Featured Creative: Kesler Ottley

e asked Salt Lake City-based photographer Kesler Ottley to tell us about what it’s like to work as a freelance artist.

I want to photograph who you are as a person, whether you be shy, out-going, happy, or sad, I want to capture that emotion.


W: Can you tell us how you got your start?
KO: I had just started college in 2011 and needed a new hobby. So one weekend when I was at home from college visiting my family I found the Nikon F3 film camera that my Grandpa had given to me before he had passed away. I had never used it, but my Mom taught me the basics of using it, then I was self-taught from there on out.


W: What is your biggest inspiration?
KO: My biggest inspiration would have to be my family and friends. I have such a great support group of amazing people who support me and help me to get better. They inspire me to be all that I can be.

W: How would you describe your style?
KO: Natural. I do my best not to fully pose people while taking portraits, and that’s because I want to photograph who you are as a person, whether you be shy, out-going, happy, or sad, I want to capture that emotion.


W: Tell us the story behind one of the photos we’re featuring – why did you choose that photo to send?
KO: One of the photos is of my friend Eddie and his wife Tess on their wedding day. I love this photo because I didn’t ask them to pose or anything. Eddie just nestled in right next to her and I snapped the photo. It’s one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken.

W: Where are your favorite spots to shoot?
KO: I love shooting up in the mountains. Whether it’s a portrait shoot or just casually shooting while hiking or something, there’s just something about a towering peak that makes every photo better.


W: What kind of equipment do you use?
KO: I have two cameras, firstly is my Nikon F3 35mm film camera with a 24mm lens and a 50mm lens. Secondly is my Canon 5D Mark III and the lenses I have for that are the 24-70mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4, and Tamron 150-600mm.

W: Do you have any special techniques? Do they define your style?
KO: Not really. I think my special technique is to capture a moment and not have it be forced, and I’m sure that definitely shines through in my style as well.


W: What challenges have you had to overcome in this industry?
KO: None, really. The only challenge has been keeping track of all the shoots that I have scheduled. I had to go buy myself a planner to stay on top of everything.

W: How do you see your career progressing?
KO: I’m not fully sure. I’m still testing the waters and getting a feel for everything. Eventually I would like to get more into video work and hopefully do more with that. For now though, I’m content with my progression, and I’m excited to see where else it takes me.


Contact Kesler on Instagram: keslerbear
Interested in being a featured creative on the Wispeo blog?
Send an email to our team at social@wispeo.com!

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