Photography is something I love and have been connected to since 1993. This was a magical year, when I got my first camera. The real influence that directed me into photography was my father. I was truly impressed when he was developing film and photos in his darkroom. I once ruined some of his photographic paper when I was a little girl, while tearing a package open because of a curiosity.
Black and white traditional photography has always been important to me because this is something I do with my own mind and hands from the beginning to the end. I have 10 years experience working under the red light. When I was 20, I participated in a black and white photography course in my neighborhood youth center's photography class for two years, and in the fall of 2003, I was promoted to instructor of the very same class. I have been teaching there ever since, as an instructor of the photography hobby class at the Anne Youth Center.
I began taking photos in different youth center events at 2003, as I was the center's active volunteer. People quickly noticed me and asked me to take photos at their events, and to take their portraits. Since then, I have become more and more related with photography.
My work has appeared in various newspapers, magazines and web sites. Mostly, I have taken photos for the online magazine Femme.ee and night club Illusion. These jobs have honed my people skills, and have taught me how to use light, even in low-light conditions. I specialize as a contract photographer, shooting editorial, night club, and wedding photography.
I have had some personal and group exhibitions and have won some photography competitions.
I graduated from University of Tartu in 2003 with a bachelor's degree in geography.
I am open for photographic offers, please be free with your ideas while contacting me at kerly[at]kerlyilves.com
LATEST NEWS updated on 27/11/2017
You can check my newer photos mostly black and white, on my Instagram account, so I can be reached also there under kerlyilvesphotography. I am trying to learn as much as possible and also evolve, therefore I think of Instagram as a tool and I am constantly trying to challenge myself with different themes. Check out my feed here: kerlyilvesphotography.
Few weeks ago I visited Estonian National Archive with my photography class students from Tamme Gymnasium in Tartu. We were taken on a really informative and thorough tour through many floors of the newly opened building called Noora by Birgit Kibal, who is puttng lots of her energy into making archive fun and active place to! I was very inspired by her! We were able to take photos of whatever we wanted, and while we did so, she provided us with very valuable information about what we were taking photos of. She did a lovely post with the help of her colleague, who helped to choose the photos from all the photos we took there, which you can see HERE. Unfortunately in Estonian only.
Translation of the photo below goes something like this:
Written memory of Estonia through the photographic lens of Tamme Gymnasium students.
To learn the nuances of photography, you do not have to travel far to nature and do not dive into a city hall, but you can come to the archives. To make paper and ink, leather and cardboard, metal and concrete come alive.
Thank you to the teacher, Kerly Ilves and everyone who took the pictures.
Not long ago I was contacted by anEstonian vegan magazine Vegan and they asked me to take photos of a vegan cake made by Elisabeth Emily Rosenberg. She is about to open her vegan cake business and it was a great way for her to get the foot between the door. The location wasn't the best and the light either, as I decided to use noon natural sunlight, which was really harsh, hence the shadows, but I think they add a lot to the photo itself. She was so kind to give me half of the cake, as she has made lots of those tester cakes and she can't eat so much cake with her partner alone! Yipiii, I was so glad - perfect bonus on top of they pay I got from the magazine. I am telling you, the cake is bomb - so-so good, definitely a must be for any birthday, wedding, gathering etc. And the best thing, is that you can find the recipe from the last issue or check their website dor it! Click on the photo of Patrik Baboumian under ILMUNUD NUMBRID on the right side of the site and then just click away until the end.
After a very short preparation time, we organized a very quick photography exhibition in my photography class. It took only a week and a half to make the exhibition from the thought to putting it up in Tasku Center s II floor. We had October as a black and white month and one homework was called "Leaf/Sheet" and after going through so many wonderful photos it was clear what the theme for this year's exhibition was going to be. I was honored to work with such good material, so it was a joy to organize this lightining fast exhibition. I had lots of fun, while taking photo of different leaves I found from my mothers amazing garden. The lack of light and black and white, what you can possibly ask more. Go please and check my students and my photos to see if we did good.
