This week’s Featured Photographer is:
Kerlyn Van Gelder
Kerlyn Van Gelder Photography
Areas of the world you Serve:
Texas + Oregon
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I am a Filipino/Dutch, South Texas native, who frequently visits Oregon for adventure and family. I am married to my high school sweetheart and am a proud momma to one very adventure seeking boy! My son has autism and it has been a journey for us trying to navigate the world through his eyes. We love to travel and have made it a goal to visit one new location every year, I have recently gotten into gardening, and we love watching Moana so my son can voice himself along with the songs!
How did you get started in photography?
Well like many I’m sure, I’ve always been interested in photography from a young age. I loved looking through our family albums and my parents would buy me disposable cameras to take pictures with. When I started college I wanted to be a National Geographic photographer and my parents bought me my first DLSR. Photography classes weren’t quite what I was hoping they’d be and switched my major over to Art History, which I completely fell in love with. It wasn’t until my son was born, 2.5 years ago, that I picked up my camera and started feeling passionate about photography again. I am self taught and after a year of learning manual upgraded to full frame, opened my business, and am in love with the intimate connections I capture!
What genre do you shoot?
I shoot motherhood, families, and couples/weddings!
Who or what inspires you?
When I first started shooting, my son inspired me. I wanted to capture his growth and changes, as well as his everyday life in childhood. Around 15 months we started to see some major delays with him and photographing him became more difficult as my focus turned to therapy and clients only. During that time, we felt he might be displaying some common traits of ASD and about a year later he was officially diagnosed with autism. What I felt should’ve have been me capturing sweet and fun moments, weren’t a part of our daily life. We had struggles as we desperately tried to communicate, but I started to really view the world through my son’s eyes. Capturing his adventurous spirit as he ran away from me was our family album normal. He helped mold me into a more understanding person and made me approach my art so differently than when I first started my business. I look at things so much differently now and want to convey the feelings we have into photographs.
I am so inspired by the way we FEEL towards our lovers and babes, and not the way our everyday life looks like. Time is fleeting and so much gets lost in the shuffle of responsibilities and I strive to slow down a bit of time with my mothers and brides. I am inspired by the way a mother runs after her babes on the sandy dunes of the coast and then pulls them in so closely so she can breathe in the scent of their delicate hair. I am inspired by the way my bride wraps up tightly in the arms of her husband to escape the cold drops of mist from a waterfall. I am inspired by the way my son explores the forests of Oregon, his adventurous heart seeking out every bit of curiosity in this very big world. I think human emotion drives us and when we look at photos we first remember the way we felt in that moment. That is what I want people to feel when they see their photos from me.
What kind of camera bag do you carry and what’s in it?
I have a Portage backpack, 2 – Nikon D750s, Sigma Art 35mm, Nikon 50mm, Sigma Art 24mm, Yongnuo Speedlite
What are some of your favorite photography products?
Wow, well I think my favorite has to be camera/lens combo. Nikon and Sigma were my go to and my 24mm is great for landscapes! I only edit in Lightroom and love it. I print through Millers and they always turn out so beautiful, their albums are my favorite. AlbumStomp/BlogStomp are must haves for my website and tangible gifts. I have been looking at a Lensbaby and hoping to get one this year, as well as a new flashlite!
Three random things about yourself:
I watch The Office while I edit and I’ve seen it over 30 times.
I like stale movie theater popcorn.
I am desperately trying to create a lush garden in our backyard of coastal sand and fire ants!
Best piece of advice you’ve received?
“You are in charge of everything in the frame.”
Any advice you’d like to share?
Invest in your education! Purchase breakouts, go to a workshop once a year, invest in business courses, find your people and connect with them, visit them, talk with them, shoot with them!
Mac or PC? Photoshop or Lightroom?
Mac and Lightroom
Where else can we find you on the web?