Faces of MetroPPA - Heath Shelton

How long have you been shooting and a little about yourself?

I have owned and operated Shelton’s Photography & Design in Guthrie, OK for 22 years. The studio has been in business 25 years. I have been behind the camera for 31 years.

I’ve been a member of MPPA for 25 years. I became a Certified Professional Photographer in 1996.

As a small boy Heath Shelton watched as his dad make prints under a red safe light. He had no way of knowing that someday in the future he would be doing the very same thing. As he got his dad’s camera down from the shelf many years later, he then knew that making beautiful images was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. Heath never dreamed of being a fireman, a doctor, or even a lawyer.

He always knew that documenting the lives of people and stories of the earth was what he wanted to pursue.

Then, with a few lessons from his father, Heath went out to look through that light tight box we know as a camera and started his life long career as a photographer. Now with twenty three years of experience (30yrs behind a camera) and four years of photography schooling, Heath is producing the type of work he has always dreamed about.

After graduation he kept his business that he had started while in college part time and went to work for Oklahoma State University as Coordinator of Photography for two years. Heath is now running his business, Shelton’s Photography and Design, full time in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Heath is an award winning portrait and landscape photographer. However, if you ask him he’ll say, “I enjoy taking portraits of just about anything. As long as I am behind my camera, I am happy.”

My wife is a graphic designer so that makes it handy and I am a graduate of OSU-IT where I received my Bachelor of Science in Photography.

Which is your favorite lens? Why?

My Nikon 85 F1.8. I really like the look of the glass and the versatility I have with it.

What kind of tools do you use for post processing? Explain your work flow.

I use Lightroom for importing raw files, color/density correction and producing working jpegs. ProSelect for preparing sales presentations and client ordering. Photoshop for final retouching/enhancement, final cropping, and logo placement. We import raw files into Lightroom and do all of the initial prep on the raw files and export jpeg files into ProSelect. In ProSelect we crop and prepare a sales presentation for our client. After the order is placed all images are brought into Photoshop for final edit, retouching and enhancement and prepped for ordering from the lab.

How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?

While I was in college I participated in two internships that really gave me a good look at the differences in photograohy. One was with Mark Moore at The University of Tulsa which gave me a good look at workflow and how to turn jobs around fast and accurate and the other was with Terry Spearman of Spearman Photography. This inter turned into a life long friend, mentor and working relationship.

Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?

My image of the Pilot, it was just taken at a great time in my life it brings back great memories and it is of my favorite photographer, Terry Spearmen. It also got me my first merit.

What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?

I wish I would of taken more business type classes early in my career

What lighting equipment do you take on a shoot?

Totally depends on the job. Sometimes I roll with just my camera and a reflector, sometimes one or two small power lights. Some jobs require studio lights, equipment and others are able to be done with speedlights.

How important is Photoshop in your final images?

Photoshop is used for most of my image enhancement.

Name three things on your photography bucket list.

Croatia, Iceland, one day my son playing professional soccer.

What would I find in your refrigerator right now?

probably milk, OJ and coffee creamer well actually nothing because our frig is broke and everything is on the patio with the -17 degrees it works like a frig

A website and/or blog you visit often?

Instagram and Meshhall

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