1. Adam Kelly
2. Leif Norman
3. Joey Senft
In 2017, when Adam Kelly was last voted favou - rite local photographer in the Uniter 30, they had just released their first book, HomeFree. In the five years since, they’ve lived an entire life.
“I left Winnipeg for almost all of 2018,” Kelly says. “I was overwhelmed by how known I’d be - come in the city. I like a little bit of anonymity.”
That was just the beginning of a major shift for Kelly. After returning, they completed a business degree and picked up an abundance of new passions and practices.
“Now, I work at a halfway house, I photo - graph artists, and I volunteer at a wildlife shelter hanging out with super big birds.” The shelter in question is Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre in Île des Chênes, while the birds are Swainson’s hawks and a wayward Mississippi kite.
Kelly plans to start taking portraits of the birds. They also plan to start photographing the sport of boxing. While Kelly started boxing five years ago, they’ve never photographed boxers before.
“I think you really have to do your research and live in the communities you want to doc - ument and interface with as an artist,” they say. “(It’s important to) be patient and give these spaces time to teach me how they want to be perceived and presented to the world.”
In their professional work, Kelly primarily does artist portraits of musicians. It’s some - thing they call “an honour.”
“I have such profound love and respect for music. It’s such a big part of my life. The fact that people who make music that I love ask me to collaborate with them ... that’s still totally bananas to me, even though I do it all the time. I kind of have to pinch myself.”
And, as far as a follow-up to HomeFree?
“I’ve designed like eight books, and they’ve just been sitting on my harddrive, because I haven’t really gotten around to putting them out into the world. But I’m dreaming about doing that sometime soon, in addition to personal projects of taking sick photos of birds and my friends who punch each other.”
Published in Volume 77, Number 12 of The Uniter (December 1, 2022)