Today we’d like to introduce you to Shelby Fitzpatrick.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
My artistic journey started in a high school dark room. Around the age of 15, I developed an unbreakable love for photography and began to pursue this by developing my own film in photography class. I eventually moved into the digital realm and got my first ‘big girl camera’ at 16. My teenage years were especially difficult and photography became an outlet for me. Even today, at 24 years old, I still talk to both of my high school photography instructors. I continued to pursue photography every now and then through college, until my son was born in 2014. When he was born, I needed something that made me feel fulfilled outside of being a mom. I also developed a whole new set of feelings for documenting life because watching my son grow made me want to capture every little thing. I began photographing families and couples, and in 2017 I began taking on weddings.
Towards the end of 2017, I had a very disappointing fallout with my long-time mentor in this industry and it completely changed the way I view myself as an artist. I have used the last two years to truly find myself as a photographer and have connected with so many individuals in this industry who have impacted my life beyond words. Breaking away from my mentor, I’ve been able to see more of what I am capable of as an artist and meet new, encouraging people in the photography industry who have become some of my closest friends. Photography started out as an outlet for me, and it continues to serve that purpose. I love getting to spend my days documenting life as it happens and capturing the love between humans.
Please tell us about your art.
I typically photograph family and couples, but I try to capture the uniqueness of the bonds between everyone who steps in front of my lens. Love doesn’t look the same to everyone. I aim to capture the little moments and connections between people during a session that truly represents who they are and their journey. Motherhood has been one of the biggest challenges I have lived through, so capturing moms with their babies and finding those moments that I know will have a big impact is what I live for. When photographing couples, my biggest goal is to capture who they are and their unique bond. I think that raw and authentic are big buzz words in this industry right now, but for lack of better words, I aim to be as genuine and vulnerable with my clients as possible so that they will be just as open with me. Recently, I have worked on a few editorial projects that have a different message. When I need to create art work for myself to get my creativity flowing, I shoot individual models and utilize posing, fashion, and post-processing to create the message I am trying to display. The message of these particular sessions is usually about struggle and overcoming obstacles, as I have spent the last two years doing. I hope that people look at my photographs and remember that life is short and that love is one of the most powerful things we possess. At the end of the day, we all have our junk we have to deal with that weighs us down and makes it harder to be a human, but I hope that people who see my photos can take a short break from those hard things and see that love is beautiful and it is all around us. It’s what keeps us going and drives us to do better. I hope that people who see my work also know that in order to love and be loved by others, we have to look from within and learn to love ourselves. That has been the biggest part of this journey for me is accepting myself and learning to show the world who I am as a person and artist through my work.
Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
Above all else, trust in yourself and your ability. I went through a long period of time where I sought validation from others instead of believing in myself. Once I was able to drop that curtain and accept being vulnerable with myself, my industry, and my supporters – I became the artist I was capable of becoming. Also, you will never stop growing. There is always more to learn. If you ever reach the point that you think you are the best you can ever be and there is nowhere left to go, it’s time to find a new adventure. The biggest lesson I wish I had learned earlier is that while being a part of a community is important as an artist, don’t get wrapped up in people and groups that use this false sense of community as a brand. There are incredible artists out there who will move mountains for you if you show up for them. I’ve been really lucky to meet many of them and foster relationships with them once I was able to let go of the people that were holding me back.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
You can find my work on social media or my website. My website is shelbyfitzphotography.com. On Facebook and Instagram, I’m @shelbyfitzphotography. People can support my work by hopping on social media and interacting on content they like! Social media has made it really hard for artists to get their work seen (because let’s face it – the darn algorithm is not our friend), so support your local artists and creators by commenting and liking posts that you see and love!
- Website: www.shelbyfitzphotography.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/shelbyfitzphotography
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/ShelbyFitzPhotography
Brandy Britton Photography for personal image.