Let’s Talk With Audrey Kelly
Interviewed By Shea Deighan
Welcome To Let’s Talk
Every month, the PPANI blog will bring you a little bit closer to Northern Ireland’s best and brightest photographers.
First up is the multi award winning Audrey Kelly. Audrey has been with the PPANI for over four years and currently serves as Vice President of the PPANI.
Audrey is ridiculously talented and is one of the brightest lights within the PPANI. On with the interview.
Hi Audrey, what inspires you to take amazing images?
Ha ha. Amazing? Thank you Shea. A few things inspire my style. The most inspiration though, would be from my love for art and the need to bring this across in my work.
I aim to create individual, unique pieces of art as apposed to seeing my work as simply just a photograph. My clients can hang my work on their wall like a painting and proudly say that it is them.
I often say, it’s like something you could buy in a shop but instead of just some random scene or subject – the subject is you or someone more meaningful. Whether that be a wedding couple, a newborn shoot or a portrait.
What made you get involved in the PPANI?
Being a photographer can be a little lonely. I had always heard about the PPANI but never felt I was good enough to join. I had thought initially that it would be a great way to network with other photographers in Northern Ireland and the competitions would be something to aim towards and make me grow as a photographer.
The PPANI has given me so much more than what I originally expected . Not only has my confidence grown as a photographer but I have also gained some great friends who I know I can rely upon if needed.
What is your favourite photograph that you have ever taken?
Haha. I think everyone will know this. My favourite photograph to date is the one I created for myself. It’s the one of Chloe, my daughter.
As photographers we are always creating everyone else’s story. This one is my story and was and still is something that is very close to me at this moment as I’m feeling the emotions of my little girl growing up and moving on.
My proudest moment in my career for not just myself but also Chloe was when this image won at the 2015 PPANI Awards. I couldn’t help but get a little emotional – this image has also inspired me to create more pieces for myself which I would encourage all photographers to do.
Some photographers say that they see the world differently, and that they have a different perspective on life. What is your perspective on the world and on life?
In my photography world, I have a few rules and things I visualize. With every wedding or portrait I like to pretend that I’m skipping forward thirty years and what I want to create is something that will stand that test of time. I’ll imagine their grandchildren picking up the wedding album and hope that they can feel exactly what it felt like. I like images to be true to the day and how it was, with also a little push at times to add taste of art, but you know what I mean.
Can you describe that moment when you knew that photography was something you just had to do?
Photography was never something I had to do. I actually went down the route of film and video first and I’ve always had an eye for something different. My trade as a graphic designer brought in an art element. I think I could say that the moment came when I got a few very amateur photographs framed, finished and given as presents to some family members. Seeing their reactions and how it made me feel at that time, I thrive on that humbled feeling yet to this day.
What advice would you give to the next generation of Northern Ireland’s professional photographers?
My advice would be to research what others are doing but only so you know to do something different. Use this as a reference to try to be your own individual self and also to keep your images timeless. Ha ha.
What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you on while on a shoot?
The funniest thing that I can think of and probably because its most recent was when I continuously kept calling to my groom, Enda, by the name of Glenda, all day and just couldn’t get it right. It got a few laughs that day for sure and probably also the ongoing being peed on by all the little newborn men.
What’s your favourite piece of equipment and why?
I’ve quickly fallen in love with my 105mm macro lens since purchasing it last year.
What are some of your favourite things about being a photographer?
I think we are all in photography for the same reasons, but I would say the best thing for me is back to that feeling again, and being able to do something I love every day.
It never feels like work, well except for culling, ha ha. There is not many can say they are in a job they love to get up to do in the morning and that to me is one of the most important things in life.
Last but not least, which PPANI member do you nominate for the next interview?
I nominate Shea Deighan. Ha ha.
Thanks to Audrey for doing the interview.
To see some more of Audrey’s amazing work, visit her PPANI portfolio page.