Monday, December 23, 2013


My book is officially available on Amazon! My heart is racing. I can't believe this is FINALLY real! It will also soon be available through iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony, and tons of other eBook distributors. Now comes the part where I shamelessly beg you, from the bottom of my heart, to share this image and link. Post it on Instagram, Facebook, your personal blog, etc. The only way this book is ever going to have the opportunity to help others is if people KNOW about it. I can't do it alone. PLEASE. Even if you have only a handful of followers, please share this. You never know who will see it and could benefit from it. AND to thank you for your help in this endeavor, I'm giving away a $100 gift card to Amazon! Simply comment on this post and tell me where you've reposted it and you'll be entered!

Thank you so much. Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

living room progress

i've been meaning to post a few pictures of our living room progress and finally had a second during hero's nap this morning. hooray!

this space isn't complete but it's the most put-together area in our house now and we are LOVING how it's all looking. so here's the background on some of the pieces...

sectional: we purchased this from thrive and are obsessed with this thing. our biggest new house splurge, we bought it during their labor day sale and saved $750. if you've never heard of thrive, you should really take a minute and check out their furniture. my little sister bought two matching sofas last year and our family's been hooked ever since.

ottoman: snagged this at home goods right after chas and i got married. $150 i think? we love that the top lifts up like a chest so there's plenty of storage inside for quilts and blankets. ultimately, we may switch it out for a more sleek, modern wooden coffee table and use this guy as a fireplace bench or something but for now, it works great.

wool rug: this used to be in our bedroom and it's been so fun having it out in the living room for a change. i got it two years ago at nps market square in salt lake (a MUST-visit for local bargain hunting) for $150. total steal of a deal.

side table: $40 on ksl (utah's version of craig's list). it's actually an original record stand and even has slots inside for record sleeves. this is another piece that will eventually get replaced for something a little nicer.

side table accessories: hobby lobby and ikea. they work for now. pretty simple :)

floor lamp: target. $80.

black accent chair: thrifted by my little sister for $8 in idaho. it's a bit too small for the space but a good placeholder for now.

fireplace mantle artwork: just some prints and original art we've been collecting over the years. the clock is from ikea. we wanted to keep all the small, accent art in this space pretty basic and neutral- but fun.

small gallery wall artwork: we call this our "family wall" because everything in this arrangement represents the family in some way. we love the modern designed proclamation to the family. (you can download your own copy here.) we've already gotten lots of compliments on it- a fresh take! the two paintings are our most prized artworks- original brian kershisnik pieces that we got last year at an art show in provo. and then the crocheted piece is actually from bolivia. my sister brought it back for me years and years ago. it's symbolic of the family because families, as whole, come together to make each one of these and then sell them. so every member of the family is in charge of a certain aspect of the process of creating this. i love that visual image and metaphor of how families work together to build something unique and beautiful. lastly, the wire letter "k" is from urban outfitters.

bison skull: or, as we like to call him, skully. he's such a fun and unique statement piece and really makes the fireplace totally work together. i get asked a lot where skully's from- we got him from a local artist, owen mortensen.

fireplace wood: we have two fireplaces in this house- both are fully functional. for safety reasons, i want to wait until we can afford to install a gas log kit instead of having an open fire. but after seeing how fun the stacked wood looks, we may never change it :)

plans for wall above sectional: yesterday i bought a ginormous blank canvas for this wall space. it's going to be the focal point of the room. my dad is an amazing artist and we've commissioned him to create a painting for us. the painting to going to represent our family, our story, and our faith. i'll leave it at that for now. i can't wait to see how it turns out!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

this is our life. no complaints.

since she was just a tiny baby, hero has always been super verbally expressive. girlfriend has lots to say ALWAYS. i hope it's still this cute when she's a teenager! (yikes)

but really- this went on for a solid 10 minutes before we actually started filming. she cracks us up!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

a few projects

we've been in our new place for a little over a month now. i really can't even begin to describe how much we love it here- the house, the neighborhood, the view of the bountiful temple and mountains, the children walking to and from school down our street. it's like a dream. truly. in my prayers, i keep trying to express how immensely thankful i feel for all of this in our life right now- to fully pour out my grateful heart to heavenly father- but there seems to be no words that do justice to how i feel.

last weekend we painted our front door this fun orangey/yellow color and updated the outdoor sconces. slowly but surely, we're making this house our very own and i love the process and excitement and ownership of it all!

