Photography has been one of my biggest hobbies in my early teens, a great passion during the first years of my studies and slowly grew out to be my job right now.
It's 10 years ago since I started using the name 'Iris Kelly Reflections' and I thought it would be funny to take a look back to when photography cought my attention and how I evolved over all those years.
How the story began
I always had a lot of creative hobbies. One half of those hobbies, like drawing, painting and writing, I got from my mothers side. The other half, which contains film and photography, I obviously got from my fathers. When I was young he was always filming or taking pictures. Not just of me and my sister, but of everything. He was always very fond of his camera and we we're never allowed to touch it, let alone use it. But that didn't stop me from stealing his camera every now and then to secretly make some pictures of me and my friends (which have led to a lot of fights with my dad, cause I've always been very clumsy...).
When I was around 12 years old I finally bought my own digital camera. I remember it was from the brand BenQ, or something like that. I was so proud of owning my own camera and I couldn't wait to photograph my friends and my sister. Because it was just a small, simple camera with no manual functions and no replacable lenses, I had to do a lot with photoshop afterwards to make it look more 'professional'. So I blurred the background... and the persons skin as well. Horrible, but I can laugh about it now.
I constantly was changing my copyright, which makes it easy for me now to see which pictures we're made in which period in my life. I started out with the copyright '©Photographed by Iris Kelly Kuntkes' cause I thought that if I'd just put my name on it, people would think it would be me on the picture. So I had to make it clear that it was photographed by me. Maybe I just thought people we're stupid.
Improved myself and my equipment
When I was around 17 years old, I bought my first mirrorreflex camera (Sony Alpha 100) and when I then started photographing friends and familymembers, it didn't take long before I photographed hundreds of people everywhere in The Netherlands.
At some point, I kind of starting to hate the large piece of text I had to put on every photo. I hated doing it, and I hated how it dominated every picture. So this is when I finally came to realize that my name was just enough: '©Iris Kelly Kuntkes'.
Taking it up a notch
I was 18, moved to Zwolle to study Journalism, and I suddenly came to realize I lived right in the middle of the Netherlands. And not only that: because I was a student living on my own, I could travel for free! So I had to make advantage of this, and so I did: I got myself a Hyves-page (something like Facebook, before Facebook even existed) and a website to show my portfolio. I traveled around the country to photograph hundreds of people.
The start of 'Iris Kelly Reflections'
After just a few months people started to really notice me and I got só many requests for photoshoots, that I had to come up with a better name. I thought my surname was too difficult for people to remember, so the first thing I came up with was: 'Iris Kelly Photography' , but I didn't like the two Y's. The sound and the look. I just didn't like it, but I couldn't come up with a better name either.
I thought about what photography meant for me and why I loved to photograph people in particular. And then it hit me: I love how someones eyes reflect their souls. I also love how a picture is a reflection of how I see things. How I see people.
So there it was.
'Iris Kelly Reflections'
And ofcooouuurse I hád to write it in Comic Sans...
And then I finally grew up. Bye, horrible Comic Sans!
And I was great at overdoing photoshop! What was I thinking..
On my blog I write about the process of improving my skills, about grabbing every chance I get to become more experienced and about learning from ups and downs. Besides that, I write about everything that inspires me, like film, photography, paintings and psychology.