We had the good fortune of connecting with Candi Shamele and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Candi, how do you think about risk?
I think if you aren’t taking risk, are you really living? No but honestly speaking as an individual who has trouble with stepping out of her comfort zone taking risk is challenge for me but I do them anyway. Taking risk allows me to be exposed to more, make mistakes and become a better problem solver. There are risk that open doors and some get the doors slammed in your face but either way I’m learning from them. Taking risk has taught me to make a move even when I’m scared.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I like capturing a more natural view of people.Deep, Rich, earthy, tones that come together to express a mood is how I would describe my work. I would say that my work is definitely a representation of me and what’s in my head. I’m a chocolate girl and when I was younger I did not like my skin color because of societies view of what is beautiful. Now its one of the best things I love about myself and I now I have a way to show what I think is beautiful. Capturing colors that remind me of my skin or concepts that celebrate all range of beauty is a mood that I will always choose. With that being said this doesn’t mean that I shy away from trying new things. At this time in my career I definitely want to make sure that I expose myself to all types of photography styles and concepts. That way I continue to grow as a photographer and perfect more of what my style is, since I do feel like I am fairly new to photography. I really began to take photography seriously in 2019 right at the start of the Pandemic. While being locked in the apartment with my daughter, I would take pictures of her and self portraits. My Pastor also gave me a job of doing media at my church. I started shooting video and taking pictures there which really help me in getting more hands on experience. I started picking up little jobs here and there. By word of mouth is how I started acquiring shoots. Taking whatever jobs that came my way was the name of the game in the beginning. Now I’m as I grow to understand more of who I am as a photographer I won’t just shoot anything. People think just because you have a camera I can shoot anything, like their wedding and that’s not necessarily true. A wedding photographer is a very skilled photographer for the in and outs of weddings. I haven’t put in the work to master that specific style of shooting. I like being a portrait photographer. And I want people to see and feel the mood. Ive been praying to God about the desires of my heart when it comes photography. I already know where I want to go and I’m going to continue working to get there. To see my work in magazines and walls of art lovers would definitely goal of mine. The possibilities are endless for me and I just want to take pictures and enjoy the journey. Ive struggled and still do sometimes with knowing that Im worth it. The people around me often see more in me than I do myself. Im so appreciative of them for that. I do believe that no matter what others see in you though, if you don’t believe in yourself it can hinder you. Im a very shy, reserved person and social situations aren’t my best friend. I absolute loathed talking to people and any type of small talk. Go figure I would choose a passion that forces me to engage in small talk. Its a whole mind workout before a shoot with anyone. But man when I tell you the women I am today is true growth from the woman I was just two years ago. I am more likely to put myself in an uncomfortable position cause I know when I do I grow, whether that situation turned out fantastic or horrible. Its amazing how photography really is helping me in becoming that women I would write in my journals and cry to God about.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is a really funny question because Im a really introverted person, so you wouldn’t catch me out that much. Ive recently been forcing myself to get out the house. Im a major homebody. I love grabbing a cheesy romantic comedy book and cuddling on the couch with some wine. That’s a blissful night for me. Im also a mom so my free time is definitely spent a little different. But now instead of staying home I do try to get out a little bit. I like going for walks or going to Buffalo Bayou to get an outdoor workout in. I’ll grab my computer or a book and go to Brass Tacks, one of my favorite coffee shops. I have this new coffee shop obsession, so I have a list of coffee shops I want to go to. If Im really looking to spice up the night I’ll go to one of the museums for the 1 millionth time or see if there are any galleries having showings. Pretty simple but these are the things that make me very happy.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate this to my daughter. Her encouragement and love have been everything to me as I embark on this journey of photography. She is my cheerleader, my mirror and sometimes even my stand in model. There are a lot of times where I spend the day not being home because I’m out working and us being the duo that we are it takes a toll on both of us. At the same time she understands that what I do makes me happy and buys her princess dresses so at the end of the day she’s down for it! But I love how real and encouraging she is. Always and forever being her mom is and will always be the best thing about me. The reason that I am able to even have a chance to do what I do and have peace that my daughter is in good hands is because of these people, and that is my mom and two sisters. Phenomenal women that I get to call my tribe. There support is there even when they don’t see the big deal or do understand exactly what Im trying to do.
Caleb Baldwin Brandon Baldwin Shanise Gabriel-Powell Kayla Newman