Thank you, all, for your emails and kind words. Jenn and I have enjoyed meeting you all and thank you for reaching out.
I offer some thoughts in return to inspire and hopefully guide you along your career:
1. Show less. Far less. A handful of images from a given shoot is worth far, far more than the whole shoot. Each additional, similar image dilutes the one that preceded.
2. NEVER show 2 versions of the same photo. YOU are the visionary artist. If you see an image as toned, bw, then make it so... officially. Deny the urge to make everyone happy with a color version "just in case".
3. Be creative and add some flair to your titles. Camera generated names like "DSC_2436.jpg" inspire nothing. Cinematic vision captivates. Technical naming bores.
4. NEVER (maybe once, just to remind the viewer of your mastery) show a before and after. Magicians and Illusionists preserve the wonder. Photographers who too easily show the before and after destroy the mystery and allure.
1. Stun us with your beauty... but with classy style. Too many models settle for a photographer's limited, tired, sense of beauty... bikinis and gobs of makeup (we like makeup when it works with a theme... even a lot of makeup). Be different. Envision an ideal image you long to portray. Embody the classy, casual elegance made famous by Jackie-O. The sense of subtlety and refinement that set you apart from the crowd.
2. Check out this brilliantly simple video from glamor.com that shows: the models clean natural beauty; easygoing spirit during the shoot; the photographer's equally calm take; the stunning results that represent my first point for models.
3. Remember that professional modeling is... professional. Professionals initiate contact; return phone calls and emails; contribute their own thoughts and ideas for the shoot; thank the photographer in writing soon after the shoot.
4. Practice on your own behind the scenes: watch videos like the glamor.com above. Practice in front of the mirror. Buy an Allure, Vogue or Vanity Fair and carry it with you all week before the shoot. Look at arm and hand placement, hip rocking; ask yourself why you stopped to look at THAT photo and see how you could replicate that special something yourself. Experiment with and without makeup and make each version captivating. Cast yourself as shy, all natural, high fashion, scared, beaming with the happiness of great news, mysterious, classy, bold.
5. Read 1 and 2 above for photographers and apply it to your portfolio.
6. Set some goals: reach out to a photographer THIS WEEK with your own vision of a shoot. Convey your excitement and be ready to inspire the photographer with your specific ideas.
Go for it!
Now a bit about me:
I enjoy plenty of opposites in life... vigorous fitness training, high activity and healthy eating yet love to sit around motionless reading, writing, pursuing graphic design... and eating nothing but pure junk; the quiet family life of the Midwest but long for the energy and tropical life of Miami, Florida.
As for my ultimate quest on Flickr... to discover photographers who shun the obsessive need to own the ultimate equipment in hopes that technical finesse can replace vision and passion. I am looking for the "Zen" simplicity and the elemental imagination of photographers who can captivate and inspire a viewer with a photo from even the cheapest point and shoot camera.
Although I love Photoshop and excellent equipment, I tire of the empty quest for more, more, more... dizzying, scientific obsession with barrel distortion, pincushioning, chromatic aberrations.... although I savor fine lenses, I'd love to discover a photographer who trounces the pros with a kit lens and a heart on fire.
Thanks to many of you here on Flickr, I am beginning to satify my quest... beauty and grace captured through internal vision and fundamental skill... apart from the endless dependence on new technology.
Lastly, in honor of my faith as a Christian, I am inspired by the creative clues left by the Glad Maker and look for ways to humbly honor Him through bringing joy to others through my creative work.
I hope my photos and mini stories bring you a smile and moment of reflection.
