I love making leather goods, its a genuine passion of mine. It makes me happy to start and finish a project. From selecting the hide to what rivet to use I enjoy every aspect of it.
This love of what they do is also true of the next photographer in my The People Behind the Lens series. This one is a real treat, she isn't just a photographer, she is a story teller. If you dont believe me, check out her website and you'll see what I mean.
So without further adoo, introducing... Shianne Mercer.
Ben O'Reilly - Hey! To start, whats your name and where are you located?
Shianne Mercer - My name is Shianne Mercer and I am located in Essex and cover all UK and International Destinations.
B - So, How long have you been a photographer and how did you get into it?
S - I studied photography from leaving school - whilst studying I was really into documentary lifestyle photography and based most of my projects around that. After graduating University I really struggled to grow my client base photographing families but then in 2018 I got asked by a friend to photograph their Wedding Reception and the rest is history. I would say I have always been a photographer but I set up Shianne Mercer Photography in 2019.
B - Thats great! So tell me... what is your proudest moment in photography?
S - I have two moments I am extremely proud of. Graduating from University for me was such a big achievement, it really isn't as easy as some may seem and I was always riddled with doubt. My tutors didn't always support my ideas and passion for photographing families and that was really difficult but I'm glad I stayed true to myself. My second proudest moment is winning the Best New Business 2020 award at the Essex Wedding Awards.
B - So you obviously shoot professionally, but what kind of thing gets you out shooting for fun?
S - This year I was really able to think about being creative with all the time we had spare. I met with another photographer who I began to network with during the beginning of the Pandemic and exchanged some branding photos - that was really fun! I definitely want to collaborate with other suppliers within the industry this year as well as plan some styled shoots.
B - What camera setup do you use typically with your Harness? What is your absolute go to bit of kit that would not be able to shoot without?
S - I have a dual harness so the majority of the time I carry two bodies and lenses. I shoot on a Canon 5d Mk III and Canon 6D with a 50mm lens and a Zoom lens so I have a variety of kit to work with and I love that.
B - I love a 50! So, If you had to describe your photography style how would you describe it?
S - I would describe my photography style as being relaxed and informative. I love to document emotion and narrative, personalities and to be able to tell a visual story with each photograph I take. My editing style is very earthy and warm with a slight vintage feel.
B - SO, 2020 wasn't the year any of us were expecting, how did you change to adapt to a rapidly changing world?
S - The most important thing was and still is about support, I supported all of my clients by accommodating changes when it came to their wedding dates and family sessions. If I was unable to make their arrangements I helped them to find alternative options they were happy with. My work in 2020 was bitter sweet but I took each day as it came and worked whenever I was able to. I was given time to focus on my business and developed my branding, website and also attended workshops to develop my photography skills and network with other creatives.
B - That sounds great, Finally, any advice to those who are maybe first picking up a camera or looking to make the leap to being a pro?
S - I feel photography is best taught through practising, I would advise any desired photographer to ask friends and family to model and shoot however much they can. Investment is such a big aspect to consider and investing into workshops is a great thing to do as you can learn and network with other photographers of all abilities as well as get amazing content involving high end suppliers. I highly recommend @
If you want to get to know Shianne a bit more or want to check out Her style you can get her on instagram or check out her great website below.
Shianne has the Cloverlily Double Camera Harness in Black
All photo credit goes to the wonderful @chloeellisphotography
This interview was written up whilst listining to The Doors - La Woman