PROFILE: Lights…Camera…Carey Kirkella!

 In Articles, Interviews

Cancer wellness

Who is Carey Kirkella and how did I meet her?

Dana Donofree, Founder of Ana Ono Intimates was like, “Girl, you need to check out this amazing photographer who first photographed me for her project and has been shooting incredible photos of my fashion shows at NYFW for the last few years. Her name is Carey Kirkella.” So Carey and I chatted a bit on Facebook. Then we moved our convo to email and before I knew it, I was in Brooklyn shooting with her. Her hubby and son are the cutest btw. You’ve gotta follow her on IG and check out her son Gavin. He is delish.

Carey and I talked about the look and feel of the shoot in advance, and she helped me figure out what outfits to bring with me. She’s super organized, incredibly creative and what I love about Carey is that it’s all about YOU. Her mission is to bring your message to life. Whether you’re working on your personal brand or your biz needs a fresh, new look……Carey is your girl! I’m really happy with the new series of photos that she created for me, but most of all we had a BLAST creating them and I made a new friend. Read on to learn more about this special woman and talented photographer with a truly magical touch.


Breast Cancer survivorsMelissa Berry - Cancer FashionistaBreast cancer survivor


A little bit about Carey

Carey Kirkella is a portrait and story-telling lifestyle photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. She creates authentic images that help brands connect with their audiences. She produces compelling portraits, image libraries, and campaigns for advertising, editorial and small business clients. She can do it all, from healthcare and wellness to education, non-profits, fashion, and entrepreneurs.

“My focus is to consistently produce imagery that feels both polished and spontaneous by combining documentary style shooting with light direction. I’ve been a freelance photographer for many years, but the idea for me to focus my business on branding services has been inspired by the growing amount of entrepreneurs, and their need for authentic images to help them connect with their audiences through social media.  I’ve always enjoyed photographing ‘regular’ people, more so than models or actors; and I love meeting people from different walks of life and helping them to visually tell their stories.  

I’ve been photographing people and telling stories through images since I was a kid, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to create a business where I can use my talents and skills to help entrepreneurs and small business owners take their brand to the next level. It’s especially meaningful to me when I get to create images for purpose-driven businesses that have a positive impact on others,” explains Carey.

Here’s the part where I interview her

Q.What do you love most about working with someone for the first time?
A. I love meeting people from all walks of life, and discovering what inspires them. That’s what gets me excited to do this kind of work.

Q. What do you like to learn about your subjects before you take their photos?
A. The most important thing to me is understanding the story that they want to tell. Every new client receives a branding discovery questionnaire that I created, which helps give me insight into their values as a brand. We also have a video consultation before the shoot,  so we can get to know each other a bit more and also plan out the stories that we’ll be visually telling. The goal is to create content that speaks to their ideal clients and customers.

Q. What made you decide to become a photographer?
A. When I was 12, there was this great art program at my school where I learned black and white photography. We even learned to develop film, which really opened up a whole new world for me. I was always so shy, so it gave me license to talk to strangers, to go out of my comfort zone. Photography is magical to me. I was also a science geek and loved microscopes, so the camera always felt special to me.

Q. Are you ever surprised by the finished product?
A. Editing is such a big part of what I do. I might shoot something off the cuff just for fun, then when I’m editing I’ll realize that I actually captured a really important moment. That photo ends up being the best one of the whole series. I love surprises like that.

Q. What is your favorite subject to shoot?
Women are my favorite. Most portraits are really self-portraits, you’re capturing an element of yourself. I identify most with women, but I also love shooting kids because they’re just so unpredictable. I’m very passionate about photographing entrepreneurs with a really strong purpose behind their business. When I create their imagery, I feel that I’m part of their mission too. I love helping people elevate their brand.

What’s her connection to breast cancer? Read on

“In August 2013, my sister passed away from Stage IV breast cancer that had quickly spread to her bones, at the age of 40.  In August 2016, I began photographing portraits of breast cancer survivors and fighters with their sisters.  This project is in dedication to her and to her daughter, my niece Julia.

I don’t have any portraits of my sister that captured our special connection, and I hope my portraits do that for other sisters, regardless of the outcome of their journey with breast cancer.

My goal with this work is to create a book and also a traveling exhibit of the work to be displayed in breast cancer treatment centers. Many of the survivors I photograph are advocates or have purpose-driven businesses to help other people affected by this disease. I would like to help spread their messages and also raise awareness that metastatic (stage IV) breast cancer needs more funding for research. I’m currently looking for sponsors to help make the project possible.

One of the subjects in the series is breast cancer survivor Dana Donofree, creator of AnaOno Intimates. In 2017, I began photographing AnaOno Intimates and Project Cancerland’s fashion shows, benefitting METAVivor.”

Check out her page to see so many beautiful faces. And amazing photography.

Breast Cancer Survivors



Her photos are amazing. So book your session with her now… I even got you a great deal!

Check out Carey’s new digital brochure all about her branding photography service. So cool.  Plus Carey is exclusively offering you guys an amazing 25% discount starting today through June 30th. Just click on this special link and enter promo code CF2019.

To know Carey is to love Carey. So follow her and all of that fun stuff. She’s on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.






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PROFILE: Caylei Vogelzang, Editor-In-Chief Of Cancer Wellness Magazine