Morning Lights of Anchorage 4x4 Masterpiece Through Kelly's Lens

Welcome to my blog!

Here you will find an assortment of photos, thoughts and stories. Some will detail the story behind the photo. Others will showcase recent  shoots allowing me the opportunity to showcase my favorite images, including but not limited to client portraits. In other posts, I will share some tips and lessons that I have learned in my 20 plus years of shooting photography. I hope this blog inspires me to be a better and more creative photographer/artist. And I hope it leaves you inspired to pick up a camera to capture something amazing.  

Making Memories Gala

March 09, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Making Memories Gala Blog BoardMaking Memories Gala Blog Board

Music, Dancing and Memories


I had the pleasure of photographing the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Kentucky/Southern Indiana Chapter’s Making Memories Gala March 1. The chapter put on a fantastic event at the Brown and Williamson Club at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. 


I previously worked for two nonprofit organizations. I use that knowledge to not only capture images of the guests, but to capture all the details from the silent auction tables to the sponsor tables. I know that information will used by the event planners as they plan next year’s event. 


It was a great evening and I am honored that the association selected me to capture their memories. 


For more info on the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Kentucky/Southern Indiana Chapter, visit To see images from the event click


Congrats to the Ladies of Sigma Kappa at IUS!

September 26, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Sigma Kappas at IUS - Summer 2013The Sisters of Sigma Kappa at Indiana University Southeast - Summer 2013

To the sisters of Sigma Kappa,

Congratulations on your new members!

Thank you for inviting me to the Indiana University Southeast campus over the summer to capture some of your chapter's memories, along with some of your campus landmarks. It was obvious to me how much your chapter enjoys each other's company and friendship. I love the "heart" and "circle" sisterhood images. They are adorable and so are all of you!  


Thanks for kissing my camera with your laughter and smiles, 


Tips to Photograph Fireworks at Thunder Over Louisville

April 21, 2012  •  Leave a Comment


Tips to Photograph Fireworks at Thunder Over Louisville ISO 250; f/3.5; 1/10 secondThunder Over Louisville


Did you just get a DSLR camera and want to try to photograph fireworks at Thunder Over Louisville? Here are some tips to help you capture the magic of the biggest pyrotechnic show in North America. 


Once you have your DSLR, you only need a few tools to help you capture your best shot. 


A good location - Capturing the burst of fire in the sky can make a good photograph. But if you want to create a better image, one that will make your friends woo and awe, think of the scene. What makes your location unique? In my photograph, top left, it shows perspective, the size of the show compared to the bridges across the Ohio River and the steamboat. The bridges and steamboat showcase the location of the photo, just as the Washington Monument or Statue of Liberty would in their locations. Here were my settings for that image: ISO 250; f/3.5; 1/10 second.


Another tip when selecting location is to be aware of the wind direction that the smoke and soot is blowing. If the smoke blows your way, you might not get a chance to take additional photographs. But it can create a cool effect with a long exposure as seen the image below of the pink smoke streaming across the Ohio River. Here were my settings for that image: ISO 100; f/4.0; 2.5 seconds.


A tripod - Don’t think you can get a good shot hand-holding your camera, you need a tripod for the long exposures, anywhere from a 1/10 of a second to two to three seconds. The times will vary depending on the brightness of the fireworks. Red fireworks require the shortest exposure time.

ISO 100; f/4.0; 2.5 secondsThunder Over Louisville 2011-0394 Louisville Fireworks Thunder-2010-20













Bridge Over Pastel Waters
































A remote release - I have a remote trigger for my Nikon, some camera models will use a cable release cord. There have been some years where I have not been able to use the release because of the crowd standing next to me. In that case, you will have to carefully operate the shutter release on the camera, be care not to move or shake the camera or tripod, you don't want a blurry image.

ISO 100; f/4.8; 2.3 secondsThunder Over Louisville 2011-0301


An understanding of your camera settings -  Use your Manual setting on your camera. You will need to set it to the Bulb setting. You will also need to turn on the long-exposure noise reduction setting on the camera. If you don’t know how to use the bulb setting try turning your flash off and using your sports and/or night settings, and today some cameras have a fireworks setting for your long exposure. I would alternate to see what gives you the best shot. 

A fully charged battery - Because you Louisville Fireworks Thunder-2010-34 will be talking a couple of hundred photos, with the hopes of getting a couple of dozen good shots during the

28-minute show. Also make sure you have enough shots left for the end of the show. Those need to be short exposures because there is so much light.


