As you may have gathered, my name is Shawna.
My story isn't all that special, but everyone likes to know not only WHAT they're investing in, but WHO they're investing in, right? So, here we go!
I'm a stay-at-home mom of 2, foster mom of many, photographer, logo designer, hand-lettering artist as well as a licensed cosmetologist. Apparently, I'm a bit indecisive about what I like to do! I enjoy ALL of these "jobs", as well as hobbies that include mowing the lawn, building tables, shelves, headboards and bed frames...really anything that I don't want to buy! ;)
People who have only seen me ONLINE are surprised to find out that I'm an introvert. When I feel weird, I act weird. This seems to work in my favor when it comes to photography, because no one wants to feel like the weirdo when they're getting their photos taken, right?? I easily can take that burden off of them by breaking that weirdo ice, so we can have a really casual, stress free shoot! Don't take this as an excuse to not take my photography seriously...I take it VERY seriously and am dedicated to delivering photos you'll love. Without further adieu:
Logo Design---I never thought that design would be a part of my profession. I took about 4 art classes my senior year in order to coast through my last year in high school, and while I loved art, I never considered myself artistic. I went through several phases of profession: Cell Phone Sales Specialist for Sprint and US Cellular (different times ;) ), working in a salon, being a health and fitness coach, creating courses for hand-lettering a photography and more. Initially, I had picked up hand-lettering to "turn my brain off". I just needed something to keep my hands busy and keep my mind OFF, so I began to watercolor Bible verses or songs that were in my head. In a whirlwind, somehow, I ended up creating logos after a business friend asked me to letter her name for the bottoms of emails she was sending out. That was the beginning of graphic design for me. I began to letter, digitize and teach myself how to do graphic design. I am SO THANKFUL that ONE friend asked me to create something for her, because the rest is history! I have really enjoyed getting to know so many people I wouldn't have known otherwise.
Foster Care Resources---Growing up, I always knew that I wanted to adopt in some sort of way. I wanted to have my biological children, then adopt a couple kids, and then maybe one more biological child. However, God had VERY different plans than I did. Foster care was in the back of my mind, always. I knew that the goal of foster care isn’t adoption, but reunification, and that scared me a bit…ok, a lot. I had all the typical fears and hesitations that anyone has when they think of foster care, and honestly, some of those fears are true, but what is often left out are the blessings. It became my mission to educate those around me about foster care, the system, the good, bad and ugly, with the end goal to create change for the sake of the children who did not choose their situation.
Once we became foster parents, we realized super quickly that we had no idea what we were doing, and that organizing and keeping a log of everything necessary was almost impossible. I mean, it’s possible, but only with a binder, planner, and other tools. Out of this need, I created the Foster Care Tool Kit. I wanted to create a planner for fellow foster families, however, I realized quickly that a planner is easy to go out and buy, but an entire book full of necessary pages that we need just simply didn’t exist, and if it did, I wasn’t finding it.
I am so glad to finally have such a helpful, physical product to help other foster families have some sort of order in all the chaos that is “foster care”.
Photography---My photography journey started off like many photographers--I took entirely too many photos in middle school and high school with whatever I could get my hands on. I bought a "super nice" camera (at least it seemed like it at the time) when I was in High School. It was the magnificent Sony Cybershot, and I bought that puppy for $200. JACKPOT!
Again, this enabled me to take a billion unprofessional photos. Like, SO. MANY. unneeded photos. Thankfully, my sister came to me and asked to take her daughter's photos, because in that moment, I realized it was something I genuinely wanted to become an expert in.
I went through all sorts of phases in my photography which included (but are not limited to) these things:
*Shooting with my very first DSLR that was given to me by an amazing woman named Stacy. I am fairly certain that it is the first Canon Rebel ever made. It did the job while I refined my skills! Then, I switched to a Nikon D70. Great camera, but Nikons just aren't for me. (Yes, this is truly like rivalry sports teams...) After that, I invested in a Canon 7D. That camera body treated me SO WELL, but I recently invested in a full frame, Canon 5d Mark iii! I couldn't be happier with what I have for a camera body than I am now! I'm so thankful for this amazing piece of equipment!
*Heavy edits to simplistic, real, fresh edits. I sure wish I had skipped the heavy edit phase with the overpowering vignette, but alas, I did not. Let's not revisit those photos, ok? ;)
*Posey-posey photos to toning that baby down. I used to think if people weren't posed JUST RIGHT, my photo would be useless. But now, as I have developed into a Lifestyle Photographer I can pose my clients, as well as catch the candid, special and intimate moments.
*Wanting to quit. Now, I will be candid with you. There was a moment that I wanted to quit. I was working so much on photo shoots and editing those shoots, and I was giving so many shoots to people and trying to bless them with low cost photos that I wore myself down and almost quit. I am SO glad that I stuck with it, because I absolutely LOVE taking photos. Yes, I had to set a realistic pricelist and stick to it, but it has allowed me to keep improving my skill and serve my clients and my family better!
I hope that when we connect, you see that I genuinely want to take amazing photos for you and your family. My goal is for you to feel relaxed, and like this whole process isn't a huge deal, because it sure can seem like one.
If you think we'd work well together, click on the contact button at the top of the page and let's connect!