Sean Shimmel... wink back at the Reaper's favorite photos from other Flickr members (798)
- Universal Art 521,961 photos, 8,588 members
- Digital Art and Mixed Media 146,193 photos, 4,597 members
- Digital Art 361,210 photos, 12,899 members
- 645 Medium Format 56,194 photos, 3,969 members
- THE IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT 150,176 photos, 9,813 members
- I ♥ SX-70 31,827 photos, 1,461 members
- polaroid whores 4,071 photos, 207 members
- I Love Polaroid 22,500 photos, 967 members
- VSCO Film 176,075 photos, 8,157 members
- Alien Skin Software 30,466 photos, 2,346 members
- Traditional American Tattoo 2,346 photos, 913 members
- Vintage Typography 22,625 photos, 3,418 members
- Procreate™ 11,926 photos, 1,262 members
- Nikon D800/D800E/D810 Users Group 596,091 photos, 16,067 members
- Before & After - A Sneak Peek into Processing 3,209 photos, 5,074 members
- Super Macro 86,878 photos, 3,419 members
- Striking Beauty 9,930 photos, 2,535 members
- "THE ULTIMATE GALLERY OF PHOTOGRAPHS" Invites By Phiggy 1,081 photos, 73 members
- Studio Dreams 30,637 photos, 2,964 members
- Portraits exquis-(ADMIN INVITE ONLY) 4,970 photos, 568 members
- Cafe Elite 101,869 photos, 4,382 members
- !Portfolio of People (HIGH QUALITY, ADMIN MODERATED p1/c2) 179,673 photos, 5,172 members
- Love & Portraits / Amor & Retratos (`v´) (P.1/A.2) 3,332 photos, 419 members
- >> Beauty Shot << 3,416 photos, 3,626 members
- Inspirational Glamour & Fashion 2,057 photos, 190 members
- Classy Portraits 27,738 photos, 2,945 members
- European Beauties 390 photos, 87 members
- Glamour # 8,335 photos, 1,047 members
- The Light Painters Society 549,199 photos, 17,206 members
- The Beauty of Girls and Women P1/C2 283,854 photos, 13,582 members
- `TOP CHOICE PORTRAIT (WOMEN ONLY) 772 photos, 404 members
- 5 Star Portraits 15,268 photos, 535 members
- Morenas de infarto /// Impressive dark-haired women 923 photos, 903 members
- Pelirrojas de infarto /// Impressive red-haired women 354 photos, 742 members
- Rubias de infarto /// Impressive blond women 1,607 photos, 867 members
- Passion for Fashion 1,066 photos, 555 members
- Top 20 Explored Beauty Winners ! 4,619 photos, 210 members
- 1000 Beautiful Faces (Admin Invitation Only) 1,840 photos, 458 members
- Stunned by Beauty 43,159 photos, 1,758 members
- Top Photography Group ~ High Quality Photography 35,401 photos, 3,397 members
- *The Realm of Quality* 2,503 photos, 639 members
- Lighting & Posing Styles 49,560 photos, 5,121 members
- Studio Strobism 30,191 photos, 3,122 members
- Most Amazing ( Post 3 - Comment on 3 from the previous 10 ) 5,358 photos, 662 members
- Unreal Portraits 63,119 photos, 3,857 members
- Strobist.com 608,571 photos, 124,088 members
- **FlickrsBest** 221,802 photos, 17,005 members
- The Intense Stare 5,093 photos, 710 members
- Faces of Portraits 162,167 photos, 7,016 members
- The Flickr Portrait Gallery 397,890 photos, 22,534 members
"Hold on to your shorts people, you are in for one WILD ride when you view Sean's stream. His skills with photoshop are amazing and it's really wonderful seeing the world through his eyes. His photos will take you to places you've never been before and really make you want to reach out and touch them!"
July 15th, 2008
Velvet G says:
"It's been a pleasure and inspiration to watch Sean learn and grow since the time I first checked out his work here on Flickr. There are artists who just have the eye and I expect to see great things in his future.
It's always refreshing to see an artist doing their own thing instead of trying to emulate someone else... Sean does his own thing quite well.
Looking forward to what comes next!"
July 14th, 2008
"Sean’s god-given gift and mad skills are remarkable … he’s one of my top inspiring photographers here! You can just sense that every one of his photos is a painstakingly handmade piece of art. And, he’s a nice person to boot!
Thanks for being such a generous person and an inspiration :)"
July 12th, 2008
Trish McCoy says:
"Sean has a very different edge to his work. It's cleverly created making his work stand out in a very good way. His works really draw the viewer in. Any photograph that can do that says a lot about the photographer. Very amazing photography. I truly love your work."
July 12th, 2008
"Sean's photostream is a pure treat for the eyes and soul! Each image is creative and magical, with stunning compostions and post processing.
I always look forward to seeing his work and come back to view his stream often. I feel I am viewing an art show with each image!
Sean is a truely gifted artist, and I am so thankful to be part of his flickr world and consider Sean a friend. Cheers to you Sean and thank you for sharing your talent and art with all of us!!!!"
