Today we’d like to introduce you to Shaeba Mathew.
Shaeba, before we jump into specific questions about your work, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Upon moving to the United States with my parents and little brother in 2006 I immediately found myself immersed in a land and culture that was as vast and diverse as any I had ever seen before. Being an immigrant from India meant language barriers, understanding and adapting to new social norms, and finding my true identity to become the woman I’d soon become. I took this challenge head on; with hope, good spirit, as well as fear and a fair amount of anxiety. I immediately sought and obtained work and enrolled in school to develop skills, habits, and relationships that would allow me the opportunity to thrive in this new unknown land of Los Angeles (Culver City to be exact). In time I would complete my BA and MBA while subsequently working a full time job. My love for nature gradually grew with my creative ideas and imagination. Flowers made me cheerful and I would meet new people daily who helped me gain confidence in my communication skills. I started taking photographs with my iPhone every place I visited and of every beautiful or cute thing that I would appreciate. I shared these pictures with my friends and family who also appreciated my perspective and artwork.
In 2017 I finally decided to take photography seriously, I invested in a new camera, and started my Instagram page travelling_glory with the thought of posting pictures of places I traveled, sunsets, flowers and all the beauty around me that made me stop and appreciate life. Soon I had a lot of people, local news channels and publications who saw and appreciated my perspective. They’d share and feature my work on TV, and in articles which gave me and my family such joy. This new found love for photography, motivation and encouragement from the community and online I began to receive a request for photo-shoots from friends and family. I began doing photo-shoots for maternity, baby showers, holidays, fashion, and small local businesses.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has been a constant series of transitions living in LA. I’ve always enjoyed the challenges that come with change. Coming from India and learning how everything works and getting used to life was difficult at times but I would like to thank my parents for everything they did for me and provided me that helped me get through the struggles. I feel struggle was not knowing what I wanted to do for inner happiness. Finding what motivated me and what makes me happy, finding myself while surrounded by questions of who am I? And what do I stand for? was nerve racking at times. Changing careers, looking for the right place to be to create and contribute while also having a stable life is what I wanted. I feel currently I have found it because my current job lets me be flexible with my freelance photography and traveling around the world to explore and capture the beauty of the Earth.
Please tell us about your work.
For my 9-5 job I work as an eCommerce manager and the rest of my time, I am a freelance photographer, capturing beautiful moments. My proudest moments are when my photos are featured on TV and winning Employee of the year in 2019 for my company. It’s a great feeling to see my work appreciated . What sets me apart from others is a combination of my love for art and culture, getting excited for every little precious thing, and my drive to spread joy among others naturally. If I can make one person smile for the day I would be happy and content.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I think I am happy with how things have turned out, As you have to trust the process. Ups and downs are part of life but how you come out of it is what will define you. Have faith and believe in yourself. Keep Smiling. 😉
Shaeba Mathew (@travelling_glory)