About

Barb Kellogg, self portraits. Different sides of me.

Barb Kellogg, self portraits. Different sides of me.

You're probably reading this because you want to know a bit about me and the "why" behind my photography. I'm going to try really hard to avoid having this sound like a pile of b.s. That is the tricky part about "About" pages—and I hope to combine sincerity with the information you want to know.

You can read everything, or you can scroll to the section(s) you're interested in. You'll also find some links to other pages on my website that expand even more on a couple topics for those who enjoy reading/seeing more.

Short Version

I am a photographer who creates elegant and timeless images.

I am not a purist. My style ranges from images that document what I saw to images I've created about how I felt.

Although I work primarily as a nature photographer, I also capture genuine and authentic portrait images for clients. Conceptual photography is another area that I focus on, with images that represent varied emotions and stories.

Why do I pick up a camera?

To bring out the best in everything and everyone. My whole life I've seen beauty where others don't, and I've chosen to see the best in people I meet.

I also know that there is no "do-over" in life. It doesn't matter if I'm photographing a flower or a person. There is ONLY right now. And that's important.

I wrote a blog post that still resonates with me as to why I do what I do, so I'll link to it here if you'd like to read more in depth on this topic of "why".

Reality?

Are my images real? If you mean are they exactly what I saw when standing there? The short answer, is no.  As a fine art nature photographer, I am not limited to a literal interpretation of what is in front of me. Just like a painter isn't limited to paint exactly what is in front of her. My nature photography is a combination of reality, and my vision and creativity. And for people, I provide realistic digital cosmetic improvements when needed—soften wrinkles, eliminate that pimple, maybe nudge that sagging chin ever so slightly. You will look like you! Not some plastic doll.

Varied Interests

In college, I Ioved so many different classes. I have a varied college transcript because of my diverse interests.  And three degrees because, guess what, I love learning! That hasn't changed. I would characterize myself as self-taught, but that is a little misleading. I didn't go to college for photography. But I have taken many online photography classes, read books, attended workshops, and learned from my fellow photographers. So it is with the knowledge of others that I've come to where I am today. Plus a lot of trial and error.

Photography continually challenges me, both technically and creatively. So at least now I have one avenue (that has enough variety) to engage my desire for learning and growth. Today, I divide my photographic interests between flowers and nature, conceptual photography, and portraits. I tried to focus on just one, but I'm happiest when I can have the variety.

Flowers and Nature

My interest in this kind of photography is hard to pin down as to when it started. I can think back to some pretty film images I took in a park during college. But then the camera is set aside for other pursuits (like education, a job). But I can tell you when the fire re-emerged. I was taking a required photography class back around 2007 for the Advertising Design major I pursued. I. LOVED. IT. So off I went to buy my first DSLR and a few lenses. And taking more and more images. Taking online classes. Going to workshops. Paying attention to light. To shadow. It's an ongoing thing, whether I have a camera in my hands or not. (Every now and then, you can hear me say, "Ohhhh, look at that light. Isn't it beautiful?")

Photography provides me with a connection to nature that I didn't really have before. I love the beauty of it. I hope that passion shows in all my images. And when I'm behind the camera, no matter what I'm photographing, it's truly like the rest of the world falls away except for what is in front of me.

My floral and nature images are scattered throughout my Blog, the online Shop, and in the Flowers and Scenic portfolios.

Conceptual

I didn't set out to classify some of my work as conceptual, but I took a class (which led to part two of the class) called Conveying Concepts, Feelings, and Stories in Photography (at the Bryan Peterson School of Photography) which got me to see things differently. My initial thinking was that this would help me improve my nature photography. What this class opened up for me was to see a lot of my older images in a new way. Plus, to keep an eye out for situations that told stories—happy, sad, scary, murderous, or mysterious stories. The visual themes of many of my conceptual images is the flip side of the pretty nature images I create. I love reading mystery novels, so I gravitate towards creating images that are on the "darker side" of life. My conceptual stock photography images are available exclusively through Arcangel Images.

Portraits

Portraits is only listed last because of the limited number of sessions I have available each year. Not because it occupies a lower status in my mind.

