We had the good fortune of connecting with Shay-Lynn West and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Shay-Lynn, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
The idea actually came very naturally. One of my college teachers advised us to try pursuing other artistic outlets and explore things we liked and were good at. I had no idea what to try because my only hobby outside of acting was reading haha. But one day I was walking home from class, it had been raining and in my mind the sidewalk ahead of me was a beautiful tapestry. I snapped of photo with my phone and something inside of me just clicked.

I started taking pictures with my phone of just random things I found pretty on my walks home. Weird looking flowers next to an abandoned building, a 7Eleven cup surrounded by flower petals, anything. I started my instagram page to display these photos because I thought they were pretty and could maybe brighten up someone’s day.

Later I evolved into doing photo shoots with people and it was sooooo much fun. I loved getting to know new people and maybe helping them realize how beautiful they truly are. Now I have a professional camera, an instagram page, a website, and a business that I am very proud of.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I honestly love what I do! It’s so fulfilling to show someone how others see them and how beautiful they are. There is some kind of disconnect between taking pictures of yourself and having pictures of you that someone else took. I always send the unedited photos to my clients first before I start editing so they know that any picture they find themselves beautiful in, it’s 100% them.

Of course one of the things I’ve learned in my photography is that you can’t control every single thing in your environment and that sometimes the unexpected can enhance your art. I’ve even taken that lesson and applied it to my acting and it’s helped tremendously.

I’m super excited to continue down this path I’ve taken and am looking forward to what comes next.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Culver City. Hands down one of the best places to find amazing food and fun. There are parks and movie theaters and lots of places to shop. I recommend anyone coming to the LA area to spend at least a day exploring Culver.

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?
My mother Robin Darney and my boyfriend Kevin Doyle! They have believed in me from the very beginning and I love them both so much. My mother was willing to give up anything to help me achieve my dreams and she actually bought me my first camera. My boyfriend supports me 100% in everything I do and it’s helped a lot to have that kind of support.

Website: https://www.shay-lynn.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shay_lynn_photos/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Shay-Lynn-West-105739077867592

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.