We had the good fortune of connecting with Shelby Lyons and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shelby, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Some of my favorite things in life are all centered around creativity and art. Things like movies, books, cinematography, film photography, and more. I grew up consuming art in every aspect of my life. It affected how I approached life. It gave me new perspective at times, which is art in its truest form. Above all, it made me want to create beautiful stories like what I was seeing everyday. I remember being so young, but always absorbing the messages left behind in books and movies. I remember looking at photography and being amazed that someone could tell a story through a single photo. An image that captivates you so much that you feel a whole story lies behind this one picture. I felt called to create art like that. I think it is only natural that I would feel most at peace and most myself when I am creating something that allows me to tell a story.
What should our readers know about your business?
I started Willow Joan Photography with the intention to make other people see themselves as the works of art that they are. To tell their stories. To be the maker of their family heirlooms, in a sense. Knowing that whatever the event may be, engagement, just in love, portraits, business venture- I could work to create something that would be a keepsake. My heart is fully invested in portraying people with their true essence. If there is one thing I hope people take from my art, it is that.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
MUSEUMS! I can’t stress enough how much fun it is to spend a day at the museums in Houston. The Houston Museum of Natural Science is filled with a days worth of history to explore. Then, you have the Fine Arts Museums that is full of engaging exhibitions to enjoy and features various artistic films inside the museum. One thing you do not want to forget to do in Houston is explore your food options. Houston is full of so many nationalities that have a passion for sharing their countries cuisine. I would also recommend getting the true Texas Bar-b-q experience. My personal favorite is, Rosemeyer Bar-B-Q. The brisket is unbeatable and the boudin is to die for. Houston is also an extremely fun sports city! I would highly recommend catching a game of some sort, Basketball, college sports, Football, or Soccer. It doesn’t matter which one you go to, in Houston you are going to enjoy yourself.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
When I first shared with my boyfriend and friends that I wanted to start a photography business they were endlessly supportive. As much as I love to learn new things, I tend to keep a lot of them to myself. When I started to learn new elements of photography, like film photography, I was eager to share that with other people and dip my toes into the business side of things. The encouragement from friends to share your work with others makes the path seem more achievable. You don’t need an army of people to support you, but one or two that really help you see the value in the art you have to offer. My friend Kyle, trusted me with his whole engagement process and then trusted me to capture the priceless moment of him proposing to one of my best friends, Baylee. One of my best friends Meagan hired me to take her senior pictures and models for me all the time. My dear friend, Joa, took a chance on me and asked me to do the photography for her jewelry line, Kasa Erth. Jordan Rosemeyer of Rosemeyer-Bar-B-Q allowed me to photograph his business’ grand opening to grow my portfolio. Opportunities are a blessing and I thank them for trusting me so much.
Photo credit for images of me: Meagan Weathersby