Kelly Povo

At seven years old, I could have never guessed that collecting 500 bazooka comics to send off for my first camera would lead to my career in photography.  That was a lot of gum chewing.  My first camera captured the events in my young life and began a journey in photography that has taken me all across the United States and as far away as Mexico and Europe. Reflecting on the photographs from my journey thus far, it is clear that I have always been drawn to images of days gone by…images from a past that has left it’s mark on our culture. 

Throughout most of my career I have worked on a series of black and white hand-colored photographs of my friends, dressed in crazy retro clothes and sunglasses that is meant to be fun, humorous and to inspire! My photographs hope to look to the fun in life for women, in spite of situations that we face…. hot flashes, divorce, weight gain or loss, or even household chores! I also photograph diners, cafes, and general Americana. I shoot black and white film with a 4x5 camera, (which is large format, the negative being 4x5 inches) or a 2-¼ hasselblad, (which is medium format, the negative being 2 ¼ by 2 ¼). I print the images using traditional darkroom processes, and hand-color the images using oil paint directly on the surface of the photograph.

My photography has been published as posters, calendars, note cards and books, all if which are distributed internationally.  I have had my work published as gift books by Peter Pauper Press, (Girlfriend Gumbo, Swinging Christmas and others), and Red Wheel Weiser, (Hot Flash Gal, and Gladys on the Go).  I also have a book featuring my diner and café work entitled Roadsides:  Images of the American Landscape, published by Crotalus Publishing.