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'Grow, Play, Love' is photographer's motto

Kelly Mach has opened a photography business in New Richmond called Kelly K Photo.

Kelly Mach grew up with a camera in her hand.

"It's just something I've always done and have always had an interest in," Mach said of her photography passion. "The piles and piles of albums are a testament to that."

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a degree in photography, she started working at various photography studios in the Twin Cities. It wasn't until recently that she ventured out on her own and started Kelly K Photo, based in New Richmond.

She doesn't own a studio, and said she plans to keep it that way.

"I shoot on location," she said. "I really like working outside with natural light. Being able to go different places really opens up opportunities to be artistic and creative."

Mach said her focus is on people and that she really enjoys shooting weddings because it's such a happy occasion.

"I really enjoy getting to know people and their stories," she said. "Being able to portray that through photos is something that's really cool for me."

Her slogan is "Grow. Play. Love."

"That's my motivation for what I do and my background for my work," she said.

Grow refers to the family sessions she books - newborns, families and seniors; play refers to sports - both high school and college; and love is reserved for both engagement sessions and weddings.

The cost of each session varies, depending on the job, she said. Although people might think professional photography is expensive, Mach said it's important for people to remember that a photographer's job goes beyond the eight hours spent at a wedding.

"There's a lot going on behind the scenes that people don't see," she said.

That kind of work includes editing each photograph and processing orders.

"A photographer could spend 40 hours or more doing post work," she said.

As part of her service, Mach donates 10 percent of her photography fee to area charities.

"I'm very blessed," she said. "So why not turn it around and give to other people? That's something that's important to me."

According to her website, the three organizations that benefit from the donations are Feed My People Food Bank in Eau Claire, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity and the Minneapolis-based Haiti Mission Project.

For more information on Kelly K Photo, visit