Hey, friend! I'm so glad you are visiting my website! I would like to tell you a little bit about myself so that we can get to know each other better.
My photography journey began somewhere around the age of 5. In 1997 all my family had were those disposable KODAK cameras, but I loved them and I loved being photographed with them. I would dress up in my best outfit, march outside to the backyard with my little bare feet and make my Mom take pictures of me until all the slides were full. And when the film was full I would insist she keep clicking so I could pretend we were still taking photos. (Don't worry, I won't do that during your photo session!) It was there in the small country town of Americus, Georgia where it all began.
In middle school I still didn't have an advanced DSLR camera, but my best friend and I were able to stage "fashion shoots" with a baseline digital camera. We would spend hours in the woods behind her house trying to imitate the more skilled photographers we saw on Myspace. (For those of you who don't know what that is, it was basically a more customizable version of Facebook.)
In high school my interest in photography continued to grow when I joined the yearbook staff in 2007. Christmas of 2008 I got my first DSLR camera (Canon Rebel XSI) as a gift from my Mom, Dad, Uncle and Grandmother ( we didn't have a lot of money so they combined their funds to get me this camera. It was an extremely special gift!) Soon after I started my own "business" at age 16 as a junior in high school. (By business I mean taking free pictures of my friends and charging $40 for a photo session.) I called this said business "Through The Lens Photography". Original, I know.
After graduation in 2010 I moved to Kennesaw Georgia to attend college at Kennesaw State University. While attending KSU a friend introduced me to an established photographer named Jaimie Dee. I was instantly impressed with her knowledge of the business aspect of photography and her technical skill. I was lucky enough to be able to study under her for a year by second shooting several weddings with her. She took me to my first photography seminar about running a photography business; it was that day that I realized I don't want to do anything else with my life other than take photographs. We had a ton of fun and I learned so much! I'm thankful for her friendship.
Shortly after moving to college I upgraded my equipment to a Nikon D5100 and I also joined a sorority. The combination of these two things really helped my skill level advance and my network grow. The sorority provided me with so many opportunities to take pictures, and around college graduation time my sisters would hire me for graduation sessions. My big sister in the sorority nicknamed me Shutterbug, and shortly after the coining of that nickname I decided to rebrand my photography business. The name seemed fun and flirty, just like me. And so the modern day Shutterbug Studios was born.
During the summer of 2016 I was chosen to be 1 of 12 interns for Grace Midtown Church in Atlanta. I was able to apply my natural gift of photography to give back to the church community and expand my spiritual growth at the same time. It was quite amazing!
August of 2016 I upgraded my equipment to my first full frame DSLR camera, the Nikon D800. I read about photography daily and I continue to network with photographers who are at or above my skill level. I feel like it's important to do so in order to continue growing as a visual artist and business owner. I also like to organize creative collaborations with other photographers and models for the purpose of growing portfolios, and because they're just really fun.
Fast forward to TODAY! At 25 years old I am living my dream by making works of fine art every single day. My journey towards a B.A. in studio art at the Ernest G. Welch School Of Art And Design at Georgia State University is one that I cherish greatly. I transferred here from KSU due to this amazing art program! My teachers and classmates inspire and challenge me daily; it is such an amazing environment to thrive in as a creative. I actually love it so much I am in no rush to graduate! (Don't you just love soaking in amazing experiences? It's like digging your toes in the sand at the beach.)
Nannying is currently my other main source of income aside from photography. I love kids and have been blessed to be able to babysit and nanny for 16 different families in the Atlanta area since moving here in 2010. My experience in childcare heavily carries over to my duty as a photographer. Children's sessions can sometimes be stressful and unruly, but that doesn't throw me off one bit. If you book me for a session where children are included you can rest assured you will be working with someone patient, understanding, experienced, and helpful. Sometimes I even help Mama's get the little ones changed into their next outfit.
When I'm not at school, or working, or babysitting, or Shutterbugging (Yes, it can be a verb!) you can usually find me cuddled up on my big comfy couch with my two cats and my husband watching episodes of Planet Earth or documentaries on Netflix. I also really enjoy hiking various trails around Atlanta and north Georgia, exploring downtown Atlanta, and weekend long classes jam packed with yoga for my 200 hour yoga instructor training.
In addition to commercial photography, I am also a fine art photographer. My most recent fine art project is a documentary series exploring the complexities of southern lifestyle and stereotypes. It started out as a two week long project but I enjoyed it so much I plan to continue working on it for one calendar year.
As a south Georgia native I really enjoy "getting back to nature" for my photography sessions but also find equal enjoyment in the fast paced nature that city life in Atlanta has to offer. My work is a mixture of rural scenes and urban cityscapes. My editing style combines the convenience of digital photography with the aesthetic of film photography. In my images you will find tones similar to that of film, added grain, and intentionally offset exposures. During my sessions I coach clients throughout the entire process in order to get the most natural poses and compositions. I fall in love with candid, natural encounters between people and nature, like a silly joke prompting a giggle or the wind blowing through your hair that creates stunning movement. All these components are crucial elements to the "feel" of my work and overall product.
My career as a photographer allows me to create art daily. Not only is this fulfilling to me as an artist, it is also special in the regard that I get to be a small part of your story. Whether its an engagement, a wedding, a family photo session, a birth announcement, or event photography, choosing Shutterbug Studios means more than choosing a creative and knowledgable photographer, it means you will be making a new lifelong friend.
My mission statement is simple, but so meaningful to me. 1 Peter 4:10 states, As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace. It is my mission to love as many people as I can, and to give them the gift of a images that will last a lifetime. I fully believe it's what I was created to do.
Book a session with me today to find out how I can tell your story through a series of fine art photographs.