Meet Legend of Light : Kellie Bieser
Tell us a little about yourself… Who you are, where you’re from, what you shoot/specialize in.
I am Kellie Bieser of Shutter & Glass Photography and I am a child and family photographer based in Columbus, Ohio. I live here with my husband, five kids, dog, cat, seven chickens, and two goats. It’s a bit of a circus we have going on here but we have so much fun and there’s always a reason to smile.
How did you get started in photography?
I received my first camera on my fourth birthday (a Polaroid One Step just like my Papa’s) and I think I fell in love with the magic of photography at that very moment. I mean, I still love watching that little square emerge from the camera and waiting for the photo to appear!
However, I didn’t start pursuing photography as a career or as a way of expressing myself artistically until after I had my own kids. Time goes by far too quickly for my liking. Photography allows me to to slow it down and is the best tool I have to bottle-up all these little moments that make our family special. And to be able to do that for other families is the honor of a lifetime.
What/who are some of your main influences?
Music is always on in our house and I am inspired by everything from Rachmaninoff to Cardi B. Visually, I find myself always going back to the work of Henri Matisse, Mary Cassatt, Norman Rockwell, and Nadav Kander.
When did you start shooting with Profoto?
I was at a photography conference a few years ago strolling through the vendor room when a Profoto representative asked if I would want to try out the new (at the time) B2. I laughed and told him I was an “exclusively natural light photographer.” Translation: I was too scared to try light shaping and fail.
He managed to convince me to put an Air TTL remote on top of my camera and let me take a few frames. I could not believe how intuitive the Profoto system was. I bought two B2s on the spot and haven’t looked back since.
What Profoto gear are you currently using?
Do you have a favorite lighting setup?
I am head-over-heels in love with the new B10 because it is so portable and works with all of my modifiers, making it ideal when photographing kids who seem to never stop moving! That said, the B10 outfitted with a 5’ Octabox in a studio setting is pretty dreamy.
What is one thing you’re able to do with Profoto lights that you weren’t able to do before?
The biggest thing that shooting with Profoto lights has done for me is that I can shoot with confidence in any situation. There used to be a bit of panic if the sun wasn’t cooperating with “my vision” for a shoot and now I don’t have to worry about that. I can create the light I want!
What is the most important piece of advice you’ve received pertaining to photography?
The best advice I have ever gotten as a photographer is to never stop being a student. This craft is way too broad to ever “know it all” and the more you open yourself up to new information, the more you allow yourself to evolve and grow as an artist.
What is your biggest challenge being a child and family portrait photographer? How do you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I face is also the best part of what I do. The fact of the matter is, being a family is hard work! There are diapers and bottles and sports schedules and homework and jobs and bed times and trying to get dinner on the table and at the end of the day, it can be hard to feel like you are accomplishing anything.
But the challenge I get to accept every time I pick up my camera is to show each family…including my own…the beauty that is there in all of that stuff. I get to reveal what a good job those parents are doing with their kid and I get to show those kids just how special they are and how much they are loved.
It’s not an easy task but man, it is the honor of a lifetime!
What is your dream assignment?
I would LOVE to photograph the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children! It would be such a dream to capture those simple, universal family dynamics for people who have to be buttoned-up so much of the time. And I love that Kate is also a mom-photographer.
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