June 2nd, 2008
"Simply provocative! Every image Sean crafts comes with artistic mastery, brilliant intellect, and a true, basic, sense of tribe (family). His creative visuals often overflow into his most interesting and thought provoking narratives -- he poses some excellent philosphical points. These qualities I now frequently refer to as "Shimmel". Thank you Sean for sharing! (HH:-)"
February 19th, 2008
"I cant remember how I stumbled upon Sean's stream, but oh boy, im glad I did. His pictures are not only quirky, but eye catchingly magical and just unique, distinctive. Little everyday stories and captures that bring a smile to my face, making his stream one I always come back to.
the creamy textures, brilliant expressions, details down to a tea. His pictures are gifts to the soul, pure eyecandy. There's always those moments where we feel uninspired, lost in that gloom of not wanting to pick the camera, but his pictures are a reason ill never put my camera down :)
thank you for being an awesome flickr friend and producing pictures
that touch the heart, and resonate within the soul"
February 9th, 2008
"I love visiting Sean's photostream. Not only does he create compelling and beautiful images, but he manages to engage me on an emotional level, time after time. And that takes skill, vision, and plenty of heart. Sometimes playful, often thought provoking, he writes some of the best descriptions too.
He's one of the photographers on Flickr who makes me want to try harder, and to produce better and better work.
Thanks Sean. You're an inspiration."
February 9th, 2008
"Sean's creativity is of the highest quality and his biggest asset as he continues to astound and inspire everyone with the images he captures.
His ability to write amazing stories to accompany his images allows the viewer to completely immerse themselves into his world and thus it gives them their own personalities.
I encourage all to visit his photostream and view his extremely talented work. He brings thick atmosphere to the most ordinary locations and adds mysticism to his subjects.
Thanks Sean for sharing your wonderful work."
February 8th, 2008
Just Jax says:
"I was given Sean's photo stream by one of his other contacts. She told me that his work would be something that would impress me. Well, I decided to have a look and she was more than right. Sean has a technique for capturing the simplest moments of every day life and turning them into works of art. In his post processing he has a technique that's so awesome. I wish I knew what it was. :)
Sean......you need to post more often. You have a following that won't let your photos sit for very long without comments.
You're definitely an inspiration to me. Thanks for your warmth and compassion that shines through your photo's descriptions always."
February 6th, 2008
"Seans work is immediately identifiable amongst the myriad flickr shots. His style is simple and very focused on the faces and expressions of those he loves. Once viewing you may find like I did that my eyes were mirroring those of his subjects, large wondrous and overwhelmingly peaceful.
Sean's images are often accompanied by text that adds meaning or context to to the image. His stream is a digital version of the book: "chicken soup for the soul", and I visit often."
February 6th, 2008
. tori . says:
"I am always excited to see new work from Sean. Whenever I meet new photographers with a creative vision I send them towards Seans work. He is always inspiring, entertaining and makes me look at my world in a new way. Thanks Sean."
November 7th, 2007
digimono ( Mostly Away ) says:
"I think everyone has hit it on the nail, thank you, without a doubt, please continue!"
October 30th, 2007
Evocative. Candid. Unnerving. Joyful. Surreal.
The ultimate painter of light and shadow, his masterful portraits have the power to hijack the viewer's emotions and send them spinning in all directions.
More than once I have been left mesmerised by the eyes of his subjects, unsettled by their intensity and at the same time enamoured by their beauty and expressiveness.
Where others concentrate on the big picture, Sean brings the small detail to the foreground and makes it king and storyteller.
Reading his commentaries is a treat - clearly a gifted writer as well as a talented photographer. Learning how the portraits came together, and his own feelings about them, brings my enjoyment of his work to a new level.
A phenomenal flickr stream, always full of surprises."
July 23rd, 2007
"A big, hairy spider three inches from the snow-white toes of a little child...
Such images keep me coming back again and again to see Sean Shimmel's latest masterpiece.
Sean has a way of telling a story within a 5x7 area of your monitor. He forces you to go beyond the immediate and explore what a photo means, or could become. His expert use of lighting, clarity, and color adds a masterful touch to his photos and gives fledgling photographers like me something to aspire to.
Beyond his obvious skill, Sean has been so helpful to me personally. He is quick to respond when I have a question or issue and has given me invaluable advice that has changed my photography.
If you never have, please take a moment to look through Sean Shimmel's photos and you will see why I appreciate them, and him, so much.
Thanks for everything, Sean!
July 11th, 2007
Ally Byrom says:
Wow, what can I say? Pull up a comfy chair, pour a mellow coffee and take a journey through his photo stream. I challenge you to reach the end and not be left wanting more.
