TAG Treasury Team

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Featured Shop of the Week: Shy Photog!

“I’m usually taking a picture of some odd detail that most people have completely overlooked, while I bend myself into some awkward angle to get the shot,” says Heather, photographer and proprietor of the Etsy shop, Shy Photog. Her shooting stance influenced the origin of her shop name: “I take photos where there are not a lot of people.”

She started her shop a little over a year ago, in October of 2010. “I decided to push myself outside of my comfort zone – way out of my comfort zone," she recalls. “My photography has always been a very private thing for me. A lot of my friends and family were not even aware I was taking pictures. It was something that I did for my own personal enjoyment.”

“I love taking photos of what I call “gritty” things. Rust or peeling paint always catches my eye. I like to take small details and turn them into something beautiful. One of my favorite pieces is a detail shot of an old drawbridge in Cambridge, MA. I love the 3-dimensionality of the piece:

I’m also in love with the color in this one, from a Day of the Dead exhibit at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology:

Heather received her first manual SLR (single lens reflex) camera as a high school graduation gift from her father - a Minolta x-570. “I took a couple of photography classes in college and really enjoyed them but never pursued it outside of documenting my life and vacations.” During those pre-digital years, she tells of how “film and developing started to add up for a poor, recent college graduate. My mom teasingly calls some of those early photos I took as my ‘artsy’ stuff. Now, I think every wall in her entire house is covered with my photographs. I joke that it’s like walking into my own personal gallery.”

While on a tour of London, Heather’s old Minolta SLR started to act up. “It began to let light in. It was about twelve years old. I never knew if my photos were going to come out or if there was going to be a light mark down the middle of them. It made it hard for me to want to take pictures, knowing that they might not come out. I had actually given up photography for several years.

“Then, a few years ago I was planning a trip to Italy, trying to figure how to get my camera fixed – a vacation without a camera is not a great vacation at all. By that time, places that would fix manual SLRs were few and far between and digital cameras were the norm. My boyfriend at the time realized how much my photography meant to me and did something completely unexpected - he sent me a DSLR camera in time for my trip. I fell in love all over again - with photography! Now if I go a week without taking a photo I feel like something is missing.”
My favorite picture from my travels in Italy:

The color of the water is amazing – the water of Venice is always this awesome color.

Heather grew up in a small town in northern Utah. She received her undergraduate degree in Business Management from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. In 2001, she moved to Boston in part to pursue a masters in Arts Administration from Boston University, and in part to be near family. “Both my parents are originally from the Boston area and I still have family here, so I settled in the area. My grandparents recently moved back here after living in Utah for about 40 years.”

Even though she counts her main hobbies as photography and gardening, she admits that her “most recent hobby has become Etsy!” She laughs, "I never knew it was going to be as addictive as it has become when I first started. There are just so many cools things to look at on the site.”

She works at the New England Museum Association (NEMA) which provides professional development to people working within New England’s regional museums. “I was able to combine my love of museums into my day job,” she says. “My favorite type of museums are art museums but I love all museums in general. One of the perks of my job is being able to visit them for free.”

Heather is passionate about photography, museums, art and gardening, but above all she simply adores her four nieces. “I think one of my greatest talents is being able to listen to others and always being there for my friends and family,” she says. When it comes to doling out advice, she keeps it simple: “Do something that makes you happy.”

In addition to visiting Heather’s Etsy shop, Shy Photog, you can also find her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shyphotog and follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/shyphotog

Interview and article by Linda Loca of Fire Grog Studio


  1. What a great story Heather! Thanks for sharing. I love your photography:-)

  2. Wonderful story Heather!

    What an awesome job you have~ to be around ART all the time! Dream come true. I LOVE THE GRITTY THINGS YOU TAKE PICTURES OF ~ THOSE ARE MY FAVORITE! I love all the rust and close-ups of things that are overlooked in our busy lives!

    So nice to hear what drives the passion behind the lens!

    Thank-You for **making us take the time to notice the beauty around us with your Camera Lens **


  3. Lovely story Heather! Thanks for sharing :D
    I love all museums, too...
    It's really really nice to write your story.

    Big Hugs

  4. Heather, I've always your work. You have a great eye for detail and always find the beauty in objects.

    Thanks for your story.


  5. You see the details that always cause me to later say: "Why couldn't I see that ?" Your photos are wonderful.
    Great to meet the person behind the name.


  6. Hi Heather! Nice to meet you :) Your photos are stunning!


  7. Beautiful work and Great article. Congrats on the feature this week and I hope you have a week full for sales:)

  8. It's great to get to know you Heather! I love your photos :))

    Robin (jarmfarm)

  9. Hi! I enjoyed this piece and love seeing your photos. The bridge one really made me do a double-take. I love taking photos, too (though I'm certainly not in your league!) and using them in my cards. Ones like yours, that focus on often-overlooked details, can say ambiguous, quirky things that can't be said any other way. Cheers; hope the week brings you lots of sales!

  10. Loved reading your story, Heather! Your work is truly beautiful! The "All locked up" photograph is exquisite.


  11. I have always been a fan of your work. Such beauty you find in all the objects. It is really nice to learn about the eye behind the lens.

  12. Lovely story, interesting to see how a love of any particular art form develops...keep up the great work, Heather, we all enjoy it!! And I love my niece, too! And give advice. :-)

  13. such a wonderful article. So nice to get to know heather and her interests. how she was drawn to photography. wonderfully written!!!