Kellie Bieser is a photographic artist specializing in child and family portraiture. Her own experience as a mother of five kids informs her choices behind the camera as she strives to capture the emotions and connections that make families so special.
An enthusiastic instructor, Kellie has had the honor of teaching all over the place and representing highly respected industry brands such as Nikon, Profoto, and Miller’s Professional Imaging. Nothing brings her quite as much joy as seeing fellow artists find their paths as photographers.
When she isn’t running through fields of wildflowers chasing people with her camera, you can find Kellie tending to her Ohio mini farm where she keeps a silly number of goats and chickens.
FLASH FOR PEOPLE WHO HATE FLASH
As someone who loves the look of natural light, nothing makes me cringe more than photos that have that deer-in-headlights-super-washed-out-faces-scary-terrible flash look (I am looking at you, disposable camera photos from college!).
When I started studying photography, I truly believed that the only way you could capture beautiful light was to wait on the sun or invest in a lot of super expensive lighting equipment and learn a ton of confusing fractions and diagrams. This resulted in a lot of frustration, a ton of limitations, and most tragically, a lot of missed moments. Thankfully, I have learned that none of this is true: flash can be beautiful AND intuitive. As a photographer who has seen her art and her business TRANSFORMED by flash, it is the joy of a lifetime to teach others how to create light with confidence and discover the world of possibilities flash can bring to their work.
THE MOST IMPORTANT PICTURES YOU CAN TAKE
Why did you pick-up a camera the first time? Why do you pick-up a camera now? Has your answer changed? And if so, WHY?
Photography is a competitive industry and there can be a real push to constantly be moving onto the next thing: growing your business, buying the latest gear, getting shared by the Instagram account, speaking at that conference, being seen by that company, getting published in that magazine. Sometimes it feels like the minute you accomplish one thing, it's no longer enough. You have to do MORE with your camera. While some people thrive on this kind of thing, I think that most of us are on a road to burnout if we aren't careful. Together, I want to talk through our motivations and create roadmaps to staying true to ourselves as artists so that we can maintain a long and healthy relationship with our cameras. In my own personal experience, I have found that when I take the pictures that matter most to me, the rest of the good stuff follows rather than me chasing it. And I want that for YOU, too.
I am so lucky to have been called an artist from a very young age. As I sat at my kitchen table scrawling out crayon drawings for my mom she would hang them on the refrigerator and call me her “little artist.” When I went to school and showed an enthusiasm for art, my teacher encouraged me to enter juried competitions and seek out opportunities to add depth to my art education outside of school. My work was framed in my home and I never wanted for tools or materials to create the art of my dreams. I was an artist and I was proud to carry that title.
But something strange happened as I got older. Suddenly “artist” was no longer practical. I found myself floundering as I tried to figure out a new title to give myself that would be more acceptable than the “artist” of my youth. Something where I could sit at a desk and get a regular paycheck with benefits. I was embarrassed to call myself an “artist” even as I sought refuge in creating art in my free time.
I don’t know if it is a rebellion in my old age or a gradual realization as I gain wisdom, but over the years I have circled back to wearing the badge of artist. My camera gave me the opportunity to capture my family’s memories and create a business capturing the memories of other families. The community of fellow photographers I have found in this industry have given me the bravery to pursue a creative life boldly and to call myself artist proudly.
Being an artist isn’t childish or reckless. Being an artist is who I am.