We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelly Blackall and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kelly, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk-taking has played a huge role in my life & my career as a professional photographer. My family moved to Texas when I was about 13. Not knowing anyone and making that move was a huge risk- but I am so grateful my mother took that leap of faith. I think that one decision she made was such a huge turning point in our lives and it has definitely given me the courage I needed for the challenges & decisions I’ve had to make. I think because of that pivotal moment, or maybe it’s just in my genes, I’m generally not afraid to take those chances! I met the love of my life taking a huge risk and I know I am better because of it. Starting a career as a professional wedding photographer does not happen overnight. It was a huge risk leaving my safe and amazing job at a local Law Firm- Kuzmich Law. I always knew I wanted to be my own boss someday- I just really wasn’t sure how to go about it. My friends at Kuzmich Law gave me so much support and encouragement, they helped make it an easy decision for sure, but still a huge risk. Not having that security of a paycheck can be so unnerving, to say the least, but there was that little whisper in my head telling me to jump- so I did! I’m not afraid of the hustle- Dreams don’t work unless you do so that’s what I did. When I was first starting out, with my little consumer DSLR, I took a risk out of my comfort zone and reached out to a local portrait photographer for advice- to see if I could shadow her some time – she straight cold turned me down. She looked at me like I was the worst for even considering asking her. That look she gave me I will never ever forget. I think some would have been discouraged by her harsh words that day, but for me… it 100% gave me the motivation I needed to figure it out on my own…and I did! Flash forward 12+ years and I have an amazingly wonderful community of friends, clients & loved ones that help support this little dream of mine. It takes a village right?! My town- where I have now lived a majority of my life- Old Town Lewisville has been so kind and supportive to me! Our local businesses, church, fire & police departments commission me for photos here & there and it’s been so gratifying to be a part of my growing community. Building these amazing relationships is absolutely the cornerstone of a successful business. I’ve learned that things worth doing typically require A LOT of work… and yes sometimes a lot of risks, but it’s always been worth it in my experience and I wouldn’t exchange any of the struggles for a moment!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I consider myself a true color photographer. I guess art is so subjective, another person might say something different but for me, I love the bold true colors of the world! You see a lot of apps & filters popping up in our world right now where you can make an image light & airy, dark & moody, or just all together cover up an image with desaturated colors and orange faces with one click… that’s not my thing for sure! I think those filters & styles will absolutely fade and altogether date your images. I want my art and my images to be timeless. I love that about quality imagery- it can last forever! I hand edit every image and never ever outsource my work- I have too much pride in my work (or maybe I just have control issues! ha!) to ever let anyone else touch or edit one of your images. I consider the Blackall Photography wedding brand- a boutique. It’s a one-stop-shop for a modern couple’s wedding photography needs. All of our wedding collection options come with everything a bride & groom could want… including an engagement session, bridal session, wedding & parent albums, bridal portrait, and lots of little extras! Plus setting Blackall Photography apart from other wedding photographers is the fact I have a background as a certified wedding coordinator. There’s not anything I can think of that I haven’t seen or wouldn’t be able to handle when I’m there with a couple. From me sewing a bride into her gown because the zipper broke to a groom sneaking out the window to a gun being fired off in the city to a sweet older uncle having a heart attack as he was walking in the processional.. don’t worry he survived and had a crazy story to tell! I’ve seen so much and consider myself qualified in all things wedding!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them?
My idea of a good time is hanging at home on the back porch with the Cowboy (my husband), our dogs, something grilling, and a yummy drink in my hands! Most of my close friends feel the same- so when we have people over- especially during the Summer months we’ll spend some time visiting the shops here in Old Town Lewisville- there are so many great ones. Then we’ll head back to the house for some swimming and grilling! My kind of heaven! A few of my friends joke with me, that if it’s not happening in Old Town Lewisville I never heard of it! ha! It’s fairly true though- I love this little part of Texas that I call home. We can walk to multiple restaurants- Old Town Wine House, J2, Sullivans BBQ, Tavern on The Plaza, plus the best little coffee house in Texas- The Perc, and if you want something stronger Bendt Distilling Co. is just up the block! We have some amazing boutiques- Beasley’s where I get any fine jewelry, plus they have the best jeans in their clothing boutique. Main Street Mercantile- so many cool finds, Flourish is just the sweetest floral & gift store around and We +you is one of my favorite stops to show my friends, it’s a floral studio on the front end, but they also have the most perfect little hangout spot you can rent for parties on the backside! The Mill Street house is just one block away and they host some fun concerts during the summer months and maybe some weddings soon! There’s just not a need for much else!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many that have pushed & helped me get to where I am. First & foremost- God. I’ve learned to trust this path I’ve been put on and I am so grateful for every experience I receive. My husband for giving me the encouragement to do what he did and do what you love! My family for always supporting me and maybe passing along that chutzpah gene we all seem to have! All the amazing photographers in my area that push me to be better and I am BEYOND thankful to all the couples & families that have put their faith in and trusted me with giving them their beautiful memories. My community is something I don’t think you see too often any longer. I joke we live in Mayberry, but we really live in an amazing area. Almost all of my neighbors are friends and have helped support me along the way. Bendt Distilling Co. comes to mind as one that stands out. The owners are neighbors & friends, but from day one of them moving to Old Town they’ve commissioned me to do all of their photo work! It’s been an amazing opportunity for me and has helped get the Blackall Photography name out to a much bigger audience! Also, as I mentioned earlier, my home town – The City of Lewisville has been so supportive of us and has me out photographing different events here & there… always listing photo credit in their posts & publications! I am so grateful to them.
Other: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blackallphotography/
MaggShots Photography-Photo of Kelly holding the beer Captured Reverie Photography- Photo of Kelly in glowstick glasses Cody Kurtz Photography- Photo of Kelly holding her camera Students of Kelly’s photography class: Sumana Syed, Valeries Benzinger, Hailey Gibson, Tessa Ahlborn – posed photos of Kelly