We had the good fortune of connecting with Shannel Gray and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Shannel, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
What makes me happy is being a true blessing and showing unconditional love to others. I love to capture unforgettable moments that people may have an idea or think that may be impossible to do. I like to tell them to trust me and to trust the vision that I have for their moment. I love knowing that every moment that I spend in photography, I am delivering dreams, visions, memories of a lifetime and also another step toward the empire and legacy that my children will carry on with them. Being happy in life is not always about what we can do for ourselves but what we can do to help one another. Becoming selfless and to continuing to spread love in such a selfish world, love always win along with happiness.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My work consists of all angles, from weddings, to brides, to graduating seniors, to families and children,maternity, and all portrait photography. I am always excited about new ways of editing my work or finding new locations to be creative with. I like it when clients tell me, I love your work and creativity. I trust you. Those are the best words because it frees my mind to take the session places and do things that will bring the best out of the client and the concept. Getting where I am today was not easy. It’s a constant battle to do better and improve. One thing that I do know is that I know I have to keep learning and opening up my mind to new challenges and changes. Technology and concept of photography changes daily and I do my best to explore the new things that come out to help improve the look of my photos. I stay believing that I am not in competition with anyone but myself. I challenge myself to be better and to not settle for just the basic but to step beyond what the client may expect. Challenges come often but to overcome I always keep an open mind and also be ready for criticism. It is to only make me better and more observant to my work and remain careful and learn next time. I also learn that not all clients are for me. I can’t be a hero to everyone. I learn to bless someone else with that client who may have needs beyond my control. It takes a village and I have learned the art of saying no. My story and testimony is that my business flourished and became alive from a prayer and $200. I prayed and asked God to see my heart and the vision I had for my future and that if He blessed me I would dedicate my journey to Him. God did this for me. Believe in yourself and your craft. Be your own best cheerleader every. Pray daily and do not get greedy. My business is the bless the people. To give back and encourage others in their journeys in life and to know that they cannot do anything in life without God. My business is what it is today because of God’s hand on it.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I currently reside in East Texas, Tyler. One place I love to take people is to the Tyler Rose Garden. It’s a beautiful garden of all the roses ever created in all the colors. For a fantastic run on a trail we would go to Rose Rudman and also Faulkner park for a nice stroll in the woods. For a nice lunch, I would suggest Yamatos or for an American meal, FD’s Grillhouse. Other places to visit and hang out for some fun in the sun would be The Villages for an indoor waterpark fun and also to be able to chill out in luxury in a nice condo on the property. I would like to take them for an evening of beauty on Lago De Pino for a nice dinner and to sit on the patio with a nice drink on the patio overlooking the lake. For some fun, we can visit Urban air trampoline park, Green acres bowling alley, For history purposes, downtown tyler is great for exploring the history of the city and how things got started. There is a Tyler airport museum that explores all types of aircraft and how the tyler airport was built along with a few airplanes sitting to take a look at. The black history museum is great for reflections on different historical views of north Tyler area. Tyler is big on exploring the city with plenty of walking trails and parks. There are so many eating places to try the list is too long to put here!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First and foremost, God who is the head of my life, source of my strength and my push behind every moment captured. To my family, my parents and sisters who will always be my cheerleaders in life for everything I do. To my kids, Jaylon and Jordynn, who are my heartbeats and inspiration to do everything that I do in life today. To Steve Newby who gave me the push to pursue this dream of photography. To all my clients far and wide who have booked and supported me in any way possible. I would not be who I am and what I am if it wasn’t for my clients.

A big shout out to my best friends circle, my girls who always come with an encouraging word and keep me in prayer at all times. A huge shout to my home state, Arkansas, and to all those who have been supporting me since day one and still love me no matter what. I have the best cheerleaders there!!

Website: www.shaegrayphotography.com
Instagram: shae4photography
Facebook: ShaeGray photography

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