(you can follow me on instagram @samajama for more fun sneak peeks of the house!)

another fun project update is this book!


i just uploaded the final version to be converted to an eBook. it should be available for purchase by the end of the month- fingers crossed! my heart is seriously beating out of my chest. it honestly doesn't feel 100% real even. i've been working on this for 3 1/2 years now and i can't believe it's officially finished. i wrote a book. I WROTE A BOOK!!! sheesh. so, so crazy.

and then lastly, i've been meaning to share the most recent wedding film chas and i finished working on. we shot this back in september and are thrilled with the way it all came together. this whole wedding party is from long island, ny- and they all came out to park city for a special, destination wedding. we were honored to be a part of such a huge weekend celebration. enjoy the highlight film!

well, that's all for now. life is grand, my friends.

Monday, October 14, 2013

after the storm

the last few weeks have been some of the craziest, busiest, most stressful, and most fun weeks of our marriage. i'm glad the dust is finally starting to settle.

we moved into our new home and, last night, had our families over for a house tour and picnic in the living room (we have a sectional coming but it won't be here for another 6 weeks). now that the extreme chaos of moving is over, it's so fun to be able to start to really enjoy all the fun parts of owning a new home and having our families there to soak it all in and enjoy it with us last night felt just like i imagine heaven might feel.

chas and i are still busy, busy with editing wedding films we recently shot and i'm so grateful for all the photography work i've been getting. i think that's one of the reasons why this new house feels SO, SO wonderful: because we've worked our bums off to get it. none of this would have been possible without our side businesses of film and photography. every little bit helps and, eventually, it's all added up and opened this great new door for us in our life together.

i'm proud of us. i really am.


for more updates on our new home and life, follow me on instagram @samajama. i post much more frequently these days on insta than i do on this blog although i'm going to try to be better about keeping this more updated than i have been.

thanks for still being here!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

book sneak peeks!

excited to share these sneak peeks with you all! i've been working with a professional book designer/formatter and she's been sending me over some style sheets for approval. i couldn't be more thrilled with how it's all coming together.

i'm also pretty nervous for when the big day comes to officially release the book. this story is my whole heart and soul and there's only a very small handful of people who either know about it or have read portions of my book. but once it's out there, it's out there. no turning back. and while i've been waiting and working towards that day for 3 1/2 years, now that's it's so close, a part of me is like, "wait! this is really scary to let anyone have access to something that is so, so near and dear to my heart! yiiikes!"

but then i remind myself of how needed this book is and how i hope it can help others. even if it really helps just one person- it would all be worth it.

so i'm taking deep breaths, deep breaths and embracing vulnerability.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

exciting news and then some more exciting news!

soooo.... (drumroll, please)....


pretty nuts! i still can't believe it's totally happening but i'm so glad it is. i am READY to be out of our little duplex apartment.

the house is in bountiful, utah. we really hate to leave salt lake city but since chas works up north in farmington, and because we can't really afford much here in slc house-wise, bountiful is definitely the right choice for us. we feel really good about it all.

the house itself has been completely remodeled and so is basically brand new inside. and the neighborhood sounds like a great place to be. every time we've been to the house, we've had multiple people come out of their homes to tell us how much we're going to love the area. and apparently there are like 10 babies on our street which means lots of friends for our hero!

we're going to close sometime this month which is awesome but also a little crazy because chas and i will be in NYC for 8 days later this month and i've got tons of great family session photo shoots lined up! PLUS i got my manuscript back from my editor and i just need to go through it and approve all the changes and make any final edits. just staying on top of all that is keeping us super busy- and that's not even considering packing up everything and moving! sheesh!

we're insane. happy, but insane.

speaking of photo sessions, i've had a few people ask me about doing some little shoots for christmas cards so i decided to open up the first two saturdays in november for some mini sessions!

