Scott Kelby and why I will never stop taking pictures of my cat

I realize that your first question might be, “Who the hell is Scott Kelby and why does he care about your cat?” As it turns out, Mr. Kelby is a well-known sports photographer.  Plus he also wrote THE book on digital photography, The Photoshop Book for Digital Photographers.  Short story – the guy is legit. 

So anyway, several weeks ago I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and I saw where he was promoting the latest video from his online photography talk-show, The GridThis particular episode was going to be an expanded version of his regular series in which he critiques viewer-submitted photos.  The idea was that in addition to just offering honest feeback, {{shudder}} Scott and his co-host Matt Koslowski (also legit in the photography world) would also share a professional photo that they though better exemplified the subject matter.

It sounded intriguing and because I am always interested in ways to improve my photography, I decided to watch the program.  So with a glass of wine, I plopped into my favorite chair and clicked “PLAY.”  After a few seconds of intro music, Scott introduced his team and thanked his sponsors.  And then before he commenced with the actual critiques, Scott kicked things off by sharing what he believes are the The Five Images You Should NEVER Have In Your Portfolio:

  • cats
  • flowers
  • deer
  • kids
  • railroad tracks

Um….dude…have you seen my blog??pumpkins furry face

2012 05 22_6533web

deer 2web2

2012 01 12_1121web2

(I actually don’t have a photo of railroad tracks, so how about a fence instead?)2012 05 07_5251web2

So as I sat there listening to the show – I don’t even remember the rest of it – all I could think about were those five things.  And how my blog was full of them.  And I got so. freaking. offended.  I was like, “Who are you Scott Kelby to tell my what I can and can’t take pictures of!?”

Now in all fairness to Mr. Kelby, he was not suggesting, in the least, that people stop taking photos of their kids or their cats. He went on to explain that he was specifically referring to professional photographers and the types of images they should have in their professional portfolios for the purpose of getting professional work.  He also affirmed that, in fact, nature and children’s photography (and the like) were legitimate specialties.  His only suggestion was that if one of those fields happened to be one’s particular area of work, then the images in their portfolio should be excellent examples of that type of photography.

But all of that fell on deaf ears.  Because of my stinkin’ thinkin’ at the time, all I HEARD was, “Real photographers don’t take pictures of their cats.” 

So for the next couple of weeks, with every picture I took, I’d think to myself, “What would Scott Kelby think about this?”  (Maybe he should make some rubber bracelets with WWSKT.)  And this totally sucked the joy out taking pictures.  I was like, “Well shit.  What the hell am I supposed to take pictures of if I can’t take pictures of my flowers or my kid??  That’s my whole life!”

And that’s when it dawned on me.

The thing is, I have no aspirations of becoming a professional photographer. (Honestly, if I could find someone to pay for pictures of my cat’s hairballs I would have pursued that a LONG time ago.)  I love and appreciate beautiful images, but my main interest in photography has nothing to do with creating images to sell.  My interest in photography is to capture memories.  Or to tell a story.  It’s my way of showing my gratitude for the beauty of nature that inspires me in so many ways.  Photography, for me, is a way to document and celebrate this life that I love so much

And that is REAL photography.  Real. life. photography.

And all these classes and workshops I take to improve my photography is so that I can create images that more accurately express what I see with my mind’s eye and what I feel in my heart.2012-04-29_5080web

As it turns out Scott Kelby really did me a HUGE favor by helping me find my focus and direction.  Since then I feel like I’m finding my niche and my passion photographically speaking.  And now, for probably the first time, I’m much happier with my images. Which is all that ever really mattered anyway.

So Mr. Kelby, in appreciation for helping me to get my mojo back, I would like to offer you this one very special parting image – a “real life” photo that totally captures the essence of what I love about my ordinary, wonderful life.  _MG_9696web2

Peace, Kelly

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About kelly

Hi there! My name is Kelly. I am a wife, mom, and mess-maker extraordinaire. Welcome to my not-so-empty nest.
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6 Responses to Scott Kelby and why I will never stop taking pictures of my cat

  1. Ok so here it is Kelly. I love your pictures. I’ve emailed you to tell you that. You were my inspiration to sign up for my first Big Picture class. So there.

  2. Scott Kelby says:

    Hi Kelly:
    If it’s any consolation, I love your real life photos, too (even if they are of your cat). 🙂

    I’ve posted photos of my dog (Maggie the Wonderdog) on my blog, on Twitter, G+, Facebook and everywhere else, and I would never tell anyone not to share photography of the things they love. My advice (as you pointed out) was just for people wanting to be taken seriously about their photography portfolio. Of course, the key word there is “my advice.” It’s not a law. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing those photos about your life and the things you love. They are more important that what we put in our portfolio anyway. 🙂

    I wish you the very best on your photographic journey.


    -Scott Kelby

    • kelly says:

      oh dear. 🙂 totally never expected that you would ever read this post. lol. but thank you so much for the compliment and for the advice. i really do appreciate you for all the advice you give on your blog and your series. thanks for stopping by to say hi and for having a sense of humor. 🙂 kelly

  3. Mom says:

    Way to go sis :):):)

  4. Pingback: putting my inner critic back in its place

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