EAC Friday Feature: Shaddai Rodriguez

Friday Oct 7th, 2022


10 Questions with Shaddai Rodriguez

Shaddai Rodriguez

-written by Nat Richmond

To be able to inspire the unassuming eye to see the beauty in a random moment, smile, or gesture is an Art form that deserves more exposure and appreciation. Shaddai Rodriguez has honed her capability to be able to tell a story through specific setting of lighting, composition, angle during her photography sessions. With her eye, she has brought to life the special occasions of many who have celebrated pregnancies, marriages, engagements, graduations, and various other happenings. Her clients have entrusted her with the expectation of capturing a story that will be retold for years and decades to come, and all it takes is one's view of her portfolio to see why. Her photos are raw, telling, authentic, and genuine in energy. It's easy for anyone to pick up a camera, but it takes a keen eye to decipher the most concise, honest, and efficient way to capture a beautiful moment.

What inspires Photography for you?

I was able to show people what I see. I started in high school for a class. I saved up for a small point and shoot camera, and that was my early practice.

Did you originally take Photography as a serious career?

I was attending Edinboro University for Business Administration. I was afraid of being a broke artist. My dad originally asked me if I ever thought about going into Art. I wound up taking it more serious. I switch over to Art school. I absolutely fell In love with it.

What would you tell your younger self if you could go back in time?

I would tell myself to not judge and compare. I was trying to compare myself to people who had been doing it for 20+ years. I would tell myself to not be afraid to make mistakes, because that’s how you learn.

What project represented your first introduction to your most authentic self as an artist?

I started to realize I had skill when people started to come to me for paid work. I feel that I’m finally in a place where I know my style. I feel that I am able to do what I want with the editing. It’s the compositions. I love to catch the in between moments, the candid moments.

How would you want others to describe your photography?

I would say intimate and authentic. Thats the same energy I was looking for in a wedding photographer.

What would you like the next 5-10 years of growth to look like?

I would really like to go full time. Right now I am working with my family’s business. I would also like to offer teaching classes, so that i can help upcoming photographers the way I was helped.

Are there any photographers that you’re a fan of?

I try to find photographers that go after what I go after. One of my fav photographers is Marina Williams. She does a lot of portrait work but she’s always trying something different.

Do you have any weaknesses that you’d like to work on?

I think I really just want to get better with marketing. When it comes to running a business, I want to get better at the business side of photography. I want to practice better time management(lol).

How do you want to impact the Erie area?

I really want to add more to the mindset of community over competition. I know a lot of people talk about it. I would love to throw events where photographers can come together and collaborate. I would love for everyone to show more support and come together.

Any final thoughts?

To artists and photographers I would say…”do it afraid”. That’s how you learn and grow. I think it’s important to kick fear out. I think its important to kick fear out of the equation'

Erie Arts & Culture

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