Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Interview with a photographer: Keli Hoskins

keli 1

Every week, when it is time to do these interviews I get excited. I mean, how blessed are we to delve into the minds of some truly amazing photographers? Blessed indeed. keli 12       Over the last 2 days I was gathering the pictures for this interview… and let’s just say, I spent a very long time on her blog. She really is exceptional. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Keli is a little different than many interviewees. She does not shoot families or babies or even her friends really. She shoots HER family. Her dog. Her home. And she shoots the world around her. Anyone that can take a picture of a fan and make it look like art is fantastic in my book. Take a look at her style. Read her words.  Grow.

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Introducing Keli HoskinsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Has having the baby changed how often and much you shoot?         keli 8  Yes, very much so. There are definitely times that I would like to be taking photos of Emma playing or fingerpainting or drawing pictures ... keli 9or I would like to do the fun "bench Monday" setups that I used to do ... but I can't always get out from under Lucy. keli 7I would like to say that I take a lot of photos of Lucy or that I am planning a cute newborn photoshoot with her (even though she's two months old now), keli 4but the honest truth is that she's not the kind of baby that likes to be put down, so I just don't get the opportunity to take many pictures of her, which is why most of the pictures of her are when she's either sleeping or being wrapped and held. keli 6But I still take both girls on daily walks, so my outdoor pictures have actually increased in the past month or so since I was on bedrest at the end of my pregnancy. keli 5
Tell me about your magic bathroom light? keli 19
I am assuming that you are talking about the pictures I take of Emma in the bathtub? First of all, we have a garden tub in our master bath, and the tub and surrounding walls are white, so it reflects light really well. keli 7But most importantly, we have a window right above the bathtub, so if you're looking at the tub, the window is in the upper left corner, so I just shoot during the day while there is a lot of natural light. keli 21
Have you ever been somewhere shooting something and thought in your head 'I can't believe I am here and doing this thing I love?'
keli 23
Pretty much every time I'm taking pictures of anything! I try to take my camera with me everywhere, although this has gotten more challenging since I'm lugging around a baby and diaper bag, now, but pretty much anytime I hold my camera and take pictures, I just feel GOOD. Comfortable. Like all is right with the world. Wow, that sounds cheesy, but it's true. keli 8
Did your husband think you were crazy when you started needing to buy new camera equipment, or did he just roll with it?
keli 10My husband is actually the one who talked me into my first DSLR (an Olympus E-300) back in 2005. keli 2I took pictures constantly and really enjoyed photography, so he thought it would be a good hobby for me. Then, he bought me a telephoto lens before we went on our honeymoon. But then I upgraded to the Olympus E-520 and their macro 50mm lens, so by the time I decided on the Canon 50D that I shoot with now, I had to convince him by saying I'd start a business (hasn't happened, yet). keli 3Ahem. Sorry, honey.
Have you thought about marketing yourself more, or are you happy to just continue learning and soaking it all in?
keli 5     At this point in my life, I am happy doing what I do, which is taking photos of my girls, blogging about our daily life and contributing to
I Heart Faces. I was recently asked to take some monthly "living life" photos for a local photographer whose husband is suffering from Guillain–BarrĂ© syndrome, so I guess I'm starting to make some steps in the professional direction. keli 4But I am currently too busy with a newborn and a very active preschooler to even consider going into business. keli 3What is your favorite season to shoot?
keli 1Autumn! I love the leaves, the colors and the yummy golden light at the end of the day. keli 2I know you went to Disney World for a vacation this year, if you were going as a photographer, and not as a mommy with a family, what would you have shot?  
keli 10  
People. I would love to just walk around (and have the guts) to shoot people without them knowing it. With my camera, I mean. ;) I love people-watching, so it would be a kind of voyeuristic look into their lives while they are experiencing Disney World ... especially those kids who are seeing it for the first time.
keli 7What is something you would love to shoot some day. A wild dream? Can you think of anything that is too outrageous to even hope for?

