Atlanta metro is such a fabulous area for meeting other creatives and supporting each other in our craft. And there are plenty of playgrounds around so even though we do have young ones, we can still hang out and our kids can play.
Allow me to introduce you to another photography creative, Kelsey.
Who are you and What do you love?
I’m Kelsey of Kelsey Butcher Photography. I am constantly inspired by and love Jesus, florals and tulle, period drames, books, visually pleasing things and Asian cuisine.
Tell my readers a little of your photography story, please.
During my Senior year of high school, we were required to compete a senior project. I wanted to do something artistic, but something I’d enver done before. As any high school senior, I also wanted something that wouldn’t be too much work since I knew there was a research paper, along with several other tedious tasks that the project required of me.
I chose photography because I’ve always been a a hands on/visual type of learner, so I figured what better thing to choose than photography, which is the embodiment of that and because I had always found imagery compelling to me personally. I got an A on that project (woohoo!) and I just unexpectedly found a hidden passion for photography through the whole process. And since then, I’ve not looked back. I started my photography journey in September of 2010.
Because I’m a visual person, I have always enjoyed most art forms, painting/drawing, dancing, music, etc. I play violin and I also draw (mostly for fun), so I have always been artistic in more ways than one. I would say, when I was just starting my photography journey, I was inspired by my sweet friend and fellow photographer Kayla Johnson. Her testimony is incredible and moving and I’ve always felt that her photos reflected that in a beautiful way. She inspired me to keep on growing and how to show people the love of Christ with this creative outlet.
I love how photography can represent emotions, how images can evoke and endless variety of feelings from person to person. And it can freeze that moment in time visually so it can be relived, whether its captured with an iphone or a DSLR. These moments like a couple’s wedding, birth of a baby, and anniversaries can all be remembered through photographs.
We can relive the past, even as those moments come and go in a single breath. I love that so many people could see the same setting or image and all have different perspectives and feelings about it. Just a perfect picture of how unique our Creator made us.
What do you love about the metro area?
Visually, everything is so stimulating, from the nature of North Georgia to the metropolis of actual Atlanta. I love the geometry and clean aesthetic of the city buildings, with all of the reflective surfaces and green space combined. It’s a great place to feel inspired when it comes to shooting bloggers’ street style and just going to feel inspired from places like Crate and Barrel, and other stores that have that light and clean feel I like that inspires my photography.
I love further north and all the suburbs for more greenery like woods and downtown areas that inspire my more whimsical inspiration. In every direction, being the visual person I am, there is just endless potential that constantly inspires me. I’ve traveled to several places within the US and outside of the country, but where I really want to go is the Pacific Northwest like Oregon/Washington, as well as California, because the aesthetic there, just from what I’ve seen online is just a completely different vibe than here on the East Coast.
Outside of the US, I would love to go to Europe because of the history that translates into every part of each country there. Plus, who doesn’t love want to try authentic European food? I see photographers like Ben Sasso and Jordan Voth, as well as some others I keep up with, who live over there, and their work inspires me to someday shoot on the West Coast.
If we were hanging out over coffee, etc – what would you get? Where would you go?
I’m so not a coffee snob, and I don’t even care about such things as pour overs. Neither do I care for alcohol because honestly, my body doesn’t tolerate it well, so I pretty much never venture into all of that anyways. I like my Starbucks, so we could always go there where I would proceed to either get a White Chocolate Mocha (espresso) if it’s cold outside, or I would get a Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher if it’s hot. I also love their “Pink Drink”, the Strawberry Acai drink with coconut milk. If I’m feeling like I still want coffee, but it’s hot outside, I sometimes get a Frappuccino of some sort. If we went to a more independent coffeehouse/place, I’d choose either Copper Coin Coffee or Chrome Yellow Trading Co for either a White Chocolate Mocha or an iced version, depending on weather. Like I said, I’m not a coffee snob or social drinker, so it helps to not make me that picky, really.
Summer has been great, but what are you looking forward to about Fall?
I’m super excited about the weather and leaves changing colors which so evidently display God’s Creation, all of Fall attire I’m going to get to wear, and all of the exciting sessions and projects that are coming up! I physically feel my business growing, and I love that. Never stagnant, and never boring! I honestly hate summer, but I would have to say the ONLY good thing about it was watching my daughter play outside and going to the pool with her and my husband.
How do you balance a life of a photographer, a mom, and a wife?
I read a book the other day called, “Bebe Day By Day: 100 Keys to French Parenting” by Pamela Druckerman. It’s pretty self explanatory, but in the book, it guidelines basically what French parents do to get their kids to behave so well and be wholesome people. As I read through it, I realized that I’ve been doing almost everything this book says without even realizing it was the way French people parented. I don’t do everything exactly down to the letter, of course, because they totally acknowledge that kids are all unique and different, so this “method”, if you will, applies to each differently. But, for the most part, I’m pretty proud of that accomplishment, as a mom. My daughter has been sleeping through the night since she was 2.5 months old, she has a healthy appetite and diet, and she doesn’t have to be entertained every second of the day.
Honestly, the hardest thing about having my daughter has been her hard-headedness/stubbornness, running after her, having patience with her sometimes (it’s me, not really her), and trying to edit with a toddler (imagine a tiny person trying to climb on you or underneath your chair while you try to tediously edit someone’s skin lol). But I wouldn’t trade it for anything, truly.
As a wife, I think that I’ve been truly blessed with a husband who is 100% supportive of what I do. He never complains about me doing a shoot or staying up into the wee hours of the night to edit sessions. Sometimes, I think it’s easy to feel guilty or resentful for not giving my full attention to him (or my daughter) when I’m in my photographer zone, but I know that he knows that I love what I’m doing, and he will always communicate to me if he needs my full attention. Otherwise, he is good about finding that time to do something he enjoys or plays with our daughter to keep her out of my way while I edit.
In that same book I mentioned above, Druckerman wrote that French people fully believe that women are totally capable to have careers and take care of themselves and still be a wonderful mother. There’s no guilt-trip like here in American culture where people think that you’re a bad mom if you work or are no longer driven toward your dreams if you choose to be a stay-at-home mother. They believe you can have both and it was a light bulb moment for me, that I shouldn’t be feeling any guilt for trying to balance this photographer work life right alongside my home life. I don’t care about “having it all” or anything. I am lucky to be able to work from home and not miss the moments I want to be here for in my daughter’s life. But when I go to shoot a wedding all day or something, I don’t feel guilty for being my own self away from my family. Another mommy friend I have who is a photographer/blogger and SAHM I got to shoot for the other day agreed that one of the hardest things about motherhood was trying to find that balance and not letting her daughter, who she said she’s made her whole world since having her (which is something that is beautiful!), overshadow her own needs and her marriage. She felt guilty when she would ask her husband to take the reigns in caring for their daughter whenever he’d get home from work, so much so that she burned herself out FAST. I 100% agree because I know exactly how that feels, as I’m sure many other moms out there can relate to. While it’s a balancing act in itself, and it’s HARD WORK to do it all in some capacity, I think that there’s no room or necessity for guilt in my life in this regard. I compartmentalize, I minimize, I do my best to stay pretty organized, and I feel like that has helped me balance it all, along with some fervent prayer! I don’t worry if some areas bleed over into others because it makes me who I am, in every role I assume.