The New Year is here and it is now 2012. I personally feel like 2011 came and went in the blink of an eye. In this past year, I have done more shoots than I ever have in previous years, and I have met so many new and talented people. For this reason, I feel like a review of 2011 is in order. I went through my mountains of photos and picked 10 of my favorites to discuss. It was very difficult for me….I had a huge body of work to choose from, and I have so many I like!
I will present these in order of when they were shot. So, without further ado, I present to you Kelley Nymph in 2011.
First up is a shot I call “Heartbroken” by Devana of Something Bittersweet Photography. We initially organized this shoot with Alena Interrupted for the Valentine issue of the Paige magazine. This photo was not one of the ones chosen for the publication but I personally love it. I feel like the emotion conveyed by the broken heart and the distressed setting of the abandoned house we shot in combined with my expression was just perfect. To me, this photo represented all those times that Valentine’s Day was a lonely disappointment. The big V-day isn’t all lovey-dovey for everyone, and I loved working on this concept which we developed together.
Second is one of my favorite shots from the Victorian Mourning set with George Skepton. George is simply amazing at what he does and this idea was long in the works. He had shown me the cemetery a while ago, back in 2010, and I instantly knew what I had wanted to wear when we shot there. This set is the sort of work I truly love to do: the elegant Victorian gothic look. By a stroke of luck, I happened to still have my roses which my fiancé gave me from Valentine’s Day, which were just withered enough to make an excellent improvised prop for the shoot. George also took some video that day too, which was a first for me, but I believe it came together very well.
Next up is “The Horror” by Mark Wagner Photography. We initially had gotten together with Bunny Switchblade and her husband Taz VonHolm at the Graffiti Warehouse to do shots of myself and Bunny, but as we were finishing up for the day, a sudden bit of inspiration struck and we decided to take some shots of me chained to one of the walls in the stairwell. Taz leaned in menacingly so his shadow was in the frame and I played along. The product was much different from anything else we had done that day, and it quickly became one of my favorite shots.
Our fourth photo is from the improvised shoot I did with Taz VonHolm in the Graffiti Warehouse when we were hanging out during Baltimore pride day. I went all out and wore a rainbow outfit combined with rainbow makeup, and I just wanted a few pictures to capture this not-so-typical look I had. We got this awesome shot, which many people liked…in fact, a certain someone liked my photo so much that they actually took my photo and made it their profile picture on their facebook, which lead to a small dispute. I know they say imitation is the highest form of flattery, but it got just a bit out of hand.
Fifth is from a set I did with Red Stockman at Thistle Mill. I liked nearly every photo from this shoot, and the fact that it was our first shoot just made that even better. I especially like this one because of my pose. The angles created with my legs and arms perfectly compliment each other, and the location and wardrobe seem to mesh well.
Sixth is a photo I have dubbed “Arabian Gothic” by Duke Barrett Photography. We were shooting around Thistle Mill in Ellicott City and I had initially gone for a really gothic look, but I brought some props and other things to try working with, including a shawl. Duke wanted to use the shawl, so we played with it a bit and the coolest shot we got was this one. With editing to alter the colors, the look became even more dramatic. The end result was something that looked Middle Eastern and yet also had a dark mystical feel, a different flavor for me.
My seventh pick is from another talented photographer who I have done many shoots with to date: Ren from Random Eye Candy Photography. We originally planned to do some shots in the water at Gunpowder State Park, but recent flooding made that idea seem dangerous, so we ended up just doing some shots in the woods. We went out at the perfect time of day and the look I did was much more natural than what I typically go for, and it turned out amazing. A friend remarked to me that this set was one where my natural beauty really shone through and I looked more “womanly”. Because this set proved to me I could pull off more than just the goth look, I had to include it in the list.
Eighth on the list is a shot from Jim O’Connor. I did a group shoot with him and some other photographers and another model friend of mine in an area with abandoned houses and he absolutely captured what I had in mind for this room. What I like most about this picture is that it still conveys so much emotion in spite of the fact that you cannot really see me, due to the shadows. Being able to get an amazing image that does not rely on my style, wardrobe, or expression seemed like an amazing accomplishment to me, so I had to include this one in my list.
Ninth is my first ever official cosplay shot, which I did with Mark Zimin. I cosplayed Enma Ai from the anime Hell Girl, and it was a type of shoot I have never done before. Getting into the mindset and mannerisms of another character can be difficult –not to mention all the additional hassle of wearing contacts and a wig, and making a prop! — But I believe together we captured some amazing images. It was my first cosplay shoot and I was truly proud of it, especially this image which I chose from the set, which is easily my favorite because of how much it reminds me of the actual art from the series.
Last, but certainly not least, I have another from a set by Jim O’Connor, which I could not leave off of this list. This shoot was a vision I had in my mind for months. I gathered up all the pieces of the wardrobe for the outfit, and did my most complex makeup work to date in order to achieve the dia de los muertos look. This shoot challenged my makeup skills more than ever before and Jim did an amazing job as always capturing my idea. The theme and makeup combined with the creepy location and the eerie overcast weather we had that day made this set into a truly amazing work of art.
So there you have it. These photos make up what I would say are the 10 best additions to my portfolio for 2011. These shoots challenged me and showed my skills as a model and as an MUA, and I look forward to doing work that is even more amazing in the coming year. I hope everyone enjoyed this, and to those who were not featured: please don’t be offended! Believe me when I say it was hard to pick only 10! Enjoy the gallery, and I look forward to bringing you more amazing work in 2012!