Jeff O'Kelley is a freelance writer and photojournalist with nearly three decades of professional experience. Jeff's work has appeared in both print and online, including publications such as USA Today Travel, CNN, Relix Magazine, US Weekly, Creative Loafing Magazine, VH1.com, Pollstar.com and the Tampa Bay Times. He has specific expertise in the areas of music, photography, travel, technology and culinary subjects.
Jeff's fascination with photography began as a hobby in high school and continues as a full-time profession today. Live event photography is his primary focus, but he also enjoys travel photography. Jeff currently works as the House Photographer for Ruth Eckerd Hall and The Capitol Theatre, both located in Clearwater, Florida. He has worked with an array of artists such as actor Al Pacino, singer Selena Gomez, rock band Firefall, country legend Charlie Daniels and blues singer John Lee Hooker, Jr. Jeff is the official photographer for The Annual Charlie Daniels Celebrity Golf Tournament and Country Concert, held in Tampa, Florida.
Jeff is the author of So You Want to be a Concert Photographer, currently available on Amazon.com and Kindle. He also teaches travel photography workshops at scenic locations around the Tampa Bay area of Florida.
Jeff's plays guitar, trumpet, enough piano to embarrass him and a bit of percussion. While mostly a hobby, Jeff occasionally works as a professional musician and songwriter. He has recorded two CDs of original music, Just Passing Through (2004) with REM producer Don Dixon and LIVE, Somewhere in America (2005). These releases were featured on independent and college radio stations around the United States and appeared on the "Americana" charts in many parts of Europe. Several of Jeff's songs have been recorded by other artists, including "Headed For the Fall" co-written with Kathryn Stafford and "Southbound Train" co-written with Erin Gill.
Jeff's live performance experience includes opening slots for The Atlanta Rhythm Section, Little Feat, James Brown, Little Richard, Tommy Cash (Johnny Cash's brother), Mark Wills, Don Dixon, Meatloaf and Ringo Starr.
Jeff also spends several weeks each year working as Tour Production Manager for rock band Boulder County Conspiracy. This band includes members from various classic rock bands including Firefall, Spirit, Manasas, Marshall Tucker Band and The Flying Burrito Bros.
Jeff is an avid traveler and explorer. Over the past thirty years, he has traveled through most of the continental U.S., as well as Canada, Mexico, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Italy, France, England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. He has experienced travel by airplane, boat, train, ferry, car and on foot, documenting each new adventure with his trusty Nikon camera. Along the way, Jeff has improved his French language skills and picked up enough Italian and Spanish to ask for help and count to ten.
Enjoying great food and cooking are two of Jeff's obsessions. His first job as a teenager was in a North Carolina barbecue restaurant, followed by a string of various restaurant jobs that stretched into his early-twenties. Along the way he picked up cooking skills from a classically-trained Austrian chef, a Culinary Institute of America graduate, a bossy Filipino woman and a snobby old Pastry Chef. He also attended formal cooking classes at La Maison Gourmet (Dunedin, Florida) and The New Orleans School of Cooking (New Orleans, LA). During a 2010 trip to Florence, Italy, Jeff attended workshops on balsamic vinegar and Italian wines.
Jeff holds an Associate of Science degree in telecommunications from St. Petersburg College in St. Petersburg, Florida. He was also awarded certificates in Web Design and Internetworking for completion of a one-year program of study in both fields. Jeff worked as a telecommunications manager, field technician and consultant in the telecommunications field for more than 15 years.