Unraveled Expert Artist Interview | Shannon Douglas, UEA

Shannon Douglas is an authenticity seeker, memory chaser, and lover of low light. Her work is moody yet joyful and she captures her life as a mother so chaotically and honestly. We love that we can feel all the feels of motherhood and childhood when looking through her portfolio. On her Instagram Shannon shares “a collection of moments and details” she “never wants to forget,” and we think she does so beautifully. Shannon recently applied for UEA and we are happy to say she was accepted into the program and we look forward to her presence being both strong and steady here in the future. She is one to watch!

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Here is Shannon, Unraveled…

What inspired your art? 

I have always had this need, this urge really, to create something that felt magical for as long as I can remember. My day to day life is pretty repetitive but every day my kids are come up with new games and invent amazing narratives. Their creativity helps me see the magic around us that I would normally over look. I love being out in nature and just watching how the light dances on the leaves, the sun reflects off the water, or how the mountains change so dramatically with the setting sun. Children really do see magic every where and I'm grateful to get to see glimpses of it through their eyes.

What do you shoot with? Camera body and favorite lens? 

My Canon 35mm f/1.4L II is on my 5Dmkiii a majority of the time. If we head out hiking or to the beach I may switch to my Sigma 24mm 1.4. I'm a minimalist by nature so I don't have a ton of extra gear. However, I do have a vintage lens I break out when I'm in a rut.

What other ways do you express your creativity? 

Photography really is my main creative outlet. I used to draw and watercolor but the constant interruptions from little ones made it hard to become fully engulfed in the creativity. With photography, I can be present with them while also liberating my creative voice.

How do you de-stress at the end of the day? 

I started a 365 day project last year when my husband deployed to the middle east. For me, nights get lonely so after the kids were all tucked in I would edit my daily picture. It has become my favorite way to wind down and relax even when he is home. It helps me remember to take time for personal growth (even if it is editing pictures of the kids) and lets me be creative daily.

What kind of music do you listen to while editing? 

Is it weird that I don't listen to music while editing? To be completely honest, I turn on The Office or Fraiser on Netflix and have it playing quietly in the background! It's just enough noise that I don't get absorbed into the show but also keeps me awake. I do also listen the the UA podcast every time there is a new episode!

What is your favorite book? 

My all time favorite book is "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert. I'm also a bit of a Space nerd and love a good non-fiction like Neil Degrass Tyson's "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry".

Name one movie that inspires you. 

Not a movie but the use of low light and rich color in PBS's shows like Downton Abbey and Victoria really resonate with me.

What has been the most difficult part of your creative journey?

I started my "professional" journey as a Doula/birth photographer in 2013. I loved every minute of it. Then we had 3 back to back late term losses and I put my camera up on the shelf. It wasn't until a few months after our rainbow baby was born last year that I was able to get it out again. When our babies' died so did a part of me. Photography didn't bring that part of me back to life but it did open up a way to freeze moments of time with my living children. I guess in a way my pictures are a love letter of sorts to all my children. A tangible piece of time that I am ever so grateful to have with them.

Who is one of your favorite photographers?

As a kid I wanted to be a photographer for NatGeo and I am still entranced by Frans Lanting's work. I love how his images bring a voice to all of our planet's inhabitants.

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