We had the good fortune of connecting with Kellen Nelepovitz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kellen, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
When I first began my wedding photography business I took on all the clients I could. However, I quickly became burned out and started to realize that it was affecting my mental health as well as the quality of work I was presenting to clients. Over the years I have learned to prioritize my health and structure my business in a way that was profitable to me and also made sure that I delivered the highest quality of work. As a wedding photographer there are so many fun aspects to the job but I find the most tedious task is when I am working on a clients final gallery. In order to keep my mind fresh I set time limits while editing and make sure to take frequent breaks. I also value the relationships in my life and make sure my schedule allows for time with family, friends and myself. It’s not a perfect balance but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My work has definitely progressed over the years. When I first started shooting weddings I was lucky enough to be a second shooter where I learned just what goes into being a wedding photographer. Not only do we capture the wedding day we also make sure there is a schedule and help with all things that might come up during a clients day. What I have learned over the years is to slow down. Take time to be with your clients to truly capture who they are and their love story. Also, comparison is truly the thief of joy. There are so many talented wedding photographers with whom I look up to, however if I start comparing myself to them it takes away from who I really am as a photographer. We all bring something to the table and while I admire their work I also know that we are all talented in our own way.
My mission as a wedding photographer is to capture authentic moments for my clients. I want you to feel the love from that day for decades to come when you look at your images. I do advise to potential clients that this is a working relationship and this will be one of the biggest days of your life, so just as important as the work presented I want them to feel 100% comfortable with their decision.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Newport Beach to Balboa Pier then a walk down the boardwalk to look at all the gorgeous houses. I would also take them to The Lab in Costa Mesa. So many cute stores and restaurants that are very artsy. Go grab coffee at Milk and Honey.
Take a day trip down to San Diego. Walk around balboa park and then head to Pacific Beach where I used to live. Walk around. Go grab food at World Famous on the Boardwalk and people watch.
Find any place that has live music!
And definitely fit in a few hikes as well. Peter’s Canyon Trail or Boomer Canyon Trail. Thousand Steps Beach.
There are so many amazing things to do in Southern California!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to shoutout my dad as he has been encouraging and supportive through my whole career.
Facebook: Kellen Shay Photography