Look for Abstracts - Shooting fireworks also lends itself to getting some cool abstract images of the streaming pyrotechnics.  One of my favorites is the photo above with the lights shooting off the bridge.


Some other tips that the pros use include moving a card in front of the open shutter to limit the exposure to the light of the fireworks during the extended exposure.I have tried this but I am typically in a crowed area, elbow to elbow, and that technique has not worked for me. 


Rick Sammon’s Photo Buffet iPhone app has some handy tips for those carrying along their iPhone. Also, be sure to carry a flashlight, it might come in handy. 


In your post processing, try changing your images to black and white, below is the same image that is at the top of the page. I can't decide which one I like best. 


Good luck and happy shooting!   


Thunder Over Louisville in Monotone



Tips to Enhance Your Easter Photos

April 06, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Looking to take great images of the kids this Easter? Try a few of the techniques that I used last weekend while photographing the Spina Bifida Association of Kentucky’s Easter Egg Hunt.

SBAK Easter 2012-0043


Get Out Front - Be prepared and be a few steps ahead of the kids when they take off for the treasured eggs. Treat those first few moments like you are photographing the start of a race. I recommend using a fast shutter speed. If you are not sure what shutter speed to use, try using the Sports (running man icon) mode to help you capture that first burst of energy as the kids “take off.” And shoot, shoot, shoot! Check your camera to see if it has a continuous shooting mode. Back in the days when I was shooting film, I was told it takes approximately 36 shots to get one good picture.


Get Up Close. Fill the Frame - One of the biggest pieces of advice I give to new photographers is to fill the frame. Get in close, by either using a zoom/telephoto lens or by moving closer to the subject. If you are new to photography and always use the Auto setting mode, change it up by using the Portrait mode (the one with the headshot icon) or the Sports mode, if the kids are playing or in motion. Shoot both horizontal and vertical pictures. 

SBAK Easter 2012-0093


Position Yourself to be Eye Level with the Child - Photographs are more interesting when you alter your point of view, which may mean squatting, or sitting on the ground so your eyes will meet their eyes.


Use Props - Include a stuffed bunny or an Easter basket filled with eggs in the photo. It helps the child to focus on something else and not on the camera. When they focus on the camera, they give you their “fake” or “cheese” smile.

SBAK Easter 2012-0187











Stand Behind Them - Because of my corporate job, sometimes I have  to photograph kids without showing their face in an image. I think that has helped to me to look at situations more creatively. So how can I tell a story without showing a child’s face? The image below perfectly showcases the little dude with his basket of eggs. Always look for different ways to tell your story and snap several images to tell the complete story. Think with the end product in mind. What images do you need to tell your story if you were to scrapbook them? 

SBAK Easter 2012-0121


Encourage Play and Spontaneity - Don’t force posed shots. Encourage them to play, so you can capture their natural smile, their energy and their laughter. By encouraging play, you also set up the opportunity to get adorable shots of siblings, cousins and friends playing together. Most of the time when I am shooting portraits, it is the unposed spontaneous shots that parents like most because those are the images that captures their child’s personality.


Editor’s Note: I am the past board president of the Spina Bifida Association of Kentucky and I have been photographing events for the nonprofit for more than eight years. The people, especially the children, living with the birth defect, spina bifida, inspire me to face life’s challenges head on. I am in awe of their spirit, tenacity and courage. To learn more about the Spina Bifida Association of Kentucky, go to  

SBAK Easter 2012-0147

Create great collages without being a graphic designer

April 03, 2012  •  Leave a Comment


My clients love the collages I make for them. It is a great way to showcase their photos. The mom, below, selected one of the collages I created for her to use on a custom-designed purse. 


People ask how I create my collages. While I do have some templates I use in Photoshop, the majority of my collages are created in Google’s Picasa. It’s a free photo-editing program that can be downloaded from the internet and it is simple to use.


I edit my photos in Lightroom and export the ones I want to use in the collage. I import them into Picasa, select the photos I want to use and click the Collage button in the photo tray. Once on the collage screen, I go to Settings where I can change the type of collage I want to create from a picture pile to different types of mosaics. I can also change the size and color of the grid between photos and the size of my image canvas. 


Picasa is free and easy to use to create artistic collages. Beth's Favs10

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