Cedar Valley grad focusing her photography on students

Fresh out of high school, photographer Shelby Davis began her career. Just a hobbyist at the time, Davis’s best friend asked her to take his senior photos. Having a blast, and absolutely falling in love with running all over Cedar Falls and Waterloo capturing personality-driven, creative shots, Davis fell in love with photography, and photographing high schoolers. 

“I have always loved photography,” Davis said. “When I was little, I was obsessed with my mom’s old photo albums. There is something so magical about being able to look back through time to see what everyday life was like before I was even born. Getting to look back on relatives that I never had the chance to meet and to see them smiling, laughing and living life is such a beautiful thing that photography has given to the world, and I am so grateful for that. As a portrait photographer I feel as though it is my job to create those same invaluable memories for other families. I am beyond grateful that I get to be a part of so many other peoples stories just through the reflection of my lens.” 

Although Davis’s only profession is not photography, her goal is to eventually go full-time and all-in with SRD Photography. 

Davis started her own “model” team in the fall of 2020, describing the team as an opportunity for local high schoolers to make new friendships, new memories and have new experiences while also being able to get her name and work out there as much as possible. 

“This year, I rebranded the team into the SRD Starlet Squad and broke it up into two groups called the Jr Starlet Squad and one for the seniors called the Senior Starlet Squad. The goal of the Squad is the same, with even more emphasis on boosting self-confidence in participants and giving back to the community,” Davis said. 

Students involved in being photographed include Cedar Falls students Shelby Conditt, Kallista Mohl, Lily Watson, Maddie Hoelscher, Madison Dengler, Kali Thurn, Owen Schuster, Joey Klieerm Lyle Conditt, KD Waltz, Sophia Woods, Lily Myers, Addy Breddin and Zien Houston.

Sophomore model Lily Meyers said Davis makes her very comfortable. “I really like how she made everything how you wanted it to be and did her best to get it how you wanted,” Meyers said. “It’s a very comfortable environment, and she is a very personable person and very extroverted in a good way.” 

“I believe that what makes SRD Photography, the SRD Starlet Squad and my work so unique is that I specialize exclusively in seniors or teens. So many photographers, especially in the Cedar Valley, split their time between so many different types of photography that their clients might miss out on their full potential. By focusing all of my time, effect and attention on high schoolers, I guarantee that every single client I work with will get my 110 percent best and that I spare nothing to bring them the most complete, comfortable and exciting photography experience possible!” Davis said. 

Those interested in exploring her work further can check out more of Davis’s shots on her website.

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