Keri Pickett (born in 1959, Charleston, S.C.) is an American photographer, author and filmmaker. Pickett’s work “pulls subjects from the edges of public awareness to the center of the frame”. Pickett was first exposed to photography as a child through her figure-skater/photographer uncle Roy Blakey and years later, as an adult, she made a film about his life.
Pickett graduated with a B.A. degree in photography from Moorhead State University in Minnesota with minors in Art History and Women’s Studies. After graduation in 1983, Pickett moved in with her photographer uncle Roy Blakey in New York for a short time while starting an internship under the direction of American photographer Fred W. McDarrah at the Village Voice. In 1987, after Pickett was diagnosed with Burkett’s lymphoma, a rare cancer characterized by the rapid growth of tumors in the body, she left New York and returned to Minnesota to begin chemotherapy. During the two years of Pickett’s treatment, she concentrated on her photographic work: Kids Coping with Life-Threatening Illness. Where once she had thought she was too young to die, Pickett’s paradigm shifted as she photographed and became friends with children in the hospital who were dying of cancer. Pickett says, “When I was on chemotherapy I was so upbeat and positive that this started coming out in my pictures. I was a positive example to people. I started taking photos of kids with life-threatening illnesses, and my work switched….I starting putting more of myself into the work.”