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CHERISH SHANELL PHOTOGRAPHY

360.358.3431

CHERISHSHANELL@GMAIL.COM

I am a professional photographer who is crazy passionate about what I do. A blood clot almost killed me at age 31, and since then I have dedicated my life to being the best, kindest me I can be.
 

I have been riding motorcycles since I was 4 years old. I love camping so much that I moved into a campground. I currently live in a 23-foot RV with my partner, my daughter, and my dog, Banjo. My family is absolutely everything to me and we have no problems living in 220 sq. feet together.

Well hello there!
My name is Cherish.

Why I do what I do...

In 2014, a friend asked me to photograph her wedding. Having never taken photos for another person before, I was nervous but determined to do an amazing job. To be trusted with preserving one of the most important days of someone's life is a huge responsibility. As soon as I saw the joy in their eyes when looking through the finished photos, I knew I wanted to do this. Capturing things that they didn't think you caught, watching them re-live that day moment by moment, feeling the happiness they feel when the memories come flooding back, I just fell in love with it!
 

I kept photography to the weekends for a few years because I had a great full-time job as an office manager for a PT clinic. I had a nice car, a 4-bedroom house with a huge yard, benefits, security, the whole deal, and I was miserable. Getting up in the morning to go to my great job was brutal. When I had photography jobs, however, I could go day or night. I was beyond pumped every single time I had a session. I still kept the day job, stayed in the toxic relationship, kept wishing I could just be a photographer because, ya know... following your dreams is scary.

Well, a few years ago I got a blood clot in my chest that could have taken my life. It was exactly the big fat slap in the face I needed. After that, I decided it was time to do what I love. Life is short, and I only want to be happy for the rest of mine! So I left the job, I sold the car, I left the husband, I gave up the house and I am following my friggin’ dreams.

What drew me to photography...

I have always had a terrible memory, and was never much for journaling, so photography quickly became my favorite pass time. I loved the idea that I could click a button and essentially freeze time. I could re-live these moments whenever I wanted. The times that weren’t photographed are vague and foggy to me, but the moments I photographed live on in a completely different way. Each time you look at a photograph you briefly re-live that moment. Each time you look at it, you feel that good feeling again, or you are reminded of people you need to think about more often, or you plant that warm fuzzy moment just a little bit deeper in your memory. Photographs are powerful!
 

I would have missed out on so many memories if I didn't have my pictures to remind me of them. My family and friends complain about having their photo taken constantly, but years later, they are so grateful to have those reminders. Especially after people pass away. Life is short, you guys. Take photos, and let your family take photos of you. You will appreciate them later.

What makes me different...

Not everyone needs to have an epic windblown gown session at the top of a mountain (though I am TOTALLY down for that as well). Sometimes all you need is to sit and have a meal, make cookies, play together, or read a book. The photos I deliver to you will be my art, but it’s really you who makes it. I want my work to reflect who you are.

For some people getting in front of the camera sounds like torture. I prompt my clients into simple, fun, and sometimes stupid situations where they snuggle, crack up laughing and love on each other so much that they forget they were supposed to be nervous. The most important thing to me is that my clients are having fun and being natural. Nine times out of ten my clients say “Wow, that was actually really fun!” at the end of our session. It doesn’t have to be torture! Come work with me and see.