Life Is a Photo Op | Ketti Phillips

Today is the day we start our new photo blog series. The second half of our book is an inspirational guide entitled Life Is a Photo Op because we feel that the world around us offers us endless inspiration on a daily basis if you just know how to look for it. Not only is it a chance to highlight photographers around the world, both professionals and hobbyists, but this is a chance to inspire all of you to start a photo project that maybe you will someday share with us. We are thrilled to kick off this series with a clever and almost hauntingly beautiful look at life with children.

Thanks to everyone who has already submitted their projects! We would like to extend an invitation to those that have or are currently working on a personal photo project to email us at It can be anything that sparks your creativity. We just ask that you submit work that you were not paid to produce. Please send us a brief description of your project with up to 10 images. We would love to see what you are working on, and possibly share it with everyone here!

Ketti Phillips |

Where are you from?
Southern California.

Where do you currently live?
Seattle, WA

How long have you been shooting?
About 4 years

Are you self-taught or schooled in photography?
Mainly self-taught. I had to take a photography course while I was studying graphic design in art school and it made me fall in love with shooting. The darkroom was not my favorite though – I did not have the patience for that.

Do you photograph for a living or is this a hobby?
That is a bit of a gray area… I have a business and photograph families for money, but it’s not something I market or really work at to gain clients. I have about 1 shoot a month, and about a quarter of those end up being freebies. So I don’t earn a living through photography, but it’s also more than just a hobby.

What is in your camera bag?
Canon 5D, 35L, 24-70L, 85 1.8 and 50 1.4. I also have a Pentax 645 that I like to play with.

Do you shoot digital or film or both?
Mainly digital but I am trying to get more film into the mix.

What do you find both positive and negative about shooting in both formats?
The instant gratification of digital and being able to correct myself on the fly. I love how film forces me to slow down and really think about a shot before I push the shutter.

Why do you love Film or Digital?
They are both great mediums! There is a tactile quality to film that is so beautiful. Digital can try to replicate it, but the real thing is always better.

How did this project come about?
I was looking for something to shoot that would push myself to explore an area I felt I needed to work on. In this case it happened to be detail shots and storytelling through objects and scenes. Since I work at home, I am never without my kids and don’t get out much. It is easy to fall back on them as subjects, so this time I kept them as the subject but removed their physical presence from the equation. It’s called “Kids Were Here” and the rules of the project were one photograph a day for 30 days, about my kids, but with no actual children in the photograph.

What is it about this project that speaks personally about you?
It is all about my children and tells me so much about them and what stages and quirks they were going through during this time period.

What would you want this project to say to the viewer?
To give the viewer a sense of my children, their personality, behavior, the chaos that exists in our home…

Are you currently shooting or planning to shoot another personal project?
I would love to but haven’t found the inspiration yet!

How do you keep challenging yourself photographically?
I give myself little rules to follow. Right now I’m focusing on composition so I tell myself nothing can have a center comp, I need to explore new angles.

{ 1 trackback }

Amy Lucy Photography | Minneapolis Lifestyle Photographer
May 10, 2012 at 8:58 pm

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Imene January 26, 2012 at 10:16 am

What a beautiful series. It makes me want to grab my camera and take pictures again. I get so often stuck in the mindset of getting the perfect shot that I stop documenting the everyday.
Thank you!

amy b January 26, 2012 at 10:30 am

love it. such a beautiful series. thanks for sharing Kettie!

Sarah January 26, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Beautiful images!! Thank you for sharing.

Angela January 26, 2012 at 9:00 pm

I love it! So many times we overlook what is right in front of us. Normally I would never take photos of “the mess” of daily living with children (and believe me, there is lots of mess at our place!), but Ketti has made it all look so beautiful! Thank you, it has given me new inspiration!

bycostello January 26, 2012 at 9:23 pm

great images…

Shannon Harrison January 27, 2012 at 1:30 am

I love the idea of embracing the aftermath here. It’s so thoughtful. I’m smitten with this series and with Ketti!

sharon January 27, 2012 at 2:04 am

what a great idea – inspiring!

Carrie Geddie January 27, 2012 at 3:16 am

So glad to see these images recognized for the amazingness that they are. Yay Ketti!

Katie January 27, 2012 at 3:53 am

You made my day with these photos.

Trude January 27, 2012 at 3:54 am

Absolutely brilliant series. Love how awesome use of light and composition can make even the most everyday moment gorgeous! So inspiration, thanks for sharing.

christine January 27, 2012 at 4:42 am

Such a great set of photos Ketti!! I love seeing them featured.

Mary Vander Veur January 27, 2012 at 7:35 am

This is a perfect depiction of life with two little guys. And as they grow up the dirty hand prints just get higher on the wall. I really related to these photos!

penny January 28, 2012 at 8:05 am

I love how the mess looks beautiful. I laughed out loud at GUM :)

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: