Uncovering the Power in Growth with Shakira McGowan
Written by Danielle Irene
Published April 9, 2018
Fashion photographer Shakira McGowan refuses to see things the way the world tells her to see things. She doesn’t accept the logical fallacy of the false dichotomy: it’s not chocolate or vanilla, not bad or good, not helpful or hurtful—when the world gives her the choice between this and that, she doesn’t choose. That philosophy comes in handy when your job is to capture the multi-dimensional art platform that is fashion.
“Being an artist, there will always be people who don’t agree with your vision. Thankfully, fashion is just so freeing and unapologetic. It poses questions on its own. But, to see a photo from a fashion shoot and see how the clothes tie in with the people, the story, and overall creative direction of the photographer—it just opens up all these questions and creative blanks that give me joy to try to fill,” explained the fashion photographer.
In all, the photographer loves what she does. However, sometimes the process gets a little crazy. “Besides being stared at or honked at my men—what a world we live in—one of the most interesting things to happen on a shoot was when I met one of my closest friends, Amanda Smith. At this time, we just knew each other through Instagram. I was shooting on my first blogger shoot, and Amanda was scaling what looked like a dangerous wall of a staircase. Risking her life for the photo, as I have learned, is her thing.”
All the work, whimsy, and wonder all add up as something that is indispensable to McGowan.
“Thankfully, my art is my job. So, it’s half work and half being a full time student. This semester, in an act to focus more on my art, I decided to go all online. Whenever I am not shooting, I divide my time between studying, taking tests, and teaching myself the lessons or editing, planning shoots, and filming. I’m sure if I take a step back and look at the load I’ve dealt myself, I’d go a little insane. But I love it.”
To read the rest of our exclusive interview with Shakira McGowan, get your copy of issue two today!
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