Lesley Kerr is the first photographer to take part of the monthly f/22 focus. Lesley is a talented individual living in the Atlanta, Georgia area and her business, Lesley Kerr Photography, specializes in High School Senior Portraits, as well as fine art images. I had the privilege to meet Lesley late in the summer of 2007 in Missoula, Montana as attendees of the Rocky Mountain School of Photography intensive programs. I have also been intrigued by her visions and how it translates to the images she creates. One day last fall, we learned about cross processing in Photoshop during the day. Lesley immediately went home to try out the technique and I found out the next day she had spent many hours and into the morning hours experimenting. I am not the only person who sees her work and just falls in love with the final product she produces, and wanted to talk to her so you may found out more about Lesley Kerr and her work.
Lesley, how long have you been interested in photography, and what got you started?
I found photography at the age of 12, I remember watching old slides of my dad’s and feeling that I needed to be able to capture the world like he was doing. He let me use his old Canon AE-1 and I would shoot black and whites of the sky. This is of course before the “photography roadtrip” was introduced as I was still quite young.
What exactly is the “photography roadtrip”?
Those are daytrips and so-forth I began to take as I got older to discover new places and things to capture.
Roadtrips aside, currently you are focusing on your business of Lesley Kerr Photography which comprises of senior portraits in the Atlanta area. Are there any other areas you are looking to expand into in the future?
I really love photographing couples. Just watching and experiencing the bond between two people is beautiful to me. I love maternity, too, for some reason and I will certainly be pursuing that market in the coming months. I would also really love to photograph for world vision, one day. That’s certainly a goal and whole-hearted desire.
How would you describe your style?
I’d like to think that my seniors are unique and contemporary. I do not photograph the formal portraits…everything is outdoor and sort of edgy…really casual. I’m always looking for neat textures outside and interesting places.
What photographers do you follow on a regular basis, and what about their work inspires you?
I can’t get enough of Andrea Fleischer ! She has done something really amazing with a scanner and wild creativity. I’m really drawn to artists who are unafraid (of light, of possibility, of making something strange). I think most of my artistic inspiration comes from many different places, photography being the least it seems. I follow a lot of local bands. Hmm, I carry pen and paper with me wherever I go because I am so often inspired when I’m driving by myself in the car or grocery shopping or at a show…places inconspicuous and unexpected. It’s weird how inspiration and ideas are derived from seemingly random things.
In some of your work I have seen you stitched images into a book while other times you are using dyptics to tell your stories. Is there a specific thought process you go through when using theses ideas for the subject work?
I guess I’m always trying to find a way to make what I’ve initially captured more interesting or different, at least. With so many possibilities, whether it’s Photoshop, physical manipulation, or what have you, there are endless ways to turn photographs into something new and different.
What was the last personal project that you photographed, and what inspired you to photograph this subject?
I need to go do a personal project, now that you mention it Neil Corman. I really think it’s so important to do things that will challenge your creativity and your mind. I am always making things, though. With an architect for a father and a seamstress mother, I suppose i have a perpetual desire to create things. Right now I’m working on turning an old box spring into a piece of art, involving small photographs and dried up tree branches, with my dad of course. He really inspires me and he’s my favorite person to collaborate with. I’ll get back to you on that personal project thing, though.
You mentioned Andrea Fleischer as a photographer you follow and some of the items which bring your style. Do you have any suggestions for our readers on how people can find more creativity through their own images?
I think it’s really important to always be challenging yourself. It’s easy to get bored when you find that you’re locked in to a particular way of shooting. Go out and shoot things while lying on your back. Find other photographers to bounce ideas off of. I have a network of photographers that I keep in touch with — we all shoot different things but it’s so beneficial for everyone to know what we’re all up to. It really helps me see things in a different perspective. Lastly, watch your world with verve and don’t be afraid! That is something I’ve definitely had to learn.
Image Copyright Lesley Kerr, all rights reserved.
I would like to thank Lesley for spending some time with me, and letting the readers to get to know her better. I encourage you to check out the two links below to see more of Lesley’s work.
Lesley Kerr Photography – unique high school senior portraits in the Atlanta metro area
Look for another f/22 profile on the 22nd of next month.