Spotlight on Kellie Penn | The Reset Conference

Eleanor R.

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Bex here. What an honor it is this time of year to get to tell you about my dear friend Kellie again. If you read the blog post before this one, on me, you already know how we met. She is one of my closest friends and has also become one of those people I am more than real with. I vent to her, laugh with her… often cry with her… etc…
She is special to me so trying to put how I feel about her as a person into words on a little blog post is pretty limiting.

Let’s just say I am a fan of Kellie Penn.

She is so many things… and if you are attending Reset, you will learn a little more about all the hats she wears, so I am just going to narrow this down and talk about what I think of her in the professional sense.

The work… oh the work….

Kellie is one of those photographers that could make it big if she was willing to put in the time and energy full heartedly into her career. I look at her images and I compare them to the big names… and they are just as good if not better in some areas.

The thing is, she isn’t willing. She “reset” her priorities years ago and you will see a gorgeous image of those “priorities” if you scroll down to photo two in this post. So she chooses her life instead of seeking out the fame and reputation. She has the talent. It’s all there.

She is consistent and solid. Her work is magazine worthy. If I didn’t love her so much already then I would hate her.

Kellie captures relationships and emotion so well. Her clients love her and are always full of positive things to say.

…and as one of her competitors in the same town, I have to admit that I am often green with envy when I look at her clean color processing. We shoot with practically the same gear and use a lot of the same software… but goodness! (I try not to gaze too long at her work when we are in peak season because if I see her stuff, all of a sudden my favorite image from that weekend now looks like poop.)

I’m a fan of her, a friend, a competitor and a partner (Reset baby!)

Kellie is a beautiful person. Please take some time to speak with her and if you have the chance please sit in her breakout. It’s only being offered once at the conference and let me tell you… this girl has been my go to informant on workflow and efficiency for about 5 out of the 7.5 years we have been wedding photographers! She will not disappoint!

Without further ado, I give you Kellie Penn… (and her precious family too!)

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IMG_1423 copy What keeps you inspired?
My kids. The giggles, the hugs, the way they come to me for reassurance, the way they see the world…I long for the childlike wonder that they possess.

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Favorite Software:
Smart Albums. Total lifesaver.

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Favorite Photo Find:
Millers. Their prints, their albums, and their quick turnaround have been a game changer.

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What is your favorite photography accessory other than your camera?

My Holdfast Moneymaker camera strap. Love that thing. And as a bonus…I kinda look like Olivia Benson from Law & Order SVU when I wear it.

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If you could only photograph with one lens, which would you choose?
Just one?!? Um. My Canon 35mm 1.4

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What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?

My driving force behind what I do is that I am capturing legacies. I don’t want my images to look stiff. I want to have the viewer walk away after looking at my work & think about the relationships that I captured in the photo. I want future grandkids to look at the photos & think…”Wow. Look at how much Grandma & Grandpa were in love.”

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What do you think are some clichés in photography you steer away from yourself?

Pinterest Poses. I know some people love them. But, I want my photos to capture real, authentic relationships…and not something that will be looked back on later and think “Why the heck were we posed like that?!?”  Don’t get me wrong…I’ve definitely been inspired by some things on Pinterest & have incorporated some into my work.  But, I really try hard to steer away from cheesy poses.

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If you could be invisible & had your camera…where would you go & what would you photograph?

I think I’d want to go to New York & photograph Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake when they were hanging out for a day.

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5 words your friends would use to describe you.

Loyal. Upbeat. Driven. Passionate.
I asked Bekah for her word to describe me and she said “Beautifully Broken.” I love having her as my friend.

 

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5 words your spouse would use to describe you.

I asked my husband and he said: “Best greatest most awesomest ever.” Haha!!

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What talent would you most like to have?

Does housekeeping count as a talent? I could totally be better in that area.

I’ve always wished I could sing. I’ve been jealous of those that can be on stage & belt it out. Me…I’m more like American Idol round one. You know, those people that you giggle at because they are so horrible. That’s me.

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Your laugh…loud and obnoxious? Quiet giggler? Full-on snorter?

I’ve been known to snort & cackle. Totally not my best personality trait.

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Wish you had more of…? Wish you had less of….?
More…bedrooms in my house. So I could fill them up with more kids. But, I have a feeling that chapter is closed in my life. I love being a mommy.

 

Less…self doubt. I hate that little voice in my head that tells me I can’t. Self doubt stinks.

I could also go with less inches on my hips and thighs.

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Greatest loves of your life?
Jesus-my sweet Savior who fills my life with so much Hope.

Tyler-my loving husband of almost 15 years who puts up with all of my annoying quirks

Mason-my incredibly tenderhearted 10 year old.

Miles (Mason’s twin)-my sweet treasure waiting for me in Heaven

Millie-my 8 year old who is a super sweet girly girl.  It’s so nice to have someone share my love for all things pink.

Madden-my ninja turtle loving 4 year old who is FULL of spunk.

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Most embarrassing moment?
I’m a walking embarrassing moment. Embarrassing moments attract to me like magnets.

One time I had a wedding consult at my home. My husband got called to an emergency meeting at church, so the kids were at home with me. I hoped they would just play quietly in their rooms while I met with the bride & her mom. (My kids were 2 & 3 at the time.) I was chatting with the bride & her mom about the day & the next thing I notice is my kids running into the living room. Mason was wearing a t-shirt & underwear & Millie was wearing a t-shirt…and nothing. I gasped, quickly scooped up my daughter & rushed her out of the room to put her clothes back on her. In the meantime, my son ran back in the living room. As I came around the corner, I noticed him taking of his shirt, swinging it around his head, and then threw his shirt on the head of the mother of the bride. I wanted to sink into the floor & just die of embarrassment that the pastor’s kid just strip teased for my client. I quickly moved him to his bedroom, closed the door & finished my consult while I was just so utterly embarrassed. The bride & her mom were laughing so hard, but I had yet to find it funny at that point. They thankfully still hired me & wondered where Mason & Millie were on the wedding day! Haha!

Just in case you ever were debating it…don’t do consults in your home when the kids are home. It’s just bad news.

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Something that is overrated?

Chipotle. It’s just not my fave.

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What’s your BIG dream?

To travel. We work with international students & my desire is to travel to their home countries and hang out with them & their families. I love having them into my home, but would love to go and experience their cultures, too.

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It’s Friday night at 9pm…what are you probably doing?
charging batteries, arranging my camera bag, printing off photo lists…and then crashing with my hubby on the couch and watching a movie.

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If you were granted 3 wishes, what would you choose?
Free Airline tickets for life to travel wherever, whenever.

For all babies and kids to have families and to experience true, unconditional love.
For the Cardinals to continue to beat the Cubs so I can keep rubbing it in my husband’s face.

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You can view more of Kellie’s work at:
www.acrossthemilesphotography.com

www.facebook.com/acrossthemilesphotography

www.instagram.com/kelliepenn

Kellie’s Presentation on Workflow is being sponsored by Smart Albums.  This software is a favorite of Kellie’s and has definitely saved her hours in her workflow!

SmartAlbum

Eleanor R.
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