We had the good fortune of connecting with Shannon O’Hara and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shannon, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I am and have always been a very creative person, but I can’t overstate how challenging it can be to translate creativity into a successful business. For me, it’s important that my photography nurtures my creativity AND I can provide an amazing experience for my clients that they feel good about paying me a livable wage to execute. The idea of the ‘starving artist’ is so scary when you choose to pursue creativity as a career. When I decided to get into the business of photography I made that decision because like many other millennials I was faced with the duality of wanting to be a success, but also not wanting to be chained to a desk in an office. Working for someone else drained me creatively, I am a horrible office employee, lol, and I crave the flexibility to create when it suits my schedule. It was always really challenging for me to have to be in an office for set hours, and then being awake and inspired at 1am…but unable to create because I have to go to bed to be in the office by 8am. That was the worst feeling for me. My quality of life is also very important to me, I know this is very cliche, and I’m reluctant to share it, but surviving Lymphoma in 2020 really energized me to reach my goals and to stop hesitating and wondering ‘what if’ and just GO FOR IT. My studio is being completely redesigned by Lucinda More with Bold Living Designs and will launch in June 2021, and I am so excited.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
A Boudoir Photography experience with our studio is luxurious, and right now I am most excited about the June 2021 launch of our redesigned studio space. Our studio is in the process of being expertly curated by Interior Designer Lucinda More and the professionals at Bold Living Designs. Throughout my time as a professional photographer I found I really enjoy working closely with my clients and creating an experience that is designed specifically for each client. I want my clients to be pampered in an extravagant experience created personally by the team of professionals at Shannon O’Hara Photography, and the new studio design will reflect that goal. We are an LGBTQIA+ inclusive studio and also work closely with the OnlyFans and other sex work and sex positive communities. I’m proud to share this because Boudoir is such a transformative and empowering style of photography and being able to provide this experience in a safe environment for marginalized genders and sex workers is something we take very seriously. From the inclusion of relaxing spa treatments leading up to your shoot, custom lingerie pieces with local boutiques right in San Diego, and our meticulous attention to detail, these extra touches set a Boudoir experience with Shannon O’Hara Photography apart.
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?
This is an interesting question because living in San Diego means my friends and family ALWAYS are coming out for visits because it is such an amazing city. When I pick my friends up from the airport, I head to Kiko’s food truck for fish tacos and ceviche. OMG, it is so good. Then we would head over to Balboa Park, I love seeing my friend’s reactions when they first see how beautiful the architecture is there. While they’re in town we would go to Torrey Pines State Park, visit the caves in La Jolla, and definitely hit up several of my favorite photography locations that are so epic and well known in San Diego. Mission Valley State Park comes to mind, and of course Potato Chip Rock. I love being outside and eating great food, so we would do as much of that as possible. Alexander’s on 30th is one of my favorite restaurants in the city because I LOVE seafood, and also Point Loma Seafood. Lol, we would basically spend our time at the beaches, and eating around the city. No shame in my game.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The support and guidance from very successful women has always been such a pivotal part of my career, so thank you to Sheila Morgan, Ailyn La Torre Hemminger, Donna Lane, Andrea Barrett Mendoza and Alex Loveland for the roles you’ve played in enriching and guiding me towards stepping into my power.
Instagram: @theeshannonohara @shannonoharashoots
Other: TikTok: @theeshannonohara
Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.