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Uptown Art: Week of April 1 – 7

April 10, 2012

Uptown Art recently welcomed a new assistant manager, Shannon – and she agreed to do an interview for us!

Say hello, Shannon!:
Hi there! I’m Shannon. All my life I’ve been a passionate Photographer, Traveler, and Crafter. I’ve moved around here and there – born in Atlanta, spent an early year in Delaware, raised in L.A., lived in Beirut, and most recently relocated to Greenville, NC.

What was your first job?:
I spent about a decade completely consumed in the wonderful world of Theater. I started as an Actress for a several years, but a fortuitously timed opening lead me to become a Stage Technician. My first job was actually as a Stage Manager for my southern California school district…while I still attended high school there. I loved it; the job, the schedule, my older coworkers & friends, and the unique perks of being a simultaneous district employee and high school student.

Speaking of school, where did you attend?:
Home Photography Studio, c/o Dad.
Upland High School, Upland CA.
Citrus College. Glendora, CA.
Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut, CA.

What inspires you?:
Travel, above all else. My family has a unique and longstanding tradition of World Exploration that I inherited early on. Travel, of any shape or size, changes you. It changes the way you see the world and how you interact with it. It answers questions and raises even more. It opens your eyes.

What drove you to photography?:
I am a third-generation world traveler & photographer, so I guess it was in my blood. My paternal grandfather’s home was littered with exotic artifacts & photographs from his life spent as a Tour Guide & owner of a Travel Agency. There was an African Boar hide above his living room couch, next to an old black & white photo of him wearing a pith helmet sitting astride a camel on the Giza plateau. My father lived in Brazil and Germany, as well as traveling throughout Europe…all before he graduated College. They developed a passion for photography as a tool to document all they had seen; a passion that grew from there. This was my normal, growing up.
When I was little, my Dad would set up a photography studio in the living room on Saturdays. I’d stare out the windows while he metered & flashed, getting it all right. At the time, I was bored (although, years later, it was handy having him take all my acting headshots). But now, looking back, I am so thankful for the years of instruction I received at home. The connection I have to my father & grandfather. It is all invaluable to me.

Who inspired you to be an artist?:
First and foremost, I try to follow my father’s & grandfather’s example. As I grew older, and studied and traveled myself, I found other photographers whose work I admired. Travel Photographers & Photojournalists still remain my largest influences. The phenomenal James Nachtwey and Jodi Cobb (the only female Staff Photographer for National Geographic) are two in particular whom I greatly respect.

When you were younger, did you want to be something other than an artist? If so, what?:
I think like all little girls, I went through a Veterinarian phase. That is, until the watershed moment I learned that as such I’d be responsible for euthanizing sick critters. No more Veterinarian dream. Growing up in L.A., and developing a passion for Theater early on, I was bitten by the Art Bug. I knew from then on out, my life had to be centered around some form of Art. While I moved on to Travel & Photography, I still have many friends in the Performing Arts, and my twin brother makes his living as a Stage Technician through IATSE and Disney…so I feel surrounded by Artists, which I love.

What do you enjoy about creating?:
The instant gratification of having something tangible & completely unique to show for the time & energy you’ve sacrificed to create your Art.

Where has your art been published or displayed?:
Dagher, Shannon. “Where I’m At – Ballouneh, Lebanon.” JPG Magazine Oct-Nov 2008: 16-17. Print.
Dagher, Shannon. “CA. Powerline (TtV).” FILE Magazine. August 2008.
Dagher, Shannon. “99 Cents.” FILE Magazine. May 2008.
Dagher, Shannon. “German Military Coats.” FILE Magazine. April 2008.
Dagher, Shannon. “Finding Lebanon.” Everywhere Magazine Mar-Apr 2008: 74+. Print.
Dagher, Shannon. “Photo Challenge Winner—Moustache.” JPG Magazine. March 2008.
Dagher, Shannon. “Photoshop Challenge Winner.” What Digital Camera Magazine (UK). October 2007: p. 101.
Dagher, Shannon. “Featured Artist.” United Artist Guild (India). October 2007.

Photography at High Speed: A Historical and Contemporary Exhibit, Millard Sheets Center for the Arts, Pomona, CA. 2008.
We Are All Photographers Now!, Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland. 2007.
Leukemia & Lymphoma Art Benefit, Azusa Pacific University, Glendora, CA. 2005.

Have you ever collaborated with other artists?:
I was very proud to be a member of a small International Photography Collective, 15×100—15 Photographs By 100 Photographers, from 2008-2010. I still remain close to my fellow members and our collaboration is still alive & kicking through The Shoe From Peru Project.

What type of camera do you use?:
My Travel Photography is mostly done on my Canon DSLRs with all post done in Photoshop CS4. I originally learned to shoot on 35mm. & 120mm., and have quite an extensive collective of Antique & Vintage cameras (35mm., 120mm., and deadstock). I love to have fun trying new cameras & processing techniques.

Favorite snack while creating?:
Water, while shooting. Usually chocolate or gummy worms while editing.

What do you wish you could do?:
Make my living as a Travel Photographer / Photojournalist.

What has been your most exciting moment as an artist?:
Becoming a published photojournalist. Seeing my Lebanon photographs and stories (2005, 2007) in print.

How do you defeat artist’s block or burnout?:
Obviously, Traveling is #1. While a trans-Atlantic flight isn’t always possible in the real world, I’ve found that something as simple as getting out of town for the day can do the trick. Just drive…wander. Get lost. See what you find. Additionally, Art in general can get me going again. Perusing museums, galleries, books, the internet, or trying my hand at a new medium or craft…all of these are necessary to keep me happy and functioning.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 12, 2012 9:40pm

    Yay Shannon!

  2. April 12, 2012 9:41pm

    Shannon is awesome!

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