As another year has come and gone, I’m thinking of the previous two years that I’ve had my Shelby Leigh Photography “creative outlet” Facebook page turned business page. My initial intentions with a creative outlet page was simply to take pictures and share them, and as a friend suggested, to keep them off my private page constantly, since my friends were beginning to see more landscapes and other families and events than my own family and family’s events! I took all of 2013 as a year for me…a year to learn, to grow, and essentially learn the back end of photography. You know, or maybe you don’t, but all the things that clients don’t realize photographers do! Who knew there were SO MANY PHOTOGRAPHY groups and challenges?! I surely didn’t. But now, I do. Unfortunately, I spent a lot of time being nervous or too intimidated to share my work, and so publicly on Facebook!

Alas, those days are OVER! I’m a caterpillar coming out of her shell, and I’m going to fly wherever this photography talent lands me! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve shared plenty of photos for various challenges, but trust me, not nearly as many as those who get “recognized” by the popularized photography groups. In these groups you will find everything from perfect portraiture, to only newbie togs, mom togs, distorted and flawed image togs, lifestyle and so much more! Now, as I’ve gone through, I know that some styles are just not what I normally produce…they are amazing images, but not particularly what I choose to capture. But I LOVE the inspiration that one can get from these groups. Beyond that, challenging myself in different areas helps the general creative process; it can help my eye find a different angle or a different take on how I want something to be captured. It’s also nice when one [i] occasionally gets the “like” or new fan from a photographer[s] that I admire!

Now, this may seem a little silly, but back in 2013, I submitted my second photo in a “Summer” themed photography challenge. I knew it’d be a long shot…after all, the image that I chose with the best face had me speeding on a boat through a lake while my gorgeous subject was tubing. But her face…it is perfect. GUESS WHAT?!!! I placed Top 10, which is pretty fantastic with all of the amazing summer photos and the sheer volume of entries…and I was a total newbie to anything Photo Challenge related! As I’m looking ahead to this year and some goals that I have, I’m realizing something…I didn’t have a blog way back when! I had no idea how to do it before, so I’m going to do it now. I’m grabbing a button from #iheartfaces (honestly, I have no clue if I did it right!)! I earned it 🙂 Seriously, though, if you are a hobbyist photographer or an upcoming business photographer or if you just enjoy capturing a themed image…check out It’s a fantastic community and a wonderful place to find some inspiration.

Here’s the link to my 6th place photo:

Okay, realistically, it’s not just mine that you’ll see…it’s the whole collage of winners…but the images are so fun and just scream “summer!”

Below is my actual 6th place image…!

Check out my beautiful subject’s face? Could it be more perfect for a “Summer” themed challenge that has to show a face?! I think not…

Anyways, all this to say…2015, look out. I might not win – in fact, the odds are SERIOUSLY against it. Do you know how much talent is out there in the world of photography? But if I don’t try, I’ll never know. And regardless, maybe my images will serve as inspiration for other newbie, or even seasoned professional photographers! Just a chance at getting featured in the photography world would be awesome! Hugs, and thank you for your continued support of my work!