This blog post (and whole blog in general) are both long overdue. For months, “develop blog on website” sat rewritten and overlooked on my never-ending to-do lists. Tomorrow, I said. Next week, I promised myself. Push finally came to shove and I realized how important it is to me to connect with my clients on another level, how important it is to me that I be a resource, and not just a service.
This summer has been absolutely incredible. From my own hometown best friend’s wedding, to Jamaica with strangers who became family, I have a lot to share. And, excuse my language, it’s about damn time. I am so blessed to do this job that I LOVE with every single part of me. Capturing love stories, being a part of the best day of your life – is a joy and such a blessing. To every person that’s been a part of that in one way or another, thank you.
I figured it was about time to re-introduce myself, tell the story + history of Shellshot Visuals, and subsequently look forward to all of the love stories I have to capture in the second half of 2019. Before that though, let’s take a trip back in the past to answer the question I get all the time – “how did this all begin?”
I first picked up a camera in 2013. It was a classic mom DSLR and my gracious mother let me tote the thing around like I knew what I was doing. I took photos of anything and everything, because I liked doing it. For awhile, a few years even, that’s all it was. The more photos I took, the better I got and the more I realized photography gave me a new way to see the world, I loved that. It wasn’t until 2015 that someone asked me “how much do you charge for a shoot?” I sputtered. CHARGE? Like money? Flustered, I told them I’d get back to them and immediately called my mother.
I charged $50 for my first shoot. I was so nervous but it went well. That summer before college I did a few more senior sessions before I headed off to Florida for school and things were truly up from there. I started working with some B-list celebrities, which led me to working with some A-list celebrities, and for the first 2 years of college, I worked my little booty off. I shot concerts, album covers, music videos, senior sessions, family portraits, you name it. I travelled across the country in the back of a tour bus submitting research papers to my (amazing, flexible, God-sent) teachers and throwing myself into videos and look books for artists like Bryce Vine, G-Eazy, and Hoodie Allen. More importantly, in those years, I second-shot over 100 weddings, driving back and forth to Miami working 14 hour days and falling into bed after the day was done. I learned so much during those years, second shooting with all middle-aged male professionals. They were experts at their craft and I have so much respect for them. But, in all that I learned, I also saw a gap, a hole that I filled that only I could fill. The connection I had with brides, as a young twenty-somethings female, was different. I bustled dresses, held hands, wiped tears, and gave small bits of advice about angles to my male counterparts.
That year, I started saying ‘no.’ No more second shooting, it was my turn. I knew I had something to offer and I knew I had an eye for it. I did my time, I learned the trade, and I knew I had what it took to do this thing. I hit the ground running. In 2016, Shellshot Visuals was born and since, has exploded into such a beautiful, experienced, and comprehensive company. With over a 500 portrait sessions and 200 weddings under our belt (and many more on the horizon), we are thankful.
This was my dream from the start, but there are countless creatives I couldn’t have done it without. I have such a solid, reliable team behind me, and for them I am so thankful. Additionally, I have family and friends that have played such a supportive and crucial role in my success. And finally, I have a reservoir, deep and wide, of incredible clients who have trusted me to capture their love story. If that is you, and you are reading this right now, thank you thank you thank you.