Keynote Speaker // Kelley Raye of Kelley Raye Photography

Kelley Raye of Kelley Raye Photography

Kelley Raye is a photographer based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Kelley is a lifestyle and wedding photographer whose tagline, if she had one, would be “Rad-Ass Required." When she's not shooting cool weddings, she is empowering ladies to level up through girlboss branding sessions — lifestyle portrait sessions designed specifically for rad-ass creative female entrepreneurs.

Who is your dream wedding to work on?

My dream wedding client is one who wants wedding portraits over any other photography and plans their entire day around them (like I would). They are getting married in an unexpected location (rather than the traditional or overdone ones), and they don’t have a schedule so jam-packed that it feels more like a day at a law office than a celebration of love. I love seeing weddings that incorporate unique details, unexpected ‘venues,’ amazing style, and wedding portraits with epic creative direction.

What is one of your favorite creative, offbeat projects you’ve worked on? 

The most offbeat wedding I shot was one which the couple probably had more for their family. The dress was $300, the cake was 6 inches in diameter, the transportation was Uber, the portraits — well there weren’t any, the couple self-married (the ceremony was all of 2 minutes), and then they just danced the night away. No special send off.

What are three ingredients for a perfect day at your company? 

Good coffee, a rad-ass couple, and a scenic location.

If you could plan a dream retreat for you and the folks you work closely with, what would you do and where would you go? 

I would load my business besties on a plane to either Costa Rica or Bali, and we would drink wine, do yoga, stare at the stars, ride bikes, laugh, motivate each other across a bonfire, and remember why we decided to start a business. :)

What do you do when you're not working and what's your favorite way to practice self-care? 

When I'm not working I'm either at a coffee date with another business owner (all my girls are rockin' it!) or I'm booking a flight. My favorite way to practice self-care is to make time to travel; it's what makes me feel the most alive so I make it a priority.

What's the biggest risk you've ever taken?

The biggest risk I've taken is investing in my education by booking a photographers' retreat/workshop in Denver, CO led by one of my all-time favorite photographers. It was a risk because (1) I had to basically deplete my business savings to go, and (2) what if I didn’t learn what I wanted or needed to? There was no way to know until I got there. I did learn what I needed though, so I am happy I went.

If you were in charge, what would the next big wedding trend be?

I would love to make day-before wedding portrait sessions a thing. As a creative photographer, having enough time to make beautiful portraits is my favorite part of any wedding day. I get rushed through this part of the day a lot, and I think it's because people make the most stressful wedding day schedules ever, and then taking time for themselves becomes an afterthought. If wedding portraits were done the day before, that would allow for so much more time to make epic shit and feel good about doing something for yourself without feeling rushed, without pressure of what comes next in the schedule, and without the family-induced stress that weddings seem to bring.

What are you most looking forward to at {un}convention?

I'm most looking forward to meeting other awesome wedding professionals (hopefully in all different stages), hear personal stories, and just connect with other people who know what it's like to live this wedding life!