Who would have ever thought portrait photography could be a life changing experience? No one except the very gifted Shannon Nicholson.
Shannon is a photographer like no other. She uses her photo sessions to transform the way her client’s see themselves. Instead of merely taking a series of gorgeous photos, she delves into her client’s psyche, showing them the many shades of beauty often trapped within, and exposing that beauty to the camera for them to see.
The process combines such a distinct set of talents – photography, psychology, life coaching, compassion – that no one else can reproduce her work, making her business entirely unique and without competition. If you want a transformative photo experience, she’s your one and only call. And if Shannon hadn’t been brave enough to combine her skills into one business, we would never have known photography could be used to heal so many wounds.
It was a delight to get the opportunity to interview Shannon. Here’s what she had to say about her life, purpose and work.
Q – Your work is a surprising blend of life/business coaching, reiki and photography. What inspired you to blend all of your talents together and create such depth behind your images?
A – I know inspiration played a part but I feel it was my own personal transformation that was the driving force. You see I’ve struggled most of my life to find ways to respect and love myself for whom I am inside and out. For years, I looked outside myself for the answers and only recently learned everything I ever wanted was already inside me.
Through this journey, I’ve had many incredible people help me so much so I found new ways to heal and transform myself and along the way discovered I’m a catalyst. A catalyst that has the power to shifts people’s perspectives of themselves.
This process of being the best version of myself has been occurring my entire life and only became my priority 5 years ago. Each day there have been lessons that have brought me to this point, some of them where almost unbearable and others empowering.
Q – One of your past clients, Jennifer Cornish, said “There is a degree of divinity in Shannon’s work. She shines the way people do when they are doing something they are meant for, something that flows through them.” Do you agree with Jennifer and feel like you are fulfilling your true purpose?
A – I do now. Again, it has taken me years to make peace with myself and step into this version that trusts her gut, understands what it means to love and feel joy.
When I pick up my camera, offer a safe space to doff the masks worn to distract, hide or pretend and allow the inside out its like time stops. I must admit it feels almost selfish at times as I learn and grow with each subject. There is a real power gained when connecting with another human being on so many levels and having the photographs to remind us all of our strength, beauty and vulnerability.
Q – What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of creating a business that is so tailored to your unique range of talents?
A – Ha! The biggest challenge is ME, I get in my way all the time. We are always great at doing for others exactly what we need to do for ourselves. So creating a business that encompasses my strengths has been a process, I’d liken it to peeling back an onion, with each layer I transform the further I can expand within my business.
The best reward I get to be ME! Yes it’s that simple. I’m a rescuer through and through. This need to help others is so deeply ingrained. I became a lifeguard as a teen, firefighter as an adult and created a photography business that allows me to help people. The more I align within and share myself with the world the brighter I can shine.
Bio: Shannon is a catalyst. As a professional firefighter she honed her skills over the years rescuing others. This need to help was so deeply ingrained that her aptitude for saving people carried over into her photography business where she learned to heal and transform herself and others. Shannon gets immense pleasure at overcoming challenges by taking courageous and brave action. Her inspiration comes from being the catalyst that helps others to face their fears, tackle their problems and help them come out the other side smiling.
Gallery of Shannon’s work: