Filling in the Details: The Photography of Nick Kelley

“I’m just a fisherman who started taking photos,” says Nick Kelley, when asked about his vocation. Raised in Denver, Kelley’s family vacations were usually fishing-themed, and he found creative inspiration close to home in his mother, a former television and documentary producer. Kelley happily points out his mom “was—and is—the driving force behind my fishing and my artistic side. She continues to fish longer and harder than me.” Eventually photography found a seat alongside angling, and he found an obsession.

While working as a photo editor at Outside Magazine for three years, Kelley spent countless hours looking at other people’s photography submissions.The experience was transformative; it guided him toward his own photographic interests—a way to shed light on the gaps in outdoor photography. Working with Talweg Creative, a production company based in Santa Fe, NM, Kelley assisted with short films such as “Cosmo,” “In Current,”  “Engler” and others. Through Talweg, he again found himself absorbed in others’ photographs, this time while also shooting his own. 

While Kelley’s work has brought him opportunities outside of the flyfishing and outdoor realms, his favorite subjects remain there—in the wild, with a fly at the end of a line. Kelley’s longest and closest relationships happen to be with those he fishes and shoots. In addition to his mother and sister, Bryn—another passionate angler—he is often “working” in locations around the world with his longtime partner, Maddie Brenneman. Family time is fishing time for this crew, so opportunities to document beautiful places and the people and fish that inhabit them are plentiful…

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