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Check Out Shaelyn Bundy’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shaelyn Bundy.  

Hi Shaelyn, so excited to have you on the platform. So, before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Just a small-town girl born and raised right here in Southwest Michigan. Growing up I had always enjoyed taking pictures rather it was on a disposable camera or a family member’s digital camera. Growing up, I didn’t have very many pictures to be able to look back on the memories. When I made the decision to take this seriously and pursue one of my hobbies, I knew I wanted to keep my price low and the quality high. After months of living in the pandemic my then-boyfriend, now fiancé Christopher has encouraged me to purchase a camera as I had been thinking about it for a few months. I purchased my first used camera, a Nikon D3000 right before heading up north for our annual family vacation. After taking pictures of family and friends, people started seeing my work and encouraged me to make a Facebook page, never expecting it to go further than family/friends I slowly had people start to contact me to schedule a session. Before I knew it my Facebook page has its first 100 likes today I am proud to say that over 400 people have followed along in my journey! I enjoy being able to create those memories for families to be able to look back on without breaking the bank, my goal, in the end, is to make them happy enough that they would recommend me to their family/friends and come back for another session. I couldn’t have made it as far as I have without the support of my family/friends and for that I’m grateful. With all of the support I’ve had I’ve been able to purchase my second camera, a Nikon D7500 and it feels so good to see the quality of my work continue to grow. The opportunities with photography are endless and I cannot wait to see where it takes me. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has been everything but a smooth ride, many factors have come creating challenges including the pandemic, photographers in the area, keeping up with the newest equipment, the weather in this beautiful state, and the technology that everyone uses every day. As I said with endless months of the pandemic encouraging me to restart a hobby that I’ve enjoyed for years it did come with the challenges of social distancing and of course with people being unable to work resulting in the extra income. As there are photographers everywhere you may look, we all come with our own unique style; when coming into this industry, I’ve always said and will continue to say that I never wish to make this a competition with the other photographers in the area as I look up to them and hope to one day be as successful as them! One challenge I’ve found not only myself but of course every other photographer dealing with is the lovely weather that Mother Nature decides to deliver to us here in Michigan rather it be rain/snow/etc. When winter hits I find it a time to able to learn new techniques and prepare for the upcoming season although I do like to throw a good winter shoot in there once or twice. The last challenge that I believe everyone can agree with is the cellphones we use every day, as the technology and camera quality continue to improve not many think about getting professional pictures done but instead taking them on their phones meaning fewer sessions being scheduled. 

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
I have always had a passion for capturing moments behind a lens, and I am so glad I get to share my talent with others. Although I do not specialize in one specific thing, I typically find myself photographing couples more than anything; I am always willing to try something once to be able to find out if it’s something that interests me or if it’s something I would love to help others find the best photographers for that type of session. My style is most definitely more rustic as I love to shoot in the woods, fields, and really anywhere outdoors. I am most proud of myself for never giving up; at times it can be difficult to find clients to schedule a shoot but it makes up for it when I go from 1 session every month to 1-2 sessions every weekend. As I am definitely still small, I would love to capture as many sessions as possible. The motto that I will always run my business by is “Low prices, high quality” I want to be able to provide families with the best pictures for a fair price. Another thing that sets me aside from others is instead of offering “digital print packages” I return all good edited pictures to my clients; I feel as if they are paying for my time that I want to make it worth their while. 

Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
Growing up I guess I’d say I was the outsider, of course, I was involved with many activities such as choir, cheerleading, national honors society, 4H, FFA, etc. but I would say I didn’t have many friends and kept to myself most of the time. Growing up in agriculture struck my love for animals showing draft horses, swine, cattle, chickens, and goats at my local county fair as well as many state fairs with the horses. I would say I am a very family-oriented person who would do anything for them. Within two years of each other, both of my parents were diagnosed with two different types of cancer, and I am blessed to say that both of my parents are still with us. It quickly made me realize that if I want to do something it’s now or never, and I should always go for it. I went to Southwestern Michigan College as well as Michigan State University, graduating with a degree in Agriculture Business. Although I am not in a job related to my degree, I am blessed to say that my full-time job is working in a veterinary clinic. I hope one day to make my photography a solid secondary income to continue to grow as a business as well as a person. 

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