We caught up with Houston-based lifestyle, fashion, architecture, and interior design photographer Ahmad Sweeney of studio duo Sweenshots & Shaymone to chat about their experience with their co-owned studio, contributing to Stocksy, and how they get their style just right.
You have been with Stocksy for 3 years now. How has this time been?
The time has been amazing. There are some really amazing photographers on Stocksy, each killing it within their genre. I find myself on Stocksy looking at images more than any other platform. It has really opened my eyes to genres I had no interest or knowledge in and made me appreciate all forms of photography. I have definitely started to see the beauty in things I never saw before and have been open to shooting new things.
The people in your portfolio all have an amazing sense of style, does this come naturally or do you work with stylists?
I take no credit at all, lol. I get to work with some amazing blogger/influencers whose focus is lifestyle and fashion. Getting to work with creatives who each have their own sense of style, has definitely helped me to view fashion more creatively. It has helped me to see angles, my environment, and lighting more creatively. Each session is different, and I challenge myself each time to capture/create the best image possible.
Besides families and lifestyle, you specialize in capturing the influencer lifestyle. How did you get into shooting this specific area of photography?
I got into influencer/lifestyle photography through my wife Shay Sweeney (@shaymone). She began her lifestyle blogging career about the same time I started photography. She forced me into taking her images one day, and I fell in love with the camera. I loved teaching myself and soaking up any and everything the craft has to offer. I have the best muse to practice on each and every day, and it is amazing to see how much we have grown together.
Do you plan ahead or do you create for Stocksy as the inspiration comes?
I guess you can say I do both. For lifestyle sessions I let the inspiration come to me because each location and outfit is different. Family sessions I try to plan ahead; we plan out the location, theme, and outfits. Both types have really helped me grow in the aspects of making the best of each situation, whether its location, time of day, or environment—that’s what I love about them.
What would be your advice to somebody wanting to grow their portfolio at a regular pace?
I would say having a plan and don’t place yourself in a box.
Where do you think lies the key to a successful portfolio?
One thing that I have learned since joining Stocksy, is that there are so many different forms/genres of photography. It has opened my eyes to a whole new world, I’ve learned to appreciate and try to capture different genres. I would say the key is to diversify, whether it’s learning to shoot with a drone, expanding or challenging to push yourself in your genre, and learning to shoot different genres of photography.