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Shelley Vandegrift

Featured image for post Shelley Vandegrift


Shelley Vandegrift became a photographer at the age of 10 capturing her surroundings and printing in her father’s darkroom. From that early time, the technical components of the post-production process held as much attraction for her as the creative experience behind the lens.

The introduction of digital cameras married her two passions: photography and computers. Shelley has a knack for explaining the technical in ways everyone can understand regardless of their relationship with technology. Guiding other photographers to achieve their own artistic vision through the magic of post-processing is her great pleasure.

Shelley teaches and guest lectures for a wide variety of venues including DxO, Skylum, Camversations, and camera organizations around the world. Shelley’s work has been featured in B&W Magazine and New Mexico Magazine and has appeared in A. Smith Gallery, Lucas Gallery and the Art Travelers Gallery at Dallas’ Love Field.


LACP Interviews Shelley Vandegrift

LACP asks Shelley Vandegrift ten questions about their background, career in and beliefs about photography.

Los Angeles Center of Photography: What kind of photographer are you?

Shelley Vandegrift: I am primarily an infrared shooter but explore many other genres. Since I teach post-processing and infrared, I like to stay up to date on trends.

LACP: How long have you been photographing?

SV: 50 years

LACP: Where did you get your training?

SV: From my father initially in our in-home darkroom, then in various college classes and workshops.

LACP: When did you know you wanted to devote your life to photography?

SV: I spent most of my career as a finance and technology executive with photography as a pastime. About 10 years ago I began transitioning to a focus on teaching photographic software and post-processing techniques, as well as all technical aspects of infrared photography.

LACP: Did you ever come close to giving up?

SV: No.

LACP: Have you sacrificed anything by being a photographer?

SV: Not really.

LACP: What have you gained by being a photographer?

SV: The deep rewards of expressing myself artistically and helping others master the skills they need to express themselves.

LACP: What classes do you teach at LACP?

SV: I have done two infrared webinars and now this basic IR class we have scheduled.

LACP: What do you love most about teaching?

SV: The joy of seeing students get something that has challenged them in the past.

LACP: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about making a career in photography?

SV: Since I followed a non-photograph career for so many years, I don’t know if I am qualified to give this advice. I would suggest they realize the actual photographing is only a part of what it takes to get where you need to go. All the skills required to run a business play a huge role: Communications and public relations, budgeting and financial management, and marketing. Those are often not fun for creatives, but getting comfortable with doing them is a key to success.