Shelly Swanger Photography | About Shelly

I am a Music, Event and Fine Art photographer based in Nashville, TN.  Growing up in Memphis, I was always a dreamer. I loved music and all things visual. I used to take my Grandmother's Kodak Instamatic camera and play around with it all the time. My true love has always been music and I asked for a drum set year after year. I never got those drums but I got my first “real” camera when I was 14 and I’ve been shooting every since. I photograph music, people, places, things…whatever moves me.  

I was honored to be named South Walton Photographer of the year for 2015 as well as “Hottest Local Photographer” for 2015 and 2016 for the 30A area of the Florida Panhandle. I still work extensively in that area as well. I've served as the in house photographer for "Music City Roots," Bluegrass Underground and The 30A Songwriters Festival.

My music, editorial and travel photography has appeared in many local, national and international publications including USA Today, The New York Times, Southern Living, VIE, Fretboard Journal and American Songwriter. I've also served and continue to serve as tour photographer for various musical acts. I also serve as a volunteer photographer for Habitat for Humanity.

My subjects often change but my style remains the same. I love to get close to what I am shooting and really try to give the viewer an intimate feel and a front row seat. I am always striving to capture emotion, I’m shy in real life and I think that photography gives me a voice that I sometimes wouldn’t have without it. I love it when people “hear" me in this way. 

Someone once said that it’s easier to shoot beautiful things and people but I don’t think that’s always true. I love the old, torn, faded, tattered, wrinkled and left behind parts of life. Those things are beautiful to me too because they have history and secrets and stories. Photography allows me to document what I see and feel and hopefully share it with others.

No matter my subject, I try to convey an intimate vibrancy. I am happiest when I achieve that goal and am able to lift my shyness and let the world see what I feel. Thank you for taking the time to enjoy my work.  Feel free to call me to discuss your project or specific photographic needs!