Interview with Kelly Balch (@kellybalch)


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path? 

Ever since I was 12, photography interested me. I was experimenting with it in high school, then in college, I started making money from it, but I still never took it seriously. After college, I was so lost about what I was going to do in life that only then was when I realized photography was a constant in my life. Others saw how talented I was and started asking me to do photoshoots for them. That’s when it started to click for me that I can make a career out of this.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this? 

Honestly, this pandemic! It’s made a complete hold on my business. I shoot a little over 30 weddings a year, and 20 editorials, and almost a year out pre-planned. Since COVID, I’ve had a total of 13 out of 15 weddings get postponed, and had six major international jobs get canceled and/or postponed. So it’s been a little rough and challenging, but nothing we can’t overcome if we’re just safe and positive. I’m enjoying the slow time and writing my third book. Everything does happen for a reason.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? 

Stay persistent and focus on YOUR wants and needs. See what you want to accomplish and continue to do it. Where your thoughts go, energy flows. If you feel like taking a breath, it’s important to listen and don’t take yourself so seriously.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story? 

My clients! I get fulfilled when I collaborate with another artist or team of artists. I wouldn’t be here for them if they didn’t believe in me and want to create with me.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? 

I am a big LGBTQ+ Activist and educator in the photography world. I promote and believe in all love and justice.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life? 

“Wake up, dress up, and show up, you never know how it can change your life for the better.” I have lived this mantra for the past 10 years. And it’s because of this intention that got me where I’m at today. Whether it be for a party, a shoot I wasn’t really getting paid well, I made sure I dressed up, showed up. And by showing up, meaning I gave it my all and was present. I made sure that every time I went out, I represented me and my business in the best light.

How can our readers follow you on social media? 

My handle for nearly everything on social media is @kellyBalch or my website

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Kelly Balch (@kellybalch)

Zareefa Arije (@zeearije)