Oh no! Your cart is sad (and empty).

Shop now

Shelley Horan, a vibrant Melbourne photographer and visual artist, talks about navigating small business and how connection through community is integral for her.

Shelley Horan, Melbourne photographer and creative.

Shelley, today you are an iconic Melbourne photographer with a growing portfolio of dynamic clients and work. What inspired you to start a creative photography business in the first place?

When I started to pursue photography, I didn't know any photographers or anyone making money from creative pursuits. And I had no idea that being a photographer means being a small business owner. It took me ages to work out how I could make it a sustainable lifestyle and source of income.

We know running any small business is an 'always-on' life choice. What do you find is the most challenging component of operating your business?

I enjoy work so much that sometimes I struggle to say no. I'll fall over at so many opportunities and will push myself to get the work done. Sadly this meant I didn't have a proper break over summer and I am already feeling the repercussions of not resting. This year I am trying to set firmer boundaries.

Thumbs up for being on set.

We adored collaborating and connecting with you on our first shoot. It was pure joy! How does connection play a part for you in your work?

Maybe this doesn't relate to shoots specifically, but I'm really proud of the people I work with and the friends I've made in the industry. Feeling like I belong to a staunch, hard working community helps me going.

Shelley and crew connecting post-shoot.

Tell us about a connection that matters to you...

I'm lucky to have a great relationship with my parents. Mum and Dad have always encouraged and supported me. I have the confidence to pursue my interests because of them. I talk with Mum constantly. Dad is more of a listener so he lurks in the background of our calls, poking his head in with a joke or tidbit. The other day he couldn't wait to tell me that he'd been surfing, and a wave ripped the rash vest right off his chest. It was gone, never to be seen again! And Mum, she's an avid gardener and lately she's taken up drawing.

Shelley and her mum and dad at her exhibition, shot by Charlie Hawks.

We all start somewhere. How did you go about building brand awareness of your services and raising your industry profile? And, what do you recommend to other creatives who are starting out in the industry?

I'm not sure if I've even been intentionally crafting a profile for myself. When I make work I try to be playful with it. And it's not always possible but I try to be authentic with myself. And maybe that's what people respond to.

To anyone starting out, I beg you to stick with it. Unless you are very lucky, it might take you a long time to make work that people respond to. Every day I find a new clue around what makes a picture interesting. I don't know the answer but it's fun to figure it out.

Shelley Horan was the mastermind behind the Short Talk LAUNCH campaign shoot. Her infectiously positive, kind, creative and VIBRANT personality translates through her work and makes everyone involved iNSTANTLY feel comfortable, HAPPY and at ease.

Find more of Shelley here: @shelleyhoran

Related Talks

Sign up to receive updates including new collection launches, early access to products, collaborations, sales and events. Don't worry, no small talk from us.

Thank you! You've been subscribed.