How I started in Photography:
While I was studying journalism in college, I learned how to use a manual Minolta camera with film...and then learned to develop film in a darkroom. There was not a lot of one-on-one attention in this class...so it was a brief overview of how to learn the technical aspects of photography. I loved looking for things to photograph for my assignments, but realized that I need to concentrate on writing and page design as I wanted to be a newpaper journalist/editor.
Once I graduated from college, I couldn't find a job as a journalist. I think that if I had ventured out of Indiana, I might have been able to find a job, but I held myself back by wanting to be here with family. A hard mistake I had to learn on my own.
So I took a job to pay my bills (yuck) and then found a job as a Child Advocate in Kokomo, Indiana. I really liked the idea of helping abused and neglected children, but it has really taken a toll on my health. I know that I was born to achieve greater accomplishments, and the time will come when I can do this full-time.
In 2006 my nephew was born, and I haven't put the camera down since. I started Shawna Renee Photography in April 2007. I also purchased Adobe Photoshop software and Canon equipment so that I could produce professional work all out of faith that the money would be invested into this dream. I didn't get the money from my family...I made it and put it right back into my business. I try really hard to build on the equipment I have, and shoot all the time!
Why I am a photographer: I read the other day that photograph means to write with light. I love telling a story with my photographs. Mostly, I love seeing the beauty in the world because my reality as a CASA is so bleak and negative. Photography is theraputic for me, and some people don't understand this....but its almost a high when I get the right picture, at the right time...and capture the essence of love and light.
What I love to shoot: Maternity, parenthood, babies, couples in love, weddings, church events. Natural lighting.
I work best in: a studio or in a beautiful location with lots of light. Groups under four are generally the best to work with for me, but I love shooting weddings.
My Goals and Dreams: Shawna Renee Photography to be a force in the photography competition by 2009, and full-time. I would love to have home studio in the country where I could build some outside sets in my back yard. I would love to be able to travel the world taking pictures.
I WANT TO DO THIS FULL-TIME BY THE END OF 2009!
Since giving into the fact that I am planted in Kokomo, Indiana....my roots are starting to stick here. I've fought with trying to move to Muncie to be with Sean...but the reality is...the door didnt open because it wasnt my door to go through. God wants me right here....and I had to go through a really dark valley in my life to figure it out.
So no more fighting to do what I want, get out of God's way...and focus on this business right here in Kokomo, Indiana where my home church is located. I have felt very encouraged in the past few weeks by my church family...and life is starting to feel good again.
Now, I want my own studio...having Studio 421 charging me per hour to use the studio has not helped my studio business grow...I want my own. There are amazing things that can be done...things I want to practice and try...but I need the equipment!
When you hire me, know that you are making an investment in my dream of becoming an independent business woman. In the last year, I have made so many great new friends and business contacts. I've had access to a studio....and couldnt have asked for better people to photograph...locations to shoot, weddings to participate in, and ministries to be included.
The thing is I havent really made any extra money at all. I put it all into equipment, as I started this from nothing. God is good. I didnt inherit money or get it from my family...I made it with real sweat, real tears, and real sacrifice! I continue to set goals to purchase more equipment.
I cannot do free shoots anymore because it is actually costing me money in gas, time, usage of equipment and time away from my family. I work a full time job, too. At time I feel lead to do things for free...and I will do them on occasion...but just know that it is my gift to you. This summer I bought a new camera and a portable studio lighting set up from Alien Bee with the money I made from the weddings I was so blessed to be apart of in 2008. But there is more stuff that I need to continue with this.Cameras and lenses dont last forever!!! (and they are not cheap)
Just know that not only are you getting awesome pictures...you are helping me attain my dream. I want this so badly! In the next couple of months be prepared to see some of my best work...because the best is yet to come!
My goal is to be a full-time photographer by the end of 2009. I would love to be available to travel to do missionary trips (to take pictures of what God wants you to see and me to witness), to be available to take in professional people for headshot and advertizing purposes, to have the time to enjoy weddings with the bride and groom and not have to rush right back to a desk job on Monday morning. I would love to have the freedom and creative control to become the business woman/artist I know is in my heart.
So please get the word out about me. Baby, you ain't seen nothing yet!