Personal

Travel | Five Highlights for Five Years

On December 6, 2018, I celebrated 5 years of Kelly Kester Photography! I’ll be spending the next few weeks reflecting on five highlights in my five years of business.


Travel and photography go together like peanut butter and jelly, right? It’s funny, but thinking back I realize that I discovered both about the same time (travel and photography that is…PB&J is gross.). I took my first photography class in the spring of my junior year at SUNY Geneseo, and enjoyed it so much that I packed my camera in my suitcase that summer when I headed to London for an internship. While I’ve never really been into landscapes or architecture, how could I resist when I was in as beautiful a place as London? That summer, when I wasn’t working or exploring the local pubs, I was getting to know London from behind the lens. Two of my favorite days from that trip included: meeting up in Brussels with a friend from my photography class who was studying at Oxford at the time and spending the day eating waffles and photographing everything we could; and a couple weeks later when my aunt and brother came to visit me with a Canon Rebel in tow. I packed my film SLR and my brother manned the Rebel and we spent hours crisscrossing the Millennium Bridge and photographing the sights. Can you think of a more perfect way to spend a day abroad?

Brussels 2004 (I didn’t say they were  good  photos…)

Brussels 2004 (I didn’t say they were good photos…)

Summer in London, 2004

Summer in London, 2004

While I never set out to be a traveling photographer, it’s been amazing over the years to see where my camera has taken me. I’ve enjoyed visiting St. Louis a few times for mentoring and conferences - and you might be saying “St. Louis? Not the most glamorous place to travel…”. But you may look at it differently from behind the lens, and especially if you’re staying at a hotel as breathtaking as the St. Louis Union Station.

Union Station.jpg

Photography education has also landed me in Las Vegas a couple of times, and my most recent trip had me photographing models on the roof of the LINQ and in a nearby desert dry lake bed. That was a dirty, but STUNNING experience!

LINQ Rooftop in Las Vegas, 2017

LINQ Rooftop in Las Vegas, 2017

Dry Lake Bed, Nevada, 2017

Dry Lake Bed, Nevada, 2017

Dry Lake Bed, Nevada, 2017

Dry Lake Bed, Nevada, 2017

My favorite trip though had to be in the spring of 2017, when my husband and I both had the extraordinary privilege of traveling to Punta Cana to photograph a wedding (you’ll hear more about that in a later post). I spent most of that trip (while not photographing a wedding or in the pool enjoying the most glorious invention- the swim-up bar) looking out at the ocean and trying not to cry at how happy I felt.

Pure bliss in Punta Cana

Pure bliss in Punta Cana

Thank you Mike & Melissa for the trip of a lifetime!

Thank you Mike & Melissa for the trip of a lifetime!

When I started this business 5 years ago, I could never have dreamed about where my camera would take me - physically take me. As I look to the future, I can now dream a little bigger - where will we go next? My immediate goal is Colorado and Arizona for working trips where I can also visit family and friends. And of course I’m dying to go back to Europe (who’s game to join me for some portraits on that one?!),. But if there’s anything I’ve learned from the past 5 years it’s to not limit myself. I’m staying open to all possibilities, and feeling so excited to see where my camera and I will go next, and what we can create together.