Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelly Mustapha-Kellett.
Kelly, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Photography has always been a constant in my life, I am drawn to capturing moments and preserving them in time. Whether I’m photographing a couple or a family, or just documenting my travels it makes me feel complete. I moved to California 9 years ago from New Hampshire, it was one of the biggest decisions of my life. Packing everything I owned into the back of a van to drive 3,000 miles across the country with the love of my life; sounds like something from a movie. The first couple of years out here are best described as learning how to swim, I felt kind of thrown into a whole new world and just had to start moving my legs and arms to figure it out.
Fast forward 5 years or so, things have started to fall into place. I got married, have a full-time job to keep me afloat, and I am in a position where I make my own schedule and balance time for shooting. The past 2 years have been bigger growth years with my Photography, I’ve started building more of a client base and finding my own style within in my work. Ideally, I would love to be able to shoot full time and travel as much as possible. I’m looking forward to the rest of this year with upcoming weddings booked, and constantly trying to take advantage of all opportunities to grow in my passion.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I would say my art is best described as Creative Portraiture. I try to focus on capturing real and raw emotions and tell a story through my work. I don’t feel as though all the expression needs to be happy, I think the true emotion in an image speaks volumes, even if its a deeper feeling. I enjoy collaborating with other artists and work with dancers, musicians, fashion designers, and other creative professionals. I have been working with dancers for 8 years or so, photographing a dance company and also shooting with individual dancers.
Being able to capture another artist’s true emotion while they are expressing themselves in their form of art is so fulfilling. It is something that has helped me grow as an Artist.
Working with couples who are madly in love and have all that emotion just pouring out of them is also something that I’m drawn to. I want to give people something they can have forever, a tangible thing they can look at years from now and reignite all the feelings they had the moment it was captured. I want my work to make people feel something.
Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
It’s an ever-growing pool of creativity. I feel like with social media in our culture it’s a double-edged sword. I’ve been stuck in creative blocks before and have been so inspired by another artist to get back out there, which I’m sure is true for many. But the other side of that is constantly comparing yourself to others. Which I have been guilty of as well. It can make you feel bad about your own work at times, but you have to be very aware of your emotions and keep yourself in check.
Everyone’s journey is different and you should only compare yourself to your past self, that’s a great way to help yourself grow. I’ve really enjoyed seeing artists host meetups or gatherings in their cities to bring together a group of artists and go out and explore/create together. I haven’t had the opportunity to go to one myself but it is something I am looking into and hope to see more of in the creative community.
- Website: Kellymustapha.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @kmk_photo