ON A PROFESSIONAL NOTE

A normal day in my life is like anyone else’s, I get up, dressed and ready to face the work day ahead. Looking forward to the promise of the week-end, as that is when all the fun begins!

Most of my photo shoots are booked over week-ends, this is mainly because a lot of my clients, as well as myself, have full time jobs and are not able to attend shoots in the week.

The special interests in my area of expertise are boudoir and glamour photography. I love these genres of photography, as you have the privilege and opportunity to provide a lady with an amazing, confident-boosting and empowering experience. Throughout my life, I have not always felt beautiful and sexy so I can appreciate what gorgeous images do for a woman – they lift her self-esteem, make her fall in love with herself again and see the beauty that has always been there. This is what I hope my photos do for my clients.

What I love most about my field of interest is the true joy I am filled with when I see how my images have touched and affected the lives of my clients – assisted them in rediscovering and becoming in touch with their femininity, beauty and sensuality. There is nothing more rewarding and fulfilling as a photographer, than being told by a client how much they love their photos and how you made them look and feel like a goddesses.

Some of the defining moments in my career have been when I realised that my passion was in fact photographing people, with a focus on special intimate moments of their lives – boudoir and glamour. This transformed my life as I am living my dream and passion.  My photography feels more purposeful and it is so satisfying photographing women that love my style and work. Along my journey, I have met many talented South African photographers that have taught, encouraged, inspired and influenced my photographic style and career…without them I would not be where I am today.

 

YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL

My immediate family live in Botswana, so try and visit as much as I can. Botswana is extremely beautiful, my ‘home’ and will always hold a special place in my heart. I now live in Jukskei Park, Johannesburg with my understanding and supportive boyfriend, Garith and our four gorgeous cats – Kit Kat, Archimedes, Socrates and Tigger – they are all my babies.

Garith has a very close family that also live in Johannesburg, and have become my adoptive family. Therefore, we spend a lot of time with them, whether it is at a family celebration, braai or a quiet dinner.

My extra mural activities include getting out to game reserves as much as possible. I love the bushveld, wildlife and birds – I am a city slicker bush baby at heart JMy related hobby is bird and wildlife photography. I know it sounds a little strange that my hobby is photography when I am a photographer. However, this is a totally different genre, one that I enjoy and find challenging. As often the subject doesn’t necessarily want to be photographed and likes to hide away from you. Therefore, you need to be patient and ‘stalk’ it, to capture it. It is so rewarding when you finally capture that breath-taking image of a leopard or baby elephant drinking for the first time.

It is important for me that my personal time includes activities with Garith and our close friends, whom without I am not sure I would be where I am today. They are always there to offer some advice and support me in all my decisions – good or bad. However, my personal time must also include a little quiet time to relax. I am a very active and busy person who often tries to fit too much into one day. As I get older, I am realising that it is also important to take a little time out to catch your breath.

 

YOUR PERSONAL INSPIRATION

My favorite quote is ‘The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It’s the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows & the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.’ by Audrey Hepburn

I am inspired by the people I meet, the places I go and pretty much everything I come into contact with. I like to keep up to date with what is going on in the industry and incorporate anything that appeals to me and my style into my work.

The female role model who I believe inspires others in my field of interest is Christa Meola, an international photographer based in NYC, who specialises in photographing women : http://christameola.com

 

LIVING A LEGACY

My personal message to the world is : give as much as you can to everyone you meet and everything you do and you will always receive something in return.

Mentorship is important to me because I have experienced it first-hand and would not have got to where I am in my photographic career without mentors. In addition, I believe it is essential for us to teach, encourage and inspire those that are just starting out. If we want to ensure that our professions remain proficient and professional. We need to share our experience and tricks of the trade with the ‘newbies’ and steer them in the right direction.

 

AS AN AMBASSADOR FOR YOUR COUNTRY

If you were to visit my city, I would personally recommend that you go and have a cup of tea or coffee at Contessa’s in Rivonia. If you are a tea lover, you will think you have died and gone to heaven – they have every flavor imaginable. As well as, some delectable cakes and savory’s to snack on.  http://www.contessateashop.co.za

A great Saturday treat is to go to the Bryanston Organic market – they have a huge variety of food, clothing and arts and crafts. You do need to get there early if you would like to buy your fresh veggies, as the later you go, the less selection there is. However, you can have a divine rustic home-made lunch while the entertainment of the day plays in the background. It is such fun and an activity for the whole family. http://www.bryanstonorganicmarket.co.za/

A trip to the Lion Park is a great little break from the city slicker life. Pack a delicious picnic and take the whole family, as they have fabulous facilities. You have the opportunity to go in and play with the lion cubs, with supervision of course and or feed the giraffes. As well as see the rare white lions – which are so beautiful. http://www.lion-park.com/

If you enjoy flea markets, the Sunday Rosebank Roof Top Market is a great one to visit. They have all sorts of bits and pieces to buy and see, as well as a lovely antique, art and food section. When you are done at the flea market you could always pop into the Rosebank shops for any other things you may need.

 

SOME OPTIONAL QUESTIONS AND OTHER THOUGHTS

The best pieces of advice I ever received were from my father, he always told me while I was growing up that ‘nothing in life is fair’ and that ‘you cannot put a wise head on young shoulders’. As I have aged, I have come to understand and appreciate these pieces of the advice and see their value to my life.  

The secret to my success is plenty hard work, practice and persistence. Never give up on your dreams!My view on living a life of balance is everything in moderation and if that doesn’t work, go full steam ahead and try and do everything and anything you can to get to where you would like to be.

To make our world a better place, I believe the key ingredient would be a lot of acceptance and a little pinch of love and laughter.

 

Full Name:  Shelley Burt

Contact email: shelley@prettyboudoir.co.za

Website address: www.prettyboudoir.co.za

Business Network Profiles: www.prettyboudoir.co.za/blog

 

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