I have been asked by a couple people to share a bit more about who I am, my story and my journey to becoming a photographer.
Well where to start? I will just jump right in with a bit about who I am and how we ended up out east!
Hi! I’m Shaeline and I am a wife to my amazing husband of 12 years this coming June. I am a momma to my 2 beautiful littles who are both South African born. I grew up in the prairies and even though my whole life I lived there I think I was meant for the ocean. (it’s so good for my soul) While living in Saskatchewan I received my education degree. I was an elementary school teacher for 7 years while doing photography on the side. We moved to Halifax in 2016 for my husband to change careers from a Mechanical Professional Engineer and pursue his dream of becoming an Architect (which he was totally meant to be!) Many thought we were crazy (and honestly there were times I thought the same thing!) We had just adopted and brought home our daughter at the beginning of June and by the end of July we had 4 days to decide if we were making this life crazy altering decision, 2 weeks later our house was on the market in Saskatoon, 2 weeks after that my husband bought a one way ticket to Halifax and left to begin school and 6 weeks after that my parents drove with myself and my littles for 6 days to arrive in Halifax on Thanksgiving Sunday. What a whirlwind those months were. We found a gem of an apartment and started to create this new life as a new family of 4 in this new season of life.
So that’s a little bit about how we ended up on the east coast. We love it here! The adventures, the ocean, the camping, the landscapes and 2 year in we have the best community ever!
My journey as a photographer is probably similar to many others. I grew up loving to take photos. Mostly on disposable cameras or film cameras. Waiting for the photos to be developed only to find out that like 5 out of 24 were actually good! lol! But nonetheless I loved it. My husband bought me my first DSLR when I graduated University in 2009. I started capturing friends and family. Mostly family photos, maternity, newborn etc. and I LOVED it! I always knew natural light would be my best friend so most of my work even from early on was outdoors although my editing style has changed which I believe is progress :).
My first wedding I took for a friends brother. It was a beautiful day and I was instantly hooked! I had a blast with the couple, the bridal party, the families- it was such a beautiful experience for my first wedding! I had learned so much of what I would do different and I carried that onto my next couple weddings. I continue to learn things from each and every session and apply it to my business and craft so that I can offer the best service and have it reflect in the images I deliver each time I get behind the camera. During this time, I began searching for courses and workshops to take and that’s when I was introduced to shooting in manual and learning how all the pieces worked together to make the perfect shot. It seemed so daunting but when I received teaching and gave myself time to practice I knew that this was my next big thing to learn and master.
Now fast forward 7 years when we moved to Halifax. I knew this was my chance to take my love and passion of photography full time. I dreamed of working for myself for a while and how it could really benefit my family and my life. It’s been a lot of work and if you talk to any new entrepreneur they will say so much of the same. The hustling never ends. My experience of beginning my full time business was so overwhelming that there were days I didn’t think it would happen. Having two littles at home (one whom we had just met 6 months prior so attachment was so very important to focus on), a husband in full time school (in a very intense program that took up most of his time and brain space), no family around, a household to take care of, a family to feed and a community that I knew nothing about. This was hard. No, not hard- it felt impossible. BUT I knew I wanted it.
Now 2 years later I feel so much of the same but I also have seen and experienced the positive part. The part where I get to meet amazing clients, capture such beautiful and important stories giving memories for a lifetime, spending time with my family not only on weekends and evenings, scheduling my work around my family instead of around my family around my work, creating a beautiful intention of showing our kids what going after your dreams looks like. I wouldn’t trade the hard for anything but that is exactly what it is- hard.
I still have my daughter at home with my 90% of the time, I still pick up my son from school each and every day, I still do most of the laundry, clean my house, and cook for my family, my husband is still in school and I am still hustling always. BUT I have seen and met so many amazing people (clients, vendors and friends) and have given so many amazing memories that it is so worth it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
If you are an entrepreneur or someone who is dreaming about taking the plunge I want to say there is never the perfect time to do it. You will always have reasons why it won’t work in the moments you think of it. But if you don’t try it will actually never happen. Yes, there are things that need to be in place and of course you need to be able to meet all your basic needs but if you don’t try you won’t ever know.
If you have questions or want to chat about perspective, questions, wonderings please leave me a comment or send me an email! I am so passionate about finding community and working together to lift up fellow business owners!
If you are a friend, a family member, someone who has been following along my journey, a client who I have had the pleasure of capturing or someone looking for a photographer- THANK YOU! Thank you for your support and encouragement. I really could not be where I am today without all of you.
So- there it is. A bit about me. And now I’d love to meet you! Drop me a comment below and tell me something about you! Or even better- if you live in Halifax area I would LOVE to catch up over coffee- often with my sweet little sidekick daughter! :)
~ with love
All photos were taken in Saskatchewan by my beautiful friend Mela Photography.