I dream of shooting underwater, like in the ocean. Umm, not sharks or whales, but definitely dolphins and other sea life. If I actually was able to do this, I'd have to get over my fear of scuba diving, but scuba diving is on my "bucket list," so what better way to kill two birds with one stone?keli 10
Does Emma ever want to use your camera ? Do you have any ideas about what career path she will choose? Does she seem artsy? keli 6
She is curious about my camera, but I am fairly strict about her not touching it. keli 8I am not a typically strict mother, we are pretty relaxed parents in what we allow her to do (which is probably why she's busted her lip about 428 times), but since she tends to be more elephant-stomping-through-the-woods than gentle kitten, I've always had to reiterate that my camera is not a toy. keli 9But she has to come to the LCD screen and look at EVERY picture I take of her after I've taken it. I have my grandfather's old Canon AE-1 Program 35mm camera, and I'm planning on letting her take a roll with that very soon.
keli 12    
As for her career, I honestly have no idea. Her interests change daily (she's just like me in that extent) but as long as she is doing what makes her happy, then we will be very proud of her. I asked her just now what she would like to be when she grows up, and she said, "a princess!" So there you go. keli 11
She actually is very artsy. Her 3-year old drawings are pretty amazing, and she loves anything having to do with coloring, drawing, painting or crafting. keli 14
Did you think when you were 20 that you would be where you are right now? keli 13Oh goodness, no. I was dating (and soon-to-be-engaged to) my college boyfriend when I was 20 (I never married him), so the path that I saw myself going down is totally different than the path that I'm on now. But I always envisioned myself graduating from college, working for a while and then getting married, having kids and hopefully becoming a stay-at-home-mom. And that actually did happen. The last three have occurred in the past 4 years, but I love what I do and wouldn't change a thing. keli 15
But did I think that I would ever be interviewed on an amazing blog about photography? Um, no. I never ever thought that photography would become such a huge part of my life, and I never thought anyone would ever care about my photos. So I'm just sitting here typing these answers with the biggest smile on my face ... this is just about the biggest compliment I've ever received.       
keli 22  
Have you been to any photography workshops?  keli 24
No, I have never been to a photography workshop. I think that they are amazing, and I would love to attend one or two or twenty eventually. I really wanted to go to the I Heart Faces workshop and had researched plane tickets, hotels, etc., but I didn't think that traveling and workshopping would work well with a 2 1/2 month old, and I couldn't leave her behind since she pretty much depends on me for nourishment. Next year! keli 20
Does the thought of pricing and ordering pictures and all of that stuff send you right over the edge, or is that something that you look forward to?
keli 17
Yes. It is one of the many reasons I have not pursued "going pro." It really really terrifies me to try to put a price on what I love doing. I had a small work-at-home-mom business when Emma was a baby (making cloth diaper covers), and doing that really opened my eyes to the fact that many people (women, especially) struggle with undervaluing their work. I'm constantly finding flaws in my images, so I am scared that I'd just give away sessions for free forever.
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What is your favorite photoshop action?
keli 18
I don't use Photoshop actions! I am a Lightroom girl, so the only things I do in Photoshop are in Elements 5.0, which is so outdated by now (the current version is 8, I think?) And all of my Lightroom presets are presets that I've created over the past year, but I do really like the Photo Flavors preset sample that they so generously give away on their website. keli 25How long did it take you to learn photoshop? keli 4I'll answer this for both Photoshop Elements and Lightroom, if that's okay. I started using Photoshop Elements when I was working as the Quality Assurance Coordinator for a regional vending company. My boss was really cheap and wanted me to do all of the graphic work for his side businesses, so I was pretty much forced to learn how to edit photos, make business cards and pamphlets and brochures and presentations using PSE. Since then, I've always used it for my personal things, as well. I still don't know how to do everything, so I'd say I'm going on 10 years of still learning. keli 1As for Lightroom, I just got it at the beginning of 2009, so I'm also still learning the many facets of Lightroom. Other than a few blog tutorials here and there, I'm self-taught on both programs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA What was your best teacher when you were studying and learning that? Was it a book? A class? What? Did you feel overwhelmed with it or was it pretty easy for you? keli 2I'm a visual learner, so just getting in there and playing was really how I learned the basics of both PSE and LR. But I've definitely learned a few techniques from blog tutorials - I just search for what I want to do when I'm stumped. I've never been overwhelmed with it ... I always say, "That's what the undo button is for!"
My husband is a computer programmer, so by seeing what he does and how he writes programs, I've gradually become more comfortable with various programs and how they work. In other words, I know I can't blow it up or anything. keli 3

Some of my favorite tutorials she has done are
here, here and here.

Her blog: Kidnapped by Suburbia is one of my favorites. Truly.

Her Flickr will give you ideas out the wazoo… (what is a wazoo, anyway? )

Go visit. I promise you will fall in love (in a nice healthy way) with my friend Keli!   

