This project started out as a spontaneous lark with a simple goal, to make celebrities out of the average person and demonstrate the beauty of one small community in a country of thousands of communities where the regular person can make more impact than they know.

My intention was to remember and demonstrate the beauty of “real” people. I had no idea just how their beauty would create such an enormous change in my own perspective of humanity.

Though I am far from being a Pollyanna, I have spent most of the half century of my life looking for the good in people.

The previous year was a long one for me.

I experienced a couple personal tragedies and life altering encounters that affected my view of people and diminished my faith in them to be kind and decent.

I wondered where “The People” were.

Why have we let the world become such a mess and how did this happen?

After a long winter pondering Humanity and the state of the world while reflecting on terrible news stories, political travesties, and events that hypnotize one into surrendering their investment in other humans, I needed to find my faith in Humanity again.

Bellingham is not a typical community in regard to diversity or culture but it does represent a portal into the rest of the world for us to enter and explore further.

It is where I live and holds a small sample of Humanity for me to build upon.

As I look at the SLIDE SHOW of these faces, I must look into the eyes of my fellow humans and acknowledge that I am a part of them.

They are not the ones the media tells us about.

We don’t need to hide in our homes from them while exalting polished, glamorous, and invented celebrities.

They are not the isolated incidents that harm our families and get best sellers written about them for horrific acts and crimes.

They are not the enemy.

They are me.

I need them.

I need to remember I am part of them.

And I am so thankful for all the people who let me find me in their eyes.

As reflected in the Faces of Bellingham…

Lea Kelley


  1. Thank you for showing me through your eyes or lens the faces of our community. I pass many of these faces throughout my day, however I didn’t see the various expressions of life and the uniqueness of each person before you revealed this to me in your project. I am captivated by the eyes of each individual. Thank you for your gift.

  2. Linda Joy De Long,

    Thank you for taking the time to look into the eyes.
    Truly, they are the mirror of the soul and a reflection of the whole.
    Even the faces with sunglasses tell us things about them (and us).

    Lea Kelley

  3. Hey Lea, I found this blog by accident one day and forgot to bookmark it. Coudn’t remember the name. Then I found it on my admin panel today. Thanks so much for the link.

    This is an amazing blog, when my template allows a blogroll, I’ll link you on Cuckoo’s Nest. For now, I’ll roll you on The Show. So happy to find this place again. Your portraits are sublime. I’ve never been any good at taking them. This will be a great place to learn.

    All of these photos are amazing, every one of them capturing so much joy and happiness. So many stories in so many faces. One of the coolest photoblogs I’ve ever seen.

  4. I have family that moved to Bellingham from Nantucket and it is great to know that there are people in the community that take time to look at the entire picture. How wonderful! I love your photos and look forward to seeing more.

  5. Lea your pictures are truly great,I am so glad I found you.

  6. Lea I met you about 8 years ago in Las Vegas and your beautiful bright light was what sparked my light and I’ve never been the same . Laurie Crozier

  7. A fantastic project. Keep up the good work!


  8. Beautiful. Simply that.

  9. This is an amazing place.

  10. What a beautiful thing to do. Looking outwards to see inwards. I wish you much strength and joy in this project.

  11. Ahhhh, the simple joys of Bellingham

  12. Hey Faces!
    I am so grateful that you are doing this, Lea. You are such a blessing on our community!

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