's love of art began at a young age. Her style and personality shine through her creative and compelling photography work.
How did you get started in photography?
I found myself dedicated to arts at a young age. I discovered the camera as a creative outlet as a teenager and, per my Dad's suggestion, I began interning with a local photographer. I brought my Dad's 35mm camera to boarding art high school outside of Boston and created a portfolio, which brought me to Baltimore. While studying at the Maryland Institute College of Art I worked in the photo lab and sought out work assisting professionals in shoots for weddings and magazines. Taking pictures and being in the lab was my life.
When I graduated with a BFA in photography I was forced to leave the darkroom work because of over exposure to color photo chemicals. The doctor told me find a new job as he didn't recommend lung transplants! I found a job shooting for an architectural photographer who gave me assignments from Virginia to Boston. This job brought me to a long term assignment in New York City where I continued my photography career.
What do you love about wedding photography?
Weddings are a wonderful creative outlet canvas with lots of emotions. I don’t know of many other photography assignments that would allow for such a fusion of personal connection and creative visuals. Portraits are top on my list of reasons why I love photography. Weddings allow me to flip between taking portraits in candid moments and creating portraits in posed creative shots.
I enjoy helping people feel good about themselves in general, on a day to day basis. Shooting weddings is about gaining the trust of the people I photograph and to capture them in such a way that they can then see themselves as awesome and dynamic as they are. I love showing people how to pose and look good in their nice outfits and be the person they are that day. And then, there is dancing. I love good dancing! Getting in on the dance floor while people let loose is high up on my list as to why I love shooting weddings. Eating wedding cake and drinking champagne doesn’t make me like shooting weddings any less either!
What is the biggest challenge you face when shooting a wedding?
Running out of time! One of the hardest things is letting go of the multitude of shot ideas I have created with the bride and groom when we run out of time or our allotted time got shortened due to unforeseen circumstances. It is like walking away from an amazing sale item and not having time to stand in line and buy it! This is why I get involved in the planning of the day so that our picture time can be relaxed and not rushed!
What should clients know about your style of photography?
I am not only a photojournalistic shooter, I actually get involved and direct throughout the day. People need direction in posed portraits and I give that. I will first model what I want people to do and let them give it a try. Because of my years of visual arts college and dance training, I know how important it is to be shown what to do. Being strictly photojournalistic would mean that I don’t create images, which I do as well as blend in behind the scenes and document. Each has a time and place on the wedding day.
When you're not behind the camera, what do you like to do?
Dance! I train 2 nights a week on a Salsa Dance team in Portland Maine! I also love to read to my daughter at night. That is one of my favorite times of the day. We are currently in the middle of the Harry Potter series.
How can the couple help YOU on their wedding ?
Good communication and trust. Like the foundation of all good relationships, take the time to let me get to know you. Share with me your style, portrait wishes, what you don't want, are concerned about, and family dynamics. Then comes trust in my experience in wedding dynamics and years of visual training. When I have the couple’s full trust on the wedding day and I see them relaxed around picture taking, I do my best work and then we are all happy!
How do YOU help the couple on their wedding day?
I can help plan out the day and the where and whens of picture taking. Having years of experience shooting weddings, I have seen many things that got overlooked, and I like to help avoid that when possible. Being a part of the wedding day planning not only will help the couple for the day of but will aid in better pictures which carries on past the wedding day.
The experience of the wedding day extends long after the tables are cleared and the guests go home. The wedding day lives each time a memory is recalled, like every time some one looks at their pictures on the internet, their iPhones, or wedding album. I want couples to remember how good they felt not that they were starving, stressed, rushed, and thirsty because there was poor planning in when and how pictures were taken.
How has your photography style changed over the years?
As I grow as a person and my values deepen, I notice my pictures change as to what is important to shoot. I am far more sensitive to personal dynamics and relationships between people then I was the first few years I began shooting weddings.
What sorts of things inspire you when you pick up your camera?
Light and composition are always a go to for inspiration. Capturing personality will make me run and go grab camera. When I see someone really having a “moment”, I think, I have to capture this! Sometimes I find myself involved in an event that I want to share with the world, be it events at my church, salsa workshops, or day to day observations.
Where will your business be in the next 5 years?
In 5 years I see my business expanding to more commercial assignments during the slower wedding season of the year. I would like to have a dedicated full time assistant and second shooter who embrace my work and photo philosophy.
See more of Sharyn's work here:
Rangeley Fashion Photo Shoot
In Love: Allie & Mitch