$100 gets you a 15 min session and 5-7 edited, high resolution image files. we'll be in a beautiful, outdoor location.

spots are limited so book now! email me at

Monday, August 19, 2013

hero's 1 year video

of course, with so much professional, nice camera gear around our house, our own child's life gets filmed almost entirely with iPhone cameras.

better than nothing :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

new family films, a birth story, and a wedding

chas and i have been burning the midnight...1am...2am...and sometimes 3am oil lately. we've been so fortunate this summer to get to work with some amazing families and couples on films. we have plans to eventually expand our little home business operation and get a second computer so we can both work long hours editing into the night together. romantic, i know. ;)

enjoy some of our recent films!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

family photos!

a few months ago, we had our first family photos taken by the talented tim sondrup.

hero had just barely learned to walk and i wanted to be sure to capture this special time when she's right between baby and toddler. also, my hair was in a really good stage color and cut-wise so that was an important factor in timing as well ;)

it seemed like the photo shoot, we were all doing everything we could do get hero to hold still for 2 seconds and smile. but all she wanted to do was get down, walk around,...and eat all the little rocks. can't blame her- those rocks were awesome. i was so worried that the whole shoot had been a total bust but was pleasantly surprised when i saw the photos! even if hero isn't smiling in lots of them, i still think we got some pretty decent shots for trying to wrangle a 1 year old and look like we weren't super stressed about it all, haha.

here are just a few of my favorites!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


who knew my masters degree as a therapist would come in handy behind the camera?? i'm sharing some of my favorite tips + tricks for getting great shots of wild kids over on the photo blog today :)

check out the full post here! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

a year ago and a year from now

lately, i've been feeling so, so blessed. 

last night chas and i were snugging and talking in bed. 

"just think back to exactly this time last year," i told him. 

we were just beginning to play around with the idea of starting a videography business. and, because i'm a mover and a shaker, the "contemplation phase" lasted for a whole 24 hours before i started to put a plan in motion for kelly arts films. we started with nothing and have spent the past year working very hard to build our little business exactly how we want it to be. we've gone from 0 films made to nearly 40 films. we've done weddings, family films, photographer promos, kickstarter videos, and engagement films. we've filmed underwater and done stop motion. we've traveled to LA and west yellowstone to shoot films. once an empty calendar has become more and more full with fun projects in the works! 

and then there's been the recent development of my new-found love for photography. i really can't tell you how much i enjoy photography. i've always been "artsy" and, over the years, it's been interesting and exciting to see where my creative endeavors have taken me. starting out almost 10 years ago working on a BA in visual arts (emphasis in painting and drawing), and then to a small etsy shop selling my original art and prints, to commissioned portraits, to a master's degree in art therapy counseling, to writing a book, starting a film biz with chas, and now photography. what a journey! i feel so grateful to still be on the road of creative development and hope that i will always be able to continue to make time for this very, very important and life-giving part of my heart and soul. as a momma, photography gives me not only a chance to be creative but also a chance to get out of the house, on my own, and interact with others. and then, the work i do at home in the form of editing is a lovely way to spend my time when hero is sleeping. it's truly such a blessing for me in so many ways. it makes me feel happy and fulfilled as a whole person. 

"if all that has happened in just one year, imagine what the next year has in store for us!" 

and then chas and i both smiled a little uncontrollably at that thought. 

but, let me just say, that we've worked and worked and worked for every single bit of this happiness, excitement and small success that we've experienced. we've invested money into camera equipment, a nice printer, editing software, and mentorships with both a professional videographer and photographer. we've worked with a designer to create business logos, upgraded to custom packaging, written contracts, and designed websites. it's definitely been a journey and learning experience with every step being an important part of the process. 

working hard is the best. 

we are happy. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

NYC mini sessions!

we're coming to NYC and have scheduled time for some mini photo sessions!

all the info is on the photo blog here.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

2 fun things

1. i've had a shoot reschedule so am offering a last-minute booking discount for tomorrow- thursday! i have time to do up to 2 sessions so if you've been wanting to get some pics of your kiddos, family, love dove, me at asap!

