Monthly Artist Feature (November 2019) – Shallamark Bailey

Artist’s Name:  Shallamark Bailey 

Name of Brand: Shallamark Photography 

Artist’s Age: 34

Artform: Photography


Why do you do what you do?

I do photography because it has been long life passion.

Seeing my artwork come alive and captivate my audience puts a smile on my face.   


When did you realize a passion for what you do?

One day, I got a camera to take photos at church because the photographer at the time was on the church choir.  I had no idea what I was doing but it was fun playing around with the camera. When I saw my images  displayed on the projector at church  and people were so drawn to the images  then I realized my true passion.


What is your educational background?

I went to Chetolah Park Primary School and St Margaret’s Human Resource Centre from there I went to Edna Manley College of Visual Arts.


What are some of the challenges that you have faced while trying to pursue your passion? 

  • Purchasing the necessary equipment. It was very difficult at the time to get the equipment I need in Jamaica; 
  • Replacing equipment which were either destroyed or damaged; 
  • Doing a lot of free photos to build my portfolio which was weighing in on my expenses.

Have you encountered people who have been skeptical about your dreams?

Oh yes, there are a lot of people.  A person  said  to me that this work  doesn’t put food on the table and another  person said that he can take pictures with his phone why do I need a photographer.


How did you initially react to those people and how do you act towards them now?

When people are sceptical/not easily convinced I feel empowered to work harder to prove to myself  that I can do it. 


What are some of the fears that you face even today?

I have only one fear, that I might lose the passion for photography .


How do you deal with those fears?

I keep on trying to improve myself  by going out meeting people also going to photoshop sessions whenever it is available.


How do you work? What is the method to your ‘madness’ and how do you filter your creativity?

I go the extra mile for my clients, taking them places they have never been,  pushing the limit and going beyond what it is expected.


What role do you believe “the artist” has in society? / How do you feel your artform has the power to benefit society?

My role is to empower  aspiring artists to believe in themselves. You will have bad and good days, but be willing to learn from others. 

I believe that my artform has the power to benefit society by allowing people to see the beauty of Jamaica, the natural scenery and its people. 


Out of all your work, which piece resonates the most with you?

My first sunset wedding, it was so amazing to see the colours dance across the sky and the  bride and groom were amazed by the photos.


Where do you see yourself going?

To be one of the best photographers out there.


By what terms do you measure success or perfection? When do you feel like you can say that your work is finished and ready to be experienced by others?

When I create an image that stops people in their tracks and just has them looking at it for hours on hours.


What elements of your career bring you the most stress? 

Taking photos of children because they are unpredictable. 


How has another artist or creative supported you in pursuit of your passion?

Whenever one of my friends goes out and takes photos he always gets some amazing photos and I do the same for him. 


What is some advice that you would give to anyone who is trying to walk the same path as you?

It’s great to be a photographer and to take amazing photos but in this job you see things that make you run away and you do things that make you jump for joy. Brace yourself  it is not that easy as it looks.


“One day, I got a camera to take photos at church because the photographer at the time was on the church choir.  I had no idea what I was doing but it was fun playing around with the camera. When I saw my images  displayed on the projector at church  and people were so drawn to the images  then I realized my true passion.”

~ Shallamark Bailey

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