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Life & Work with Shauntreis Sproles of Mesa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shauntreis Sproles.

Hi Shauntreis, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I have been in the photography business since 2016.  My goal has been to share, inspire, and connect people/places/our world to a greater purpose.

I’m huge advocate of social responsibilty and consider my business, Shaun Finette Photography, to be fluid and moreso a movement.  I like working on projects.

I take more of a photojournalism approach to my art, capturing the the natural world around me; maintaining the integrity and raw emotion of persons or things that I photograph.  I have worked with a number of genres from sports to fashion to professional headshots and done community outreach as well.  It’s all definitely still a learning process and I’m still finding my way and eager to grow.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I founded my company in Iowa where I held a studio until 2018 when I moved to Gilbert, AZ.  Due to unforseen circumstances, I had to move again the very next year and am now based out of Arizona’s beautiful Mesa area.  Despite these major life events happening back to back, I worked diligently to network so that I could keep the business going and make connections in Arizona.  I was just gaining my footing when Covid hit hard in 2020 and disrupted my business immensely.  My ability to go out and safely acquire customers, do photo shoots, and connect with other entrepreneurs, photographers, and creatives was drastically minimized.

Then in 2021, after doing a collaborative shoot with a local photographer, I found out that my main camera malfunctioned and would be very expensive to repair.  This has been a devastating blow as a photographer
having my main tool unavailable for full usage, especially being on “entrepreneur wages “(meaning income flucuates).

Like many photographers I have always maintained other work on the side, but to better supplement income I decided to return to Corporate America full time.

Yet, tragically after just a month of taking on new employment and working extremely hard as a Program Director for a local company, I was let go and told “they did not have the money to pay me.”  So yes, the obstacles have been large and numerous that I have had to overcome.

One of the reasons I became an entrepreneur was because of the difficulties that I was met with as a African American woman in Corporate America from 2007-2016, so getting that job was a big deal for me, but that’s another story for a different time.
My message through all this still is for people to never give up.  If you have a dream, go for it against all odds.
It’s okay to build slow and steady, but whatever you do, don’t stop.  I have grown so much through all of this and believe I am well equipped to interact
with people from all walks of life.  This helps as I further my mission to tackle social issues and connect people to a higher appreciation of life.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I have worked in a number of different industries from the Fortune 500 companies in the financial world working with investments to helping disabled individuals on their jobs, in their homes, and in the community, and have done my fair share of advocating for human rights on various topics. I’ve done alot in my years, both personally and professionally.

Through it all, I have always been an artist, whether that’s writing, painting, or doing photography. My goal has always been the same, to grow personally and to inspire others positively and to help within my means.

Photography has been instrumental in helping me push the limits despite my battle with anxiety. That’s because my desire to help others is stronger than my fears.

I don’t know where this journey will take me, but I hope to share wisdom, a genuine smile, my talents, and inspire others to become the best version of themselves because we are all connected and our impact on one another and our environment is great.

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
Covid-19 definitely taught me to treasure my time alone and to rest.  I have poured so much out to others over the years helping any way I can within my means, and it was finally time to get serious about my own self care. I learned that I’m an empath so this is very important. In doing so, I can ensure I’ll be around to keep giving the love and attention to my purpose and am best positioned to serve others. Also, I think resting is minimized in our culture so it’s important we realize the necessity of balance and maintaining our health before we become ill. Healthy living is a daily battle. We either deal with it today or we’ll be forced to deal with it tomorrow so to speak. I want to be on the proactive end of sharing that message.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Models: Mekonnen Anebo Lindsay Stevens Mickey Loomis Shroyer Leticia Alatriz Keriann Nicole Tyler Malveaux

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