One day I received an email from a photographer named Shannon Williams asking to be apart of the Reignland Team. I normally get these kinds of emails every now and then but this particular one caught my eye. She was young but her eye for good shots was superb like she was a veteran in the game of photography. As I viewed her work, I instantly fell in love with the aesthetic she created in her photos. The magazine is based in VA but more supported in LA and I needed someone to go to the events we are invited to so I hired her. She would become the first photographer the magazine has ever had. The first event she would cover? Artist Stevie Wolf.
Her knowledge of how to make a small stage look so intriguing with hues of blue and purple captured me as soon as the photos were sent. Next up, we went bigger, The LA Art Show hosted by Sofia Vergara. She again killed it and even fangirled a couple of times with the celebs she would see walk by. The magazine had never had its own photoshoots in its history and Shannon changed that. I put her on the task of a cover shoot with the one and only Tiffany Houghton. The shoot was done at a beautiful park in LA under the bright sun. 117 photos flooded my inbox and as each was being downloaded, I was in awe. Who is Shannon Williams? I wanted to find out, the girl behind the camera and blurry photos of herself.
How did you get into photography?
– In 2010, I saw the Supreme book by James Jebbia and I was just so amazed as a 10-year-old of the various photos from streetwear in LA to Kermit the frog wearing the Supreme box logo t-shirt. I found it incredibly interesting that you could capture a moment in time forever through your point of view only. Within time once I got my first camera, I just grew to have a passion for it. I didn’t fully understand photography yet so I as much research as I can to be acquainted and eloquent.
Was photography your first love?
– Photography definitely is my first love. It’s the first thing that I immediately just my all into and just instantly drew me in. I tried other things but photography has always been the one thing that I grew to truly love doing. My love for it is something that can’t be replicated.
What was your first shoot job and how did it feel?
– My first shoot was with musician, Sapphire Adizes. I was incredibly nervous because not only was it my first shoot job, but it was with someone that was bigger compared to everyone else I have ever worked with at the time. Once I met him though, he was super nice and down to earth. He made my nerves go down and told me that he loved my work. Because of that specific shoot, it gave me the confidence to reach out to magazines to work for them.
What is your advice to new photographers?
– My advice is to go around with a camera and literally shoot anything and everything. The more you take photos, the more you’ll start to get comfortable and begin to find your own style of taking photos. Even just talking to people and networking with them helps a lot because once you begin to work with those people, that’s when you get to build your portfolio.
Your photos have such a cool aesthetic.
– The aesthetic of my photos, in my opinion, is hard to explain. I really like the grainy, film look but I love it when the color pops a lot in the photos. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my work, so I always make sure that I capture the right amount of everything in each shot and making sure every detail is captured.
You are also into fashion I hear. Do you have plans to create a fashion line?
– I do have plans to create a fashion line. I have one that’s been in the making for a couple of years now that I put together with my older sister and cousin called “Pizza Night Studios.” I’m very excited about what we have coming this year!
What is your favorite style and why?
– Growing up, my family has always exposed me to many things and one of them was fashion. I have always been into simple things like a t-shirt and black pants but as I got older the more I got exposed to fashion, I was beginning to be drawn to a lot of more streetwear and high-end clothing brands. Some of my favorite brands that I personally love to wear are Fear of God, Rhude, and Madhappy. All of those three brands are a good mix of what I wear on the daily, style-wise.
Why do you not really take photos of yourself?
– There are various reasons as to why I’m never really in front of it. Weirdly I have never been comfortable in front of the camera. I’m not one to take selfies or anything but I do have my moments I’ll admit that. It’s very rare though. I guess at times, my insecurities get the best of me. At times I just feel too awkward or weird. Growing up and even until now, sometimes I feel like I’m not girly or pretty enough. It’s a normal thing for a lot of people though to have these types of insecurities. As time goes on, maybe I’ll eventually get in front of it but not to model or anything. Mostly to speak on things that I want to talk about.
How is it living in LA as a creative?
– Living in LA as a creative has its pros and cons. LA has a lot of people to meet and many places to see. I’ve met a lot of people that I’ve not only worked with but gained as friends. But there are those couple of people that are just very interesting…It’s a weird place to live in.
What is some advice you can give a new creator looking to move to LA and pursue that ‘influencer’ or artist’s dream?
– If you are determined and confident enough then I’d say go for it because you’ll definitely get to where you wanna go. There will be times where you’ll get denied but it’s ok. I’ve gone through it many times. It takes time but you need to trust the process.
I am excited that she is apart of the team and I can’t wait to see how far she is going to go. If you ever want to work with Shannon be sure to connect her through email and Instagram.