“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” – Anatole France
Hi, my name is Shelley, and I’m addicted to four-legged creatures, a good cup of coffee, amazing shoes, the ultimate writing pen, laughing (usually loud), dark chocolate sea salt caramels and clicking my camera at furry faces. I can add a few more things to this list, but I’m most passionate about pets and photographing them.
I imagine you also feel your pets are a members of your family. I admit, my pets are like my children, and life without them would be unimaginable. Our current pack consists of our two dogs, Banjo and Marley; our cat, Piper; and Georgia, my horse I lease in Clifton, VA. My fur kids are constant sources of my artistic vision, compelling me to define their spirit through my lens. I will always have them in my heart, but custom works of art forever capturing their spirit are priceless to me. The joy of that “perfect shot” inspires me to share my talent and provide the same for my clients.
I grew up on a small pocket farm with a menagerie of animals in the Mt. Vernon area of Alexandria, Virginia. I spent my youth training and caring for our horses and other pets, cleaning stalls and playing in creeks and hay bales. James Herriot, the veterinarian who authored “All Creatures Great and Small,” was my hero. During high school and college I worked as a vet tech, dog trainer and pet sitter. While in college I took a left turn and decided to pursue a career in government relations. Thankfully, this career has allowed me to work with some clients on important animal-related issues. So it isn’t surprising that I found yet another fulfilling way to work with animals and marry it with my passion for photography.
IN THE BEGINNING
My first memory of photography was receiving a little plastic film camera for a fifth grade science project. Of course, I photographed what I loved most. I remember crawling in the grass to get a profile shot of my black cat, Kitty; composing a shot of my dog, Sassy, sitting on a wooden cable spool in the backyard; shaking grain in a can to make my pony’s ears prick up while she was at the water trough; and following our horse, Comanche, around the field to get a shot of him and his coat of spots. Thinking back on the pets from my past reminds me how profoundly they touched my heart and taught me compassion, responsibility, and unique life-lessons growing up. I still have the photos of those magic moments, and they allow the memories and feelings to flood back every time I look at them.
FINDING MY CALLING
Though I love all types of photography, I know I have found my calling to perfect my craft by specializing in pet photography. It makes me positively giddy to work with the wet noses I photograph and share my talent with the like-minded folks who love them. I hope we can work together to capture the unique paw print your pet leaves on your heart.