To meet a young woman with drive, talent, and a penchant for adventure is rare. Oftentimes it feels as if you are only allowed two out of the three – an uncomfortable truth. Perhaps this is why from my first meeting with Kelle Ramsey I immediately understood she is a rare gem of a rising star. She is a strong force yet is down-to-earth, the sort of artist you hope to be friends with but would happily settle to be a subject for.
Tall, thin, and strikingly beautiful, Kelle is a former model turned photographer as well as an adventure enthusiast and overall powerhouse. She allows her work to speak for itself, a universally attractive trait for an artist and something that lends her an air of mystery. While she is constantly en route to her next adventure, I was able to catch Kelle for a few moments and have her answer some questions for Live FAST below. Be sure to keep up with Miss Ramsey here.
LF: Hi Kelle! Can you give Live FAST an introduction to yourself and your work?
KR: Hey hey! Thanks so much for having me. I’m a lifestyle and fashion photographer based in L.A., living the life with my man and our pup.
LF: Describe your creative approach.
KR: I guess it all starts with inspiration. Whether that is a concept, a location, someone’s look, good light – anything. Then I tend to obsess about it, make mood boards, and focus on the feel I want. On the actual day of shooting, I just try to live in the moment and watch the magic unfold.
LF: Rumor has it that you used to model yourself – how did the transition from subject to photographer form for you?
KR: The transition was really natural and fluid. But being in front of the camera has helped me to remember the vulnerability it requires to be the subject.
LF: Film or digital – and why?
KR: Both. They are just so different to me. Film has soul, and depth and weight and digital is convenient. Everything about the process of film is more sincere than digital in my opinion. You can’t just click away and hope something turns out. It requires interaction, and getting to know your subject and waiting to see the results. And then sometimes the convenience and speed of digital is exactly want I want. So, both. Always both.
LF: Describe the last adventure you went on.
KR: I would have to say the last adventure I went on was being in Brooklyn again a few months ago. I had some wonderful photo shoots, wandered around the city, ate at my favorite places, and got to spend some time woodworking with my friend at her studio. We hand carve wooden spoons, knives, small bowls and other little things. We started a business together last year when I was living in Brooklyn, but now we live in opposite places, so when we get a chance to carve together, it’s amazing. Making something with my hands form start to finish, that other people can use in their homes for decades to come, is so gratifying and inspiring.
LF: What projects are you currently working on?
KR: I’m currently working on some look books & editorials for some amazing up-and-coming designers that I am honored and proud to shoot for. I’m also working on a personal project of documenting my personal life more.
LF: Top five current inspirations?
KR: Girls who don’t wear makeup, young love, being on my motorcycle, Ana Kras, and always Rodney Smith.
LF: What are your feelings on being an up and coming photographer in the era of Instagram/other social media networks? Do you feel that the rapid sharing and instant recognition that can come from Instagram, for example, is a hindrance to the nature of art and photography or do you find that it is something that is helpful to artists?
KR: I fucking love Instagram. I have discovered so many photographers and people that I would have never know otherwise. There is so much amazing talent in this world, and I am just humbled to be a part of it. I think the downfall to instant fame or recognition via social media, is that people forget what its like to work hard.
LF: What is the most obscure obstacle you have had to overcome in order to capture a photo?
KR: There is always some sort of obstacle at every shoot, but that’s what I love about it. It’s like life, there is always something to overcome and it’s all about how you approach it. I had a shoot recently at Coney Island, and the model was scared of heights and didn’t want to go on the rides. But luckily after a lot of convincing, I got her to trust me that everything would be okay, and it would be worth it for the shot and she ended up doing amazing.
LF: How fast do you live?
KR: Just trying to keep that balance…