Post Convention Workshop with Shannon Squires Toews
Tuesday November 8, 2022
9:30am to 5:00pm Lunch will be provided
Fine Art Compositing
Students can expect to learn, styling, concept and design, sales for the fine art niche, photoshop techniques such as layers, masks, and so much more.
*PPA Members receive a continuing education merit for attending.
I grew up in a small town in Nevada. My dad was a pencil artist as a hobbyist, and was always very creative in all he did. Snow men were never just snow men the, they were snow dragons, and usually green. Halloween pumpkins weren’t just pumpkins with faces, they were Disney characters. Needless to say I started young with my art. Like my dad, I started out as a pencil artist, and in high school moved into pottery, sculpture and painting. When I was 17 I was accepted into a program in town that taught local youth black and white film photography, and audio story telling through interviews. I remember my teacher Bruce Hucko turning a small room into a camera to show us how a camera worked. Basically he had put us inside the inside of a camera. The window was covered but there was a small hole that let light in. As the light came in through that little hole we turned around and saw the scene from outside the building dancing on the walls. Cars driving by, and people walking on the sidewalk and it was all upside down. It was then I became fascinated with photography. In high school I was invited to do two photography classes and through those classes I built my portfolio which I submitted to The Art Institute of Seattle. I received a 1/4 scholarship which of course I accepted and was off to art school once I graduated high school. Art school wasn’t always fun or easy, and I quickly learned the types of photography that I liked and did not like. For instance, product photography (which I failed) was not my thing, nor was architectural photography. Portraiture was always the genre I loved. After 2.5 years in Seattle I graduated with an associates degree in commercial photography. Art school was year round for those two years and I found myself exhausted and drained by the time it ended. So after leaving art school I took a break. I spent the next summer fighting wild land fires, waiting tables, and eventually landed a job as a makeup artist. I loved being a makeup artist because it allowed me to be creative in a new way. After 6.5 years of doing makeup which included not just basic makeup but also body painting and creative work, I took a 6 month trip to Romania for a missions trip in 2010. After spending time in the villages of Romania and seeing a bit of other parts of Europe my love for photography was re-sparked. When I returned home from Europe I jumpstarted my career in photography. Now keep in mind that as digital photography became more popular, the technology for it was growing by leaps and bounds. So essentially I had to relearn everything. I started small but quickly grew as a business, mostly because I under charged for my sessions and gave them way too much. I tried many times to find someone to mentor me but no one wanted anything to do with that. So I chugged along slowly and pushed myself to learn. After a children’s photography retreat I knew that children photography was the direction I wanted to go. By this time people were taking notice of my work and I quickly gained social media followers. Before I knew it I was being asked to travel to teach workshops and speak about my photography. Always wanting to grow I joined a local Professional Photographer of America guild in Sacramento where I heard about image competitions. Naturally being the competitive person I am I entered. But more than getting my competitive fix I learned and grew through competing. On my second year of entering at the national level I won the 1st place Grand Imaging Award in the Children photography category for the Professional Photographers of America in 2019. I am still blown away with his honor, but I also realize that the industry is constantly changing and you can continue to grow every day no matter what level you are at. Since then I have gone on to receive my Master Artist Degree and I continue to grow within PPA as well as various other affiliates of photography.
When I am not shooting, editing or teaching I am a very busy momma to 3 small kiddos, as well as a wife to my hard working husband. We are living life in beautiful Colorado.
Shannon Squires-Toews M. Photographer
Shannon Squires photography inc