About Kelley

Kelley Elizabeth

Photographer of wild love, wild places, and wild life. And the girl responsible for local chocolate scarcities.


Everyone has a story. Mine began in a windy city.

I was born and raised in the pavement jungle of Chicago, but my family always made trips to the Brookfield Zoo and the Natural History and Science museums. When I wasn’t in those places wide-eyed and lost in imagination, I was glued to the television watching Marty Stouffer’s Wild America and thumbing through my grandparents’ latest copy of National Geographic

My passion was born. I wanted, needed to be a naturalist. I dreamt of exploration, of wilderness, of getting lost in the unexplored and finding wonder on the other side of it all.

I went to school, I got the degrees (a bachelors in ecology and a masters in entomology). I got a job after graduating, a good job. After almost seven years of running the scientific rat-race as an entomologist for the federal government, I felt myself being drawn back into the heart of naturalism.

I let my camera lead the way.

Photography is the tool I use to encounter the world. It’s the documentation, invoking of emotion, the storytelling. It is the very heart of what it means to be a naturalist.

After all, the common thread between my childhood loves of Marty Stouffer and Nat. Geo were the lenses used to tell those stories.

Photography has always been an undercurrent in my life and pulls me back in to who I am meant to be. Being behind the lens of my camera empowers me to have that endless fascination with the world, be it wildlife or weddings.

My camera evokes the naturalist in me. It is to me what the 8mm Kodak video camera was to Marty Stouffer when he left for the Alaskan Wilderness. Our ticket to adventure, to living.

Cling to endless fascination and never lose a sense of wonder.

Always,

Kelley Elizabeth Signature

My Philosophy

It was while going through my grandparents’ belongings after they had died that I came to realize how important photographs are to a family. Pictures tell stories back to us. They trigger a fuller memory of the life we and our loved ones live.

You might not find yourselves flipping through the album or images of your wedding very often in your life, but I can tell you first hand, I have really valued being able to see my great grandparents' and grandparents' love and life stories as told through photos and journals left behind.

It’s not just about documenting the day for you- it is for the generations that come after. Being tasked as my family’s historian has influenced the way I approach wedding photography profoundly.

Why Me?

Because we connect.

Because we cringe at the thought of the photography on our wedding day being this huge production or cheesy poses. We want effortless photos of candid moments, the emotion of the vows and our friends and family as they celebrate. We want the backdrop and environmental details reflected back into our wedding imagery because it tells the story of place and time and mirrors our venturesome and wanderlust spirit.

Random Facts

  • I choose Pepsi over Coke.
  • Early to bed, early to rise.
  • I mix Tiffany’s and Tory Burch with Carhartt and Sorel at the same time.
  • Indiana Jones was my first serious (and might I add longest lasting) crush.
  • I used to have a rooster named Cluck Norris.
  • Must love dogs.
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