Weekly Artist Feature

This week we have with us Shelby from Shelby Leigh Photography!! I adore Shelby’s work and enjoy seeing it in my newsfeed!! I also love how she encourages and supports her fellow photographers, I know personally that she does this for me! You will want to follow Shelby if you haven’t already, she’s fantastic! She has chosen the theme {Beautiful Bokeh} for us this week!  Can’t wait to see all your images, lets get started! Have a wonderful week everyone!



A little about Shelby

Hey y’all! I’m Shelby of Shelby Leigh Photography, and I’m an Air Force Wife and Mommy to two of the sweetest children. My husband, Jason, and I met in college (go Tarheels!) and he has been the biggest supporter of me, and my dreams, for as long as I can remember. My children, Caroline (9) and Tyler (5) keep me busy and have completely fulfilled my life. My love of photography and capturing moments for others started not quite a decade ago, but I only started getting more serious about 5 years ago, after the birth of my son and my first DSLR purchase. Since then, I’ve enjoyed capturing God’s beautiful creation with landscape photography as well as family photography. One day I hope to specialize in maternity, birth, and newborn sessions.

What does Photography mean to you?

I think I’ll use my tagline here…

“Captured in the Moment. Cherished Forever.” This really sums up what I try to do with my photography. Capturing in a single moment all of the beauty and emotion in a single moment, that will be passed on to future generations. There’s so much beauty in this world and having the ability to capture even a small amount in a single frame is such a gift.

When did you start pursuing photography?

After my DSLR purchase about 5 years ago, I started “playing”…mostly with composition lighting, and of course with my favorite little subjects to capture, my children. After that, I tried to learn a bit more about taking my camera off Auto, signed up for webinars and workshops, etc. The most help, however, came from my trip to St. Lucia where my photographer there (for my 10th Anniversary Vow Renewal) helped me really understand ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture. After that…it was on full force, and I haven’t stopped since! Amazing what a little encouragement and help, even from a total stranger can do! Thank you, Jameson!

What motivates and inspires you?

I’m truly motivated by my children and husband, and the love and support they have for me and for my passion. They support what I do 100%, they attend and help during sessions, and they push me to be the best ME that I can be…which is what I want to model for them so they can be the best that they each can be. My inspiration comes from so many things…giving back to God and sharing my talent with others would be the first things that comes to mind, and also the inspiration from friends and peers that have followed me in this journey.

Can you share with us a few of your favorite images and why are they your favorite?

_1 - Daddy & Tyler Silhouette

I’m a total sucker for a beautiful silhouette. And, incorporate my handsome husband and my darling little boy…there’s nothing sweeter! I also love the symbolism that Daddy will always be there to catch him. I actually have this one on a large mount board in my entryway I love it so much!

_2 - Caroline in Field

I wanted to be certain to include my beautiful daughter as well. She’s shy. And that also means she is camera shy, so these days (as she’s stepping into pre-teen material) capturing images of her is nearly impossible! But this image captures her quiet, peaceful demeanor, but with a brilliance all her own.

_3 - Childhood Innocence

This image is of a client’s sweet, sweet daughter. I adore her expression – total childhood innocence! And, something about how perfect the soft light and the day was when I captured this moment…it’s definitely a new favorite!

_4 Mommy Connection

One of my photographer besties (Capturing Life Photography) and her adorable daughter! I love the soft, yet plentiful and Beautiful Bokeh and the connection that Mommy and daughter are making! Connection is so important in capturing images with meaning!

_5 Beautiful Sisters and Bokeh

As I’ve chosen Beautiful Bokeh as the theme, I thought I’d add another recent favorite of these two gorgeous sisters. Their bond is undeniable, and they were such a pleasure to photograph together! And that gorgeous, soft-lit bokeh in the background really adds a beautiful touch to the background.

_6 Bokeh

This last image is one I actually just took this weekend…mostly to show that Beautiful Bokeh can be captured in so many ways!! This was during a somewhat gloomy day…and the Beautiful Bokeh in the background…it’s from what little light there is on the out of focus cotton balls in the field!

What advice would you give another photographer just starting up?

So much advice! I honestly hope to start mentoring, so I’m going to have to “cull” through my thoughts! First, don’t compare your work to others, whether you are a hobbyist or wanting to start a business. You don’t know how long others been doing this or what equipment they have…and honestly, it’s just not worth beating yourself up. Focus on you, your strengths and what you can bring to your images. Learn your craft before jumping into business. Really…learn it. And then learn “business.” Some of it, sure, you’ll need to learn as you go, but if you’re going out to make money without being well-versed in photography and business, it’ll be tough to succeed. Have a plan and learn from others who are willing to help. If you are wanting to start business, invest in yourself as you would any other venture. If you can’t invest in yourself and your education, you’re probably not ready for business.

Nikon or Canon? What lens is always attached?

Hands down…Canon! I love the images that I can produce with my Canon, and it feels so wonderful in my hands! I’ve had 3 Canons, but my 5d mark iii is hands down my favorite. Currently, the lens that I always have attached is the 50 1.4. But, that’s probably because it’s my only REALLY good glass and the images are super sharp. 🙂

I hope to get the 24-70 one day…maybe next year!

Lightroom or Photoshop? Both?

I’m a Lightroom Girl! I do most of my main processing through Lightroom, but I completely value Photoshop and what it brings to the images. I’m hoping to get to the point where I know my Photoshop as well as my Lightroom. One day! And I know a lot of photographers who knock people for not nailing every image SOOC, but I like to provide the best I can to my clients and if my knowledge and investment in editing tools helps aid in that endeavor, I’m all the better for it.

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