Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelly Jean Ocock.
Hi Kelly, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Hi, thank you for reaching out! I am a photographer and artist living in Denver. I grew up in the Chicago area and moved out here to be around the mountains. I got really into photography when I was a kid.
When I was about ten years old, my grandparents decided to take me on a trip to South Dakota. They gave me a small, red point-and-shoot camera to capture the memories and I quickly began taking photos of everything. I loved the idea that I could have a physical photo that showed how I saw the world. I would zoom in as far as I could with that camera and love the grainy, blurry images I got. I kept taking photos with whatever camera I had – pushing it to its technical limits and learning more and more about how to train my photographic eye.
When I turned 17, my dad got me my first DSLR. I used this camera for everything from my friend’s senior photos to my weird senior year art class projects. Up until my sophomore year of college, I subscribed to the belief that photography was the only creative outlet I could do. I took a drawing class and began to understand that in any artistic medium, it’s not about how perfect the final result is. Instead, it’s about the artist letting go and diving into the process. I decided to face the fears of what the results would be and declare Studio Art as my second major.
Somehow, I find myself at 25. Somehow, I’m learning how to be an adult in this crazy world, learning how to be a businesswoman, learning how to merge my two passions of psychology and art. I moved to Colorado about a year and a half ago and I decided to start getting serious about expanding my network of clients and doing photography professionally. It’s an honor to find people who trust me to capture some of the most important moments of their lives. With all of the milestones, commitments, and genuine joy that lie in front of my camera, I constantly have a smile on my face.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Oof, I’m not sure if there are any smooth roads in life. So far in this professional photography endeavor, I’ve had the shutter of my camera completely break during a large photo job, been almost scammed for $3,000, and had to invest a good chunk of money in my business for new photography equipment. These all happened in the same month which really made me feel like I was driving up a steep, switch-back filled road in the fog. What I love about art is that the lessons are parallel for life. Each of these obstacles have made me face some anxieties, find control in my response, and add the situations to the stack of experiences I’ve learned from. I don’t know of any smooth paths to get to anyone’s goals, dreams, or destinations, but I also don’t think we would learn as much or find the process as meaningful without the hills and bumps and potholes and U-turns.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
By day, I’m in the social work field working with the child population. By night and weekends, I am a photographer and artist. But what I really love is finding ways to merge the two fields together. Sometimes, I find myself teaching kids about photography at a summer camp or challenging a group of kids with social/emotional disabilities to work on a group painting together. Other times, as a photographer, I get the chance to be a calming presence when the weather decides to rain all over your wedding reception set-up. I think what I am most proud of is the candid moments I am able to photograph. When I look back through photos from a session, I smile at the photos where my clients were talking to each other or in the middle of a big laugh. Being in front of a camera can be intimidating. We all have photos of ourselves that we aren’t too fond of and we are all our own worst critics. But by putting people in this, sometimes uncomfortable, position, I am able to be their hype-woman and find the beauty in them that they might not see or feel at that moment.
What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
Photography is so special because people will always have monumental moments from their lives that they want captured. Since Covid-19 happened, I’ve noticed a lot more elopements and micro-weddings. As a photographer, I still get to be invited in on those special days. I think in the next 5 to 10 years, we’ll see people choosing how they want to celebrate their events. Bigger weddings will probably come back with full force, but I think elopements and micro-weddings will also stick around. Either way, I’m just happy to be invited in!
- Portrait Sessions starting at $200
- Elopement/Micro-weddings starting at $600
- Full weddings starting at $1200
- Website: kellyjeancreates.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kellyjeancreates
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kellyjeancreates
All images by me (kelly jean creates)