“I wish there were more than five stars. Kelly is by far the most professional, most talented, creative, artistic and overall amazing photographer we’ve ever worked with. Her ability to make my wife and I feel comfortable and happy was incredible, but her ability to engage our two-year-old was profoundly special, something I’ve never seen before. She brings out the best in her subjects and her work is masterful.” - Seth

About Kelly Sweda

Hello! I’m Kelly.

I specialize in authentic, natural, light-inspired family photography; and lifestyle photography for small, creative, women-run brands.

I photograph people who value the authenticity of candid, natural, emotive family photos; and who want to preserve genuine moments of connection for themselves and future generations. I work to capture unstaged moments, creating images that tell stories, are compelling to look at, and are fitting to live on forever. I strive to help debunk stereotypes of family photography as contrived, awkward and emotionless, and make it art. I’m obsessed with capturing interesting natural light and movement in my work.

On the brand side, I offer lifestyle and product photography to creative, female entrepreneurs looking to enhance their visual storytelling and online presence. I understand the value of beautiful, high-quality imagery to tell a brand’s story and help it grow. As the owner of my own small business, I’m dedicated to serving others like me. My hope is that our shared life experience will allow for genuine trust and connection.

I serve families and brands in the Santa Barbara area, and am available for travel anywhere. I also shoot regularly in San Diego; and every Fall in the Bay Area.

Whether I’m out with a family or on-location with a brand, being a detailed communicator is integral to who I am. I believe laying a strong foundation of trust and confidence from the get-go translates into mutually respectful relationships and the highest quality, most authentic photography.

When I’m not behind the camera, you’ll most likely find me at the beach with my best group of girlfriends, a gaggle of little kids and Aperol Spritz. I love being outdoors, hiking, traveling, reading, healthy eating, my morning coffee, a clean home and homemade soup. I’m a wife and mom to an 19-year-old son, an 8-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old step-daughter. My consummate inspiration.

I have a B.A. in journalism and did my master’s work in photojournalism. Whether it’s teaching in-person workshops or mentoring up-and-coming photographers, educating other creatives is another beloved part of what I do! Would you like to learn from me? Find out more HERE.

Current Santa Barbara brand clients include A Thoughtful Home, American Colors Clothing, Jake and Jones and Santa Barbara Gift Baskets, as well as an array of female stylists, bloggers, mental health and other wellness practitioners, interior designers and home builders. My work has appeared in 805 Living, Click magazine, HuffPost, Santa Barbara Dining & Destinations, Santa Barbara Life & Style, Santa Barbara Magazine, Santa Barbara Seasons and other local publications.

In February 2020, I will be teaching at Photo Native, a three-day immersive learning experience for seasoned photographers that strives to value and honor the creative artist within, while also offering proven and effective tools for increasing the success of your business.