RafaelCassTammy (580) HiveClearxsmall

As a photographer I am deeply committed to capturing the essence of joyous memories that emerge from a mindful dance between my clients, light and the natural world around us. I strive to bring out the true nature of ones self.

I infuse a tenderly and peaceful perspective in composing a story with my client by

drawing inspiration from 18th century nostalgic and the romantic poetry of my personal work " The Secret Language of Flowers" as well as my daily Buddhist practice.


Whew! Now that all of that seriousness is over with...


I love photography, I always have. Whether I need to work quickly by shooting digitally or when time allows using my collection of antique cameras, my curiosity and desire for a connection with my subjects never wanes.


My digital work focuses on capturing natural, joyous and spontaneous moments with an editorial bent. I try to bring playfullness and sense of humor to each photo shoot.


Antique cameras and film create a timeless look with a dream like feel that are an individual, unique expression. This specialty is for those who are willing to invest the time to create a quiet, intimate moment that is special to each individual.


I believe in natural simplicity and quality over quantity. Do you really need 2,000 images from your event? Or do you need just that one photograph that captured the moment when you jumped for joy with your friends  or took a second amongst all of the glorious chaos to look your partner in the eyes and say, "Yeah, this is the moment."





Kelly Merchant Photography


Lets talk film versus digital photographs. So what's so special about photographs taken with a view camera, film and instant film?

Take a look at the three photographs. Click on images to enlarge.


The left photograph is taken with a digital camera.

The center photograph is taken with a view camera and film. On the right is an instant film negative.


Note the selective focus in the center photograph that seems to make it almost three dimensional. Also note the softness and dream like feel. That is due to the unique characteristics of a view camera and film.


The photograph on the right has been processed, scanned and printed. It is a mirror image of the center photograph as it was originally the negative of that image. Due to the hand processing of the photograph on the bottom each photograph is unique, exhibiting the inherent flaws that come with the process.


Of course there is nothing at all wrong with the photograph on the left. Digital photography in general is sharper and has a more saturated feel.

Weddings are personal and should be unique to you. You dont have to do what is expected or feel as if you must select what the wedding industry offers. Take a moment to think about what you want to have captured.

Perhaps you just want a few photographs featuring your gown, the environment and a few details....


Click on images to enlarge.

Not all wedding should be cookie cutter. Perhaps you've done a big wedding before

or waited a while to find that perfect partner. John and Susan {above} picked a location that was special to them, Byrdcliffe. Their "ceremony" was performed by their family and friends, who told stories of how their family members lives had changed after meeting their partner. To hear the room break into laughter when the brides childhood friend spoke of how she knew her best friend since elementary school was in love when she giggled like a school girl while talking on the phone to her partner was priceless.

The couple requested that no additional lighting be used for photography. They only requested that I capture a few intimate, fun moments between them and their guests in a natural, organic fashion.


Below is their thank you letter


"Kelly photographed our wedding in Woodstock, NY. It was a wonderful experience. The wedding AND working with Kelly

A few days before, we met Kelly in street clothes at the site and had some more elaborate pictures taken to celebrate the two of us who were getting married. It wasn't so much like a rehearsal as a meditation. On the day of the event Kelly came and photographed the us as bride and groom, the wedding and the guests.


One of the very special parts of the event photos was the way she began. She took pictures of the site with attention to the way we had set it up. She had some magical ones of light and wood and flowers. Something you might expect from Kelly but maybe you don't often get in wedding pictures. Then she captured the event and she was great. We were so happy to have her there and then to have here pictures.


She is a brilliant photographer and a delightful person."


John and Susan

"Thank you Kelly for being our eyes!

You were truly a godsend.


While searching for a photographer for an intimate home gathering, I luckily came upon Kellys website, which is beautiful in subject and substance. Kelly has an eye for capturing the true essence of beauty in her surroundings and the people she is photographing. Upon our first meeting I realized how warm, kind and talented Kelly is. A week after meeting, she documented our wedding vows in our home- we were 6 people total- all felt completely comfortable as she moved throughout the room. Kellys ideas and creativity {all listed and emailed the week before in case we needed wanted additions, changes etc.} were all accomplished before she departed for the day, as she wanted to be sure we got everything we desired in the photos and tweaked and added as the day progressed.