Exhibition is opened every day from 9AM to 9 PM during weekdays in Tasku Center, Turu 2 in Tartu until 3rd of December. Please visit and enjoy some good photography!
This fall season I noticed that some of my photos were published in www.tartu.ee official website and also on their Facebook site. Below you can see some screenshots of my photos commissioned by Tartu City.
My long-time photography project has finally become a reality, as I can proudly present my high quality black and white portraits taken in Toronto of the thirteen local Estonian community members. It was a great joy to meet all these people, to hear their life stories, see the passion, when they spoke about Estonia. Due to funding problems, it took five years to get this exhibition to happen. I am very thankful for The Museum of Estonians Abroad (VEMU), who gave their helping hand to acquire the frames and print the photos. Helle-Mari Märtson helped to edit the texts and Arp Karm helped to install the exhibition. I am very thankful for all your contributions to this exhibition.
"Canadian Estonians - in light and shadow" is opened in the great-looking Tartu train station, which is located in Vaksali street 6 and is opened every day from 6 AM to 8 PM. Please go and have a look, unfortunately the texts are in Estonian, but I am willing to translate anything if there is a need. Exhibition will be up until 8th of January, 2017. Your visit to the train station is appreciated and I would love to hear your feedback.
ABOUT: I decided to organize my own UNOFFICIAL vegan chalk photo walk, as I was too late to apply for an official walk and just now heard about the Chalk walk, because I think the idea is great, I'm vegan, I love photography and bringing like-minded people together for such a wonderful cause.
*ENGLISH SPEAKERS WELCOME, let's make it international.*
Date: Sunday, October 2, 2016
Time: 02:00pm - 04:00pm Location Details: St. Peter's Church
Vegan Chalk Photo Walk Description:
Please join me for this coordinated, worldwide effort to help spread the vegan message, enjoy a healthy walk and take pictures of your beautiful surrounding!
We will get to know Raadi-Kruusamäe district of Tartu. It is an old borough with history and also some very new architectural additions, also Soviet architecture ruins, parks, culture etc. You will get to explore Tartu the way you can't even imagine!
NB! Please pack some snacks, water, your camera gear, wear comfortable clothing and spare at least 1€ for Animal Protection Society of Estonia.
Recommended route for a vegan chalk photo walk, inspired by SCOTT KELBY'S PHOTO WALK and VEGAN CHALK BOMB - check the map, while clicking on the photo:
I have my H20 exhibition opened again, but this time in Tartu Public Library, also at the same time the new exhibition has been presented by my students called "Known/Unknown". I also have two photos up in that exhibition, which is opened at the same place, at the library, but on 2nd floor, while mine can be visited on 3rd floor.
My friends in Estonia may find this exhibition already familiar, which is true, as I presented the exhibition as a part of five photographers photo sale and show "Vaba Teema" in the end of 2014. Recently a large Estonian community in Toronto saw the exhibition dedicated to an important part of our lives - water. We take it for granted, but when it is gone even for an hour, it is greatly missed! I have been showing this exhibition a lot, as I want more people to see it and be more aware of water.
Exhibition consists of seven framed and matted color photographs, which portray water in its different forms. Each photo is carrying a specific color of a rainbow.
All photos exhibited can be purchased as simple photo prints or framed and matted.
NB! The exhibition is opened until 15th of October, during the opening hours of Public Library: Monday to Friday at 9 AM to 8 PM and Saturday 10 AM to 4 PM.
I had a great pleasure to shoot Toronto Pride 2016. I really loved to see all these people marching for what they believe it. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was there too and had lots of fun. Pictured here is my favorite shot, but there are many other good ones, which you can see at the following gallery while clicking on the photo.
I opened in June my photography exhibition "H2O". I wasn't planning an opening at all, but it sort of happened organically. I am glad that there were people to share a special moment with me. My friends in Estonia may find this exhibition already familiar, which is true, as I presented the exhibition as a part of five photographers photo sale and show "Vaba Teema" in the end of 2014. Now a large Estonian community in Toronto can also visit this exhibition dedicated to an important part of our lives - water. We take it for granted, but when it is gone even for an hour, it is greatly missed! I will present the exhibition again in fall, in Estonia in Tartu Public Library, as I want more people to see it and be more aware of water.