2. my photos of stacey's golden bday party are being featured on the sweetest occasion this morning! so much fun to see my work picked up by such an awesome blog!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

book update

man, the last few weeks have been a whirlwind! things are still pretty busy (chas stayed up until past 3am last night editing) but my days are a bit more mellow this week which means i finally have time to do a real update on my blog!

so let's talk about my book.

i've heard back from both publishers that i submitted it to dice. both were actually SUPER close to accepting it. in fact, i actually received a personal voicemail from one of the publisher's marketing publicists. he was asked to read it after they had discussed my manuscript in a production meeting and as soon as he finished, he called me personally and left the most AMAZINGLY kind, generous, positive voicemail ever. i basically have the whole message memorized, i've listened to it so many times. in it, he tells me again and again how much he loved my manuscript, how he feels like a better person for having read it, and how it made his whole night just reading it. and THEN, a few days later, the acquisitions editor from that same publisher emailed me to let me know they were very interested in publishing it. so you can imagine how utterly disappointed i felt when, later that same week, i was informed that, in the end, they had decided not to publish my book.

both that publisher and the second publisher (who i just heard back from a few days ago) said they ultimately rejected the manuscript because they felt it would be a bit too difficult to market (it being geared towards such a specific niche group). feeling like i was SO close to the finish line only to find out that i'm actually still quiet a ways away from publication has been frustrating and disheartening BUT i'm not quitting. i feel like i've been given a great blessing of peace, comfort, and confidence that the most right answer for my book is still out there, that things are still waiting to happen for it. i just need to keep moving forward and discover what those things are.

so i'm starting to do some research on the possibility of self-publishing an e-book. thus far, it seems like the fastest, easiest, and most cost-efficient means of getting the book out there for people. but since i don't have a publishing company's professional editor combing through my manuscript, helping to perfect it for publication, i'm left to find a great editor myself. so that's where i'm at now. looking for an editor, preferably LDS, who i can hire to help me get my manuscript where it needs to be. i'm also on the hunt for a designer to help me create an awesome book cover design.

so things are definitely in the works and i'm excited to be able to keep working on trying to make this whole book thing really and truly happen.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Instagram giveaway!

Good morning! I'm so excited to announce my first ever Instagram giveaway! Just follow @samajama and hashtag #skpgiveaway for a chance to win a FREE lifestyle photo session with Samantha Kelly Photography!

Individuals, couples, families are all welcome to enter. Winner announced Friday evening. Good luck!

Friday, June 21, 2013

here to stay & other news

sorry this blog has been neglected for the past little while. i've been busy, busy, busy doing lots of photo sessions- mommy sessions in particular! in fact, since the father's day special has been such a hit, i've decided to keep it around, permanently. i'm so excited to be able to offer more mommas a chance to get beautiful photos of them with their kid(s). EVERY mommy deserves this. :)

price includes a 30 minute session with 15 edited, high resolution images and print release. additional images may be edited and purchased for $10 each.

email me at if you'd like to book a session!

and if you haven't been over to the photo blog in a while, check it out! tons of fun stuff going on over there!


in other news, hero had her first bday party! it was just a small dinner with my family and some of chas' family. we gave hero a little cupcake but, of course, she hated it and kept pushing it away. still the cutest cupcake smash refusal ever.

i'm also just about finished with her 1-year video! i've probably watched it a gazillion times already. it's insane how much babies change during that first year.

we also had a great father's day weekend up at my family's cabin! my sister and i decided to splurge a little for our favorite daddys and surprise them with ATV rentals for the day. we rode up the mountain side all together and then let chas and michael (my brother-in-law) go off on their own for a while. needless to say, they LOVED it! definitely one of my better good wife moments.

hmmm...what else? oh! we're getting our first official family photographs taken this evening with a photographer we really, really love. we're crossing our fingers that hero can stay her usual happy, goofy self a little past her bedtime. so excited to be in front of the camera for a change! (and when i say excited, i mean nervous.)

have a fantastic weekend!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

win a free mommy session with sweet little peanut!

good morning! i'm so excited to announce that my mommy session with holly, elle, and lars is being featured on sweet little peanut!