67 comments:

Caseybumpinalong said...

Oh, I'm so glad you interviewed Keli, hers is one of my favorite blogs, too! Great interview and pic choices!!

Farmgirl Paints said...

She seems like such a great person. I'm off to check out her blog. I really love these interviews Becky. You do a wonderful job. She's so right about undervaluing yourself. I do that all the time with my art. By the time I'm done I've usually made about $1.50 an hour!

betcal said...

I love the pictures of her girls. I love that you take all of the pictures for my boys and my girl. She sounds just like you about the business end of the photography business.

jen@odbt said...

I love Keli too. Hi Keli!!!

She is an amazing photographer and I've learned alot from her and she is an amazing mother. her girls are beautiful. Thanks for sharing her interview Becky.

Foursons said...

Wow, what a down-to-earth, honest, and real interview. I love the editing on her photos. They are all so dreamy and make me feel nostalgic for my own childhood and make me desperately want to capture that with my boys.

Formerly known as Frau said...

Great interview! I love her pictures.... Her babies are too cute!

the monkeys' mama said...

i love the dreamy look in all of her pictures. but, and this is going to sound lame, most of all i love the cloth diaper tushy of her sweet newborn! yay for cloth diapering! :-p and for cool photography. that, too.

Dina @ 4 Lettre Words said...

Goodness...these are gorgeous! LOVE the tub shot.

lifebythecreek said...

Ahhh! I remember that picture in the red skirt as being one of the first really "artsy" theme shots in the I Heart Faces contest. From that point on, it went from folks just putting in pictures of faces to actually planning, using props, shooting specifically FOR the contest. Keli, you remind me very much of me (except you are MUCH younger and MUCH cuter...). Love to take pics, hate to try and put a price on it. Just saw a Facebook comment that rings so true.. when your passion becomes your work, it can turn from JOY to JOB in a heartbeat. And I think you, like me, don't want to lose the joy. :<) It would be fun to go on a walkabout shoot together; I think we would get along nicely! I love, love your eye and the "heart" that I see in your work. So nice to "meet" you via my beloved Becky!

Becca said...

I love my sweet friend Keli and her amazing photography!!!!!

Sarah said...

I've been keeping up with Keli and her work for a few years now and love watching her talent (and family!) grow! Amazing images-- that tub shot should be on a canvas (Keli, order it asap!).

And her tutorials also rock! ;)

*Jess* said...

already in love with her blog :) Great interview!

Erin W said...

Keli is sooo amazing!! I always look forward to her photos on flickr-- I just adore the feel of her everyday life. Awesome interview--loved it!!

*Lissa* said...

Fabulous interview! I just love Keli! She is one talented momma!

Debbie said...

Ooooooh. I like! What great photos. Love the nature ones. She must have some eye to see such great things, such as that ladybug. And the bathtub photo - incredible. I also love that she is focusing on those adorable babies and she is so humble. I'm off to her blog...

Mrs4444 said...

So many delightful photos here, but that snap of her daughter with the stack of canned goods captured my heart; so sweet. What treasures Keli is creating for her family...

And what an awesome, awesome husband :)

It's great to meet you, Keli! :)

Wanda said...

Really great interview Becky.

I'm kind of blown away by how humble and unassuming Keli is.
Her work is beautiful!

jlo said...

Nothing better than real life photos.

Dana-from chaos to Grace said...

LOVE!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE! OMGosh her pictures are just so DREAMY! And I LOVE that they are just normal, day-to-day things in life! I need to do this. I'm so bad about just going through my day. WOW, she has totally inspired me!

OK, I may have to tell her that. I want to be HER when I "grow up". LOL

Laura D said...

I really enjoy your interviews and this is no exception, especially since there are so many things that I could relate to....I love how she makes the simple things in life look artistic - reading the target toy mag, or a children's playroom. I love, love the picture of the flower with the sunflare..all her pictures have such a great dreamy quality to them. Great interview!

Brooke said...

she is incredible. i couldn't believe when i read that she wasn't a professional!

my favorite of all the shots is the fence in the foreground and the barn in the background

Tracy P. said...

LOVE her little girl's arms around Daddy, and the play room. Lots of real life going on in her photos! So sweet! Off to check her out.

My Photographic Eye by Irela said...

