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  • Odd Couple: Alice & Jody

    A while back I was asked to speak to the ATL Photo Nite community about my work. For me being asked to speak in front of a crowd is stress-inducing, I often joke that I’m better one on one. However, it is such a great opportunity. Not only can I introduce myself to people that don’t me or my work but it gives me a space to practice vulnerability. I’m still learning how to do this but it’s work with doing. One of the projects I spoke of that night was “Odd Couples”. Odd Couples is a study on how opposites attract and how social views are not the deciding factor in connection. At the end of the evening, someone asked me what I learned about love through this project. I wish I had dug deep but I said something self-deprecating and funny. I’d like to try again here. I learned that we all are looking for a sense of belonging and acceptance. That what works for one person, won’t necessarily work for another. That love is and always will be a bit of a mystery. It’s what makes the pursuit of it (and the projects studying it) so wonderfully intriguing. And the ultimate truth that loves is something that you have to maintain and nurture, even when you’re lucky enough to find it. Here’s the story behind how I met one of the couples featured in the project Photo: Alice & Jody © Kaylinn Gilstrap The first time I met Alice and Jody was at a storytelling event in Atlanta. A girlfriend and I had both recently went through a breakup and we were helping keep each other's spirits up. We spotted a couple of empty seats at a table where two other women were sitting so we quickly headed over. We exchanged names and then Jody asked "How are you doing?". Having had a good day and feeling upbeat I responded "Great!". Everyone then turned to my companion. She was not in high spirits and was giving Eeyore a run for his money. She sighed deeply and said "Fine". Alice and Jody, noticing the gloom, started asking her what had her so down. I jumped in not wanting to start the evening outgoing further down that road with, "It's a man. Isn't it always a man!?". I still remember the edges of their lips slowly creeping up into a smile and Jody's chuckle, as Alice simply said "Not for us.". We still laugh about our first meeting and my bull in the china shop introduction. We all have an idea of how love should look. There I was that winter evening right in front of it and for a brief moment, I didn't recognize it. When we have set expectations or don't allow time to truly see others we're at risk of missing out on meaningful interactions and experiences. Luckily, Alice and Jody have kept me around (probably for comic relief) and I have witnessed time and again their love for each other and those around them. I was an honored guest at their wedding and years later they were able to keep my spirits up when I could say again "It's a man. Isn't it always a man!?". #lovewins I photographed Alice & Jody for my Odd Couples project. Alice identifies as a beatnik and Jody is an Episcopalian priest.

  • Piñon Canyon

    This is my very first billboard from about thirteen years ago. Image courtesy of my mother, Nora Gilstrap. Billboard on I-25 in Colorado. After being in Atlanta for about 6 months, I had a phone conversation with my dad. I had heard murmurings about an army base plans to expand near my hometown. I called him up with the expectation he would tell me it would be okay and he wasn’t worried. I called him up so he would comfort and soothe any fear I had. He couldn’t do that. In 1983, the United States Army established a base in South-Eastern Colorado with land acquired through purchase and eminent domain. The Army promised they would never return for more land but in 2006 they began plans to expand the Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site by nearly half a million acres. They claimed the land was empty. Citizens that were displaced the first time and ranches that had been handed down from generation to generation were being threatened. Descendants of the Duran Rodeo Ranch - Kaylinn Gilstrap © 2006 Thus began a project that consisted of eleven trips back home when I was just getting my footing in Atlanta. I joined forces with a local grassroots organization, PCEOC (Piñon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition) to photograph the ranchers and private landowners whose land was not for sale. It was the first major project I took on, one that relied on me solely finding the visuals to aid the fight. There was no PR or marketing agency on retainer, just a group of small-town folks that prefer to be out of the limelight. It still feels like some of the most important work I’ve ever done. Parishioners at the Branson Community Church. Kaylinn Gilstrap © 2009 When I first began showing my portfolio around I left out my connection to this story. That my childhood home, where my dad has lived nearly all his life, is about 37.5 miles (as the crow flies) from the maneuver site. That the army base was established the year I was born and I was unaware of its existence until 2006. The funny thing about roots is when things are good you forget they are there. You don’t feel them tethering you to a spot until there is a disturbance. Family portrait. Kaylinn Gilstrap © 2017 In 2013, the Army abandoned the expansion plans which was largely due to the efforts of opposition groups like PCEOC headed by Lon Robertson (RIP) and Not 1 More Acre headed by Kimmi Lewis (RIP). The people down there know what hard work is and can put up a hell of a fight, these two people specifically were forces to be reckoned with. We continue their watch. My dad’s shadow on a trailer with an aging No Expansion of Piñon Canyon bumper sticker. Kaylinn Gilstrap © 2019

