After moving away from Marco Island in 1999, MacDonald is headed back, and she is bringing her photography business — Kelly MacDonald Photography — with her. Currently, she is searching the islandscape for studio space and new clients.
“I’m so excited to be back in the sunshine,” quips MacDonald.
It is only fitting, as MacDonald fell in love with photography as a Lely High School student. She cut her chops while working in the photo lab at the former Eckerd Drugs (now CVS) at the corner of Collier Boulevard and Bald Eagle Drive. She also learned about composition of a picture from her artist mom, Suzanne MacDonald.
“I used tosteal my mother’s Nikon, and mess with all her knobs and dials,” MacDonald explains. “Eventually, I learned how to balance light and get actual pictures out of the film, not just blurry under-exposed or bright over-exposed blobs.”
She continued to hone her talent as a staff photographer for Camp Boggy Creek between 2001 and 2004, and then headed to Boston University to earn her degree. Six months before she graduated in 2008, she opened her own studio: “I lived, breathed and slept photography.”
While she has photographed everything, her business focuses her lens on capturing images of people and the special moments of life, including engagements, weddings, maternity and newborn babies. “Peopleare my passion,” she says. “The people I shoot are real. They are every day folks, not super models.”
Once settled back in Marco Island, MacDonald plans to continue work on her five-year-old, on-going series for husbands, wives and children of military officials. The free family photography sessions and prints are sent overseas to active-duty military personnel. She also plans to continue her free photo shoots for animal-focused non-profits.
“I really look forward to building relationships with the families who live here and the families that join our little island for vacations,” she says.