Once you discover that photographer Jordyn Kelly converted a Sprinter van into a cozy home with her husband to travel the country, it’s easy to understand the role that daydreaming plays in her creative process — and her life in general.
“There’s always a tug from with me to manifest my daydream into my realities,” she says. “The need to create is endless.”
Drawing inspiration from the world around her, Jordyn channeled her wanderlust-filled daydreams and free-spirited nature into a successful wedding photography business centered around adventurous couples, gorgeous landscapes, and of course, travel.
We sat down with the talented photographer for our Daydream Artist Series to learn more about her daydreams, what she keeps in her artist “toolbox,” and why perspective is more important than ever in today’s world.
Q: What's a perfect daydream look like to you?
Jordyn: Each daydream welcomes new possibilities. My daydreams take me to a place where hope intersects with my passions. I feel peaceful but at the same time urgency. There’s always a tug from within me to manifest my daydream into my realities. After all, I find myself spending a lot of time in them because they have no boundaries. I’m free to greet every idea, thought, and feeling, and paint a picture in my head.
Oftentimes when I’m caught in the abyss of my mind, I let it wander. I let my thoughts travel and then I immediately write them down. They become the inspiration behind my goals, they become my deepest passions, which eventually becomes my present reality. Once I’ve met my dream in person, I dream again because the need to create is endless.
Q: What things do you consider part of your "artist's toolbox" of inspiration?
Jordyn: My “toolbox” is the world around me and my camera. Photography has a unique ability to freeze any given moment in time and transform it into a memory. Without a photograph, the memory is distorted, hazy, and more times than not, lost or tucked far away in a filing system in your brain. So, my artistic toolbox is the process of watching to see how the light falls on the earth, in the room, on someone’s face. I observe emotions and take time to understand them so I can photograph something that makes the viewer feel something — fear, sadness, joy, excitement, pain, frustration, motivation, love.
Q: When are you most creative?
Jordyn: When I’m given a direction without any rules.
Q: If you had three rules to live by, what would they be?
Jordyn: Create something, even if it’s never going to be seen. Love people well — they might never remember what you said but will always remember how you made them feel.
Give generously — you have one hand to make sure you have what you need, and one hand to help someone else.
Q: Tell us about your process and inspiration behind your artwork piece. What is your daydream and how can people feel inspired to daydream during these tough times?
Jordyn: Sometimes we need to calibrate our perspective. These are uncertain times where a lot of artists are out of work. We aren’t stuck at home, unable to create — many of us have been blessed with a place we can find peace and rest in the assurance of safety. When we’re limited with how we are able to create, it pushes us to find new ways to express ourselves.
I made these portraits in my home, and I live in a 530-square-foot studio. I was itching to create, so I found two nails, a sheet, some vaseline to distort the light, a bourbon glass to blur my frame, pampas grass to create texture, a painting to create a background, and a neighbor from down the hall. Together, we created a few photos that resonated with how people might be feeling in quarantine right now.