In conversation with Shelby Wollbaum, a self-taught film photographer based out of Vancouver.
Today, I am pleased to introduce you to Shelby Wollbaum, a photographer with a passion for nostalgic, candid looks. Based out of Vancouver, Shelby Wollbaum (aka by setsuna) captures images inspired by traveling, vintage aesthetics, and the female form. Below you can read what Shelby says about her work.
How did you get into photography?
Shelby Wollbaum: “I’ve loved taking random photos ever since I can remember but it was only when I moved to Vancouver two years ago that people started contacting me off of Instagram. I didn’t know photography was really a career option but by random luck, a model messaged me on Instagram. We had a great shoot and then she messaged me again saying she moved apartments and her new roommate was an established makeup artist. So I did a photoshoot with both of them and the makeup artist loved the shots so much she gave me a shoutout on Instagram and since then people started contacting me. I feel really lucky to have had that opportunity.”
What does photography mean to you?
Shelby Wollbaum: “To me, it means freedom to do something I love while making a living off of it. It’s something I do naturally and it’s always been an escape of sorts. When I’m behind the camera I don’t really think about anything, I just shoot what I think is beautiful and waiting to get my film back is really exciting.”
Do you shoot exclusively on film?
Shelby Wollbaum: “Yes all my recent work over the year is on film!”
What do you particularly like about analog photography?
Shelby Wollbaum: “I love the look of film. I feel like it gives a nostalgic, candid look to photos. It also makes me move around a lot more when I shoot so I get a variety of shots instead of taking a hundred photos of the same shot on digital.”
You like traveling a lot. How does it influence your work as a photographer?
Shelby Wollbaum: “I think traveling has made me fall in love with more candid, “real” shots instead of aiming to take the perfect photo. I really like photos that tell a story and I think location has a lot to do with that. I also think it has shown me that you don’t need perfect equipment and studio lighting to take a good photo.”
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be doing?
Shelby Wollbaum: “I have a few different passions but I think I would be a writer or open a vintage clothing shop. Maybe both haha.”
What inspires you the most?
Shelby Wollbaum: “Traveling to new places definitely. Even small day trips around Vancouver sparks new inspiration and ideas. I find it really hard to stay motivated when I’m trapped in place for too long.”
Do you usually plan your shoots or are you more of a spontaneous photographer?
Shelby Wollbaum: “I’m about 80% prepared and 20% spontaneous now. I used to just take my camera to shoots and hope for the best but now I take control of casting the model, hair and makeup looks, styling, creative direction, and location. Then I leave 20% for magic!”
What are your goals for the future?
Shelby Wollbaum: “When the world reopens I plan to work on photoshoots around Europe and in Japan. Freedom is very important to me so to be able to make money while traveling is a big goal of mine.”
Below you can find some more pictures shot by Shelby Wollbaum. For those of you who want to know more about this talented photographer, please visit her website or follow Shelby Wollbaum on Instagram.
All images © by Shelby Wollbaum. Do not hesitate to browse through our popular Photography section to find other inspiring images shot by photographers from around the globe.
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