We are so happy we found Kelly and know we will be forever bound as her photos are beautiful, fun, creative and most of all “alive”. We look forward to more photo shoots in the days and hopefully years ahead."


Greg & Donna


I don't offer packages -What I do offer is me, 100% of my attention for as long as you need me.


My wedding prices start at $3,500. If you are having an intimate  gathering that won't require a lot of time please contact me and I'll be happy to give you a custom quote.


Digital images are provided on an environmentally friendly USB drive and will arrive approximately 15 days after your event.Three 8x10 archival photographs in 11x14 mat boards are hand printed and assembled by me and are included in the above rate. Paper and mat board choices are of the highest quality, environmentally choices available After your selection is made your prints will arrive in approximately 30 days.


A 2 hour  engagement session is offered for $250. with each wedding booking. A 40% deposit to secure the wedding date is needed at the time of the engagement session.


Images can be uploaded to an on line sharing site- please inquire. If you require a second photographer- please inquire. For photographic albums please see information below.




logoyellowsmall www.secretlanguageofflowersphotographs.com www.kellymerchant.com

To see my fine art work please visit

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To see my commercial work  please visit


Wedding Information...

Thank you

Antique and  Vintage Cameras

Film and  Digital Photographs

I love my cameras! Whether they are film- 2 1/4 mm, 4x5 inch, 8x10 inch or digital. They all offer different photographs. Working with film cameras requires skill and a bit more time, especially with 4x5 and 8x10 view cameras. What they lack in speed and mobility they shine with their adundance of depth, softness and selective focus.


I am pleased to be able to offer portrait and wedding sessions shot using my 4x5 view camera. Being photographed with a view camera transports you back in time. The process is rare, intimate, fun and meditative. Rather than running around striking many poses you get to ponder 1 or 2 poses that reflect your personality or your connection with your partner.


Color or black and white film choices are available.

Each portrait session takes approximately 2 to 3 hours and 2 poses are photographed. Ten sheets of 4x5 inch film are shot during each session.

Three 8x10 archival photographs in  11x14 mats are hand printed and assembled by me and are included in the price.

Prints are available approximately a month after your selection is made.


An instant film negative print from the session can also be printed. Due to the hand processing of the negative each photograph is unique, exhibiting the inherent flaws that come with the process. Please see images titled " digital and film photographs" below for reference. Please inquire as to price for this option.


Each session is $1,000.


If you would like this service in addition to your digitally photographed wedding please inquire for a special deal.  For inquiries regarding being photographed with my 8x10 view camera please contact me. If you would like to be photographed at your event with my 2 1/4 film cameras in addition to digital please inquire.


There are a lot of moments in life that deserve to be photographed- weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, childhood, family reunions, pregnancy and childbirth etc. Not to mention just allowing yourself to be photographed or giving the gift of a portrait session to someone you love.


Due to the abundance of phone and digital cameras we all take a lot of pictures, but do we do anything with them and will they be preserved for years to come? How fun is it to look through old family photos? Will the generations after ours share that same fun?


In addition to my 4x5 film portrait sessions seen above I also offer


Digital portrait session- $ 750.


Shooting time is approximately 2 to 3 hours. Images are delivered either electronically or via a USB drive. Fine art archival photographs  can be purchased at an additional charge. Additional travel charges may apply for over 60 miles of driving. Retouching per image- $25.


Here are just some of the moments Ive been honored to capture.

Special OccasionPhotographs

Hand bound/ Locally made photo albums by Val Wells.


The sumptuous fabrics and vivid patterns of Val Wells’ hand bound albums offer exciting options for documenting your wedding or special event.


Val uses acid-free papers and archival quality paints and fabrics to ensure that these keepsakes will enduringly preserve memories of special moments.  The albums, binders, guest books, and clamshell boxes can be customized from a wide range of colors to reflect your aesthetic palette.  Handmade in the Hudson Valley since 1985, this beautiful work features unique marbled papers, silken fabrics, and quality construction.


Approximately 6 weeks lead time for a custom album is needed. Sizes range from 6x7 to 13x13. Archival photographs are either hand printed by Kelly Merchant and then bound into a custom album or photos  can be secured with photo corners.  Please inquire for prices.



Hand bound custom photo albums

Thank you for your interest in my work.

To see my commercial work or my fine art work visit my other web sites by clicking the links below.


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