I look forward to his posts and often revisit his impressive collection of simply stunning images. Its difficult to pick a favourite but I'm often tempted back for a peek at Tomb Raider, absolutely marvellous in its simplicity.
What sets Sean apart from the rest is his ability to write amazing stories to accompany his photographs which tempt you to linger just that little bit longer.
Great work Sean"
June 26th, 2007
"Shimmel work always surprise me! His photographs are stunningly beautiful. Pure talent and creativity. Every thing is perfect in his work composition, colors and editing work is superb. In simple words his work matchless..."
June 26th, 2007
"Sean es un hombre muy sensible al que le apasiona la fotografía.
Sus temas están relacionadas con el ser humano. Se puede decir que es una persona interesada en las relaciones familiares y los niños. Trabaja estupendamente las expresiones, la composición y la luz. Su interpretación del retrato es fuerte y muy personal, así como lo hacen los grandes artistas.
Me considero muy afortunado por estar dentro de sus contactos. Julio velasco"
June 25th, 2007
"I first noticed sshimmel's work when he posted the Dr Seuss picture of Cassie upside down - and I just loved it! I then discovered sshimmel's extraordinary talent of telling a story through a portrait. The portraits are often very close up - and yet you can see and feel a whole story - or even a fairytale from them! On top of this, his way of doing the lighting is simply beautiful. I don't know how he does it, but he's work is truly unique, amazing and inspiring!"
May 30th, 2007
"Sean's photostream is a gift to all that have the opportunity to view it. It is also, I believe, one of his gifts to his children. Sean has a very unique ability to capture precious moments of the lives of his children, which convey many emotions. From utter joy to pain, fear and every conceivable emotion in between. These small glimpses into the lives of his children are what he gives to us. Sean's photographs are technical as well as emotional masterpieces. Sean's ability to "convey" emotion in his work says a lot about what a wonderful human being Sean is. Most of us have work, which just "evokes" emotion, Sean is the master and we are but mere students and admirers of his talent. Sean's best gift of all is to his children, for them, these photographs represent a Tribute to them from their loving father. Thanks for sharing Sean J
April 11th, 2007
Azli Jamil Photography says:
"Sean embodies the great American values reflected in his beautiful loving photos complemented by eloquent and witty captions that would put wide smiles on your face. Just take a look at "Sir, not mister" and you would see what I mean.
Sean, someday we will enjoy that deep dish pizza... and you're buying :-) I'll buy the coffee :P"
April 10th, 2007
""The Eyes are the Windows to a Man's Soul." And Sean has wonderfully captured these Emotions and Expressions thru' his Outstanding Photography Skills and Processing Techniques. An Amazing and Captivating Photostream! Cheers!"
April 6th, 2007
"Hace poco tiempo que sigo el trabajo de Sean, pero ha sido suficiente para darme cuenta de que nos hallamos ante un fotógrafo singular. Sus retratos de niños tienen un toque distintivo que los hace únicos! Las expresiones en los rostros y el espectacular tratamiento que sabe darles les convierte en obras de arte ante las cuales es imposible permanecer indiferente."
March 20th, 2007
"Surely it is dangerous for a camera-owner only to see his family, pets, flowers - but if he manages to follow his children on their way, to discover the world, the growing of his children will develop congenial with the growing of his photography.
The pics "Golden Gloves" + "Sir, not mister" + "Apple" or "Fiberglass Fear" are examples how watching our children can help observing the world surrounding us in a more sensitive way.
Therefore Sean Shimmel's photostream is not only a path following his kids, it's a path to notice the world with a sharpened sensibility.
His shot titled "I can see clearly now" is like a symbol, a metapher,
not only about what he feels using his new glasses,
but on the other hand using his new camera too..."
March 19th, 2007
©DocTony Photography says:
"truly a gifted artist, sshimel has a way with his composition and post processing that defies words. do they make me smile? that would be an understatement sean! your work is phenomenal! really inspiring!"
March 18th, 2007
"The gamut of expressions captured in the faces seen in Sean's photographs is breathtaking. Fear, surprise, laughter, innocence, curiosity. Through the eyes of mostly children he has managed to portray a fascinating range of expression and emotion. I look forward to returning to this photostream to see what turns up next. I also congratulate him for seeing the light and switching from Canon to Nikon! :-) Keep up the good work."
March 18th, 2007
"sshimmel combines a talent for capturing child's emotional world, which reminds me of Sally Mann's photography, with impressive postprocessing skills. Great work!"
