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Art & Life with Shaina Sawyer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shaina Sawyer.

Shaina, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I have been fascinated with cameras ever since I was a kid, but it wasn’t until college that I started really trying to understand how to make compelling pictures. I took classes and read about famous photographers. I started carrying my camera everywhere.

After college, I pursued a sensible career as a speech pathologist, treating adults with brain injuries and strokes. I helped people to recover from devastating injuries, and their struggles showed me how I want to live my own life.

I want to help people recognize all the beauty in their lives. I want to capture the happy moments and cherish the relationships that buoy us through the hard times that may come.

It took a lot of time and a few leaps of faith, but these days, that’s exactly what I get to do.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I’m a documentary wedding photographer with a dash of editorial flair. My focus is on capturing authentic moments (but I can’t resist epic couple portraits).

I love to work with intentional couples who partner together to create a celebration that truly reflects their personalities. They think beyond the wedding and into their marriage.

My couples are looking for an honest record of the moments and feelings that happen on their wedding day. They want to spend less time posing and more time celebrating.

My wish is for every couple to be fully present on their wedding day, so when they see my images, they are pulled right back into those raw, beautiful moments and emotions.

When I’m not capturing weddings, I also photograph hospice patients. I believe that death can be a beautiful exit from a life well lived. My wish is that the process can occur with dignity and respect. Telling the stories of the dying is painful, but I believe it can bring great peace to both the person I am photographing and family and loved ones who are left behind.

What responsibility, if any, do you think artists have to use their art to help alleviate problems faced by others? Has your art been affected by issues you’ve concerned about?
Social media and the internet have given artists an incredible reach. I believe we should use our voices to do more than just post pretty pictures. I try to be a resource for my engaged couples, but also a source of positive energy and acceptance to everyone who comes across my little corner of the internet. I believe it’s my responsibility to portray images of tolerance and compassion.

It’s been said before, but even though we are more connected than ever, we are also more alone. Honest art can be a connecting force.

With every single person I photograph, my intention is to empower and connect. I want people to not only feel beautiful in that moment, but begin to recognize all the beauty in their lives. I want them to live with presence and intention, and appreciate the positivity that both surrounds them and lives within them.

If we’re going to make positive change in our communities and in our world, I think we’re going to need all of the optimism, connection, and compassion that we can muster.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I frequently post on my blog:
And occasionally, on Facebook:

If you’re getting married in the Boston area, feel free to give me a shout!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Golden Door Photography

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