Tuesday, June 7, 2011

BEHIND THE LENS: Shell de Mar Photography, London, UK

Whatever you do, don't serve onions to Shella (you'l have to read the interview to find out why).  But what you should do is check out her amazing talent and delight in her images.  Officially in business for a few years now, she has been around cameras her entire life.  A destination photgrapher, she's ready to travel the distance both for her work and for her passion.  We are pleased to introduce Shella in our Behind the Lens series.  Welcome!
Your Name: Shella
Your studio/business name: Shell de Mar Photography
Location: London, UK (travel worldwide)
Twitter/Facebook: @shelldemar / Shell de Mar Photography

Your Style
In 50 words or less, how would your clients describe your photography?
Fun, creative, relaxed, and just a little bit quirky. With engagement shoots we usually laugh… a lot - being fun(ny) and silly always help people to relax and open up. With weddings I am quite ninja-like (it helps that I’m small), I try to get the shots without being obtrusive.

Are you self-taught or classroom trained?
Self taught. I’m one of those lucky people who’ve always grown up around cameras.

How many years have you been a professional photographer?
This is my second year and a very exciting year at that!

Where do you want to take your photography business in 5 years?
As long as I still have fun quirky weddings and love what I’m doing, then I’m happy!
Is there a photographer who inspires your style?  Who would that be?
I love a lot of other photographer’s work and admire many talents – but I am a huge believer in staying true to yourself and your style, otherwise all our work will start to look the same, no? :)
Favorite location to take photos?
Hmmm I really love all different sort of places
Favorite vacation spot?
Somewhere I haven’t been! I caught the travel bug years ago and love exploring new places.

Your Business

What was the pivotal moment when you decided to become a photographer?
I’ve been an amateur photographer for a lot longer but as a wedding photographer, it was after shooting my cousin’s wedding as their wedding present… I got hooked!
What’s the best marketing tip that has worked for you?
I’m not sure I’ve done very much marketing. But I’d say networking with other photographers and getting featured on blogs have done quite well for me.
What’s the most surprising thing a customer has asked you?
A wedding I did last year wanted absolutely no group shots. Although I mainly do reportage, I don’t mind doing group shots as most clients would still like some done for the parents so it was quite a surprising (but refreshing) request.

Your Gear
Are you Canon or Nikon (or – other):
If you could only have one lens on a photo shoot, what would it be?
Canon 85mm f/1.4
What brand bag do you carry your camera in?
GEM for all gear and Shootsac for lenses when shooting.
What gear would we find in your camera bag?
Canon 5D MKII
Canon 5D
Canon 35mm f/1.4
Canon 50mm f/1.4
Canon 85mm f/1.8
Canon 135mm f/2
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8
Canon 430EX
Lots of batteries and memory cards
Are you a natural light fan or strobe fan?
Natural light is definitely my favorite light, but sometimes nature (or venue) doesn’t cooperate in which case the flash comes out – I am not a fan of the dramatic flash look though, I try to keep it as “natural light looking” as possible.
Are you PC or Mac?
Both (really!)

Your Tips and Tricks
What post processing tools do you use?
Lightroom and Photoshop
Do you shoot in Raw or Jpeg?

Best advice you would give your 20-year old self?
You will become a wedding photographer in 10 years time and it’ll be the best job you’ve ever had! (ooops did I just give my age away? :-p)
Best advice you would give a new photographer?
Practice makes perfect. Also, don’t overdo the post processing – we all do it and regret it later.
What site do you use for your photography and why?
Wordpress. Because it’s easy to manage/update and showcase my images in the best possible way.
What Else Should We Know?
What was your worst photography experience?
Can’t say I’ve had any, I genuinely am loving every minute of it.
What would surprise people most about you, whether it is photography related or not?
I’m a real foodie but unfortunately I hate onions – with a passion. I am also onion intolerant which doesn’t help my hatred towards it. That shattered my dream of becoming a part time food critic ;-p The stuff  is the devil.
Tell us something else you’d like us to know
Travelling is one of my passions and I’d love to do more destination weddings! I currently do a couple a year but would love to increase that to 4-5 per year. I’m going to be home (Australia) for a couple of months early next year (2012) so hope to do some weddings while I’m there too.

And Just Because we want to know you, kindly fill in the blanks –
Three things I can’t live without….
food, my family, my husband (not in that order!)

I wish I had more…..
The best thing about being a photographer is…
the feeling of getting THE shot, and seeing so much prettiness all the time.
The most important lesson I ever learned was….
under-promise, over-deliver – and not the other way around.
My favorite time of day is…
Sunset & Twilight. I’m definitely not a morning person.
Click this forward!

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