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Meet Shanna Dugan of Photography by Shanna in Starved Rock Region

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shanna Dugan.

Shanna, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am a full-time photographer and owner of Photography by Shanna. I began studying photography in 1998, and received my Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Illinois University.

Starting my photography journey on film gave me a wonderful perspective that I believe can be lost with digital cameras. Every shot mattered. Missed shots cost – both money and time in the dark room. I learned on the principle that creating an amazing photograph was worth taking time to make it amazing – not just firing off a bunch of clicks and hoping it happened. While most of my client work is shot with digital now, I carry that frame of thinking with me to this day.

After several years as a hobbyist photographer, I began shooting sessions for other people around 2006, and opened my business in 2012. Three years after opening, my business grew to a full time venture. Today, I shoot select clientele for family portraits, branding portraits, senior portraits and weddings. I teach photography workshops and classes at the 408 Fine Arts Factory, and advise small business owners on branding and social media with the Small Business Development Center. I am also the LaSalle-Peru Tuesdays Together leader for the Rising Tide Society, which promotes community over competition among small business owners and creative entrepreneurs.

Has it been a smooth road?
Being an entrepreneur is definitely not a smooth road! There have been a lot of ups and downs throughout the years.

When I began my business, I had no idea it would ever grow to what it is today. There were (and still are!) days that I feel like throwing in the towel and calling it quits. But most days I’m just amazed that this is my job. That I get to work with such wonderful people doing something that I love.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I shoot select clientele for family portraits, branding portraits, senior portraits and weddings. I spend a lot of time with each client, making sure their session is just right.

Specializing in quality prints was a game changer for my clients. Digital images are great, but we pass down those prints for generations. They need to stand the test of time.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Our area is wonderful for businesses! We see a lot of tourists, and its fun to work with them just as much as it is the residents of my town.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Shanna Dugan

    September 21, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Thank you so much! ❤️❤️❤️

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