Starting out with a Bachelors degree in Art and Photography, Kelly Daniels has been a professional photographer for 35 years. She began her career photographing people at Strauss Peyton, a high-end portrait studio located on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri.
Kelly opened her portrait business in 1989 creating her private gardens as backgrounds for her photographic artwork she designs for homes throughout the Midwest.
In addition to operating The Kelly Gallery, Kelly travels to photograph around the world. Her passion lies in utilizing photography to preserve the beauty of indigenous people and bringing awareness to the important roles their cultures bring in sustaining the natural world and this planet.
As a photographer specializing in people, Kelly’s top priority is to connect with people and help them feel good about being in front of a camera. With creative attention to background, she specializes in outdoor, on-location work. She performs magic with all ages of people and especially with children, connecting with them and recording images of them that can only be created with a deep connection and intuitive understanding of people.
Her greatest passion is photographing indigenous people and children. Her heritage is Native American and English. You can say she connects with the Indians and the Pilgrims and enjoys bringing the worlds together with greater understanding by creating connections and building a bridge of awareness. She has the gift of blending with her environment and bringing out the best in many settings with many different kinds of people.
One of her greatest strengths is that she genuinely feels love for people. She loves them into being. She loves their uniqueness, shyness, grumpiness, and joy. She brings out their personalities and has a passion for recording their true expressions and real feelings. They always say that the way the subject feels about the photographer is projected through the image so it’s important to like the person who is recording you. She allows people to be natural. She has an intuitive sense about people and practices what feels best in any given setting.
Her goal is to photograph indigenous people worldwide so that these photographs can be part of preserving their very important understanding about the connection to preserving the medicine plants, water, trees and all life on this precious planet we call home.
International Photography Projects
- Peru – Indigenous people of Peru for the Lodges of Peru.
- Ibiza Spain -Aniwa – Gathering of Indigenous elders from around the world.
- Belize – Indigenous Mayans for Coyote Trails School of Nature.
- Standing Rock, South Dakota. Lakota and Largest gathering of North American tribes in 200 years
- Botswana, Africa for the Trackers International upcoming documentary on the relationships and teaching styles of indigenous tribes with their children.
- White Cloud, Kansas Iowa Powwow, and other powwows. White Cloud was the home of Kelly’s grandmother.
- Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Chief Big Foot Memorial Ride.
Photographing throughout these experiences, her imagery has been used for awareness, fundraising, and has gone viral on the Internet.
ADVANCED EDUCATION IN INDIGENOUS SKILLS
- Apprenticed with a Native American Medicine woman.
- Instructor at Coyote Trails School of Nature, a Wilderness School in Oregon based on indigenous skills.
- Founder and Operator of Connected Wild – Blue River Forest School in Overland Park, Kansas.
- Teaching about native plants, animals, and awareness skills.
- Sharing indigenous skills and the importance they represent.
- Teaches creative nature photography classes with a focus on awareness.