UNVEILING THE ARTISTRY OF FASHION AND WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER KELLIE WALSH
As a top luxury wedding photographer and a longtime friend of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, Kellie Walsh has made a significant impact in the realm of fashion and wedding photography. Based in New York City, Kellie shoots high-end fashion and business assignments, along with destination weddings all around the world. In addition to Wedding Style, her work has been featured in numerous publications including Vogue, Town & Country, New York Times, Martha Stewart, Harper’s Bazaar, Real Simple, People Magazine, Cosmopolitan, and American Photo. Throughout Kellie’s well-rounded and diverse career as a fashion and wedding photographer, her artistry has continued to evolve as she consistently seeks inspiration while appreciating the beauty in all she encounters.
Meet Kellie Walsh, the Visionary Behind Captivating Fashion and Wedding Photography
Kellie has been a professional photographer for her entire working life. She picked up a camera during her freshman year in college, while she was majoring in Media Communication. Needless to say, it was love at first sight.
“I quickly began creating imagery that reflected my inner vision,” she explains, “both as an early documentarian, then later developing my skills in visual narration. I loved the way I could create an image through the combination of the subject and the environment, to create a ‘story.’ That story could be whimsical, romantic, bold… whatever I felt could provoke an emotion.”
Kellie’s knack for visual storytelling eventually led to her career as a fashion and wedding photographer. The storytelling aspect is also what gives her images more depth, allowing viewers to connect more with her work.
The Creative Eye – Kellie’s Approach to Fashion Photography
When shooting an editorial spread on location, Kellie makes location scouting one of her top priorities.
“In so many ways, a well-executed scout day will save so much wasted time and allow for a smooth transition from one shot to another,” she states. “The location also adds a very important element to the composition of the imagery. This is also true in regards to the wardrobe – the clothes become another element of the design. When scouting, I look how a particular room will enhance the wardrobe choice and the model. How the shape of the room, color, the lighting, all the texture that the environment has, can add to the storytelling.”
Kellie’s approach to fashion photography combines elements of lighting, location, and design to create “layers” to the composition of an image. She refers to this as “storytelling at its best,” as each individual component comes together to enhance her vision as a photographer.
“We, as the artists, create the mood through the choices we make,” she shares, “both with what we include in the frame of the camera as well as what we do NOT include. Our point of view is how the viewer will see the imagery and feel the impact of the shot. I love it. The end results can be quite magical!”
Capturing Love and Joy as a Luxury Wedding Photographer
While some photographers may switch modes when pivoting between editorial and lifestyle photography, Kellie doesn’t adjust her approach when switching from fashion shoots to real weddings. In fact, her editorial style carries over into the weddings she captures, which has helped solidify her as a leading luxury wedding photographer at 4 Eyes Photography – a company she co-founded with her partner, Rupert Rogers.
“I always aim at creating the most authentic, dynamic imagery possible, regardless of the client or end-user,” she says. “Whether it is a model in a high-end couture gown or a groom seeing his wife-to-be for the first look, they are all unique moments in time.”
Still, even the most seasoned wedding photographer will acknowledge the higher stakes of photographing a wedding as opposed to a styled fashion shoot.
“An editorial or fashion shoot can be a little easier than a wedding in some ways since we are creating the environment and we have a higher level of control,” Kellie describes. “With a wedding, you are capturing the moments as they enfold, in real time. You ‘see’ the same way, but now my creative decisions are in a constant state of flow and often have to be made split-second and cannot be re-done! It’s not for the faint of heart.”
Behind the Lens – Kellie’s Creative Process and Inspiration
Kellie’s signature photography aesthetic is both romantic and dramatic. She draws a lot of her inspiration from locations, fashion, and design, and even credits the movement and personalities of her models and subjects.
“There is a bit of alchemy and magic that transcends when I capture a moment in time,” says Kellie. “I feel this way for anything that I photograph, whether a fashion shoot, a wedding or a portrait. There is always an exchange of inspiration and energy between myself and the person in front of my camera.”
In terms of visual inspirations, the play between light and shadow is usually at the forefront, along with design elements like repeating patterns.
“I’m obsessed with beauty, inside and out,” she adds. “My mission is to translate the detail, essence and personality of the people, places and brands I photograph, into compelling, authentic imagery.”
Fashion and Wedding Photography in New York City and Beyond
Being an international fashion and wedding photographer, Kellie’s roster of clients are scattered around New York City and beyond. It’s rare to find a professional photographer who has been in the business for the whole of their working life – and it’s Kellie’s unique, lifelong experience that makes her such a distinct artist in a saturated industry.
When asked what pearls of wisdom she has for the next generation of up-and-coming fashion and wedding photographers, Kellie advises them to develop a signature style and aesthetic that sets them apart.
“Always challenge yourself to be better and improve your skills,” she says. “You should never stop learning and seeing new possibilities of creativity. Collaborate with other talents and create stylized shoots that can highlight all of your talents and work towards building an impressive portfolio. Finally, get inspiration from other photographers that you admire or discover. Stay fresh and open to how the fashion world is always evolving.”