Hi! I tell everyone that I have the best job in the world. It's true. I get to witness true love with a front row seat on the wedding day. I get to travel all over documenting this love. It is the happiest day of my clients' lives, and they are surrounded by friends and family. The best part though, is that I often become life long friends with my clients.
I've been photographing weddings for about 8 years now, starting out in Upstate New York, and then moving across country to San Diego, and now residing in Colorado with my husband, Ryan. Every event is different. I've been loving how creative couples are on their big day! I also understand that the wedding planning process can be daunting, and I AM HERE TO HELP YOU! I've seen it all, and love giving advice on wedding day timelines, photo ops, and the general flow of the months leading up to your wedding. I don't care what your flavor is, I want to get to know you as a couple. Your wedding is uniquely you!
I also love meeting and bonding with my couples before the big day. (Another reason why I love engagement sessions too!). Let's grab a drink or a cup of coffee! Bonus points if you bring your pup. And you can watch stories of me and Gonzo on Instagram. I think most people follow me just for him...
My photography style is constantly evolving and growing as I do in my own life. I once came across this Ansel Adams quote, and thought that it perfectly describes my perspective on how a photographer's style is "created":
"You do not make a photograph with just a camera. You bring to the act of photography all of the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved."
Every experience, client, and location has made me into the artist I am today. Ultimately, when I am on a job, my goal is to make one cohesive shoot, instead of a few great images. How does the story of the whole day tie together? What images will look great placed together as a diptych? In what order will I place these images in an album to tell the best story? How will this moment look framed and hanged on a wall in your living room? And probably most importantly, how will your great great grandchildren react to these images of their relatives on their wedding day?
When I'm not behind the camera, you can find me traveling, road tripping with my husband (Ryan), hiking mountains, backpacking in the woods, wine tasting, or crushing hard on every puppy that walks by.
I often get asked how I got into wedding photography. Back in college, I was studying art. I love photography but had never taken a formal class on it. While my school had a great art program, I found the photography department to be lacking. Unenthused with the two classes my school offered, I heard about a wedding photographer in town that was offering an internship through my school for credit. I applied, and got the internship!During my semester with her, I learned more in a few months working in her studio than I did with the two courses I took with my professors. I fell in love with wedding photography and everything that it included. I loved her clients, I loved editing, I loved designing albums, I loved her studio, and I knew I wanted to pursue it more.
But I also wanted to move to California (from New York). I knew no one there. I didn't even own a 'professional' camera yet. I guess I liked a challenge.
Once I settled into San Diego, fate would fall into my lap. A girl that lived in my apartment complex said she knew of a local wedding photographer that needed help with her editing load. I was hired immediately. Over time, I was promoted to help with other office work, and even associate shooting. Eventually I found work with another wedding photographer team in the area, and became their office manager. Slowly over a few years I was running other people's businesses, and realized I could be doing this all on my own. I eventually launched my own business, and have never looked back!
I've now been photographing weddings for about 8 years, shooting well over 200 weddings. I've photographed weddings in 10 different states, and three different countries. Moving my business to Colorado has been my next exciting adventure, but I love my job!
where i got my start....
my favorite things....
+ Ryan and Gonzo
+ summer and fall
+ my family
+ trying everything once
+ hiking and backpacking
+ warm colors
+ alone time
+ survival memoirs
+ That 70's Show
+ road trips
+ ice cream
this is Gonzo!
I would love to take a pause on your scrolling to let all my couples know that I photograph people.....all people, and all their love. No matter what your love represents, or what your flavor is, I do not discriminate on who I choose as my clients. Love comes in all shapes, sizes, races, genders, ages, sexuality....you name it. It is all special and equally precious. I want my couples to feel comfortable with me knowing that I am here for you and I see you, and I think your love is beautiful.
Napa Valley, CA
Finger Lakes, NY
New Haven, CT
Playa Del Carmen, MX
Grand Cayman Island, Caribbean
And many more places!
I'm so fortunate to have traveled to so many different places for weddings. I'm always down for an epic road trip or visiting a new city or country! Here are some of the locations I have photographed weddings over the last few years!
I've also traveled a LOT on personal trips.
You know, 'non-work related"....
Check out the Travel section of the blog to see
where in the world I've taken my camera!
+ TRAVEL BLOG
Just a side note that I am SO thankful for my couples! I feel like I become life long friends with them and get so excited to deliver their photo galleries to everyone. The icing on the cake is hearing all the nice things they have to say about their experience working with me! Because of my couples' reviews, I've won The Knot's "Best of Weddings" 6 years in a row as well as The Knot's Hall of Fame for vendors!
"Wow! Shelly is incredibly talented, professional and fun. We could not have been happier with the way our wedding photos turned out. The pictures perfectly reflected our love story, thanks to Shelly scouting epic locations and encouraging us to feel free and at ease. She gave clear, detailed direction to help create the perfect images, yet made us feel natural and comfortable all the while. We cannot recommend Shelly enough!"
Dana + Shawnee