I kept reading and couldn't wait to see the next amazing photo. Truly gorgeous work. I think my favorite is the one of Emma and the stacked cans. Truly awesome. Great interview Becky. <3

Sarah Halstead said...

I love this. She has one of the greatest blogs. I read every one of her posts. Great feature!

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

Oh wow, she is such a talented photographer! And I love her writing style and blog. There is such beauty in the daily, isn't there? It is all of those little moments that create a treasured life.

Melissa Stover said...

this was fun. i enjoyed her interview and the beautiful images.

Twenty Four At Heart said...

I love that you do these posts. They are so fun to read and I just love seeing all the different photography styles.

Three Lads and a Lis said...

I seriously have such a crush on Keli, in that very healthy way - she is one of my fave blogs to stalk. Her kids are darling and she is so refreshingly honest.

If I lived by her, I would beg her to take some fun candids of my family and tell her she MUST NOT look for flaws, because seriously... I don't think there are any. Her photography taste is flawless.

I'm guilty of trying to take Keli-esk photos, lol.

Thanks for sharing Keli!

the Lola Letters said...

Wow, wow, wow! Her work with light is incredible! So many touching, beautiful images here. I could never even pick a favorite - there are too many!

Becky - I LOVE that you do this! It mush be a ton of work, but I'm so glad you are passionate enough to create these beautiful posts so that we can be exposed to such amazing talent every week!

Skeller said...

Yay! You interviewed Keli!! I love her humor, her sweet photos with artsy composition and light-glowy-pastel-y colors. She's amazing capturing the tiny details of everyday life - the stuff you treasure without always being conscious of it - but Keli both sees it and captures it!

Susan said...

How great to meet someone new...going to check out her blog. Thanks.

Kim said...

Another wonderful interview Becky with amazing photographs. Keli seems like a very interesting woman. Her blog is now on my list to check out. Thank you for the time you take to do these interviews.

keli @ kidnapped by suburbia said...

thank you so much, becky! it was truly an honor to be interviewed by you. and I cannot tell you how floored I am that you took so much time to do this for me. xoxo

I mean, I am sitting here at 3:39am begging my wide-awake baby to pleeeeease go back to sleep ... I lead such a glamorous life, lol. thank you so much ... *hugs*

Marilyn said...

Amazing pictures. Truly a work of love. Great interview.

Raymonde said...

Oh my she is gooooooood! Thank you for sharing your find!

I loooooooove the photos and editing. I have still so much to learn...

Thanks Becky for a great interview. I am off to see Keli's blog. xxx

Cindy Knull said...

Great interview! I love being introduced to photographers. I'll check out her work! Thanks for sharing.

Buckeroomama said...

I LOVE Kelli's work! I normally use multiple exclamation points to express how much I love something, but in this case, I am in total awe of her skills as a photographer that I'd sound like a raving lunatic if I use that many exclamation points, so I'll just use one here. :) Her pictures are beyond gorgeous.

Maddy said...

Beautiful work!! I think she has best subjects of all...her very own adorable kids!! If I had my own kids, you'd have to pry the camera away from my hands ;o)

Valeria said...

I love Keli's pictures! I didn't know she doesn't do that for work, i mean not if that matters, she is great she should cross the line...when she has time :). She sounds a great person too, I would love to meet her in real life...maybe at the next Iheartfaces workshop :)!

Life with Kaishon said...

@Valeria! I know what you mean. She is SO great! It is hard to believe she doesn't do this professionally yet. That is one of the things I love about her though. She didn't jump right in and go that route. I think maybe too many people are jumping into the waters too quickly. : )

I am so glad she took the time to interview here. I love her work and her spirit. She is a superstar in my book!

TechnoBabe said...

Very nice. She shared info about her family and her love of photography. No wonder she loves to take photos, with subject matter all around her.

Katie said...

Wow, her photos are amazing!!! I really enjoy the interviews you do! They flow so naturally and give so much info! ...heading to visit Keli's blog...

Melissa Varley Photography said...

wonderful interview, i related to a lot in this. im a first time mother, dont use PS but use PSE. i dream of making a living off photography. Kelli s images are dreamy and inspirational, always been one of my faves on flickr.

StarTraci said...

Wow! She truly is a talent. Thank you for sharing. She has inspired me to find a way to do what I love right in my own home with those I love!

Have a wonderful day!

:-)
Traci

StarTraci said...

Wow! She truly is a talent. Thank you for sharing. She has inspired me to find a way to do what I love right in my own home with those I love!

