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Meet Heather Shough of Heather Shough Photography

Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather Shough.

Heather, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was raised in San Diego and went to college in LA to study music and film. My heart was in the arts but, after I realized college wasn’t for me, I went to work in traditional jobs. Eventually, I ended up in nursing school and have worked as a nurse for 6 years.

In March 2015, my stepfather was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I vividly remember him grabbing my hand and saying “I just need more time… we need more time.” He died 14 months later. Working as a nurse I understand loss, but I try to help fix people. I couldn’t fix him, and it was incredibly difficult, to say the least.

I sat back and took a long hard look at my life and the woman I was. I knew the life I was living was not the life I wanted: I wanted freedom. I wanted to hear people’s stories — their pain, and their joys; their struggles and their triumphs. I wanted to encourage them to share their story with the world, and show them that there is hope. I wanted to watch the sunset every day, hit the open road whenever my heart desired, and escape the mundane 9-5 that I was in at the time. I believed there was more to this life, and I wanted it. I didn’t want to be at the end of my life saying “I need more time.”

I love to sail. So, I bought a 26′ sailboat, gave away most of my belongings, packed up my dog and moved my floating home to San Diego. I created a safe place to heal from my stepfather’s passing and an abusive past. It’s a place that honors laughter, kindness, and love above all else. I finally took that photo class that I had put off for 17 years and allowed myself the freedom to pursue a dream that wasn’t considered a logical career to most.

Almost 2 years later, I’m still in my boat with my dog, chasing the wind by sea and by land as often as I am able, and capturing as many moments of passionate authenticity as I can with my camera. I’m currently still working as a nurse, but now I’m in the ER, which brings me a level of joy that I can’t explain especially after losing a loved one to illness.

My next pursuit will include traveling the USA in a van, touring the National Parks and hopefully capturing many adventure elopements.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The process of intentionally turning your life upside down is never easy. Self-discovery, progression, pursuing your dreams — these all come with growing pains, and sometimes relationships that once defined you change or cease to exist. But what I have found and embraced is what feeds my soul: capturing meaningful and powerful images, and positively impacting the lives around me.

Starting a business is completely new to me. It’s a bit overwhelming, but has been a welcome challenge! I’d say my biggest struggle has been finding a client base. Facebook groups and word of mouth are huge for gaining clients within my community of photographer friends.

Being single with no children and not being in the military limits the Facebook groups I’m in where many people are searching for photographers. It’s a little tricky finding other ways to market to potential clients because I do not have a marketing background. But like I said, these are welcome challenges and I firmly believe that I will cross paths and work with individuals whom I’m supposed to work with.

Heather Shough Photography – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I love to travel and people… so landscape photography and portrait work are two of my favorites. I love working one on one, or with couples, to create beautiful images. I also like to explore when I’m shooting… so if you are doing a shoot with me, be prepared to see what’s around that corner, and feel the magic when everything just clicks: the scenery, the lighting, the chemistry. Photography can be and should be, an amazing experience. I want to walk away from every shoot absolutely excited to share the images with the world and say “look at this beautiful person! Here is their story!”

Besides landscape and portrait work, I am a total American Girl. I love this town so much, and since moving back I have really taken pride in our local military. I have so much respect for the men and women who serve our country, and photographing military events and families has become my greatest honor and deepest sense of pride for my company.

More than anything, I want to capture images that celebrate where people are in their life: highs and lows. I want people to be moved by my images and I want my clients to know how thankful I am to be a part of their journey. I want to share kindness, love, laughter, hope, and most of all: joy.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Recently, a helicopter squadron returned home after a long deployment. I was included in a group of 4 photographers who were tasked with capturing the entire event for the sailors and their families. Shooting Military Homecomings is an incredible honor for me, but that specific day is one that I will never forget.

I was so proud to be there and so humbled. Homecomings are an intense and beautiful roller coaster ride of emotions: you feel the anxiety that a mother feels as she waits for her child to disembark — and you feel her take her first deep breath in months.

You cry with the wives who have been longing for their husband’s embrace, and you grin from ear to ear with the children waiting to see their parent. That particular homecoming was one of the proudest days of my life.

Pricing:

  • – Portrait Sessions (individuals, couples, families) – Starting at $250
  • – Boudoir (individuals and couples) – Starting at $350
  • – Military Homecomings – Starting at $250
  • – Intimate Weddings and Elopements – Starting at $450

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Morning Owl Fine Art

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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