Tell us a bit about yourself! (How would you describe your style, how many years have you been in the photography industry, what do you love to photograph, ect.)
My photography style is documentary. Capturing real life, love and interaction. The authenticity of natural, candid expression and emotion. I believe it is so important to take time to preserve and capture the realness of who we are, and the life we are living, in it's truest sense.
I have always carried a love for taking photographs, but professionally, I have been in the photography industry for 7 years. I am continually seeking out ways to up my creativity and knowledge.
Where do you find your inspiration when you feel creatively drained?
When I feel a creative lull, I find it best to take a break and take a step back from photographing for a bit. I find spending time outdoors, and observing the beauty of creation ignites the spark. Every so often, I will also do a fun, creative session- just for me. This also ignites and refuels the creative “spark”.
Are there any products or software that you would recommend to beginner photographers? (ie editing products, workshops, gear)
Don’t worry about having a massive amount of gear right from the beginning, start simple and learn what lenses you’ll actually need. Focus on your craft. I always encourage people I’m mentoring to start by renting a few different types of lenses to get a feel of what works for your style. Once you settle into your style more, you will have a better sense of what gear is best suited for you. As far as editing- Lightroom has always been my go-to.
What was one thing that you wish you had done sooner? Something that really “changed the game” for you?
Value my work and my images more. Value my time, creativity, and art. I undervalued my time and worth for too long and lowered my prices just to ensure I would get bookings. Quality vs. quantity. Understanding your worth in all ways is foundational.
Is there anything that you struggle with in this industry?
It’s a very big + competitive industry, and can feel overwhelming at times. When I first started, I struggled with self-confidence. I find photography is a type of business that heavily relies on and thrives on word of mouth marketing, promotion and referrals. I had to step up my confidence a lot, and stay clear of the comparison game. Yes, there are hundreds upon hundreds of photographers, but each one still carries their own special uniqueness.
Family photography and Wedding photography can sometimes feel like two completely different industries! How do you create a brand that works for any project that you do?
Yes, they are definitely very different industries! I brand myself more-so as a documentary + lifestyle photographer, and do not put an emphasis on one of the other (family/weddings). I try to post enough variety of each to ensure I am reaching all audiences that I want to target. Yes, they are different industries, but the style that I capture (candid/documentary) does not differ between the two.
What is your absolute favorite thing about being a photographer?
I think the connections and relationships that I have built over the years. Having the opportunity to capture such important aspects of peoples lives, and often times seeing and capturing return couples/families over the years is such a privilege and blessing.
Tell us about your workshop!
It was such a wonderful experience! For me it was about creating a space for women to come together and create freely without judgement or stress. I wanted to create a community that would encourage growth and creativity. The workshop starts with a few hours of business talk, covering all the basics. We then do a variety of shoots so they have experience shooting in different scenarios, while providing a variety of content for their portfolios. We spent 9 hours together talking, laughing and creating. By the end of the day, I saw that lifelong connections and friendships had been established.
Learn more about Shantal’s workshop here: https://www.shantalmarie.com/for-photographers/