Viewing the world through a photographer’s eye is a unique perspective. Viewing the world through the raw, gritty lens of Kealan Shilling is an entirely different reality. The small, mundane moments suddenly become rich with meaning, while the wild, often regrettable times turn into moments to be missed; yearned for like the past days of youth. Kealan undoubtedly possesses the rare ability to capture his surroundings as only he can see them.
Growing up going through the family albums, Kealan was destined to get behind the lens. “I used to stare at my parents photo albums a lot as a kid,” he reminisces. “They both took beautiful analog photographs. I started picking up their cameras when I was in high school, and was always borrowing different friends cameras when I’d travel. I don't think I owned a camera of my own until I was almost 24.”
Since those early days in Salem, MA where the lingering wiles of witchcraft began to influence his work, Kealan’s career has gone through many stages, morphing into the style and previously unpublished photos you see before you. “In the beginning it was just shooting friends and other snowboarders when we traveled. I never planned to do this for a living. Eventually I started selling some images to some of the mags and a few brands, and that kind of sparked the idea that I could potentially do it full on. Since then it’s been 100% in trying to work and progress. I still shoot snowboarding occasionally but it’s more out of passion with friends or cause a brand hits me up to go on a trip or something. These days I’m more focused on portraiture, creative fashion, or travel projects and the music scene in LA.”
Much of his work has a strong sense of spontaneity. His best photos display a recurring theme of capturing moments; fleeting instances that many wouldn’t give a second thought. “Sometimes things just start happening that are way beyond what you would have tried to produce or come up with,” says Kealan. “That’s always the best.”
No matter where his photos go next, what subject matter he focuses the lens on, we are sure to be anxiously watching as Kealan’s career continues to unfold, forever chasing those moments of purity that tell life’s complex story.