let alone what my style is. I think my work is always evolving. But I do focus on capturing creative, honest & meaningful images… I see my primary role to document this ahhhmazing day in my couple’s life & to also create a lovely set of portraits, that just like the day, will reflect the individual couple’s personalities… It’s a little bit of me, & lot of them.
I recently had a lovely enquiry from a bride to be who wrote that my images were “incredibly natural, pure & (she) couldn’t help but smile when (she) looked at them” … I’m not sure this is a particular ‘style’, but I was pretty chuffed with this description of my work… What more could I ask for.
Do you have a particular affinity with the Australian landscape or do you feel the essence of the landscape and the way it ‘influences’ the bride and groom wherever you are?
Yes & yes.
I grew up using the Australian bush & farming paddocks as a playground, always exploring with absolutely no fear. And so, I think that my curiosity for exploring the landscape is certainly reflected in my work. I absolutely love the juxtaposition that is created between the landscape & everything about the bridal couple.
But it’s certainly not all me, I have a lot of couples who choose venues / locations that are apart or surrounded by our magnificent landscape… which in itself has so much character & beauty to draw inspiration from. Why not use that I say.
I guess my use & love of the Australian landscape within my images probably resounds with like-minded couples.
Do you have a ‘feeling’ about each bride you photograph and then plan the photo shoot accordingly?
Absolutely! No one couple or wedding is the same, yeah sure a wedding has certain traditions & rituals but I always like to find out who my couples are, what it is they want for their wedding day, what’s super special to them, what makes their story different & how I can best tell their story for them.
Is there a special ‘Australian’ quality about brides from this country?
I certainly can say all my brides & grooms are independent thinkers, self assured & incredibly generous in spirit. And what I’ve learnt is that generosity really has very little to do with what you physically give, but is more about what you give of yourself… I am forever humbled by how my couples open their hearts to me & really invite me into their big day. And I’d like to think those are all traits that make Australian’s (of all backgrounds) pretty special people.
How can a bride look her best in front of the camera?
By being themselves… open, honest & unguarded.
What are your interests when relaxing away from photography?
In the colder seasons (yes it gets cold here in Brisbane, well for me it does) I’m big, real big on hibernation. I’ve got to literally drag myself out of bed in the morning & be pushed out the door to go to yoga on an evening. But as soon as it starts to warm up, I love riding my bike, doing yoga, going camping and trips to the beach. But mostly, I love just spending time with my beautiful energetic boys & husband, catching up with family & friends. And a rarity, but an absolute indulgence, I love to find a few quiet moments on the front patio overlooking the surrounding hills & with the warmth of the sun… just standing, staring into the landscape and daydreaming… ahhh bliss.
What is your dream for Kelly Adams Photography?
I’m a big dreamer. I have so so much to do & achieve. But it’s actually really lovely just to be in the moment sometimes (well something I’m working on anyhow). When I think about it, I’m living the Kelly Adams Photography dream really… I’m doing what I love for people who are just lovely & who love the stories & moments I capture for them. And that’s what counts… right.
Thank you Kelly for sharing your photography journey with us. See more of Kelly’s work on her website Kelly Adams Photography