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you need this: steep street

September 29, 2009
so if you all enjoyed yesterday’s posts, and i know for sure you all did.  ch-ch-check this out!!
i got the fortunate opportunity to interview the amazing talent behind those posts,  kelty from steep street!
you know that someone is truly great at their art if you find it impossible to pick which photographs to feature.  every photograph that kelty produces is a work of art and the beauty, the love, the joy, the commitment, even sometimes the vulnerability, is so vivid and captured so perfectly.
kelty
Ever Ours: What is your background?   Have you always done photography?

Kelty: My love for photography began when my parents bought me a camera for a trip to visit family in Spain. I was only six or seven at the time, and that camera was never out of my sight. Looking back at those photos, the grandeur of Spanish architecture was clearly lost on me; my pictures were all of the minutia–the purple shine on the back of a pigeon, the texture of a wall, a funny looking fence post. I was hooked.

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Ever Ours:
How long have you been doing photography? What motivated you to start pursuing this career?

Kelty:  I kept tinkering with arts and crafts, and there was usually a camera involved, even as I went on to college. I majored in Spanish and Portuguese and played water polo full time, but I still found myself working on side projects as gifts for family and friends. After college and a couple of odd jobs, I founded Satchel Studio (www.satchel-studio.com), a home for some collaged messenger bags I’d been working on in San Francisco. Many of the collages incorporated my photographs, as well as combinations of found images and vintage elements. It was a wonderful entrance into artistic self-employment, and helped me meet lots of artistic crafters, photographers and designers who guided me through the harder moments. I also did a bunch of web design and print projects on the side, which led naturally to the idea of Steep Street, a bigger umbrella for all of my design and photographic endeavors.

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Ever Ours: Where do you get your inspiration?

Kelty:  Everywhere! Depending on the project, I may draw inspiration from a specific location, the personal style of a client, a favorite magazine spread, or even the novel I happen to be reading. Motivated clients are a huge inspiration, and when they come with their own ideas, vision and flexibility, anything is possible!

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Ever Ours: How would you describe the style of your photography? What makes you unique?

Kelty: I have a really hard time looking at my own work and categorizing it, especially since I’ve noticed that elements resonate with people differently. Folks have described my photos and design style as whimsical, fresh, moody, personal, modern and vintage–go figure! I try to have fun behind the lens, and my main goal is to reflect the style and energy of the beautiful people I’m shooting.

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Ever Ours: Is it any different from or similar to your personal style?

Kelty:  In some ways, I guess, my work does reflect my own personal style. I’m not sure I’ve ever thought about that before! I tend to dress the same way I decorate my house, the same way I edit a photo or make a collage…bright colors, vibrant patterns, happy clutter, and an old-fashioned, nostalgic spin on it all.
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Ever Ours: I understand that you are based in Portland.  Where are your favorite places to shoot there?  How about outside of Oregon?

Kelty: I grew up in Portland and have just returned to the city after living in the Bay Area for eight years! I’m really enjoying exploring my new neighborhood, St. Johns in North Portland. There are all kinds of nooks and crannies, colorful walls, crowded vintage shops and woodsy Narnia-looking spots ripe for discovery! With each client, I like the balance of exploring somewhere fun and new and then returning to somewhere familiar and personal to them. Capturing someone at their favorite coffee shop, cuddled on their living room couch, or strolling their own sidewalk makes a lot more sense than finding some fancy spot without any meaningful connection.

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Ever Ours: What do you enjoy most about your job?  What are your favorite type of shoots?

Kelty: This is the raddest job ever. I love that I can make a living in a creative way, and I’m thrilled that I wake up every day with projects to work on! I’ve been very lucky to connect with clients that also happen to be incredibly cool, so no shoot ever feels like work-work. My favorite shoots are also those that somehow challenge me, perhaps by finding a unique way to represent their feelings or by really hitting the style or mood they’re looking for.
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Ever Ours: Is there anything you don’t like about your job?  Have any pet peeves?

Kelty:  Ask anyone who works from home and I’m sure they’ll share a similar list of concerns. My usual complaints on one day often overlap with the those things I’m thankful for the next day, so they’re hardly worth mentioning. I tend to wear pajamas all day, for example, which is a habit I’m trying half-heartedly to break.

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Ever Ours: Is there any advice you would give to couples about photographers?

Kelty:  Go with your gut, and have fun! The best images–the ones that exude love and awesomeness–come from shoots where things are relaxed and the mood is light. It’s important to be game for anything and to remember why you’re there in the first place. From the photographer’s perspective, its hard going into a shoot not knowing much about a couple, so bring your own personality to the table and be ready with some ideas of what you’d like in a final product.
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Ever Ours: Other than photography, what else do you do?

Kelty:  I’m a busy gal. I have a blast designing websites, mostly for other artists, small businesses, or engaged couples ready to detail their big day! I also love a good print project, and I tend to work on invitations, business cards, a custom poster, or apparel- I’m up for anything! Outside of work, I basically spend a lot of time with my dogs, my partner Justin, and my twin sister Hannah. They’re pretty neat. I spend my happiest moments reading, watching old movies, learning new languages, and writing postcards.

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my blog can only do so much justice when describing kelty and her work.   so please definitely go to her website or her blog to check out more.

some of my non-wedding related favorites:

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saving the best for last:

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i know sometimes i sound redundant with my adjectives when describing the creativeness and talent of people that i feature.  but in all honesty, there are no other words, but those, to describe what i get to feature on my blog.  and i truly get flattered that i sort of know these people and how i’m fortunate enough to get to feature them and brag about them to my friends.

once again, kelty….thank YOU so much for taking the time to answer my questions and for letting me feature you.

you truly are one in a million with your work and your art.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 30, 2009 3:07 pm

    What a great Interview & lovely lovely photos!

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