I am a self-taught lifestyle and documentary photographer living in New South Wales, Australia, with my partner and our two young children. I am inspired by both the magic and mundanity of every day life.
With the exception of a few short courses, I am predominantly self-taught. However, my artistic tuition began early on under the guidance of my mother, an artist and art teacher, who taught me the importance of composition and to notice the beauty in the details. On our long car trips she would regularly force my father to stop the car and get us out (often against our will) to observe an interesting tree or a beautifully textured cloud – the kind of details that would pass the ordinary eye by without a second thought.
As a result, I have dabbled in art in many different forms over the years, but it wasn’t until six years ago, when my son was born, that I really found my ‘niche’. I bought my first SLR camera when I felt disappointed that I couldn’t seem to capture his raw beauty and free spirit adequately and began dedicating every spare waking moment to this pursuit.
In 2015 I launched a blog, called My Captured Life, and a personal project to shoot and blog my family life every single day for the year. Over the course of that year my work grew immensely, and an obsession was born.
Through my photography I have become fascinated with the significance of childhood and the role childhood plays as the most important source of reference across an individual’s lifetime. Shooting using a mostly documentary approach, my aim is to create images that are both contemporary yet serve as a source of reflection and nostalgia.
I use layering, movement, colour and contrast to give what could be a ‘classic’ childhood snapshot a modern and hyper-real twist and create a greater sense of depth to the work. The iconic Australian suburban existence and the Australian geographic landscape feature prominently in my work, to either compliment or contrast with the narrative and enhance the emotional impact of the image.
I currently take on a limited number of local clients for family sessions and mentor other photographers to help them develop their artistry. I am also an Educator with Beyond the Wanderlust, where I teach my online workshop ‘Art & Soul: Adding Depth and Emotion to Storytelling Images’.
I shoot mostly with a Canon EOS 6D body. I have two bodies and usually have my Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4 on my main body, and my Sigma Art 24mm f/1.4 on the other. Both lenses are incredibly sharp. Because I am often shooting in my home or my clients’ homes, I prefer to shoot with a slightly wide angle lens to allow me to fit more in the frame in tight indoor spaces. I also feel the slightly wide angle often allows me better develop the narrative in my images.
When I’m shooting clients outdoors or photographing an event I will more than likely use my Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 lens as it allows me greater versatility and range. On occasion I also love to shoot using a creative technique called ‘free-lensing’ (shooting with the lens detached from the camera) so I keep my ‘nifty fifty’ Canon 50mm f/1.8 in my bag for that purpose, as it is really lightweight and easy to maneuver.
I keep it all in my handy Manfrotto backpack when I go out and about shooting.
Manfrotto Essential Camera and Laptop Bag
Canon EOS 6D x 2
Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4
Sigma Art 24mm f/1.4
Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8
Canon 50mm f/1.8
LensPen Lens cleaner
Sandisk Extreme Pro memory cards – 64GB and 32GB
Canon RC-6 wireless remote controller
Apple Macbook Pro 15 inch
Inside Shelley’s camera bag:
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