By Shavonne Taisha
Camille Shaw exemplifies Melanin Magic with her vivid and glorified portraits of women of color. After seeing her all over my favorite blogger, Micaéla Verrelien’s IG I had to check her out. I was appalled that a woman so talented could remain under the radar for so long. I reached out to Camille and the same energy she brings to her online platforms is the exact same energy she exudes in her interactions.
Shavonne Taisha: What sparked your interest in photography?
Camille Shaw: When I was younger, I was very active. I played soccer every weekend and constantly was outdoors. I think the slow nature of photography attracted me to it. It allowed me to slow down and take a closer look at things. I liked the duality of these two interests. I think it created balance in my life at a young age.
Shavonne: How long have you been a photographer?
Camille: I didn’t call myself a “photographer” until I began freelancing in college 4 years ago. However, I’ve had a camera with me since I was a child!
Shavonne: What is one thing you wish you would've known when you begun photography?
Camille: I used to be embarrassed about the photos I made when I was younger. But it was always something that brought me joy. I wish I would have shared with others sooner!
Shavonne: What three adjectives would you use to describe your work?
Camille: Explorative, thoughtful and vibrant (recently!)
Shavonne: What is your favorite lens to shoot with?
Camille: A 50 mm 1.4 so I can get up close and personal
Shavonne: Who was the first person you called when you were invited to shoot "Black Girl Church" for Teen Vogue?
Camille: The Black Girl Church photoshoot was conceptualized by Micaéla Verrelien. I was so happy to be on board with this shoot. The photos were created originally without a platform to live on but were picked up alongside an article about the documentary by Teen Vogue. I couldn’t be any happier about that!
Shavonne: How has your hair played a part in your life?
Camille: I DIY’ed my ‘big chop’ a little over a year ago. Before that, my hair was a constant burden. I couldn’t manage my damaged relaxed hair and was constantly seeking stylists to fix it every month. Since I’ve cut it all off, I’ve learned to care for it and embrace my natural beauty more. What I used to see as a burden, I now view as a live, ever-changing symbol of my growth (literally + figuratively).
Shavonne: How has the beauty industry welcomed you?
Camille: As time goes on, I see more advertisements with women who look like me. It’s helped me so much in my self image and self care journey to see women in the beauty industry diversify and promote originality. Some brands are a little overdue when it comes to representation but I think the beauty industry is becoming more inclusive everyday. I wish childhood Camille could have seen the rise of black girl representation that’s on the rise now!
Shavonne: What was the best thing to come from the Teen Vogue experience?
Camille: Teen Vogue was my first major name to publish my work so hitting that milestone was definitely a big win in itself. Having a name like “Teen Vogue” on my resume also has added to my credibility as a photographer.
Shavonne: Whose work has influenced you the most?
Camille: I’m inspired by people who use color and light in unconventional ways. Since I source most inspo from Instagram, I’ll drop a couple handles of my favorite accounts haha.
Shavonne: How would describe your work flow?
Camille: I’m an early riser and try to get emails, some editing and other computer-based activities done in the morning. I shoot mostly in the late morning/early afternoon, then I get back to the computer in the early evening before signing off for the day!
Shavonne: What's the one thing you can't live without accomplishing?
Camille: This isn’t photography related but I don’t know if I’ll ever feel like “I’ve made it” until I get my dream apartment in a bougie area like SoHo or something! Just putting that into the universe!
Shavonne: What upcoming projects are you set to release in the future?
Camille: Right now I’m working with numerous small brands to create content for upcoming seasons/projects and hope to take on more soon!
Be sure to follow & book Camille at www.instagram.com/camilleshaw