March 17th, 2007
Sam' place says:
"sshimmel.... que dire de shimmel ? si ce n'est que sa façon de voir la vie à travers ses enfants et des choses qui l'entourent, n'est pas très conventionnel: c'est simplement exceptionnel !!
En effet, son art constiste à nous transmettre ses peurs, ses joies, ses peines et sa bonté d'esprit au travers de tableaux soigneusement exécutés et d'une grandeur valeur artistique.
A chaque fois, il arrive à nous étonner un peu plus, et il est bien parti pour le faire longtemps!
Sean, merci de nous faire partager ton superbe travail!"
March 15th, 2007
"I came across Sean's photostream when I saw one of his photos in a group's pool. He captures the moments perfectly and each photo shows the joys of life through the expressions of his subjects. He has a great sense of composition. His post-processing skills are exceptional and the treatment of the photos always brings out the emotions perfectly. Happy clicking ......"
March 14th, 2007
"Sean has a subject, and that subject is his family. I have just looked through six pages of his images, and rarely have I seen such a feeling of love and joy shine through each and every picture. Every image that he adds to his collection reinforces this bond. As a father myself I can really understand where this is coming from, and occasionally I feel I have managed to capture something similar in one of my own pictures.
The only shame is the conversion from Canon to Nikon, but I think we can let him get away with that ;-)"
March 14th, 2007
Sassy Walt says:
"Sean's photo stream is full of magical moments that will turn into exquisite memories. A great vision and usage of light, which shows his talent to be flawless."
March 14th, 2007
"quizas tiene pocas fotos pero se ve que tiene mucho mas talento que yo aveces no se ni como logran fotos tan perfectas"
March 6th, 2007
i s m a e l says:
"I've seen your work and it's good. Believe me, It's very hard to impress me with photos, but you have accomplished just that.
Your photos are the kind of photos that make people go "WOW" when they see it.
I really admire your work, and I think I still have a lot to learn from you.
Keep up the good work, and I'm sure you'll do great with your new Nikon equipment."
March 6th, 2007
"As a newcomer to Sean’s stream, I find myself pulled in by his technical skill, his artistic eye, and his wonderful ability to capture emotion. I dare anybody to have a look around his stream and not find inspiration. Keep up the good work, Sean – I look forward to each new addition!"
March 6th, 2007
"Sean, my new friend.. you have the eye for beauty that others might not see and you make a perfectly ordinary photo to something that is so spectacular and haunting that one could not stop looking at it...You said in my testimony that I celebrate life through the joy of family and children..INDEED! And today, I celebrate the life of photography with you as you so skillfully captured the most memorable moments within a frame that is called a photo.. :)"
March 5th, 2007
Giuseppe Parisi says:
"Portrait photography is one of the most difficoult branch of this art.
Well now I can say that I have finally found a valid and creative portrait s photographer: this is sshimmel!
His stream is really outstanding, he succed in mixing the traditional rules with original and new techniques developed with a tough photoshop work and a lot of talent.
He really struck me, so visit, comment and fav him!
March 4th, 2007
"When I look at Sean's photography, three things shine through: his love for his kids, his love for God, and pure talent! His images provoke thought, challenging the viewer to look beyond the surface and to see life as it really is. He belongs to the club where every snapshot of family life, every anecdote, and every story about fatherhood is a work of art. It's what I hope to portray when I myself have children. Keep up the good work!"
March 4th, 2007
"Sean's photostream is a vision of a child's magical/simple life - for those who have not forgotten the child inside them :)"
March 4th, 2007
"Sean has one of the most creative photostreams that I have come across. His ability to capture his subjects in the most unique way astounds me. He has a gift for creating breathtakingly beautiful photos. Each and every time I view a picture of his it blows me away. I know that I can go to his stream for the most speechless photos. His work is just amazing!! One look at his stream and you will be hooked!"
March 3rd, 2007
"I first discovered Sean's beautiful photostream when I used one of his stunning photos as our daily icon at The World Through My Eyes.
His portraits are especially wonderful, he manages to capture so much emotion with his lens. As well as great photos his captions are brilliant!!
Keep up the good work Sean!!"
March 3rd, 2007
""..A different point of view. I like his pictures, the light. the composition.
A fascinating and impressive work!!""
March 3rd, 2007
- Sean Shimmel
- February 2006
- Miami, Florida
- Chicagoland, USA
- I am:
- Male and Taken
- Time Stand Still Studio