Photographer Natasha Kelly cannot help but be real

I’ve been told that I’m brave for taking photographs that are so real – the family mess and chaos, the crumbs on the table, the dishes in the sink and the laundry piled up all over the place. I don’t think that it’s brave, it’s just me.

It’s as if Natasha Kelly, an Australian photographer, invites us into her home, arms wide open, before she’s cleaned up for the party. The kids are still sleeping or in their pajamas or in the middle of dinner. We’re that tight, it seems. We all want to be that close and real with someone, don’t we?  So close that we aren’t spared any of their beautiful and messy reality.

7 picture of young child looking into washer standing on plastic chair by natasha Kelly

14 image of two young girls running with sheet around neck like cape indoors by Natasha kelly

Natasha, a mother of three and natural light documentary photographer from Melbourne, sees the world in unfiltered stories. Each image is rich in detail that is simultaneously specific and universal. Her familiar kitchen table with remnants from other meals and playdough is hers alone but yet just like ours.

2 image of toddler eating cereal at messy table alone taken from above by Natasha kelly

11 image from above black and white three kids playing with playdough vacuum mess by Natasha Kelly

Natasha is fiercely present to capture what is hers and then instantly ours. We have all been delighted and surprised by the creative help our children provide. Her images trigger our own history as we stop and relive the moments she documents.

15 photo father and child fixing door by Natasha kelly

16 picture of young boy on table playing with laundry by Natasha Kelly

…people like to see those beautiful posed images full of golden light & perfection, they also love to see images of the everyday – getting to peek in behind closed doors and getting a glimpse of someone else’s reality.

1 picture of two young kids cuddling in bed faceless by natasha kelly

9 photo of child on tricycle eating popsicle inside looking outside glass door by Natasha Kelly

6 photo of child legs swinging pajamas flip flops by Natasha Kelly

4 picture of young girl eat mexican food at home with brother at table by Natasha kelly

When I’m photographing my family, I’m not looking to take pretty pictures of them. I want to photograph memories. I see them as being a part of the family’s history, something that years down the track, we can sit together and go through the (copious amount of) photographs I’ve taken and start reminiscing. I want my photographs to be conversation starters about the past.

13 picture of father and children getting ice cream from truck Australia flag by Natasha Kelly

12 photo of child with pacifier binky orange in car looking out window by Natasha Kelly

When I'm photographing my family, I'm not looking to take pretty pictures of them. I want to photograph memories. I see them as being a part of the family's history, something that years down the track, we can sit together & go through the (copious amount of)photographs I've taken & start reminising. I want my photographs to be conversation starters about the past.

Even the common milestones like riding a bike without training wheels or losing a front teeth feel personal and new in front of Natasha’s camera.

10 picture close up of child mouth with loose from tooth by Natasha Kelly
3 photo of young child shadow riding on bike by Natasha kelly

Natasha’s children welcome her camera except when they don’t. And when they don’t, she puts it down. When they do, she invites them to take part in the process. Her eldest, Piper, has this to say about being a frequent subject of her mother’s work,

I think it’s cool. I like when you show me the photos that you have taken of us. I really like it when I get to help you put them together on your website.

Being transparent and collaborative works for Natasha within her family and the larger photography community. When she isn’t documenting the ins and outs of her family, she runs a successful photography business where she delivers her talent of observing and capturing other people’s reality. Additionally, she is co-founder of Sham of the Perfect, a collective of 15 documentary and storytelling photographers from around the world who showcase how beautiful real life can be. Lucky for us, Natasha Kelly has built a family and career upon the allure and artistry of the everyday.

17 image close up of blonde young girl with pink watermelon sunglasses by Natasha Kelly

Natasha Kelly: website | facebook | instagram

 

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