We had the good fortune of connecting with Shawn Gavlick and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shawn, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Being an artist and creator has always been my passion, I attended Colorado State University to be part of the Fine art photography program to ultimatly persue a career as professional photographer. Since completeing that program I have always taken on photography gigs on the side of working full-time as a way to work towards my goal of being an independant photographer. In October 2019 I was working as a warehouse manager for a small company and was told that company would be moving to Florida, that option was never really on the table for me so essentially I knew I was getting laid off three months in advance. This turned out to be the perfect opportunity to build my business, I had been doing photo shoots outside of the job on nights and weekends so felt confident that given the full time availability I could take on larger and more consistent work as a professional photographer. I was able to take the time to come up with a business plan, pay off any debts, form my LLC, and start working on contacts to help become a full time freelancer.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Personally my art has always been focused on the abstract, and largely in studio, and that interest has spilled over to a lot of the work I product in studio like the beer images I have been producing lately. I think what sets me apart is that I focus heavily on getting the image in camera and not relying on too much digital manipulation. To get to the level that I’m at now I have had work on lot of portfolio building to showcase the type of work I am passionate about to prove my abilities. The biggest lessons to get here is that I need to push my work out into the world, some of the most rewarding work I have done is thanks to my work being shared, either by me through social media or word of mouth. The two biggest things I would like to share about me is that I only send out photos that I am proud of, I never like to send out images that are just good enough; and the second is that I am willing and able to pivot outside of my portfolio. I am always willing to take on new challenges and I’m a quick learner so bring it on and I’m confident I can produce some great images no matter what it is.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Its hard to pick a list, I enjoy exploring and finding new places to experience and we have so much in Denver the options are almost endless. In RiNo there are so many great breweries and art galleries to visit you can’t go wrong. I am also becoming a fan of the Santa fe arts district, there is a newer studio that has opened up of Santa Fe and 9th called Nick’s house studio, they are making some crazy things in there!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I owe a lot of my knowledge to my college professor, Gary Huibregtse, studying photography from him was largely analogue processes and at times very technical. Thanks to that basis I have been able to build on that technical base and able to work with new photographic processes easily and allowing for more effort to be put into the concepts of the images I create without worrying if the images will turn out. I also am very grateful of the communities I have found and been a part of, between friendships virtually through social media as well as local groups of photographers, models looking to build portfolios, and other creatives of different fields looking to partner on larger projects.