"but these are the days we dream about when the sunlight paints us gold."
I'm Kelley, a 32 year old photographer and graphic designer in Durham, North Carolina, by way of Texas, Ohio and most recently, Chicago. I have a Great Dane / ACD mix named Georgia and I live in a really old house with my husband, Matt.
I've been married since 2015 to someone I'd known (at that point) for 11 years, and I loved everything about my wedding, especially now that I look back at the photos - something I want every couple to feel after their day has come and gone.
I love weddings, real laughs, and being outside. I was a bride, I am an aunt, and will forever be a traveler. I'm particularly partial to spontaneous road trips and fast food after a long wedding. Every shoot has the opportunity to tell a story - the real moments are my favorite. Weddings should be fun - to plan, to attend, to photograph, and to get married! They're the start to one of your biggest adventures, and I want to capture how you felt from start to finish - the good times, the not so good times, and the unscripted stuff in between.
I firmly believe that no matter how big or small your wedding is or family becomes, it's worth documenting well. My goal isn't a magazine feature or an instagram following - I'm here to document a day in your life as beautifully as you remember it. I've learned that photographs give light to the legacy we leave behind, and they deserve as much depth and heart as possible.
"Kelley was simply amazing. I could not say enough things about her professionalism, her flexibility, listening to what we wanted, and always being there to take pictures. We would be walking around talking with our guests and just see flashes all around us. Every time a friend wanted to get a picture with us and pull out their phone, Kelley was there to take it. She had some amazing ideas for different first look shots and just always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. We will continue to use Kelley for any future photoshoots we may have down the road. I highly recommend her and she is fairly priced for what she has to offer. Especially compared to these companies that start out at an unrealistic number because "wedding" is attached to it. I cannot wait to see our final wedding photos!"
- Kristen Lithgow
"A friend of mine and Matt's recommended Kelley Deal Photography for our engagement and wedding photography. After one glance at her photos, we were hooked! Kelley's photography style captures so much emotion; you feel like you personally know the subjects of her photos. She doesn't do many "posed" photos, which we preferred. Her photos capture different and interesting angles/perspectives. Kelley has an amazing talent and can capture the most beautiful moments!
From the moment I first emailed Kelley, she has been professional, friendly, and quick to respond. She provides the best advice and guides your vision without stepping on your toes. Both Matt and I loved Kelley's down-to-earth personality, her work/style, her professionalism. We instantly knew she was the right choice for us!
During our engagement photos, we felt natural and comfortable with Kelley. She let us do our thing and made suggestions where needed. We received a "sneak peek" within a few hours of our shoot and the full photo album a few days later. And WOW, I'm obsessed with our photos! I started to cry (happy/joyful tears) looking at them, but I wasn't the only one...
Our friends and family members said they became teary-eyed looking at the photos too. They said the photos were simply amazing, beautiful and they truly captured our relationship along with our personalities. Kelley exceeded our expectations and we thoroughly enjoyed working wit her! We cannot wait for our wedding! We highly recommend Kelley Deal Photography, especially for anyone looking to capture a special moment in their lives!"
- Leanne Davisson
"Oh my goodness!! It is hard to put in words the unique and talented style of Kelley Deal - her eye is superb. She captured BEYOND even what I envisioned... I can't say enough, you just need to book her. She has exceeded my expectations and I have only seen the sneak peek if that tells you anything. Book her now."
- Patrice Gibson
"When you look at Kelley's photos, be it a wedding, a family in their home or a simple roadside wildflower, you see what her eye so naturally recognizes which is the beauty of everyday moments. She captures affection and raw emotion - the split-second flashes of a laugh, a smile, a tear and memory that you wish to hold onto forever. Aesthetically, her knowledge and use of natural light results in stunning portraiture - pure and timeless in essence. The photographs she has taken for my family are some I will cherish for years and look forward to working with her as my children grow."
- Kathryn Galloway
"Kelley perfectly captured my family's most precious past times. I hate being in front of the camera, and was amazed with how much I loved every one of my photos."
- Jennifer Cochran
"We've used Kelley for our family photos two years in a row. She perfectly captures the sweetness and chaos that comes from life with two boys in the most authentic way. When I look at the images, I feel as though I'm there again - running through the woods with my boys and husband, laughter and love all around."
- Nikki Axford
"Oh my gosh, we have nothing but great things to say about Kelley! She was extremely flexibly with fitting us into her schedule, and was nothing but smiles our whole session (even though it was humid and a hundred degrees!). Our photos are absolutely beautiful. We definitely will be using her creativity and services in the future."