Exhibition consists of seven framed and matted color photographs, which portray water in its different forms. Each photo is carrying a specific color of a rainbow. I find this an amusing fact, so the photos can help to celebrate June as a Pride month, here in Toronto!
I am busy currently taking photos of Estonian House, which in few years will loose its original shape and will be transformed into something new. Back at home 13 portraits and interviews of people I photographed in Estonian community here in Toronto, are waiting to become and exhibition. I am looking at the moment for donor/donors who would support with prints and getting the frames.
I am thankful for Piret Noorhani and Ülle Veltmann, whose help made the exhibition possible!
All photos exhibited can be purchased as simple photo prints or framed and matted.
NB! The exhibition is opened until 20th of August, during the opening hours of Estonian House Cafe: Tuesday to Friday at 11 AM to 3 PM.
You can find new photos daily from my blog Imagine this, Instagram kerlyilvesphotography. and weekly photos of my Canadian adventures at Toronto.Canada.Estonia. and news about my photograpy life monthly from this homepage, which I have been trying to change with a help of a volunteer webdesigner for months. Unfortunately the work is not really successful! Yet!
In the end of May I had a chance to travel to Muskoka to do some communal work and take photos in the nature. Being together with dear people, while enjoying the warm weather and swimming, not so much the black flies to whom I am very allergic! I was asked to take photos of the workers and I put together a tiny gallery, click on the photo to see the photos!
I have been quite slow at doing photography for others. I have been just enjoying the nature walks and working on my personal projects more. I really love to cruise around the city with the bike and find shots for my future project-exhibition. From the work side, the most exciting event was when I did some photography for Katrin Somermaa, who presented her play "Kati karu" at Estonian School kindergarten. It was very exciting and took place in very low-light situation.
Have a look at the whole gallery of the play here: Kati karu play.
I proudly present my photos taken at a local so-called Chinatown, Hiinalinn in Estonian, where I have been wandering with my film camera since August 2014. It has been a great experience and I have produced nearly 2000 analogue photo frames, which I have hand-developed, scanned to computer and edited some. These photos were presented as a series during the last Vaba Teema in December, 2015 in Tartu University Library. The exhibition is called "Walls have eyes".
The exhibition is opened in a wonderful Tort and Truhvel Cafe, which is located in Tartu Linnaraamatukogu (Tartu Public Library) in Kompanii 3/5 Street and is openen Monday-Friday 10-18 and on Saturday 11-15. Please go and have a look, the texts are also in English. All photos are accompanied with photo cards, these and everything on the walls is for sale. Have a cake and some pastry in the cafe and enjoy my photos. Photos will be up until 19th of March, 2016. Your visit to the cafe is highly appreciated.
I was contacted by Estonian Animal Protection Foundation, whom I have been supporting on voluntary basis, while taking photos of abandoned dogs and cats. Prettier photos usually guarantee them better chances finding home. They love my work a lot and recently they asked for a kitten photo which may be used to advertise their Valentine's Day charity basketball show. The photo was needed to be one of three webpage photos rotating in the front page at Vabatahtlikud.ee. This is a site, which is a gate between those who look to do good and those who are in need of helping hands.
My long-time friend and photo lover Estonian Animal Protection Foundation, used one of my photos for their annual Christmas Card desgin. They were so kind to even write my name on it, which is excellent. I was so proud that I managed to do good for the home-looking animals and that they found a use for my photo as a card.
I had a great chance to experience half artificial and half natural occurance. While we had extremely low temperatures, here and there in the city one could see light pillars. A light pillar is an atmospheric optical phenomenon in the form of a vertical column of light which appears to extend above and/or below a light source. It wasn't as good, as when you Google it, but an exciting photography opprtunity for me.
