To see more of Kelly’s weather photos, follow @kellydelay on Instagram.
“I just love how beautiful storms are, and I love to go out and capture their beauty,” award-winning weather photographer Kelly DeLay (@kellydelay) says. After years of marketing and building websites, Kelly changed the path of his career in 2009. Over the next several months, Kelly estimates he will travel at least 15,000 miles (24,140 kilometers) — from south Texas all the way up into Canada — to photograph storms, and he’s not the only brave soul on the road. “If it’s May in Oklahoma, you will get hundreds of people on the same highway trying to get to the same storm,” he says. “That’s sort of the MO of the modern weather photographer: it’s real time storm chasing.” In Kelly’s line of work, there’s plenty of beauty to witness, but occupational hazards certainly exist: “I was with some friends chasing a few years ago, and I looked over and my friend’s hair was standing straight up — the lightening struck 100 yards [91 meters] away,” he says. “If you’re not paying attention, you can definitely get into trouble.”