Camper Close Up with Staci Kennelly

Hello Friends,

Here is our third in a series about a few of our photo campers ... Who they are and why they are coming to camp. In this case, our camper is also a "camp counselor" which means that she will participate as a camper in all classes and activities, as well as assume the role of helping other campers in her cabin acclimate to camp life. 

Ready for her close up, here is Staci Kennelly (with a few of her film photographs):

Would you please tell us a little about yourself?

I am a film photographer living in Los Angeles. After homeschooling my three girls for the last 23 years and graduating them all from high school, this Fall I am going back to school myself. I am married to a film photographer, so I always have a partner ready to go out and shoot a roll or two. 

How did you first get into photography and in particular, film photography? What do you most enjoy about shooting film?

While on a trip to Ireland with my husband, we started fighting over who got to use the one camera we owned. Everywhere we went, we wanted to shoot. When we got home, we bought one more camera, and we have been addicted to the craft ever since. I started shooting film when one of our friends bought a film camera and started telling us how much he was enjoying it. I love how shooting film has become a time of meditation for me. Shooting film forces me to slow down and really think about each shot. It has made me a better photographer.

What is the Viewfinders collective? How did you get involved?

Viewfinders consists of 15 photographers dedicated to recording the world around us. We have a beautiful manifesto that I personally go back to over and over again to remind myself why I shoot. I was honored to be asked to join over a year ago at its formation. They are a group of photographers that continue to inspire me.

Are you a professional photographer? Why do you make pictures?

I have struggled with the word “professional” for some time. I have shown my photography work in galleries in Pasadena, Malibu, and Los Angeles. I have been featured in magazines. I have sold my images through stock companies and the monies earned pay for my film habit.  But do I live off the money made from photography? Do I think of it as a job? No. I would be afraid of losing the love of it. Photography is my passion. It is how I find the deeper places of myself. I take pictures for me, and it would be hard for me to change that right now.  

Why did you register for Firefly Institute? What part of photo camp are you most excited about? 

I am beginning a season of my life of finding myself and my passions. After being a homeschool mom for so long, I am excited to see what else life holds for me. I know that photography is part of that. And because of that, I want to get better at creating images. I feel like this camp is a great opportunity for me to not only learn new things but have time for myself. I am in awe of the talent who will be offering classes at camp. I can’t wait to learn from such inspiring ladies. 

What appeals to you about being a "camp counselor" at photo camp?

I was a big nerd growing up. My experiences of camp involved being left out and picked on.  And while we are all grownups at Firefly, it is easy for the “little girl” in each of us to be afraid and intimidated. My heart wants each woman to feel welcomed and included. I also look forward to making new friends who share the same passion as I do. I am also looking forward to the wine tasting, because wine.  

Thank you, Staci, for sharing yourself and your world with us ... We look so forward to meeting you in person at camp! 


You can read and see more of Staci's film and digital photographic work on her website.