Capturing the essence of stars through the lens and championing a cause beyond the frame...

A film camera and a curiosity for people jump-started his journey in photography. Capturing the likes of everyday people through his camera lens as a hobby later turned into an opportunity to professionally shoot. McNeal's steady eye and love for photography is particularly close to our hearts at Compulsive as he snapped the cover shot of numerous Compulsive issues.

In the midst of balancing his passions, profession, and personal life, his father passed on. As a way to cope with grief after the loss of his father who was also a skilled photographer, McNeal purchased a one-way ticket to London to film and photograph individuals who casually walked the streets. "I remember packing a big backpack, hopping on a flight, and landing in London to shoot street photography pictures", McNeal reminisced.

After spending a couple of months in Europe, he found new opportunities to photograph celebrities and capture moments from behind the scenes. However, he craved something more. McNeal shared, "I loved doing celebrity photography, but I also love shooting ordinary people," he continued, "I've been blessed with the ability to make someone comfortable in front of the camera and allow them to see themselves as unique, lovely, strong, and positive. I hope they take that with them after the photoshoot too."

Kelsey McNeal's Photography Philosophy:

"I love capturing people in their best moments to highlight them in their best light. This does not include shooting overly sexual images. I rather capture them as the confident, positive, and strong individuals they are."

After a heartbreaking trip to Thailand, McNeal founded the non-profit organization Love Never Fails World Charity to spread awareness about the $150 billion child trafficking industry.

"There's nothing similar between shooting a celebrity and shooting campaigns about child trafficking. When we first started the non-profit, we went to Thailand because that's the mecca of the industry. I saw these colorful, multistory buildings which are the brothels and every now and then you would see a little girl on the balcony, possibly in between clients and they would run back in if they were spotted. Once I returned to America, it took me a few days to process what I saw on that trip. I spent the next day crying."

Blending his passion for photography and his purpose in raising awareness about the atrocities of the child trafficking industry, McNeal curated a campaign to urge people to care about what is happening to children around the world and in our own communities.

"Everybody should know and care about this. Children are the true victims in the world, and they look up to us as adults to protect them", said McNeal.

As he continues to journey through life, he uses his dynamic skills in photography to capture, inspire, and advocate for change. You can learn more about the Love Never Fails World Charity on Facebook.com at LNFWC.


— Photos by Nickolaus Trigueiro

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