I can't remember the first time a photo of Leslie Kershaw's came across my feed. But I remember the photo that made me stop what I was doing and follow her.
And what kept me coming back is that every photo was so real so beautifully honest. So GORGEOUS. With the way the Instagram Algorithm is set up, I had to actively hunt for her photos to like them so that they eventually showed up in my timeline on their own. And now, everyone els has discovered my little secret too. Just recently, Leslie was named by Clickin Moms as one the 100 Photographers to Watch in 2017. I am SO HAPPY for her. That is why I am so happy that she agreed to participate in my Instagram Stories series this month.
*all photos are courtesy of and the property of Leslie Kershaw*
Tell Us about yourself and your background.
I’m Leslie and I grew up in Washington DC where I still live with my husband Aaron and our three boys Zollie, Kingston and Kit. We most certainly have our hands full with this trio, so I try to stay present and live in the moment and I do this my documenting our everyday.
I’m a work full-time as a website and email strategist which I love. However, my creative mind desires a balance, so I photograph families part-time, where I capture families with a documentary approach. Photographing people this way comes natural to me because I love studying people’s unique personalities and traits. I also like that this style allows me to slow down. I hate to feel rushed because it gives me anxiety. I am extremely laid back and just like to go with the flow.
How did you first get into photography?
Photography has always been with me. If I think back, I've been looking, analyzing and dissecting photographs for half of my life. I worked at a bookstore in high school and college and along with being an avid reader, I was a high consumer of magazines and photography books. I was always envious of photographers because I didn't think it wasn't something I could do. I never thought I was creative enough to pursue that passion. It burned inside me for quite some time until I had children and I decided to purchase a camera. When I finally did, it just felt like home.
Tell me about your instagram journey: how did you get started?
I started Instagram about 5 years ago when my oldest was just a baby. I'm an early adopter when it comes to new social media platforms and since this one focused on imagery, I was intrigued. At first, I only followed people I knew, but as my love for photography and my family grew, I started to search for other like-minded moms and artists. Once I realized that IG could connect me to people from all over the world, I was hooked. Even with all the new algorithms, brand adoption, and other changes, it’s still my favorite platform because at its core, it’s about connecting and telling stories.
What story do you hope that your Instagram tells?
I hope it shows how happy I am living my ordinary life. My family is far from perfect, but we are unique and there is no other family like ours; that’s something to celebrate. I hope my feed illustrates the beauty of everyday life and allows you get to know a little bit about us and how we love.
What was one of your favorite photos that you took recently? Why?
Lately, any photo I take of my husband and my youngest son instantly becomes my favorite. My husband stays at home with our boys and I love documenting this dynamic. I've been able to capture so many organic moments that reflect their bond.
Who or what inspires you?
Oh wow. I love this question I think it goes without saying that my children, husband and my family inspire me. But, I am also inspired by artistic expression, individuality, passionate people and small acts of kindness.
What is your favorite thing to photograph?
Too many to choose but if I had to narrow it down I would say: simplicity, connection, joy and light.
Black and white or color?
Black and white.
Favorite App to edit with?
VSCO but Filmborn is creeping to a close favorite.
What do you shoot with?
My iPhone 6s Plus and a Nikon D750
Tell us 3 of your favorite Instagram accounts.
This changes like the wind (can you tell by now that I’m an indecisive person, lol). Lately, I’ve been seeking photos outside of the family photography genre to be inspired by, so this week it’s:
@blackgirlinom – I just love their mission to cultivate a space for women of color
@petesouza– b/c duh Obama photos
@kinfolk – I love that this curated account introduces me to new artists.
Thank you so much Leslie!!! You can ,of course follow Leslie on Instagram @lesliekershaw