A talented, self-taught professional photographer, Kelli A. Drake is owner and operator of DRAKEphoto and Red Haute Images, managing all aspects of accounting, payroll and marketing for the two businesses. DRAKEphoto is a portrait studio that offers clients a one-of-a-kind experience tailored to their personality and style, designing and creating custom in-home galleries and other high-quality image products. Red Haute Images is a professional boudoir photography studio offering classy, tasteful images that empower women and instill confidence. She carefully plans and guides each session, using her creativity to capture beautiful memories for her clients.
Devoted to her community, Drake has developed impactful ways to use her photography skills to encourage and inspire children and young adults. Throughout the year, she transforms her studio into an open house for Headshot Happy Hour, where local professionals can network, socialize and get new professional headshots taken while raising funds and awareness for Dream Center Peoria and its programs to alleviate childhood poverty and homelessness. The event has become a steady source of awareness and growing financial support for the Dream Center, raising more than $10,000 since 2016.
She has also taught photography classes to children at the Dream Center for years, understanding the powerful impact one individual can have when children have someone in their corner who believes in them.
Drake also advocates for cancer treatment awareness through a special Mother's Day photography event, with proceeds going to the Illinois CancerCare Foundation. She contributes gift certificates to help raise money for organizations including Neighborhood House, The Center for Prevention of Abuse, EP!C, Central Illinois Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, St. Jude Runs, Easterseals, St. Philomena Catholic Church and the Alzheimer's Association, Central Illinois Chapter. Last year, she and her husband participated in Dancing with the Local Stars, helping to raise more than $15,000 for CASA of the Tenth Judicial Circuit.
Described as spunky, passionate, thoughtful and generous, Drake’s commitment to helping others—and her ability to implement her vision—have made her an inspiration to others. iBi