Exploring Entertainment in Florida's 850 & Beyond
Everyone give a warm welcome to Josh Shelton! He has plans on shooting some for us at 850ME – and we are thrilled to be able to introduce him to all of you.
What first attracted you to photography?
I focused on video since high school and at Florida State University. I had always used the Panasonic HMC-40 and HMC-150 so I never had the opportunity to focus on photography. I studied abroad in London in 2012 and my good buddy brought his t3i with him so we didn’t have to share a camera with the other students and could just go out and shoot our final project whenever we wanted. Anywhere we went he started giving me information on different lenses and the inner workings of a DSLR. We would take our tourist photos together and I just instantly fell in love. As soon as I got back from studying abroad I used some of my student loans the next semester and bought myself a t3i and the rest is history. Next thing I knew I was taking way more photos than shooting video.
When was the first time you felt like a professional photographer?
This would have to be when I was in the editing lab during my failed attempt at a second Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising from the University of West Florida. We were learning graphic design and I, being the terrible student that I am, was more focused on editing this long exposure image I had taken of a record player a couple days before. I just knew I needed to work on photography and since I didn’t have the post-processing tools at home I just utilized my class time for what I thought was important. Anyways, the teacher was walking around the classroom checking out this fake logo thing we were working on and he stopped at my computer. “Great.” I thought. “He’s gonna tell me to get my shit together. Instead, my professor said, “Woah, Josh. Why do you want to be a graphic designer when you’re already a pro at photography?” I’d never been called that before and it really resonated with me. I dropped out at the end of that semester.
Favorite style or subject to shoot?
I’m a huge sucker for family photography. I didn’t have the best childhood growing up so there is something about capturing a family loving each other that will always hit me somewhere that any other type of photography just can’t.
Favorite piece of equipment?
My 7-Piece reflector. Sweet Jesus is that thing magical. Plus, it gives me an excuse to haul my lovely girlfriend out on shoots with me.
What is your dream photography gig?
If I could shoot the cast of Jackass’ individual family photos I would freak the hell out. You know Steve-O’s family has got to be freakin’ nuts. That, and if I ever get the chance to shoot Incubus. They put on such a great show.
Any advice for others who are interested in photography?
I got two bits that I hold important to me:
1. Shallow depth of field does not always tell the best story. Don’t be afraid to put that aperture at f/8 or higher and get the opportunity to fill a frame with more than just one person or face. Let the viewer have more to appreciate.
2. I read this one in a “100 Important Tips from a Pro Photographer” article; don’t let the camera get in the way of your life. It may sound crazy but it really is important. The other day I went to a rodeo and was bummed because I wasn’t allowed to shoot due to contracting issues. Once I sat down and could just enjoy the moment for the moment though I was honestly glad I wasn’t shooting. It was my first rodeo and I got to take it all in rather than worrying about framing and shutter speed and all that mess.
Best piece of advice you got starting out?
LEARN THE EXPOSURE TRIANGLE AND GET THE HELL OUT OF AUTO. Plain and simple.
What services do you offer?
I’ll shoot anything and everything. That goes from promo photos, to family portraits, to weddings, to live events, to a photo of you holding your dog with a 1980’s super-imposed image of y’all in the top left corner looking to the right. I’m also a cinematographer and I love shooting wedding videos, music videos, etc.
How can someone contact you?