Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Meet Kelsey Kukal-Keeton

Today I'm super excited to introduce you to the woman behind the lens of the photo that made it's way to the cover of FAERY MARKED. 

Welcome, Kelsey! Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a sister to 2 Sisters and 8 brothers...only grew up with three of them though. All are half or step. I grew up in the Ozarks and was basically raised at Silver Dollar City, so I am an extreme people person and don’t know a stranger. 

I am a student at MSSU in Joplin Missouri as an Art Education Major. Sadly I still have 2 semesters left to finish.

I LOVE meeting new people. I am a Starbucks ADDICT. As in I have t-shirts, my Christmas tree is decorated in all Starbucks Christmas ornaments, and I should be a platinum card holder there. It’s my guilty pleasure. 

I sing and travel with my family on occasion through out the year, we do a lot of gospel and family oriented shows. I used to model and travel doing modeling when I was younger, which is how I have so many model contacts. I am an AWFUL typer... its best if you make sure I spelt everything correctly. And I love GOD, and am thankful that he put so many amazing people in my life!

Wow! 10 siblings!! I can't imagine that. I can see how that many people would be great for a traveling show- which sounds awesome, BTW! So, how did you get started in photography?
I have always loved taking pictures, but I mainly got started after going on a month and a 1/2 abroad trip to Sweden with MSSU to learn photography from a world Recognized photographer who partners with MSSU. I found myself mainly taking pictures of random couples, which I find funny now. Who knew my love of couples would turn into an income? Thanks to a lot of photography friends, models, my husband, and Family I have been able to make this a “job”. I have a great team of supporters.

I think it's great that your love of couples has turned into an income. It's always great to work at something you love doing. Do you mainly work with photography for book covers, or can we find your work in other places?
I pretty much only do book covers, other than personal friends hiring me or suggesting me for “life” photography. I am a licensed cosmetologist too, so when I am not doing the book cover thing, I am usually hired by brides or other photographers for Hair, Make-up and posing help.

Wow! That's quite a lot of talent you have. What's it like to be on a photo shoot?
This question makes me laugh. There is A LOT of laughing, uncomfortable face to face modeling, with me saying things that just makes everyone start laughing harder. I think we laugh way more than anything.

Laughter is always a good thing! Is it difficult for you to get the look you're going for with the model?
Actually, no not really. Sometimes there are wardrobe issues, to just get what you need by the time you need it. But the posing and getting the models to do what they are asked is pretty easy. 

And I'm click happy. I like to get different poses just “In case” I take what the author has asked, and then I take what I think fits the description they sent me. The authors fill out questionnaires that give me good insight into what they are looking for, and MOST the time I am able to get it. But not always.

What's the most exotic location you've ever been to for a shoot?
Florida or New Orleans. I haven’t actually gone anywhere for a shoot other than my immediate area. but when I travel I usually have a model with me and we take lots of pictures to take advantage of the different scenery.

That sounds like fun! I'm sure those 'extra' pictures come in handy, too! So, I take it that an author can contact you to request a special shoot?
Yes, this is what I call a custom photo shoot. Authors give me character descriptions and I send them all the models I have that fit. They get to choose who their models are to represent their characters and then we go from there on storyline, what the models need to wear, how to pose. etc.

Wow! That sounds incredible. I know I like to look at picture of people when I'm creating my characters, so I can get a better feel for them as a person. 

Do you have a preference between photographing people or things/places?
I prefer photographing people. I MOSTLY love being able to do REALLY out of the box hair and make-up and then taking the pictures. It is so time consuming for me to do all the Hair, Make-up and Photography, but sometimes I need it for a creative release. I love fairytales, fantasy, and all things magical. My goal this year is to make time to do some shoots for me where I am able to apply all my passions!

That sounds like a lot of fun. I've seen some photos with out of the box hair and make-up and cool costumes- they are so amazing! With all the hats you wear, what do you like to do to relax?
If I have time to actually relax, you will find me reading or spending time with my husband and 2 kids. 

Those are some of my favorite activities, too. Where can we find your work and contact you about photos and custom photo shoots?
I post all my pictures on my website http://www.kkeetondesigns.com or on my Facebook pages. I have my photography page and my Hair and Make-up page. If you are interested in purchasing an image or hiring me for a custom shoot its as easy as messaging me on facebook or emailing me.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Kelsey! Be sure to go check out her pages-her work is fantastic!!!


  1. What a great interview! Kelsey, you sound like a talented and fun woman! Since my husband is an advertising photographer, I have some idea of what goes into a photo shoot. Though he mostly shoots food, so it's a little different! :)

    1. Thanks, Heather! I had no idea your husband did advertising photography- how cool :-)

    2. Mary, have you seen the Wegmans trucks with tomatoes or roasted chicken or sushi on the side? Or Menu magazine? That's him. :)

    3. Yes, yes I have seen those. Great pictures!!

  2. Great post! Kelsey's life sounds about as busy as mine with the exception of 10 siblings. Wow! Christmas shopping alone could be an all year errand. LOL. It's so nice to meet the woman behind the lens!!! The pic for Faery Marked could not have been better.

    1. There's only 4 kids in my family, and things get hectic with that. I can't imagine 10!!

      And yes, it was incredibly lovely to meet the lady behind the lens :-)

  3. What a great interview. With the interesting mix of hats Kelsey wears, it sounds like she really has an eye for all things photog, line, color, light, etc. As evidenced by the great cover of Faery Marked, of course.

    1. Thanks Kai!

      Kelsey sure does wear lots of hats. And yes, that photo was perfect for the cover of FAERY MARKED!!

  4. Ohhhhh, I wish she could come to Ireland and make some book cover photos!


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