I believe hiring a photographer is a personal experience for you.

It was for me.

A few years ago I wanted professional images taken of my family and my dog, and finding a photographer who's style I liked wasn't easy. At first she wasn't sure I'd be a good fit for her, because her specialty was moving in a different direction than family photography. But after a few heart-felt emails on my part, she agreed. I'm so glad she did! I have beautiful images, that I'll treasure always. I know that's a cliche, but it's true!

It's personal. Whether you're behind the camera or in front of it.

If you're reading this, you might be interested in seeing my portfolio of portrait images, plus some other information about hiring me as your photographer. If you're still interested after checking everything out, then let's get together in a casual location to see if we'll work well together.

Personal Stuff

This is the part where I think I'm really boring, because what do I say?

I'm not Wonder Woman, but wouldn't those bracelets be cool?

I'm not overly mean or kind. Can you be overly kind? I suppose the phrase "kill them with kindness" came from somewhere.

I'm one of those people who like tofu.

I think it's ok to wear leather. I respect others who feel otherwise.

I painted a cat yellow in kindergarten. (Not a real cat. One on paper.)

I think the f-word makes a wonderful embellishment to good, bad, and funny things; but I try to be respectful about using it, as not everyone appreciates the word like I do. (But I did agree to be hired as a photographer because my soon-to-be portrait client used that word (it wasn't directed at me), then quickly apologized. I said, "really, it's ok." )

I love to travel. But I also love to stay home.

I really love to people watch and make up stories to myself about their lives and personalities. As an introvert, that is far less tiring than being at a party having to interact with a bunch of people. Extroverts will not understand that.

My superpower is to make people smile. Sometimes that superpower goes on vacation.

As you maybe noticed, I do have a pretty good sense of humor that ranges from silly to dark. But I must have a weird sense of humor overall, as sometimes things that other people think are funny, I don't. And vice versa.

I'm a dog person. But if I could only have a cat, I probably would.

My photography dream is sitting in a field of beautiful poppies with my camera.

My Process

Rather than making this page even longer, if this is something you're interested in, I've created a page dedicated to my process. I foresee that page being updated frequently to more accurately talk about what I do. It's actually really difficult for me to define how I'm thinking. After enough years of doing something, I just do. Often thinking comes later.

Artist Statement - Brief

A camera is my canvas, digital creativity is my brush. With these tools of art, new painterly expressions of natural and floral images emerge.

Artist Statement - Full

A camera is my canvas, digital creativity is my brush. With these tools of art, new painterly expressions of natural and floral images emerge.

As a fine art nature photographer, I am not limited to a literal interpretation of what is in front of me. My photography is a combination of reality, vision, and imagination. Flowers and treescapes make up the majority of my work, and when people look at these images, some are surprised that they aren’t looking at a painting. I’ve found that the style I’ve developed over the years is a beautiful way to reflect my relationship with and perception of nature.

I have the freedom, through choice of lens, digital camera and processing techniques, to create my vision of nature. Two qualities that often characterize my work are simplicity and softness.  Simplicity is the result of choosing what I consider to be most interesting about a subject (or just a simple, uncluttered composition), then creating an image about that quality or qualities. Some of the qualities I look for are delicateness, texture, lines, and symbols.

To impart the lovely, soft quality often seen in my floral images, I use a unique camera lens that lends an intentional soft blur to the image being captured. A sheer layer is sometimes added while I process the image to compliment the painterly quality and color of the photograph. It is through digital artistic tools, in addition to my own eye, that results in the final image being something a bit more than what it was.

Through photography, I have found a way to be a part of and enjoy nature. This is my connection to something simpler, to give me that moment...to just breathe.


Fine art nature photography by Barb Kellogg, a central Minnesota artist.

Enjoy the view! © 2016 Barb Kellogg, All Rights Reserved. Commercial use and distribution of the contents of the website is not allowed without express and prior written consent of Barb Kellogg.

CONTACT INFORMATION:  hello@BarbKelloggPhotography.com     PO Box 227, Avon, MN 56310       (320) 493-8883