We had the good fortune of connecting with Shelby Del Vecchio and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shelby, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor behind my success has proven to be my innate attention to detail. I’m a perfectionist at heart, and although that trait comes with pros and cons, it has transformed the way I create and shoot photography. I analyze everything, whether it be uneven lighting on a backdrop to an unwanted crumb, a crooked prop, a speck of dust, you name it. Complacency is never a place I want to be, especially creatively, so I will always do whatever it takes to get the job done, and done well.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a freelance photographer based out of Lafayette, CO. I specialize in photography, stop motion, lighting, styling and editing. I primarily shoot brand, product, and food photography, but I am most certainly not limited to those three categories. I am always up for the challenge of trying just about anything, which is why people often refer to me as a “jack of all trades” or a “unicorn.” I mean who wouldn’t want to be a unicorn, right?! How I got to where I am today professionally was not necessarily a walk in the park. I was laid off from my job in January of 2019, and I immediately dove head first into freelancing full-time, which came with a massive learning curve. I felt quite overwhelmed trying to learn everything all at once: becoming an LLC, managing 4-6 different clients at the same time, bidding on jobs, hiring entire crews, creating estimates and contracts, juggling the logistics of licensing and usage, and above all else, financial stability. The internet was helpful for some of my questions, but the golden ticket was reaching out to other freelancers or agency friends. Never be afraid to ask for help, because odds are, they’ve been in the same position as you have once upon a time!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would start us off with a trip up to Fort Collins. Our first stop would be at New Belgium Brewing. My favorite beers are of the Voodoo Ranger variety, but you really can’t go wrong. If we’re lucky, the Corndoggies food truck is there. Order the Classic. I promise you it’ll be better than any corndog you’ve ever had before. After New Belgium, we’ll walk over to Odell Brewing Company. I’m in love with their huge outdoor patio, and they allow dogs which is always a plus. Beer I recommend: Drumroll, Rupture, Sippin’ Pretty, Pulp Theory IPA, and Wolf Picker. Once again, we’re hopefully having a good food truck day, which means the Mac’N is outback at Odell. The Spicy Swine Mac is a must! It comes loaded with cheddar, bacon, and diced fresh jalapeños. Usually brewery hopping is an all day affair, so we’ll stay the night at The Armstrong Hotel. The next morning we’ll head down to the Silver Grill Cafe. Order a Spicy Bloody Mary and whatever you fancy for breakfast, just as long as you order the Cinnamon Roll French Toast and their bottomless Home Cooked Hash Browns for the table. You won’t be disappointed! To walk off the full bellies, Fort Collins has a ton of cute shops to poke around in. On the way back home, I’d highly recommend making a pit stop in Greeley. Greeley? I know. But you have to! WeldWerks Brewing Co. is by far my favorite brewery. Ever. My favorite beer from there is Juicy Bits. Try that, but also try everything they have. I usually get a flight! I love where I live, so of course I would have to show them around Lafayette. One of my favorite places is Romero’s K9 Club & Tap House. Romero’s is a dog park brewery, and yes, it’s as amazing as it sounds. We’re annual members, which in a nutshell means we go there with our German Shepherd at least 2-3 times a week. They get great beer from all over, but if I could sway you in any direction it would be to order some of their Outer Range beers. If you need a snack, the owners of Romero’s opened up a grilled cheese food truck outback called The Waggin’. Order the Who Wants to Be a Dillionare, Jalapeño Mouth, and Figgin’ It Out. For dinner, we would pop over to Community. Order one of their speciality cocktails to start. Order the Double Cheeseburger for dinner. It is by far the best burger I have ever had. Anyone that I take there says it’s the best burger THEY have ever had. I also haven’t ordered anything different since. So, get the burger. On another day in Lafayette, I would take them to Odd 13 for some hazy IPA’s and then pop over to Teocalli for tacos! Okay, Boulder. Let’s start off with a late breakfast. Blackbelly still takes the cake for the best breakfast burrito I’ve ever had. Order the OG, and ask for their homemade hot sauce. Boulder is beautiful, so we’d fill our afternoon hiking trails and shopping Pearl Street. Once 5pm rolls around, I would head over to Arcana for happy hour. In my opinion, they have some of the best cocktails in Boulder. It’s not on their menu anymore, but see if they can make you a “My Tie.” It’s been my go-to drink there for years now. They also have tasty appetizers on their happy hour menu, one of my favorites being the hushpuppies. For dinner, we’ll head to Basta! Delicious cocktails and food. For an appetizer, their Burrata is out of this world. I usually order that and a pizza, and it’ll put you in a carb coma! Oh Denver, I would never forget about you! Denver is another great place to brewery hop during the day. Our Mutual Friend is a great stop, as well as 10 Barrel, Denver Beer Co, and Cerebral Brewing. For pricey but worth-it cocktails, Death & Co is your place. Right below Death & Co is Super Mega Bien, and across the street is Cart Driver. Both of those are my two favorite restaurants in Denver. Aside from eating and drinking, I absolutely love hiking, and Colorado is the place to do it. Rocky Mountain National Park and Great Sand Dunes National Park would be two stops I would love to take a friend. Completely different terrain, both absolutely stunning. If we didn’t have time to make the trek to either one of those parks, Nederland, Golden, and Ward have amazing trails to explore, too.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Oh man! I have so many people in my life that contributed to my success. Two of the biggest mentors in my life that have molded me into the photographer I am today are Michelle VanParys and Jonathan Boncek. Michelle taught most of the photography classes that I took at the College of Charleston, and Jonathan was the Staff Photographer for the Charleston City Paper who I interned with for 2 years. They both were incredible leaders, teaching me to slow down, trust the process, and most importantly, pursue what I love. We still keep in contact too, which makes me so thankful for lifelong friendships. I would also like to mention that an immense amount of love, encouragement, and support poured out from my family when I decided to choose photography as a career path. They never gave up on me, even when I sometimes didn’t think I had it in myself to be a photographer full-time.