Have a wonderful day!

:-)
Traci

I'm just the MOM said...

I love that her "specialty" is her family :) And I mean look at her cuties!
I love these interviews...makes me wanna grab my camera more and more :)

Rosina said...

I loved this interview, Becky, Keli is definitely one of my inspirations!!

Keli--thank you so much for taking your time to answer these questions. I loved reading all these and as a result, got to know you a little more. I know how much life has changed since Lucy was born--but your creativity and talent will always remain--and I look up to your passion for photography, thank you for always being an amazing inspiration! X's

Veronica said...

Incredible photos!

Laura said...

I absolutely LOVE that you are primarily a LR lover, Keli. I am too! I use LR probably 99.5% of the time, only going into PS when I absolutely need to. I'm excited to look through your LR tutorials on your blog. See you over there!

Artemis Clover: The real L.A. love story. said...

wow this was an inspiring interview. there is such a sense of peace in her pictures and i love how she processes the pictures. so soft. going to check her blog out now. can't wait to follow her maybe move into professional photography. thanks for the post!! really makes me excited about shooting more and loving life!

Elaine A. said...

So wonderful to see so many of Keli's imagine in one place. She is so very talented. Great interview!! :D

Mental P Mama said...

Always such a treat to meet these talented folks. And their beautiful babies;)

Busy Bee Suz said...

A wonderful interview!!!
I love her photos and her kiddos!

Mighty M said...

I recognize one of her pictures! I love all the rest too - wonderful interview!!

And Miles To Go... said...

wow, I really enjoyed this post. She has a wonderful photography style. Just beautiful.

ourlifeinaclick.blogspot.com said...

Another great interview full of beautiful photos! Love her blog too!!

Just Bits and Pieces said...

Oh my gosh.....absolutely beautiful work! Because of the images & your wonderful interview, I'm now a follower of her!

Freckles & Dimples Photography said...

I really, really like how she captures the moments....her images are beautiful and I'm off to check out her blog. great interview, too!

Dawn said...

You did a wonderful job with the interview and choosing the pictures.

I love that she isn't a "professiona", so much more relatable for the amatuer photographer. Her work is beautiful and so are those precious children.

septembermom said...

I'm so happy to meet Keli through this wonderful interview. All of the pictures are amazing and touching. You can tell that she has a big heart too!

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

YEA I'm so glad to see another LR enthusiast. I feel like I'm the only dolt out there who doesn't use photoshop. I may have to break down eventually and buy Elements, but I'm holding off for now.

Thanks again for sharing the awesome interview.

photowannabe said...

What a delightful interview. Kelli is a super photographer and is Professional in my book. I love her tender glimpses of life as she sees it. Little sweeties baby feet and that messy fun playroom are 2 of my favorites among the gazilion others that are my favorites too.

Wanda said...

What a super interview - keli is one of my sweet Flickr friends - we have followed her life and love her images - espeically with baby Lucy here now - great interview - smiles from Nana's Making Memories - Flickr name :) ! ~

Manisha said...

I loved her photos so much that I added her blog to my blogroll. She is so inspiring. All you interviews make me want to improve my own images, especially this one with Keli!

becca boo photography said...

loved reading this interview...so neat to hear how she got started and read about her passions...thank you for posting!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks For blog with valuable informations.

Rebeca Lagos said...

HI!
My name is Rebeca, from Spain. I've been a fan of Keli's for a looong time, and I love this interview.
The thing is I'm preparing a blog with another mom (in spanish) with tips, advice and things like that, to capture your everyday life in photos the best way we can. One thing we are planning is to add some links to other pages, flickr contacts, blogs, etc of Moms like Keli, who take photos in such a real and beautiful way. We love heer photos!! And I was wondering if you would mind if we translated this interview to spanish, to add it to our "inspiration" page. Of course, with a link to Keli's blog and to this original interview in English. I've sent an email to Keli too to ask for permission, but I need yours too!
Please Let me know your decission (and sorry for my English!).

Thanks a lot!
Rebeca

PS: Our blog is not ready yet, but you can check our flickr and other blogs:

Eva: http://www.flickr.com/photos/evaguein/

Rebeca: http://www.flickr.com/photos/happy-mami/

http://rebecalagos.blogspot.com/ (365 in 2010)

http://rebecalagosmomentos.blogspot.com/ (this year)