  • Moving Forward in 2020

    I’ve been thinking about this time as moving from one space to another. As you grow or change, moving into a different space or mindset that better suits where you are. This has been a time of asking myself how I want to move forward and what’s important to me. Old studio space At the top of my “what is important” list is people. That should come as no surprise if you’ve read the stories I put in my IG captions but it’s always good to refocus on my mission as a business owner. I love telling people's stories whether for a company or a publication or my own personal projects. I want to make sure I’m doing my best to move forward during this time as safely as possible, for my clients, my subjects, and my crew. To be confident I am doing my part, I have taken a Covid-19 safety course through Rightway Consulting. I also have built a diverse list of trusted professionals and resources during my fifteen years in this industry to reach out to when a job calls for it. Testing the natural light in the new space with a self-portrait. Recently, I also moved studio spaces. I moved out of our space on the OG Goat Farm site and into a new space in the Reynoldstown neighborhood of Atlanta. It’s hard to leave some spaces behind, but I like to think it pushes us forward into new opportunities. My first love is and always will be shooting on location but that doesn’t always fit the bill and I’m prepared for those scenarios. Just a few days ago I shot a round of Velveteen Rabbit portraits/stop motions in this space, so keep your eyes peeled for that! Whatever your next project may need, I hope you’ll reach out to my team and me. We’d love to show you what we have to offer. Contact 215 Chester Ave Atlanta, GA 30316 Mail: Tel: 770-906-5066

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Pages (11)

  • Elk Hunt | Kaylinn Gilstrap

    The Elk Hunt 40 year tradition Flat Tops Wilderness “For a true hunter, it’s about the hunt. The icing on the cake is to have meat for the winter.” Out of gallery

  • Zita | Kaylinn Gilstrap Photo | Atlanta Photographer

    Great Grandma Zita My ancestor's story Told through mementos, Family stories, And a place called home. Out of gallery

  • Kaylinn Gilstrap Atlanta's Story Photographer

    Tell Your Story. Atlanta Photographer Kaylinn Gilstrap is Your Visual Voice. How did 2020 changed your story? Commercial photographer specializing in portraiture & thoughtful storytelling. View Projects Meet Kaylinn Artful and imaginative, Kaylinn Gilstrap climbs inside of your story to tell it from the inside out. Coming from humble Colorado roots, she made it to the big city and works with some of the biggest names. Read More Featured Project Piñon Canyon Out of gallery Corporate & Editorial Magazines Editorials Beautiful cover photography and the perfect images for your cover story. Kaylinn will capture your audience's attention. Read More Design Creative Solutions STOP MOTION In Your Face Portraits Out of gallery All Portraits Work With Kaylinn Meet Schedule a call or virtual meeting to get started. Tell us about your project. Plan Kaylinn & her team will send over a customized proposal with all the details. Shoot The shoot happens safely on location or in our new Atlanta studio. Results You will receive your finalized digital files delivered on a silver platter! Contact Kaylinn Contact Us Anytime Contact Us First Name Last Name Phone Number Email Leave us a message... Submit Thanks for submitting! Out of gallery

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