I contacted several online portals and send my photos to them. Got some feedback and they published my photos, which is great!
Have a look here: DELFI light pillars.
Light pillars in Tartu
WELCOME TO VABA TEEMA - ART-SALE SHOW!
Five of Tartu and Tallinn's own unique photographers will showcase their art in a free exhibition form! Grab a friend and drop in to third ''Vaba Teema'' at University of Tartu Library's conference hall gallery on Friday 4th of December, from 17.30-20 and on Saturday from 11-16. Presenting artists will be present during those date. All you see is for sale! Prices are great, as it is the right time to buy a postcard for your dear ones to send home or get a special Christmas present, while supporting inspired young artists.
Official opening after 17.30 on Friday, snacks and drinks will be offered. Free admission.
Exhibition will be open until 3rd of January, 2016. Mon-Fri 9-22, Sat 11-19 and Sun 11-17.
Check more from Facebook: vaba teema or forward your questions for more details to Kerly: teemavaba [at] gmail.com!
Past two months I was busy taking photos for Archimedes Foundation, as they were compiling a database consisting of photos taken of the most prominent and most interesting projects and programs called to life due to the funding of European Union structural funds. It was a great challenge for me, as the places where different, located in few towns all over in Estonia and I had to get interesting photos from all the 30 places I visited. I was honored to meet all the people I met while on my assignment, who taught me so much about their jobs, their institutions and about their passions. My assignments are done. The last was to take photos at the final so-called thank you event in the hall of Science and Education Ministry.
Check the thank you events gallery: Archimedes FLICKR.
The best part of the project was that I found few of my photos in an extra between Estonian largest daily paper Postimees. I snapped these two shots for you, just to give you an idea of what my photos look like.
You are cordially invited to a photo walk, inspired by Scott Kelby's Photo Walk. ENGLISH SPEAKERS WELCOME, let's make it international!
Click on the photo to see the map of the walk in Tartu!
ABOUT: I decided to organize my own UNOFFICIAL photo walk, as I was too late to apply for an official one, because I think the idea is great, I love photography and bringing like-minded people together for such a wonderful cause.
Date: Saturday, October 3, 2015, rain or shine
Time: 02:00pm - 04:00pm
Location Details: Meeting point in front of St. Peter's Church, Narva mnt.
After the walk, meet at: We will finish walk in Ujula Konsum
Photo Walk Description
We will get to know Raadi-Kruusamae district of Tartu. It is an old borough with history and also some very new and exciting architectural additions, also Soviet architecture ruins, parks, culture etc. You will get to explore Tartu the way you can't even imagine!
NB! Please pack some snacks, water, your camera gear, wear comfortable clothing and spare at least 1 euro for Tartu orphanage home: Mae-kodu http://vahtraleheke.ee
Read more about the ideas KELBY PHOTO WALK here:
STEP ONE: Find a walk in your city.
STEP TWO: Maybe donate one euro to the orphanage*.
STEP THREE: Receive good karma.
STEP FOUR: Walk for 2 hours. Smile. Take lots of photos.
STEP FIVE: Eat. Drink. Laugh. Make new friends.
STEP SIX: Wonder why you waited so long to do this.
* Totally optional but who doesn?t want to help orphans, right?
More info at: http://kelbyone.com/photowalk
I have been taking photos of the homeless animals or those who are in foster care for years. Recently I got awarded for my contribution on helping them, which gave me even more motivation try harder with my photos. It has taken me to a point where I would actually started thinking of pets/animal photography, as it really interests me. As a crown to all that in August few of my photos were published in Postimees online. I am glad that the news got out and that the animals in help get more limelight. You can see the link here:
Save your pets
LINKS TO GALLERIES
I have upadated my Picasa Web Album, so please be sure to check it here:
Kerly Ilves Picasa Web Gallery
Femme.ee has changed its looks and I have contributed to it for nearly ten years, so please if you have any interest check my galleries for them here:
I am also into filming and making short clips. You can check my Vimeo here:
Kerly Ilves on Vimeo
Check my page out at PhoDir: