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Respect the Shooter with Chris Kelly from Eyeconicvisions


Respect the Shooter with Chris Kelly from Eyeconicvisions

Amanda Giordano


How did you get into photography/videography? 

Throughout the years my family always documented birthdays, going to the zoo, and some other events like when we had extended family or company over. We would have prints developed and over time would fill up box after box. Back then I didn’t have the fascination with photography, but it was always in my life. I started to document when I would go to car shows with my dad and my family vacations and gradually it became more interesting to me. In middle and high school, I started to make montage videos with friends and other random videos and the love for creating started to grow. In high school I took a graphic design class and film class simultaneously and I decided that was what I would pursue in college. It was when I was in college that I purchased my first DSLR and shot my first music video for Arnow. Shortly after that I got a call from Swavthevisionary and we chopped it up and both had a desire to build something, which is how EyeConicVisions was founded. Ever since then we’ve been learning, building and creating.


What did you first use to take photos?

I used a Keystone XR308 as one of the first cameras when I was younger, never realizing that this is the career I would pursue. I found that I still have this camera while digging through my prop box.


Where did you go to school? Do you have any formal training/self-taught?

I went to Hofstra for a year for Television/film and then transferred to St. John’s to continue my bachelor’s. While I have learned a great deal at those universities it wasn’t until I worked on an independent film set that I came to the realization I didn’t learn the basics, didn’t have enough experience on productions and technical aspects so I kept learning through self-education and eventually found myself back at SUNY Orange, a community college in upstate New York. The college developed a program called New Media. It was there that helped me gain more confidence in my work, my abilities, gained a new family with the community aspect of content creating. It was Professor Carranceja who built the program so that students have an atmosphere where brand development was essential in this new age of media production and consuming media.


Do you have any nicknames?  How did you get that name?

Yeah, my nickname has been Kellz for the longest, basically just switching the “y” in my last name to a “z,” it started as ckellz in my track and cross-country days and then just dropped the c as time went on.


If you could take photos of any 3 people who would it be?

I think J. Cole would be at the top of my list to collaborate with because his music, demeanor and how he approaches life is something that I really vibe with.  I feel his personality isn’t an act or façade based off his stardom because he came back to St. John’s to perform and he was just kicking it on campus outside of our dining hall. This was at the beginning of his career and his humble attitude was apparent just being there in that moment and taking a photo with him and watching him interact with the students who knew who he was.

I would also love to photograph Bruno Mars as well. His positive energy is infectious and to be able to spend time and vibe off his creative energy would be something that I would enjoy.

Another influential person who I would love to collaborate with at the moment is Anderson .Paak. In my opinion, there are those “eyeconic” voices that come along once in a generation and he has that. His stardom is just beginning and as his career continues he will become that household name.


If you could take photos of any 3 people that are no longer living who would they be?

I would love to take photos of Tupac, I feel that he is extremely photogenic and would not only to photograph him but pick his mind. Things he said 20 years ago are still relevant today and he is a true visionary. I would love to get his take on the political climate today and how far we have “progressed” as a nation.

Heath Ledger is someone else I would love to photography in his “eyeconic” role as the joker. It would be fun to finesse a joker shoot with different elements of the batman franchise like the characters and tones.

The last person I would photograph would be Robin Williams. I think it would be an experience to see him in his natural element creating and I’m sure there would be plenty of hoots and hollers had.


If you could take photos in any 3 cities what would they be?

I think for me I would love to capture different cities, but 3 locations I’m interested in shooting would have to be Mount Fuji in Japan.  There is a photo that I love where the Milky Way is passing right behind the mountain and it would be amazing to get anything similar.  My second location would be the Lavender fields.  I also want to travel to capture the Aurora Borealis, most likely in Iceland.  This is on my bucket list and something I am looking to make become a reality relatively soon.


What is your goal when you capture photos of someone?

I want to capture the essence of the moment and transcend time. I want to evoke emotions and help expose artists, models, musicians and help them reach platforms/peaks they dream of. 


What music do you listen to when you edit photos?

When editing photos, I listen to hip hop, R&B, sometimes pop. Right now, album wise it has been KOD, Daytona, Ye, Kids See Ghosts, beerbongs & bentleys

A lot of music from Russ always pops up and other artists like Anderson .Paak, Madison Beer, Qveen Herby, Jorja Smith, Buddy, Khalid, Solo Jones are go to’s to just vibe and edit.


What's your favorite app on your phone?

I would have to say it’s a tie between Apple Music and Instagram. I love to listen to music daily and that’s the streaming service that I have pledged my allegiance to, and Instagram I enjoy viewing the content that is created and being inspired by other’s creativity.


What is your dream as a photographer?

To continue to bring art and positivity into this world. I would love to inspire other artists to follow their dreams, even in times of adversity.  I want to bring happiness to people who view my work and create a timeless moment that can transport people back to a certain emotion/feeling.


What is some advice you would give to someone with a dream to be a photographer/videographer?

Research everything, don’t necessarily jump into any “college/university” if that is the route you want to take. Find somewhere, where your money goes into teaching you the history of photography/film, the necessary technical elements and where you will gain production experience. 

There are also a lot of classes online, and tutorials where you can learn from other photographers/videographers. I think it also boils down to taking chances. I don’t believe there are overnight success’. Those overnight success’ have been putting in work for years so if you want to achieve a certain level of success you’ll have to put the work in as well. 


Where can people find you? (social media, website, etc)

On social media my personal account for Instagram and twitter is @kellz55 and my business account is @eyeconicvisions

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