Kelly Hofer was raised in a hutterite community in Manitoba. From the age of 8, he contributed to the colony as a gardener's helper, fine woodworker, apprentice automotive electrical engineer and finally a CNC water jet operator. His colony, notably, manufactured firetrucks. His first experience with photography was using a point‑and‑shoot camera his mother had for documenting construction. Throughout his teenage years, Hofer captured hundreds of thousands of photos of hutterite life. The act of taking photos would eventually become his outlet, art form, and career after leaving the colony at the age of 19.
Since leaving the colony in 2012 and coming out as gay, Hofer has made a career as a photographer and technology/textile artist, and become known for his work as a LGBT activist. His support is most fervently felt by those with hutterite backgrounds. He founded and maintains a crucial online support group for LGBT ex‑hutterites–currently many members across North America. His story and work was the subject of a BBC documentary in 2013 and a TELUS short in March 2016, and has been featured in the National Post, The Daily Mail, MacLean’s Magazine and many other major publications.