“Not everyone will value your art,” SMKS’s PhotograpHER, Shasta-Lee Smith, told Outlook Magazine’s Beyond the Lens.
Smith has been gaining traction via social media for her bold and awakening photographic statements. This week, we caught up with the young creative to find out more about how she began ‘shooting’ for social change.
Born and raised in Kingston, Smith thoroughly enjoyed her childhood. What was there not to love? There was no worry. She grew up with her mother and three brothers, and although she was the only girl and the ‘wash belly’ of the lot, she was far from spoiled – an upbringing she was grateful for.
“My mother sacrificed a lot, she has always put her children’s needs before hers. Being able to have a parent who understands you and supports you in everything you do is priceless,” she revealed.
Most of her childhood memories, she recalls, surrounded the performing arts. She was either dancing or acting.
“I have been told that I am very humble, funny, and have a kindred spirit,” she confessed.
So how did she tap into another creative side and enter the realm of photography?
In every family, crew or squad, you have a designated driver, a designated ‘vibes master’. Among her family and friends, Smith was the designated photographer. Photography found her by chance after she began following through on their repeated requests to take their photos.
“I have always had a passion for creating and with my duty as resident photographer for family and friends, I found a new artistic mode – telling stories through images. I then bought my first used camera and everything changed from there,” she added.
Initially, the ‘clicking craft’ was a lighthearted hobby for Smith, who revelled in the simple joys of bringing happiness to others. But when individuals began offering money for her artistic services, and she saw the act of taking images as a daily motivational tool for her, she began to look at photography differently.
An epiphany came to her and she started her quest to pursue photography professionally.
“The passion is what pushed me to create what I love in a profession. I wanted to capture more than ‘just a picture’. I want my audience to have their own perspectives,