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Jeff Kelley

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Easthampton postal worker Jeff Kelley uses Instagram to transform his usual delivery route into something straight out of a fairy tale. The 41-year-old's account (@postaljeff) is full of misty, dreamlike settings and playful subjects depicting a Western Massachusetts from the other side of the looking glass.

Q: How did you get into photography?

A: I wasn't interested until Instagram came around. Which is funny because it's kind of a family tradition. My grandfather was a studio professional, and my brother is a wedding photographer, but it was never really my thing. Once I got Instagram though it just kind of clicked. I used to shoot with my iPhone, but lately I've been experimenting with a DSLR and film. It's been a learning process.


Q: What's the deal with the handle?

A: I work for the post office as a letter carrier. I’ve done it for
17 ½ years and really enjoy it. I walk past the same places all day, but I try to see things in a new light. Plus it’s a great way to get a tan in the summer! My philosophy is that you don’t have to be in the city or mountains to take great photos; it has to do with your point of view. I like the idea that you can be anywhere and get a great shot. That’s something that connects with people.

Q: What subjects do you find yourself drawn to?

A: I mostly photograph a mixture of my kids and some landscapes. The kids have been pretty good at posing for shots, but my one daughter is a teenager now, and her willingness definitely starts going down at a certain point. After a while they know, "Oh, dad's making something for Instagram." But I don't like it when the photos are too posed. My youngest is pretty easy to photograph because she's always off in her own world.

Q: Your photos all have a similar fanciful look. Do you think that's reflective of how you see the world?

A: It's the way I like to imagine things looking. There's a sense of mystery and wonder that I try to capture. You can edit a photo a certain way to make it more somber or give it that element of wonder. I like to get up early when it's foggy out because fog always makes great pictures. I guess that's kind of an Instagram cliche.


Interview has been edited and condensed. Carly Sitrin can be reached at carly.sitrin@globe.com