Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Meet This Week's Judge: Kelly Jacobi!

This week, Kelly of Kelly Jacobi Photography invitesyou to explore your monochrome soul. Enjoy a sampling of her beautiful work, and read about her experiences with photography

1. Tell us about yourself...

I am a Midwestern mama to three boys. My husband and I recently moved back to our hometown in Wisconsin to raise our family. I love coffee, the mountains, movie previews, chasing light and beautiful shadows. I wish life came with built-in theme songs. I sing loud in the car, even when the windows are rolled down. I am a sucker for home remodeling shows. I am completely and totally enamored with photography and all of its possibilities. That's why I pick up my camera when words fail me. I pick up my camera to document our days. I pick up my camera to create art. I pick up my camera to tell a story that is uniquely ours.

2. What ignited your passion for photography, and what fuels it now?

My long for photography was ignited through my own childhood photos. My dad always had a camera or a video camera in hand. There are so many memories captured of the everyday. I realized when I was very young how special and important it was for us to have those and that love has only increased as I’ve gotten older and had a family of my own. But for many years I was truly satisfied with my little point and shoot camera in auto. It wasn’t until about three years ago that I realized it could be something so much more for me and for my family. So I dove in head first and learned everything I could about shooting in manual and began to take a more mindful and creative approach to documenting our family.

3. What’s in your camera bag right now, what do use the most? the least?

I shoot with both a Nikon D700 and a Fuji XE-2. I only have one lens for my Fuji; the 27mm, and I love it. It’s small, compact, and versatile! It’s perfect for when I want to travel light and simple but still get beautiful results. For my Nikon I have: Nikkor 50mm 1.8, Sigma Art 24-35mm 2.0, a Nikkor 85mm 1.8, and an old film Nikkor 200mm. I also have the Lensbaby composer pro with the sweet 35, sweet 50, and edge 50. There’s also an old film Pentax 50mm I modified I use for freelensing.

I shoot equally with the D700 and XE-2. But as far as lenses; my 24-35mm definitely gets the most use. I love the 200mm but I don’t get it out very often unless I am trying to shake things up a little. 

4. What’s your dream project or shoot?

We love being outside as a family and we also like to take trips to places we have never seen. Even if they are only an hour away, just to explore. I would love to be able to take a few weeks, load up my family into an air stream, and go find some adventure and beauty all over the country. To be able to shoot all while sharing that experience with my guys would be incredible

5. What is the biggest challenge you face as a photographer?

I struggle with finding the balance between what I am creating for me as art; the shots I set up or shoot moody and creative in contrast to what I am documenting for my family; the straight forward story-telling of what our life is like. Finding where they collide and then where they each have their own moment to shine but still finding that common ground that makes my work cohesive and very me. I’ve kind of given up on being so mindful about this and worrying about it as much as I used to. I figure if I am shooting what I love, the fact that I saw beauty is the only common thread I need.

6. If you had
$500 to spend on photography...

How should you spend it? It should go towards upgrading my computer for editing.
How do you wish you could spend it? I’d wish it could go towards taking a trip somewhere beautiful and exciting with my guys to explore and photograph with them.
How would you really spend it? I’d buy the Rokinon 14mm lens and the Lensbaby Twist optic and Lensbaby Fisheye….because I’m an instant gratification kinda girl and would love to play with these lenses instead of waiting and saving. Haha.

7. Is there any one thing you wish someone had told you at the very beginning of your photography journey?

Follow your instinct; shoot whatever taps into your inner voice even if it seems odd or you’re unsure about how it will turn out or be received. Try it all; new light, new perspective, new editing. You’ll never know until you try. When you find something that makes your heart leap- hold onto it, follow it, and see where it leads you….and please do not let social media define the worth of your vision. The amount of likes you receive have no correlation to your voice as an artist or your talent.  You are the only one who sees the world and can interpret it the way you do, there is something incredible about that!

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