- Caitlin Whaley
"We spent a morning with Kelley taking pictures of our growing family. With a rambunctious toddler, I was expecting maybe a handful of good pictures. When we saw the photos, I was in awe - literally every single picture turned out beautifully. She has an amazing eye for capturing the most precious moments. While we got plenty of "posed" family photos, our favorites were the snaps of unscripted, typical vignettes in the daily life of our family. Kelley put each of us at ease, and her sensitivity to our family dynamics allowed life, laughter and most importantly love to shine through every frame."
- Jessica Hawkins
"I'm very picky about photographers. I look for hours at their composition, style and overall feel of their photos before choosing one. Kelley does BEAUTIFUL work. She has the ability to catch moments you didn't even realize were happening. I also appreciated receiving a wide variety of shots - head shots, chest, etc. Family and friends compliment our family photos taken by Kelley all the time. I'd highly recommend her."
- Rebecca Thompson
"Kelley has this really easy going demeanor yet at the same time her artistic wheels are always turning, looking for the right spot and light. She is also efficient and professional, getting pictures to you the very next day. Lastly, she is actually a great photographer!"
- Ashley Wildrick
"Kelley did an amazing job at our family photo session. She was patient with my 2 year old (who was having many fits) and 8 month old. She was able to get them to smile! She even captured the little moments that I want to remember (a big fight over my two year old's shoes). I look forward to working with her again!"
- Shawna Gray
"Kelley is professional, prepared, efficient, and insanely talented. When I found out she was making a trip to Cleveland, I couldn't book quick enough. She captured the personality of my children perfectly. We absolutely adore our photos and cannot wait to display them in our home. Thank you so much, Kelley! These photos will be treasured...and we're thankful for our patience, hard work, and time."
- Jamie Merold
"Had a wonderful mini session with Kelley! I was nervous that we didn't get any good pics with an infant and a rowdy toddler, but she got some amazing shots! I couldn't be happier!"
- Michelle Paul
"Kelley is one of the most talented photographers I've had the pleasure of working with. She brings fresh ideas and a unique perspective to her work by actually listening to what her client wants out of their pictures. Kelley Deal Photography isn't cookie cutter, traditional photos and that's a good thing! She does beautiful work and is worth every penny!"
- Sarah DeVane
"Kelley is a wonderful photographer. She took my engagement pictures in uptown Charlotte. She is a natural! We took our 5 month old puppy along with us for the shoot, and Kelley was so patient when we needed to take small breaks to cater to the dog. We have some amazing engagement pictures that capture how truly happy we are to be together and engaged. I would definitely recommend Kelley for engagement photos - she is so kind, easy to work with, and has beautiful photos ready for you to view in a timely manner."
- Emily Cuprzynski
"We had the pleasure of Kelley taking our family / maternity photos last weekend and we are in love with them!!! She is very creative and it shows in her pictures!! I can't wait to do our newborn session with her in November. Kelley also was very fast in getting us our images which was great because I couldn't wait to see them! Thanks Kelley!!!"
- Samantha Baumgardner
"Kelley Deal Photography was such a pleasure to work with! Her work has such a fresh look. Can't wait for her to do more family photos!"
- Elizabeth Farabee
"I've always admired Kelley for her ability to capture real-life moments; memories that you try to file away but are scared you will forget. She is extremely personable and adaptable and will make any member of your family feel at ease and comfortable. We enjoy any opportunity to work with her!"
- Becky Bozarth
"Kelley did an 'at home' session with my husband, our dog, and me. Kelley made us feel so comfortable, and her beautiful photos really reflected how much fun we had that day. We were thrilled with every single picture she took. The only problem is deciding which ones to frame!"
- Lindsay Osman
"Kelley shot my wedding and they were some of my most treasured beautiful photos I have. She has such a creative and great eye. Her editing and shooting skills are some of the best I've seen. She was there for a whole day and was able to catch the moments that I didn't see but are able to re-live the rest of my life. I love Kelley's style and her work ethic. If you have a chance for Kelley to shoot your wedding or any event in life, don't hesitate, hire her! Thank you, Kelley, for documenting my husband and my special day!"
- Erin Smithson
"Kelley took some pictures of my fiance and I in our new home and we couldn't have been happier with the results! Kelley was very professional and we loved that she got creative with the pictures around our house and backyard. Her style and taste were just what we were looking for. Definitely recommend!"
- Katy Russo