September 12, 2011

Artist Profile: Kelly Sullivan

Kelly was one of the beautiful people I had the privilege of working with on the King's Faith set. She was a still photographer for the film and she provided the photos (which I filched from her Facebook) that appeared in this post. Her day job is as a mom and professional photographer.

Much to my delight, Kelly humored me by permitting a little interview about her craft. I am therefore proud to present a post that explores her a little bit and intersperses samples of her photography.

All About Kelly of Snap, Click, Whir Photography

Kelly acknowledges that it sounds cliche, but she has been interested in photography for as long as she can remember.  She recalls, "I got a kodak disk camera when I was 11 and used to use my barbies and toys as models and props and set up shoots."

Things are very different now. Kelly is respected in her field and contributes to both her family's livelihood as well as to her community. In her words, "Being a professional 'paid to work' photographer means you have to please your clients first, but also keep in mind that they hired you for your creativity and style. I get paid to show people how I see things and how beautiful they really are."

It is this attitude that enables Kelly to make photography more of a lifestyle than just a hobby or a career. This is a valuable insight, for deep down, Kelly is an artist in every sense of the word. "I love all forms of art," she told me, "It was always one of my passions--just being creative.  I love painting furniture and just being crafty with things like scrapbooking and altering everyday [items] with paper and paint." In other words, she embodies everything that we appreciate here at Nine to Phive. She allows the art that she loves to carry over into every aspect of her life--personal and professional--without ever sacrificing her integrity.

But there are more pieces to her pretty near picture-perfect puzzle. "I volunteer my services a lot," Kelly says, " I was one of the yearbook photographers at my kids' school and edited the yearbook for them for four years.  I gave the graduating 6th graders mini-photoshoots and printed their pictures for a wall display that highlighted each of them on their graduation from elementary school.  At the same time I also took photos of the Kindergarteners to use in the graduation slide shows when they moved on to 6th grade. "

Her involvement in the lives of her kids really makes Kelly shine as a mother and a professional. She amazes me in how she is able to keep her priorities straight in her hectic yet miraculously fun and easy-going life. "Being a mom grows my art.  Having kids makes me see things through different perspectives."  She says that having her own children helps her stay in the right mindset during photo shoots with families. "I know how parents are feeling and I totally understand that not all kids are angels. I can get down on the kids' level and talk to them, too.  They really want to be treated like people and have some say in things, not just be told what to do."

Kelly also enjoys volunteering her artistic services through her home church, Hope Lutheran. "I photograph alot of events for my church. I just love capturing and sharing the things we do together as a congregation and sharing that with others as a way of inviting them to be a part of it . . . We are normal people and we have fun at church!"

Church is an important aspect of Kelly's life as an artist, although it did take her some time to accept that what she does is a gift from God that should be used to glorfiy Him. "Knowing that God gave me an eye to see things differently and a passion to capture beauty helps with my confidence level," she says with a wink. She is confident that she is using her talents in a way that would make the giver of such gifts very proud of her.

If she could take a picture of any wonderous thing in the world, regardless of whether or not she will likely experience it in her lifetime, Kelly says she would love to take a picture of Jesus Christ, adding, "I highly doubt I'll have my camera on me when I meet him."

The Third Degree!

Name: Kelly Sullivan

Age: 38

Family: Married (to Mark) with three kids (Erin, Ben, and Ian,) three cats, and a dog

Occupation: Photographer

How many digits in a paycheck? As many as I can make depending on my availability to work for myself.  Not many.  In order to be an artist you must know what it is to starve.

What is your favorite song? "He Loves Us" sung by David Crowder Band

What is art? Art is an opinion of something pleasing to they senses, whether it is music, song or something you can see, touch and feel.  Art makes you feel something in your soul and it is directly affected by chapters in your life.

Film or digital? Digital

Coffee or tea? Coffee

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