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Meet the mama behind {HORSE + FEATHER}

20140814-IMG_2174Where do I start?  There seems to be a reason why this type of writing, the kind about oneself, is always so difficult, and for me it’s probably due to the fact that as a photographer, I’m most comfortable behind the camera, not center stage.  I’d rather my photographs speak for me.  But I know that’s not really how it always works.  So…What is important to know about who I am…

My name is Kelly Sutton. I am a photographer. I am a happy mom, and a happy wife.  My favorite things other than my family are ice cream, coffee, NPR, horses and music.

Have I always loved photography?  Yes, but no.  I didn’t always strive to be a photographer, but I have always wanted to be an artist, since childhood.  There’s a romance to art that is undeniable.  My love affair with photography didn’t begin until I began college, at which point I had completely quit drawing (which I was quite good at), due to my obsessive perfectionistic tendencies.  I’ll admit it…I quit drawing because I was afraid I wouldn’t be perfect at it–sounds so silly now.  Instead I began a steady course to becoming a teacher, with a passionate resolve to work with at-risk students, and at the same time I borrowed my dad’s Vietnam-Era Canon.  I spent endless hours working with children and working in the dark room.  However, the day came I had to choose my career as a teacher over my art.  I took a break from photography during graduate school, and my first years of teaching (which is hard, hard, hard…go hug those teachers!).  My husband bought me my first DSLR about two years before our first son was born, but it wasn’t until I left teaching to stay home after he was born, that I again became infatuated with trying to document life as I saw it.  I’m now the proud mama to two young boys, Avett and Forrest, and I have found again that creative spark that I thrive on.

As described by others, I am honest, goofy, personable, passionate, sarcastic, and I can be quiet, although I think I talk a lot when I’m nervous.  I prefer to find the humor in life, and that often comes through in my images.

If I had to put some labels on my photography I would describe it as natural-light, fine-art, storytelling.  A family’s history is comprised of many different stories, and it makes my heart so very happy to be able to document a small part of that history, in the time we are together.  What I capture are real families and real life–the quirkiness that makes your family special.  All the photographs I create are completely honest and organic. I rarely direct, never pose, and never bribe (although I may encourage), never say “cheese,” or “smile for the camera.”  Some of the time we will walk, play, tickle, giggle, laugh. And sometimes we will just BE. We will be still, quiet and loving.  This is when the true moments happen; the moments that show you and your love.  This is what I wait for, ever so patiently.  I am an observer.  A fly on the wall.  It’s never forced, because it is the truth.  When we are open, it always finds us, and it is always magical.  Our time together is very low pressure.  If children cry, or get dirty, or find a stick, or fall in a puddle–I document it, because it’s the truth, it’s part of the story, and in the end, these are the moments that are the most meaningful.  They are the tender moments of mommies comforting, or daddies dusting off a scraped knee, or the wonder of a really cool stick, or the laughter of a child exploring.

Thank you for your time to visit my page and learn a little bit more about me.

xo, kelly