“It was incredible to achieve such an accolade in front of my peers. The quality of photography in Australia is so high and I never imagined my work could be recognised this way. And to be the only Female to have won the category in the history of the awards, made the title so much more special for me,”

Born and raised in Canberra, the current hotbed of fine photography in Australia. Kelly Tunney originally followed a traditional path, but a couple of years working as a public servant soon cured her of that. After deciding that the clarinet was not her way to fame and fortune (no, that realisation didn’t come on (band camp), Kelly decided that photography was her way to be awesome, and it’s been her life ever since.

Her images embody the way she relates to the world – they’re candid, honest, fearless and warm; and they always manage to find the amazing in everyone. Kelly relishes in the agony and ecstasy of imagining and creating contrasts to play with in her images. She secretly enjoy the rush that comes with the fear of pushing boundaries as far as they can be moved.

Even though she’s kind of short, don’t let that fool you, it just means that she gets a better angle on the world than everyone else. Kelly is also the current 2015 ACT Wedding Photographer of the Year and as of 2 days ago, the 2015 AIPP Australian Wedding Photographer of the Year.

Entering Canon AIPP APPA's - SInce 2008

“The submission I put forward was my most diverse range of images to date. The images quite simply captured my favourite work. The most memorable image was my ‘shoe shoot’ whereby I showcased 78 pairs of wedding party shoes recently photographed in Canberra. It involved all the guests and it was probably the most fun I’ve ever had shooting a wedding,” said Ms Tunney. | |
Image credit Kelly Tunney - Click on each image below to read the back stories of what inspired Kelly to capture these images

KELLY TUNNEY APP M.PHOTOG II - I wanted to create a memorable piece of art for my wedding clients, Dan and Cait. Cait had mentioned she had killer shoes so I knew she would be on board with the concept. I wanted to give them something that would showcase the personality of the wedding in the most unique way possible. It got everyone at the wedding involved and was a real hit (even when the guests may have had too many drinks to get their shoes off)!! We set aside a tripod and some studio lights at the reception (in the couple’s backyard) and invited everyone who wanted to, to get involved. Last count on the tally said that we captured 78 pairs of ‘party shoes’ that evening! You can really see the personality of the guests with shoes ranging from crazy platforms, sneakers and even thongs! We also had a grandpa cane and untidy kids shoelaces.
KELLY TUNNEY APP M.PHOTOG II - It was a crazy January stormy day in Canberra. Winds were quite fierce (as you can see). We were about to finish up our location shoot with Melissa and Luka and I noticed the bridge and storm clouds in the background. I ran down to a (very busy) main road underneath and just let them go. I was too far away to direct or even speak to them but this crazy veil had a mind of it’s own. That became the shot!
KELLY TUNNEY APP M.PHOTOG II - For the last couple of years at APPA I’ve always had the idea of experimenting and pushing the boundaries with printing and presentation ideas. Without going into too much of the back story of this particular portrait. It’s a simple shot and it had to be to experiment with this particular technique. This image was printed 3 or 4 times and cut up and put back together again. I spent considerate time in an art shop talking about 27 types of glue to make this work. I went with Rice Glue in the end to also add a textural vanish to the last coat. It was a huge risk. Will they get it? Will they create the narrative I had in my head? In the end, everything I anticipated happened. Judges scored ranged from 70 to 92!!! You’re going to LOVE it or HATE it
KELLY TUNNEY APP M.PHOTOG II - I had such a brilliant bridal party in this shot! I prepared them to do something crazy at the end of the shoot. Explaining that it was ‘over the top’ so go crazy and make me believe this is the best fun you have ever had at a wedding!!! It started off a little tongue in cheek when I first had the idea. I thought of trying to incorporate every cheesy/kitsch crazy idea of things people do at weddings. Like frames over heads, throwing the bouquet, the drunk bridesmaids, and singing… get the general idea. But when everyone came together, they all got so into it and had so much fun. It become real, and not a ‘piss-take’ I love this shot!