Shelley Reis Unraveled: An Interview.

We would like to introduce you all the the incredible Shelley Reis. She's an Australian lifestyle and documentary photographer from a beautiful beach-side city called Wollongong (pronounced Wool-en-gong), which is about an hour south of Sydney, Australia. Her biggest photography passion is pure documentary images, though she also dabbles in lifestyle photography for her clients. If you are not already, please consider following her blog, My Captured Life, where she spends most of her time creating art to tell her family's story and shares client work full of honest connections.

We asked her to teach here at UnRaveled about the Art of Panning in Photography which she does so insanely well. And we are so stoked that she said YES! To sign up for the school and learn from Shelley, please go here.

And just because you can never be TOO inspired, here is Shelley unraveled...


What inspires your art? Life is what inspires my art. I have an incredible, unstoppable drive to identify and capture those tiny moments - the little things that you often might not notice that make your story unique and life worth living. I'm a compulsive hoarder of memories and I get a real kick out of taking something that is transient and fleeting and transforming it into something tangible and timeless. I love that I can use the editing process to enhance the story and inject my feelings into it. To me a photo is both a telling of a story and a reflection of my feelings about it.

What do you shoot with? Camera body and favorite lens? I shoot with a Canon 6D (two actually). My favourite lens is my Sigma Art 35mm f1.4.

What other ways do you express your creativity? I absolutely love to write, which is why I enjoy blogging and teaching so much. I am also from a family of artists, and grew up surrounded by art, so I really love painting and drawing - even though my skills in that area are limited! 

How do you de-stress at the end of the day? I edit some photographs while I drink a glass of wine. Editing for me is a therapeutic experience. 

What kind of music do you listen to while editing? I mostly listen to podcasts at the moment.

What is your favorite book? George Orwell's 1984

Name one movie that inspires you. My favourite movie of all time is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I love the depth of ideas and the way they use creative and abstract imagery to tell the story.

How do you handle self-doubt or creative slumps? I sulk and beat myself up. Haha, no seriously. If I'm not feeling inspired I just don't tend to shoot as much. I just try and ride the wave and explore other pursuits knowing that my creativity and motivation will eventually come back. If I'm really frustrated I will take myself off to somewhere beautiful - for me that's usually the beach at sunset - where I know beauty is everywhere and taking a good photograph is like shooting fish in a barrel, as the saying goes. That often snaps me out of it.

What has been the most difficult part of your creative journey? Finding the time to properly explore my creativity. I only picked up photography after my son was born 6 years ago, so it's never felt like a leisurely passion as I juggled it around my children's needs. Also, being too self critical and managing perfectionism. Learning that conditions are rarely 'perfect' and embracing imperfection has been probably the greatest lesson photography has given me. 

Who is one of your favorite photographers? Becs Viveash

Sarah Driscoll