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Meet Shannan Roczey of Shannan Leigh Photography in Valencia

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shannan Roczey.

Shannan, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
This whole business was kind of a happy accident. I started out as an interior design blogger and had purchased a camera to create better content for social media. It didn’t take long before I realized that I actually loved this part of the process more than anything else.

I started out shooting for free with friends who would recommend me to families they knew. Within the first year of my business, I was full-time, had been published twice, and was growing faster than I thought I would!
Now, about a year and a half into my business, I have three employees, I’m fully booked for 2018 weddings and half booked for 2019. I get to travel to Greece for a beautiful wedding in October and I get to travel regularly for shoots!

I’ve been able to build a brand around my life and my love of a good messy bun! Having a brand that attracts clients that I love is a huge reason why I love what I do. I get to work with clients every single day that turn into lifelong friends. It’s amazing to watch a couple grow through their wedding, and into maternity sessions, and then newborn sessions, and then family photos every year!

When I started Shannan Leigh Photography, I was in a rough spot in life. I had been struggling with anxiety and depression for a few years and picking up a camera was the only thing that pulled me out of it. Three years ago, I couldn’t even leave my house. This year, I’m traveling all over the place, shooting beautiful people and places. I never thought that I would be one of those people who could have a successful business or wake up every day excited to work. But, here I am. Anything is possible.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It definitely hasn’t been a smooth road to get here and I know, it won’t ever be a smooth road as I continue to grow.

I think anybody in the creative industry can relate to being their own worst critic. The game of comparison is a tricky one… it can push you to be greater, but it can also suck you in and make you feel like you’ll never be good enough.

One of the hardest parts of entrepreneurship is pushing through the plateaus that you hit in your business. It’s inevitable to reach points where you feel stuck and stifled creatively. Learning how to push through and reach that next point in your success is one of the most important parts of this I think.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I’m Shannan, of Shannan Leigh Photography. I am a wedding + lifestyle photographer. People usually know me by my light + airy photos, my candid personality, my dog, my obsession with the eye roll emoji, and for always rocking a messy bun!

As a photographer, I’m really proud of what I offer to people. Life is unexpected and beautiful, but it can move fast and it’s easy to miss things at the moment. Giving people photos means they can look back at them for years to come. They can pull them out and show their children, and their grandchildren. They can laugh at them and cry over them. Catching moments in time and creating art out of everyday life is something I treasure + something my clients treasure too.

There are a million talented photographers in this world, but finding someone you can connect with on a personal level too is what will set your experience apart. I have spent the entire first year of my business cultivating and personalizing my client experience and it is constantly growing and improving. It’s probably the most important aspect of my business to me. Being a past bride really gives me an advantage when it comes to the client experience. Not only do I have experience on the vendor side of this industry, but I also know exactly what it feels like to be in the bride’s shoes. I know that one-month-out anxiety a bride gets, and I know how to help alleviate it too. Planning my own wedding is what got me into this industry in the first place. I just love it all. A wedding day is something that most girls wait their whole life for, but it’s over in a flash. Being able to not only catch all the beautiful moments of a couple’s day but to also have an amazing time with them… that’s what makes the difference. All of my clients become my friends and I think it adds an emotional factor to my business. It makes it special for all of us.

What were you like growing up?
As a kid, I was crazy. My family always says “nobody knew how to handle you”. I had a ton of energy and didn’t know where to put it I suppose.

I’ve always been right-brained for sure. As a kid, I was always more interested in English and art than I was in science or math. But, if I’m being honest, I really never had an interest in school at all. I wasn’t a great student, most of my teachers didn’t know what to do with me, and I was more interested in chatting than studying.

But in the end, I found what works for me in my business. I might do things a little untraditionally, but it’s kind of why I love it all.

Pricing:

  • Wedding Packages Start at $2299
  • Portrait + Lifestyle Sessions Start at $349

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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