We had the good fortune of connecting with Frances Kelley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Frances, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
As a professional boudoir photographer, I am in the business of empowering women. My mission at RISE Boudoir is centered around lifting women up and helping them see themselves as the magnificent, magnetic, magical and powerful creatures that they inherently are. The women’s right movement continues to press on all over the world. In 2021 what that means for me is doing my part to help combat the rampant body dis morphia and severe worthiness issues that women face in our culture of perfection in every aspect of our existence. Social media and the barrage of images we are faced with (literally thousands per day) is doing more damage to the psyche of women, both young and old, now, perhaps more than ever before in history.
I am only one woman, but I have personal experience with the issues that can plague the females psyche and produce feelings of “less-than” in comparison, worthiness, self-love, self-care, etc. I help women, one at a time, working with them using my energy, my artistry, my words, and of course my camera, to reinforce their power, strength, beauty and worth. And then I give it back to them in a way that is tangible for them. Women I photograph are able to take away the feelings I gave them AND images of themselves that will change the way they see themselves forever.
I believe that this type of experience leaves it’s mark on the collective consciousness, one woman, one photo-shoot, at a time. Together we RISE!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My photography style has evolved over the years of course, but at it’s core it has always been “true to life.” I prefer technically clean images and am a stickler for focus, composition, lighting, exposure, highlights and shadow. These basics of photography satisfy the analytical side of my brain and give the creative side a canvas with which to move around on. I always like to start with images that are pleasing to the eye in these regards.
With boudoir photography, the magic is combining all of the above with the right poses and finding the right angles that are the most flattering and complimentary to whatever body type that I am working with. This I do literally through the lens. I direct my clients while I look at them in the viewfinder and even get them to mirror my movements to get exactly what I want. I was a dancer for the first two decades of my life and I have an innate ability to find beautiful lines within the female form very fluidly. The right lines and angles are somewhat imprinted on me from all the training of my own body.
From there, what sets me apart is my ability to connect with all kinds of different people from all kinds of different backgrounds and at all different stages of life. Especially with boudoir photography, the ability to put people at ease is essential. I am usually meeting my boudoir clients for the first time on the day we are shooting and within a matter of minutes, they are taking their clothes off. This can be a very vulnerable experience for a lot of women. My ability to intuitively understand what people need from me in order to trust the process is, and always has been, my super-power. Nearly 100% of the time the session ends with some sort of comment along the lines of “Wow, I was SO nervous coming in here…I can’t believe how easy you made it!”
Getting to this place has not been easy. In fact, it’s been one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. Because the only way I am able to reflect my clients beauty back to them and encourage them in their journey of self love was to first figure out how to do that for myself. I spent 10+ years reckoning with my own insecurities and worthiness issues. It was an uphill battle for a long time against body dis morphia that I would never wish on anyone. However, being able to overcome all of that gave me a perspective that enables me to share my healing with the world.
My brand is fierce and it is real! It is beautiful, vulnerable, powerful, sexy, confident, classy, sassy, bold, bright, playful, exciting, alluring, dangerous, hilarious, and every word in between that describes every woman. We are all unique one-of-a-kind creatures. My brand is here to show women how truly special they are!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Our home/my studio is located in Uptown, which is basically the heart of the city, and central to all the best of what Denver has to offer! Normally when people visit, they stay with us as my studio easily doubles as a guest suite with it’s own bathroom, two queen beds, and even a little kitchenette.
I spend a lot of time at City Park with my doberman, Bodhi, so visitors will likely get a walk in that beautiful and iconic park. And we have almost every genre of food anyone could ask for within walking distance on 17th Ave. We LOVE White Pie, Dos Santos, Olive and Fitch and are regulars at all three of these restaurants. We love sharing these spots with guests. We also have amazing Thai, Indian, Sushi, and lots of fabulous brunch spots and breweries at our fingertips as well.
We are a quick 10 min scooter ride (or Uber) to both downtown and RiNo, so that opens up two more great areas for dining and shopping. We also love Cherry Creek, which is 10 minutes in the opposite direction. North, True Foods, The Cherry Creek Grill and Hillstone are our go to Cherry creek dining spots. We also love trying new places, so we are constantly on the lookout for articles featuring new hot spots in town.
Depending on what our visitors want to do from dining to shopping to visiting museums, we have access to it all. I love that about our location. Denver is such a wonderful city and we love sharing it with friends from out of town.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would not be who I am in this lifetime without the incredible parents I was given to and the sisters I was raised with. Their continuous love and support as well as their early encouragement to follow my passions and dreams gave me the courage to take the risks I need to take in order to grow into the woman I am now.
I would like to also give a shoutout to the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara where my artistic skills and talents came to fruition. That education changed the course of my life.
And finally, I want to acknowledge my amazing husband, Bryce Kelley. His unconditional love, support, encouragement and help in rebranding my wedding business a few years ago AND in creating my RISE Boudoir brand last year has finally given my business the wings it needed to really fly. Without him, there would be no RISE. For you Bryce, I am eternally grateful.
Emily Minton Redfield-(For the Studio shot only!) Caitlin Coar- (For the headshot of me in the orange jacket only) All the rest are my images- Frances Marron Kelley