Monday, October 21, 2013


                                                                            by Kita

 Kel-Z is a beautiful bubbly lady, with a big smile and a shock of blonde hair. A more positive soul is hard to find, but let's not forget she's pretty industrious, too. Her photography has taken the Salt Lake Valley, and even the Wasatch Front, by storm. With a keen eye, a camera in hand, and a surprising ability to create whatever she needs for a shoot, she's quickly become one of the most celebrated artists around. 
  Variety is a big part of her work. Even though Kel-Z herself is one of the most naturally cheerful people I've ever met, she's certainly never able to be pigeonholed. There's newborns, there's art, there's a huge swath of moods and settings. It all mixes together in her mind, and what comes out in the end is truly beautiful and unique. Variety doesn't just apply to her photography, though. It also covers her entire life. She paints, is a make up artist, and belly dances. 
  Almost everyone I've talked to in the area has nothing bad at all to say about this lovely lady. Her work is a mixture of all elements of life, a true catalog of the journeys that life can and often will take you on. In short, I could not more earnestly recommend you take a minute of your time to read this interview and check out the links to her work below! 

The Interview:

Kita: What first got you into photography? 

Kel-Z: A general art class that I took in College my first year. I actually had no idea I was good at it until this point. I always loved looking at old photos of my family and thinking how cool they always were. 

Kita: Why photography?

Kel-Z: You can change the mood of an image with just the flick of your finger, you can control the world your subject is in and the overall mood of the photo can be Powerful.

Kita: Where do you find most of your inspiration?

Kel-Z: I find a lot of inspiration from movies, music and other creative artists. Everyday objects as well. I once saw a grocery bag floating on the freeway and as the cars drove by it filled it with air and rose higher. That gave me the thought to make balloons out of those bags then a dress and then a whole recycle theme to a photo that you can see here:

Kita: Is finding models hard? Maybe finding people with the right "look"?

Kel-Z: There are always people wanting to shoot with me and I always pride myself on shooting real people, real sized people and women as my models. This world is always a good inspiration to me to create something unique and fun.It is very rare that a model doesn't fit what i'm looking for,  If no one is willing to model for me then I will use myself as a self portrait. 

Kita: What's the typical process of a photo shoot, from planning to releasing, like for you? 

Kel-Z: I get inspired and then contact a model. I usually shoot within one month of my inspiration. Shoots typically take 1-3 hours depending on type and then 2+ hours in post processing on the computer editing. I post and share images within 2 days of the final product being done. There are some ideas I have had for years and just are unable to work out a model for my vision or weather delays it etc. 

Kita: What are your biggest struggles?

Kel-Z: I feel like we are our own worst critics, I love shooting but finding the time to put in the time editing on the computer is my biggest struggle. And I really HATE to reschedule things due to weather!!! One of my pet peeves!!! Also gear is expensive and I always want the new cool toys... but it makes working for it and buying it that much better. I do have a hard time editing and doing computer work when My husband and dogs just want to cuddle and play!!!

Kita: What were your goals when you started?

Kel-Z: To make Very creative highly stylized photos that make people think when they look at them.

Kita: How about now?

Kel-Z: Making a living at photography in whatever way I can, As well as documenting people LIVING their lives and different stages of life. I find the everyday very interesting and documenting the times in which we live with MY twist on them. 

Kita: What other art forms have you tried? Have they influenced your photography at all?

Kel-Z: I am a self taught makeup artist, belly dancer and I dabble in abstract modern painting as well. The makeup have appeared in my photos and help me to keep seeing things in different ways. Painting has helped me know that I cannot fully control everything.  See a painting of mine here: dancing is something I have done since the age of 3 it comes so naturally to me it flows from me. I hear a beat and cant help but to MOVE!!

Kita: What's your favorite part of being a photographer?

Kel-Z: Creating something that will last many lifetimes. I see photography as any other form of art and the images I take now will be around for years!!! And have the potential to become classic in the art community. I love meeting new people and shooting a variety of people. I love to see families grow before my very lens!! I have shot some families for over 7 years now each year its so fun to see!!

Kita; Least favorite?

Kel-Z: Lugging around a almost 6 pound peice of equipment around my neck lol!!! I need a massage badly here soon!!! And when people copy my work to the tee. I am flattered that they love my work but re making a photo that someone has already created is just not cool!!

Kita: How do you find you've been received by the arts community along the Wasatch Front?

Kel-Z: I feel like I have been accepted by everyone. Lots of people know my work and knowing that people are looking at my work and looking forward to seeing what i'm coming up with next really drives me! 

Kita: How about the people closest to you? Are they supportive?

Kel-Z: I have the BEST family and friends who support me through and through. They attend my gallery showings, they encourage me to keep going, they always refer people to me as new clients and pass out my cards!!
Kita: With the recognition you've received, do you ever have weird experiences as a result? (Like running into fans in the grocery store, or similar) 

Kel-Z: Yes, I run into my fans ALL the time the most recent time was at Best Buy!! They recognize me from all my self portraits I have done!! I love it they are always so nice and encouraging and excited to meet me!! 
OK time for the weird experience... I was out shooting with a friend at the Great Salt Lake of me modeling in my belly dance costumes. There was a couple out in the water and I noticed their shoes were floating away in the water but they were too far for me to reach so I just let them float. I get a TEXT message a couple day s later asking me to return the shoes I had stole!!! The people had recognized me and went to my website to get my phone # to text message me. That was the only weird thing. It ended up being a BIG misunderstanding  and we are all over the lost shoes!! 

Kita: How do you find the balance between business stuff and art stuff to be? Is it rough maintaining both?

Kel-Z: Business stuff and art stuff is all the same for me. It is all work in one way or another as well as fun so I don't separate the two in my mind. Now work and personal life that's a whole other struggle!!

Kita: After everything you've gone through, if you could go back in time and tell your beginner self one thing, what would it be?

Kel-Z: This is what I tell people who are starting out in photography: Shoot everyday and edit everyday. Learn to shoot FILM and its processing in a dark room.( that show I started and so many of the techniques in editing apply directly to the dark room experience)   Learn the rules of lighting etc. and I find that my result is the same in 100 photos as it is in 400! Your time is valuable and make the most of it so you can produce quality work.

 I choose to mentor 1 new photographer a year or whenever I feel like I can teach someone for the better of the art form. I am SO proud of my girl Bridget who I mentored over that last couple years she is doing amazing fashion photography! See her stuff here:
And I am currently meeting with new photographers for mentoring sessions coming up the end of this month. That's the thing you can ALWAYS learn as well as get better no matter how experienced you are in your craft!!

Want to book a shoot? Purchase a print? Contact Kel-Z at

Be sure to check out her Facebook page here:

Have anyone else you'd like us to interview? Let us know in the comment section below!

No comments:

Post a Comment