Fire and Fierce | With Kelcey Olson

We're dying over this photoshoot from Portland-based Kelcey Olson. Showcasing Portland urban and industrial areas, she shows off model Eleni Findlay in between rays of light and glances from onlookers. We wouldn't have any idea from this set that there was a single person within miles- and that's what Kelcey makes us feel. Her words on empowerment, affirmation, and self-love make us fall in love with her imagery just that much more.

This shoot came to be with a friendship started with the first model I ever worked with here in Portland. This babe, Elle, is friends with that model and we decided to work together on a shoot while exploring this ever changing city. Construction sites, street art, and interesting architecture were utilized as inspiration for this session. Where others may see a hindrance to their commute or vandalism, we saw opportunity.
One of the best parts about my job is showing women how downright badass they are. Everyone is gorgeous and my goal with each shoot is to prove it. To fuel this fire I inspire myself with words from some of my favorite writers, one of those people being Ijeoma Umebinyuo.
A favorite affirmation of mine from her is, “I don’t think I am powerful. I know I am powerful. I don’t need any validation from anyone. That knowledge fuels my courage.”
With this in mind, Elle and I ran the streets and unapologetically shot everywhere that inspired us. Amidst catcalls and leering eyes we owned our space and didn’t let a simple whistle shut us down. Elle thankfully had no problem posing while people walked by and stared at us questioningly or using the perfect ray of light that happened to be next to a window leading into a crowded room of onlookers.
So many times there are women that are placed in front of my camera saying, “Sorry I don’t look like a model.”
”Hopefully you are good at photoshop!”
Or simply, “I hate the way I look.”
I want to prove, one women at a time, that you are all gorgeous and deserve to exist unapologetically. After shooting with Elle, I am very pleased to say that I am now one lady closer to that goal.

Born and raised in the pacific northwest I found a love for photography while exploring the natural beauty of this area I call home. After years of capturing every type of subject imaginable, I grew fond of showing people how beautiful they really are. Portrait work is my true love and passion and it's what keeps my heart full.


Jamie Carle