Photographer Spotlight: Shannon Leigh Studios

Hi everybody! Hope you had a chance to enter in one of our 6th anniversary giveaways last week.
Today I would like to introduce, Shannon Leigh from Shannon Leigh studios. She’s got some great things to say- so scroll on down to see if for yourself!
1)      Who are you and where are you located?
I am Shannon Leigh Studios located in Lawrenceville, GA
2)      Do you have a home studio, rented space, or are you on location?
I have a studio space that I rent & love it! I have four prop rooms busting at the seams!
3)      What subjects are your primary focus and which do you enjoy shooting the most?
I specialize in newborn through first year. LOVE photographing newborns & six month olds. Once they start walking, Im out!
4)      There are so many different kinds of camera’s out there! What do you use and how did you decide on that particular one?
I have been shooting Sony cameras for almost 7 years now. My Sony a99 is my baby. Its a beast!
5)      While we’re talking about equipment, what lens do you prefer to use and why?
I love different lenses for different reasons. My lenses are all Carl Zeiss. I love my 85 1.4 for outdoors. My 24-70 2.4 for my prop shots and 6-12 month olds in studio. And my 50 1.4 for my beanbag shots with newborns.
6)      We hear a lot of debate on natural light vs. studio light, what are your thoughts on the subject?
I have done it all! I started out a natural light photographer & then moved to continuous lighting. I have just recently switched to strobes. The Einstein is awesome! Love the lighting I get with it and its great for my moving babies. No blur with fast moving hands.
7)      How did you learn to be a photographer?
I took classes at the local community college here on how to use my “big” camera in manual mode. Lots of practice and YouTube. Ive mentored with my favorite photogs around the US to learn newborn stuff.
8)      What or who inspires you? Do you have a photographer you look up to?
  Oh my! So many. I love, love, love Luisa Dunn Photography for newborns, Glow Portraits for maternity and Sandra Bianco for children.
9)      When you’re doing a photoshoot or working an event, what is your favorite part?
Oh, the best part is coming up with the set ups. I am a very creative person & I start to feel like Im suffocating if Im doing the same thing over & over. Love being creative and then seeing the reaction I get from my clients when they see the finished product.
10)   What have you struggled with the most while having a career as a professional photographer?
Any tips for somebody who is just starting out? I am not going to sugar coat it. One of the hardest things Ive dealt with is mean girls. In the newborn photography profession its mainly women and boy can we be mean to each other. I will never understand it. I try to ignore the drama & just concentrate on my business.
11)   Do you have any unconventional tips or tricks for getting your little clients to cooperate during a shoot?
I don’t know if it’s unconventional but with my older babies I always have mommy and baby sit down with me for a few minutes before we start. Sitting eye level with a couple of toys and just talk. This way I get smiles from them before we even start and they feel comfortable. Taking a few extra minutes makes the rest of my session go smoothly.
12)   Where would you like to see your company in the next five years?

I’ve started mentoring and workshops and love it. I was a teacher for 13 years so teaching is something Ive always planned on doing. I want to teach other photographers newborn posing, safety, and business. Eventually Id like to teach about older babies too.

••• Shannon Leigh •••
Shannon Leigh Studios
Newborn & Child Portraiture
Thanks Shannon!

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