Kelly just began earning his degree in photography when he got his first job by pleading for any kind of work with the photo editor at a local daily newspaper. He offered to mop the darkroom and instead was given a summer project shooting a special section for The Missoulian in Missoula, Montana. He has since worked on staff for three newspapers, a stringer for Associated Press and a corporation in Seattle. Now he leads a team of photographers and videographers at Montana State University as the director of Visual Media where they document everything from research to NCAA athletics. He serves on the board of the Seattle Chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers and is currently co-producing a documentary film with Montana PBS titled "Mavericks" about the history of freestyle skiing in Montana and its Olympic legacy.
Kelly also continues to work independently for select clients and publications. He has earned honors from the Addys, Montana Newspaper Association and American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP). Kelly's work has exhibited in New York, Berlin, Montana and Washington D.C.
Notable credits include Sports Illustrated, Sporting News, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, National Geographic Explorer, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, and many other publications.