Kirby Stephens Design

Photography at KSD

Alumitech Honda wheel

An aluminum wheel produced by Alumitech. Photographed on 4x5 black and white negative film.


Graphic design studios typically hire photographers as needed, but KSD produces the majority of our photography in-house, and has done so for almost 30 years.

The technical side of photography has changed dramatically during this time (primarily film to digital), but the skills required have not changed. Exposure, focus, composition and a sense of timing are still critical to creating strong images. We disassembled our darkroom almost a decade ago and now use a vastly more efficient digital workflow.

The primary job of photography in marketing is to make something look beautiful, look interesting, tell a story, evoke a feeling, or all of the above. A drug testing kit with urine can be photographed by anyone with a smart phone, but to make it look striking requires control of the light, the background and the perspective, as well as meeting the technical requirements for print or web publication.

Below are a few samples of photography KSD has produced for clients.

Drug testing kit with urine sample.

Drug testing device for Premier Integrity Solutions. KSD photographed a number of devices for a series of publications and advertisements produced for this drug testing company. Studio lighting on a metal sheet. Apple juice was substituted for urine. Digital photograph.

Somerset Houseboats management team portrait in boat hull with welders.

Management team of Sumerset Houseboats. For this image, we set up lighting in the early construction of a hull on the manufacturing floor and had welders work in the background as we made the photograph. This image was created for a feature on Sumerset Houseboats in Inc. Magazine. Photographed with 6x7 negative film. 

SEKTDA red river gorge river fall leaves reflection

 While most of our photography is in support of design projects, TourSEKY engaged KSD a few years ago to do a series of scenic images from around the region as a resource for future use. This image is from the Red River Gorge. Digital photograph.

CR bowl COX7562 1200

Renowned wood artist Chris Ramsey engaged KSD to develop a new website. We determined that the site needed new photography of his elegant creations and wanted to showcase them in an interesting way. Our solution was to use a large mirror to reflect the sky, which also allowed seeing the bowls from below in the same image. Digital photograph.

Floyd Lovins portrait

A portrait of guitarist and music teacher, Floyd Lovins. KSD worked with Floyd on an instructional music text book illustrating his "patterns" approach to playing the guitar. Photographed with 4x5 black and white negative film.

Lake Cumberland tourism, teenager on boogie board on Lake Cumberland.

Lake Cumberland tourism image for the Somerset~Pulaski County Development Foundation. This was one of a series of images created to illustrate a large format brochure on Somerset and Pulaski County, Kentucky. 35mm negative film.

Couple wading in Fishing Creek.

Couple wading in Fishing Creek for the Somerset~Pulaski County Development Foundation. 35mm negative film.

Cumberland Security Bank loan officer with family.

Loan officer bringing banking services to a customer's home. KSD created this image for an annual report for Cumberland Security Bank. This photo was a technical challenge of lighting on location AND working with child models. The lighting, including the "sunlight" coming in the window, was produced with electronic flashes and balanced with the room lights to look as realistic as possible and still delivering a high-resolution photograph. 6x7 negative film.

Steaming soup.

Cooking at The Doolin House. KSD developed a logo, website, brochure and a series of advertisements for this catering/bed and breakfast business. A number of photoshoots were undertaken to tell the story of The Doolin House. Digital photograph. 

Mexican giraffe sculpture art

Mexican artwork photographed for a 2Days Gallery show invitation. The bright and exagerated colors of these small wooden sculptures almost cried out for a special setting. In our studio we created a stylized sunrise background with colored gels. 35mm transparency film.

Somerset House Boat beached at sunset.

A Sumerset Houseboat beached at twilight. In the late 90s, we did dozens of houseboat photoshoots, traveling to Texas, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee and of course, Lake Cumberland. We typically photographed interior and exterior of the boats as well as people enjoying their houseboat (sometimes including paid models). But we always tried to get a "beauty shot" in the peaceful lake environment. Before digital, balancing the light in twilight situations like this was very tricky. Below shows this image used in a full-page magazine ad. The photograph was created with a long exposure and a fill flash. 6x7 negative film.

SHB cincinnati magazine ad 569x768


KSD IS 30! We're sharing some of the work and memories that have shaped the direction of our studio. We've been involved with community leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, engineers, manufacturers, architects, writers and many others on exciting projects in Somerset, in Kentucky and beyond. Celebrate 30 with us! #KSDturns30

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About Us

KSD is a results-oriented, full-service design, marketing and communication firm located in Somerset, Kentucky.

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  • KSD  Kinetic | Strategic | Design
    219 E. Mt. Vernon Street
    Somerset Kentucky 42501
  • 606 679-5634