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Conversations with Kelly Ulrich

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelly Ulrich.

Hi Kelly, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Thank you so much, VoyageKC! It’s an honor to be interviewed by such a wonderful group. Growing up in St.Louis, Missouri, with a very well-rounded creative family, my niche multi-media creativity started right at the root of my family. I remember when I was little, my grandpa would always have video cameras on during family events to capture the best moments to look back on. He was my best friend and one of my biggest inspirations in life, and ironically he was always behind that camera.

Then when I got older, I was always trying to figure out the video functions. That inspired me to where I am today. My dad also helped spark my passion because he had a small camera and would usually stand right by me and let me take photos. The thing I learned from my grandpa in the past, and am still gratefully learning from my dad, is to be patient and never give up on yourself. Those two will forever be my biggest support systems. In the years past, I would ask for little point and shoot cameras for Christmas’ or Birthdays. which lead me up to high school. In high school, I got accepted to be on the Broadcast team, I then knew being a videographer and editor was always my “it factor.” I then started my freelance photography business during this time and was actually making a little bit of money with it, and at that time, I didn’t even realize it could be a career.

I then went off to college, at first, my family wanted me to go the “smart route” with college, so I went into Radiology at Avila University in Kansas City, MO. I was working in my school’s Visual Communications department in our camera equipment room while realizing that I wanted to pursue fine arts full-time. During this time, my freelance career was growing; I was booking concerts, portrait shoots, and even music videos with big influencers. This was in the midst of me transitioning into a Graphic Design degree (still at Avila University). Then soon after, I switched my major one last time as a Film/Digital Media degree and put Graphic Design as my minor because deep down, I knew it was going to be useful. As of May 2021, I’m proud to say I’m a graduate of Avila University with a B.A. in Communications with my concentration in Film/Digital Media with a Minor in Graphic Design! I’m an LGBTQIA+ human with my own successful website, freelance multi-media business, and as of June 2021, I started my own clothing line called “Early Bird Clothing”. I also have two wonderful jobs as an A/V Producer at Saint Andrew Christian Church and a Team Lead at Selfie Wrld KC!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I wish it was “smooth sailing” in the life of Kelly Ulrich. My main struggles have always been dealing with major depression and anxiety, and also having extreme PTSD from losing loved ones. I tend to have the mantra of “everything happens for a reason.” I’ve been through every bit of life possible. My hardships have 100% made me stronger and made me a better person every day. I know in my heart I still have some of the best people-watching over me and have helped me develop into the most independent self I could be. I also still have a marvelous family and friend group that supports me in every way they can.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I like to stay well-rounded and say I’m a “Multi-Media Artist” I specialize in Filmmaking, Photography, and Graphic Design. I am most proud of my filmmaking because it’s given me so many connections all over the world and it has taken me into industries I dreamed of being in as a kid, for example, the music industry! What sets me apart from others is that I dream it, achieve it, conquer it. With all of the struggles in life, I seem to still come out for the better and advance in life with new experiences and skills.

I also LOVE learning new skills, it’s now lead me to step out of my comfort zone and now have things like my clothing line and digital portrait designs! My grandpa used to say, “sometimes you fall and get hurt, but you’ve got 5 minutes to get brush it off and get back up again.” If you fall time and time again, remember that you can always pick yourself up with your strength and determination.

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
My advice is just to stand out as the “black sheep” in the crowd. Be WHOEVER you want to be. When the going gets tough, realize there is so much potential in the future ahead of you. I’ve realized that I’ve felt alone often, but that makes me thrive into new levels of my own being because I have to be innovative in new ways. Other times, I’ve realized that having a whole team of people can make you feel like you’re walking on water and that you feel invincible. Basically, what I’m saying is, step to the beat of your own drum…sometimes, you may just have a whole band to play with behind you!

Pricing:

  • Photography sessions starting at $130 per hour
  • Filmmaking starting at $200 per hour
  • Graphic Design starts at $40 per project

Contact Info:

Image Credits
The photos of *me* are from my photographer MARLON JONES.

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