Someone You Should Know (30)

I had the extreme pleasure of interviewing Keith Luellen, a photographer w an amazing eye for capturing the most intimate and beautiful moments!


He is extremely passionate about his desire to thrive in this industry, and this young man is well on his way! Let’s take a look!

ELLE: What were you doing/where were you in life (i.e. job/school) when you decided that you enjoy taking pictures and wanted to pursue this as a career?

KL: “I’ve always had a passion for photography, but once I knew that I was going to be a father, I had no choice but to get started. Picking up a DSLR (camera) was no option. I wanted to capture each moment of fatherhood; and I wanted to capture it correctly. At the time, I was working full time for UIC Medical Center (currently still employed there). I began practicing before and after work.”

ELLE: Where is your hometown?

KL: “I was born in Hawaii and lived in California for a bit, but I’ve been in Chicago since 93′ so I am a Chicagoan for sure.”

ELLE: Any photographers/artists in your family?

KL: “My father was an “unofficial” photographer. But his work was amazing.”

ELLE: Who are some of your major influences?

KL: “Trey Ratliff has really inspired me. He is a great photographer! He was born blind in one eye which helped aid in his interests in photography. His works are some of the best I’ve ever seen.”

ELLE: Tell us about your first photography job…were you nervous? What kind of shoot was this? How long did the shoot take?

KL: “Wow…Good question…It was a shoot that I did for a makeup artist, stylist, and beautician. I took pictures of models and I believe that it lasted about 4 hours. I’m sure that I was extremely nervous. I can remember just having to keep taking pictures and saying to myself that one of these 3,000 pictures HAS to be great.”

ELLE: Do you have a ritual that gets you prepared for a shoot? If so, what is it?

KL: “Yes, I do have somewhat of a ritual. It’s funny mentioning it out loud, but I take a picture of myself and jokingly say to the models, “well the camera still works”. That tends to help relax the models and lighten the mood.”

ELLE: Name two of your favorite photography gigs.

KL: “I really don’t have a favorite, but the type of shoots that I enjoy most are the outdoor/family ones. Now that I think about it, I did an event with J’marcus Webb that I thought was really cool. I was his personal photographer for a night. It was at the 2012 Common Ground Gala, which is a pretty big fundraiser sponsored by the widely acclaimed musician Common Sense.”

ELLE: Who are your biggest supporters?

KL: “I have so many people in my family that support, that I can’t distinguish who supports more than the other. However, I can say that I greatly appreciate it.”

ELLE: Where can people find samples of your work?

KL: “My work can be found in a few places. The most common place is my personal website which is However, I also have pictures on the following websites as well.”

It was my absolute pleasure to interview Keith, and please be on the lookout for his work! For booking, please visit his website Also, on Friday November 23, 2012, he will be featured via “The Platform” at, as an up and coming artist in photography! Check him out and make sure to support his business!!



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