AAAAAND...they are hosting a giveaway for a FREE mommy session with me, you, and your sweet little peanuts!

head on over to enter!

have a great tuesday :)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

mothers and more

this last weekend, i had five mommy session shoots. i loved every single second of it. it's an absolute joy to get to spend just a short while in these womens' homes and see them play with and love on their babies in their own, individual way.

it's a little hard to explain but in doing these mommy session photos, i've been able to gain a whole new appreciation and respect for the amazing privilege of motherhood. mothers truly are noble, beautiful queens. what they do every day, even the most mundane tasks, is life giving and so, so vital.

i am honored to be a mother and honored to be able to give mothers a snapshot of their everyday life.


see holly & elle, lars here

see alyssa & zooey, elle here 

and be sure to check out the photo blog for all the latest sessions. lots of new ones are going up!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

father's day special

need a last minute father's day gift? or maybe a gift to yourself for being such a good mamma??

done and done. :)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

cake smash!

because i skipped out on the hospital pictures and newborn photograph, i thought i'd try and make up for it by baking a cake and getting some fun, non-iphone cake smash pictures. turns out, hero was NOT into it. the whole situation went into meltdown mode pretty quick. kinda a bummer. but i did manage to get a few cute shots of her before the tears came AND now chas and i have a whole cake to ourselves :) bonus.

check out more pictures here

keeping busy & other things of late

chas and i spent this past weekend up in island park, idaho (just outside of west yellowstone) shooting a family film. we stayed in the sweetest little vintage cabin right on the river, woke up early for bird watching, spotted a momma and baby moose (twice!), ate ice cream cones while hiking through the forest, and played on the dock. we are so excited about all the amazing footage we were able to capture for this film- but then again, it's not hard to get great footage when you're in such a magical place!

i'm also staying busy with photo shoots and can't tell you how much i'm loving it! yesterday a friend emailed me and asked how i stay on top of it all with our film business, photography, and my life as a wife and mother. i told her that i'm the type of person that thrives when i'm working hard and staying busy. i love having something that i'm focused on building and learning and kinda go crazy if i feel like i'm not meeting those needs for myself. chas and hero, of course, will always come first but that doesn't mean that i don't take advantage of hero's stellar long naps during the day and edit to my heart's content!

speaking of hero, she turned 1 yesterday! i cannot even believe it's been a whole year since becoming a momma. today i'm gonna do a little cake smash photo shoot with her and then, on saturday, we're having a small family party for her at my parent's house. i'm also working on putting the finishing touches on her 1 year video so keep your eyes peeled for a whole lotta cutest coming your way!

and one last thing. i was able to finally spend some time on my photo blog yesterday and did a lot of updates. so if you're curious about pricing and whatnot, be sure to check it out!

have a great day!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

did another mommy session this morning

and hero napped for three hours this afternoon so i was able to edit all the pics from the shoot right after!

see the full post here 

like samantha kelly photography on facebook

Monday, June 3, 2013

new film! herem family

we recently were asked by the amazing photographer, jen herem, to do a family film for her beautiful family. the herems were sealed in the salt lake temple together as a forever family just this past friday and jen wanted a film to commemorate the joyous occasion.

ok. and can you even believe how handsome and stylin her boys are?!
and her sweet baby girl, milo. oh man. killin me!

enjoy the film!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

mommy session

just posted some of my favorite shots from my mommy session with lauren and baby henry! really loving how they turned out!

check out the full post here

and if you're interested in having your very own mommy session done, i have a great introductory rate right now! send me an email if you're interested: