From Scrubs to Shutter: Balancing Nursing, Photography, and Passion with Shannon McTighe

Are you a photographer with multiple passions? Balancing different areas of interest can feel like a challenge, especially when there’s only so much time in the day!

In today’s episode, I’m interviewing Shannon McTighe, pediatric emergency room nurse and self-taught photographer. Shannon shares how a love of art ignited her photography career and gave her a much-needed creative outlet where she could work with kids in a more positive setting. 

We cover how Shannon’s use of Lightroom presets and Photoshop actions resulted in her unique style, how her nursing background has influenced her approach to photographing children and families, and even more on collaborations and continuous learning. If you want to hear Shannon’s take on successfully juggling two careers, then don’t miss this episode!

So, get cozy, grab your notebooks, and tune in. I’m rooting for you, my friends.

What’s in this episode:

  • [02:30] Shannon’s experience as a pediatric emergency room nurse and self-taught photographer
  • [03:21] Lightroom presets, Photoshop actions, and Shannon’s unique style
  • [05:52] Shannon’s business model and the packages she offers her clients
  • [07:54] How nursing has influenced Shannon’s approach to working with kids
  • [10:07] Capturing authenticity and helping families feel comfortable on camera
  • [16:52] Collaborations, continuous learning, and balancing multiple passions

Tune in to this episode to learn how a professional photographer balances multiple passions.

SUBSCRIBE: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

Resources Mentioned

Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop

Shannon’s Lightroom Presets and Photoshop Actions

Shannon’s Mentorship Programs

Greater Than Gatsby

DaVinci Resolve

Meet Shannon McTighe

Shannon studied nursing in school, and still practices today, but she is absolutely drawn to capturing the moments that matter most to my friends, family, and clients. She began her journey through photography as a self-taught artist, and the more involved she became, the more she was reassured that this is what she loves to do, and the harder she pushed herself to improve. Shannon hopes that you will consider her to help you secure these moments that will captivate your family for the years to come.

Connect with Shannon

Visit Shannon’s Website

Follow Shannon on Facebook

Follow Shannon on Instagram

Did this episode provide you with valuable lessons for how to capture authentic connections in your photography business? Check out this episode In the Wild: Adventure Family Photography with Rebecca Lueck that offers you even more insight on finding alignment in your business!


[00:00:01] Shannon McTighe: You saw what I’m trying to learn. It never matches my style because I want to learn stuff that’s not my style and how I can bring it into my style. I went to a workshop a couple of years ago, and it was mainly for wedding photographers, for flash photography. I don’t do weddings and I don’t do flash photography, so I came in from the perspective of a natural light photographer and where they’re using the flash, I’m thinking that’s where I put my son. And it was really funny because everyone’s like, why are you here? I really learned how I can kind of get a little more creative because of that. [00:00:31][30.4]

[00:00:35] Lisa DiGeso: Welcome to the Art and Soul Show, where we dive into heart opening chats on photography, business, life and that messy in-between. I’m your host, Lisa DiGeso, a mom, a photographer and entrepreneur, and I’ll be sharing honest conversations and advice for photographers with insight on mindset, entrepreneurship, and creativity. The goal of this podcast is for you to be able to gain insights and strategies that will get you real results. Because let’s face it, having a photography business can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. This is the place you can go when you need a boost of encouragement, a kick in the pants, and inspiration to pick up your camera. This is the Art and Soul Show. [00:01:17][42.3]

[00:01:19] Lisa DiGeso: Hello my beautiful friends! Welcome back to the show today I’m super excited to dive into today’s conversation with Shannon McTighe. She studied nursing in school and still practices today, but she’s absolutely drawn to capturing the moments that matter the most her friends, family and clients. She began her journey through photography as a self-taught artist. She’s been a photographer for about six years and got into the tography as an outlet from being a pediatric emergency room nurse. She needed a way to see happy and healthy children outside of the hospital room. Now she does photography full time, but she is still a nurse part time. She’s also been an incredible member and student and teacher of our Milky Way family, and I am so honored and so excited to chat with her today. So without further ado, here is Shannon. Welcome. [00:02:07][48.5]

[00:02:08] Shannon McTighe: Hi. Thanks for having me. [00:02:09][1.2]

[00:02:10] Lisa DiGeso: So tell us who you are and what you’re passionate about. [00:02:13][2.8]

[00:02:14] Shannon McTighe: So my name is Shannon McTighe. I’m a mom, a wife, a photographer, a sister, a daughter, you name it, all of it. And I’m passionate about like, family and family connection and how to show that, um. And I’m passionate about kids. [00:02:29][15.2]

[00:02:30] Lisa DiGeso: Love it. Love it. So your journey from being a pediatric emergency room nurse to being a self-taught photographer is really interesting. So can you maybe share that moment, or what really sparked your interest in photography and made you want to pursue it? [00:02:44][13.9]

[00:02:45] Shannon McTighe: I can’t say there was like a particular moment that made it happen. I’ve always loved art. I took every art class as a kid and then even like when going into college, I thought about going into art, but then I went into nursing, which was something else I really loved was medicine and science and helping people. And then I ended up just really needed an outlet because I worked in a pediatric, uh, trauma center. And so I needed an outlet. And so photography’s kind of where it took me, and it was where I could see, like, healthy, happy kids outside the emergency room. And it was really nice and kind of blew up. I wasn’t expecting it to. [00:03:20][35.1]

[00:03:21] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah. You like you’ve just blown up all over social media, especially even with your actions and your presets, which if you guys haven’t tried them, they’re the bohemian actions and the Fleetwood presets that are both from Greater Than Gatsby, that I own both of them and both are flippin incredible, which is like I have been buying presets and actions for years, and I actually sent Shannon a message when I first bought the Bohemian ones, I was like, dude, these are the best presets that I have actually, and actions that I have seen in literally years. They are so good. So can you maybe share how you learned Photoshop, how you figured kind of all everything out and found your own style in your work, and kind of just because you really like you like you just came out of just left field and with your style and we’re all just like, we’ve it’s something new and amazing and we all love it. So can you share a little bit about that? [00:04:14][53.4]

[00:04:15] Shannon McTighe: It’s so funny because when people say, oh, they can like pick up my work. Oh yeah, and they see it, I don’t see that at all. I feel like it looks quite a bit like everything else, but I hear that all the time, and I feel like I started like everyone else. I just, I took pictures with like, like it was like a $200 camera and I had Lightroom and I would just slap a preset on and call it like, amazing. I was so excited about it. And then from there, like, I wanted to learn more about Lightroom and learn more about Photoshop. And it was like a couple of years to me. Like I watched, like every YouTube video I could get my hands on. Um, Jack Eugene Photography had all these tutorials about how to learn Photoshop, which I didn’t know how to learn. So it was that was helpful because I learned how to use Photoshop. And then from there I just play with all the buttons, and then over time, I kind of, I don’t know, came up with my own style. I like color. [00:05:05][50.2]

[00:05:06] Lisa DiGeso: Yes. And that’s one thing that’s really indicative of your work, is there? It’s such pop of color. But what I love most about your presets, too, is how customizable they are. Because I have a very different style. I my work is really light and airy and dreamy and has sort of this like purple hazy kind of quality to it, yet I’m still able to achieve that result with your action set in a different way. So I was so excited. I was like, this looks like my work, but on steroids like this. [00:05:32][26.1]

[00:05:32] Shannon McTighe: Awesome. Makes me so happy. We really tried for that. We try to make it versatile for like every kind of photography. [00:05:39][6.7]

[00:05:40] Lisa DiGeso: It’s great because I sent I even send it to my team. I was like, hey, it was like I tried it like, I love this, but does this look like my work? And I was there like, yeah, this is still your work. I was like, this is amazing. [00:05:49][8.6]

[00:05:50] Shannon McTighe: So cool. [00:05:50][0.5]

[00:05:52] Lisa DiGeso: So I’ll be definitely sharing the link in the show notes with our listeners on where they can get their their set too, because it’s really so good. So can you maybe share a little bit about your business model if you’re Epos, if you’re digital, if you’re hybrid, and why you made the decision to be that sort of business model. [00:06:08][16.1]

[00:06:09] Shannon McTighe: I do all digitals. I give them everything. Just all the edits that I create. And the reason I do that is one, I don’t have the patience to wait for them to pick it out and come back. But the bigger part is, I can’t tell you many times where I’ll see an image and it’s underexposed. It’s like it’s crooked, it’s too far back or something, but I can see in my head like what it’s going to look like when I’m done editing. And so I don’t want them to like, just look at that raw and be like, oh, I don’t want that one when I know that’s going to end up being cool. So I just edit them, I love it. [00:06:43][33.7]

[00:06:43] Lisa DiGeso: So with a full gallery, how many images are you delivering to your clients? [00:06:46][2.7]

[00:06:47] Shannon McTighe: Um, it depends on like the location, because my packages are location based. Um, so if we’re like near, um, the Front Range, then it’s, uh, between 30 to 40 images. And if it’s more in the mountain, like a travel session, I usually say between 45 and 55. But that’s just like for me, it’s just my my range. It’s my guarantee. But usually I have more than that. Totally. [00:07:10][22.9]

[00:07:11] Lisa DiGeso: No. Do you do both color and black and white for your images for them or do you just. [00:07:14][3.9]

[00:07:15] Shannon McTighe: I just do. [00:07:15][0.3]

[00:07:15] Lisa DiGeso: Color. Yeah. [00:07:16][0.5]

[00:07:17] Shannon McTighe: If they want black and white I’ll do black and white. But I don’t do it very often. [00:07:20][2.8]

[00:07:20] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah, it’s funny because that was something that I started doing gosh, way back in like 2011. And I’ve always just been like, okay, well here’s color. But I would get these messages, people wanting them in black and white because black and white was really hot back then. But since like, it’s been like 12 years and I, I rarely get that comment. And if I forget to do the black and white, no one really ever says anything. So I’m curious about black and white if we’re going to see a resurgence of it coming. [00:07:44][24.5]

[00:07:46] Shannon McTighe: I love black and white and I will edit some black and white, but I don’t do it very often and I rarely get requests for it. It’s funny. [00:07:53][7.6]

[00:07:54] Lisa DiGeso: Love it. So how do you feel your nursing background has influenced your approach to photography and maybe how you work with kids? [00:08:02][8.4]

[00:08:04] Shannon McTighe: Oh a lot. Yeah, when I first started. So working in the pediatric emergency room, you have to learn how to talk to kids and, like, honestly convince them of doing these sometimes, like, awful procedures. Um, and you have to do it on age appropriate levels. What you would say to a two year olds, not what you’d say to a 16 year old or what you’d say to an eight year old. And you have to gauge kind of their emotions when you go into the room. So learning that over like the last 15 years and working with kids so closely in that setting, that’s helped me in photography because I can really pick up on how they are the second they get out of that car, and then I know how to talk to them on the age level they are. [00:08:43][38.9]

[00:08:44] Lisa DiGeso: That’s I find that’s so interesting. I find that with teachers especially like kindergarten or grade school teachers, especially at nursing, especially pediatric nurses, definitely. That’s such a skill set to bring into your photography. So always I always think it’s so fascinating what people did before or even during their photography business. Now you are still working as a part time nurse on top of having a full time photography business, so that’s busy. How are you doing it? [00:09:10][26.4]

[00:09:11] Shannon McTighe: I can’t let it go. It’s so funny. I’m like, uh, my husband’s always like, are you going to, like, pick one or the other? I’m like, it’s like two different parts of my brain. I can’t let it go. I love both. Um. I can’t do without the support system I have. There’s no way I am. I know I’m blessed because I have an amazing support system at home. That’s. My husband is, like, my biggest fan. Everything you see me do has been my husband. That has pushed me into it. Like I talk for years about wanting to do photography. He’s the one that said you should do it for a couple years, had people reaching out about education and I would say, oh, that’s okay, no thank you. And he’s the one that was like, you need to do that. And then workshops and everything else. He’s the one that pushes me and he always just says, we’ll figure it out, just do it. I like that. [00:09:55][43.6]

[00:09:55] Lisa DiGeso: Oh, that’s so special. That’s so wonderful. Because a lot of the times you hear that’s not always the case with spouses, right? [00:10:01][5.9]

[00:10:02] Shannon McTighe: I couldn’t do that. Like I wouldn’t be able to balance both. There’s no way without him. [00:10:06][4.3]

[00:10:07] Lisa DiGeso: I love it. That’s so great. So how do you approach each photo shoot to ensure you’re capturing the essence that you have, the quality of that family and children authentically in their images? Because that’s one thing that you’re really skilled at. [00:10:20][13.0]

[00:10:21] Shannon McTighe: I really there’s a couple different things like I do style my clients, so I talk to them quite a bit beforehand and so I can really get to know them beforehand. I don’t have a questionnaire, but it’s only because I talk to them so much beforehand with styling that we talk in general. If I didn’t style them, I probably would have a questionnaire just to kind of get to know them and then like authentically. Once I get there, I gauge the situation. The second they come out, I greet kids with the same energy they give me. So if they’re shy when they get out, I don’t get right in their face. But if they have a lot of energy, you know, I go right for it too. And then, um, I really let kids guide the session. I have ideas in my head and I always have the same. I like, you know, different poses and ideas and I hope it goes that way. But if a kid doesn’t want to do it, I will not force it. I follow their lead. [00:11:09][48.4]

[00:11:10] Lisa DiGeso: I love that. Now, what about dads? Because, you know, a lot of the times we like as photographers, the dads are usually from in my my situation I found, is that they’re not really wanting to be there. So I work damn fast. So I’d love to hear your perspective on working with maybe not an excited partner. [00:11:29][18.0]

[00:11:30] Shannon McTighe: But I’ve been like very lucky. When I first started, I felt like I got more, yeah, that’s I don’t want to be there. And then like in the last couple of years, like most of the dads, even if they don’t want to be there, they’re not showing that. Yeah, they get a lot of compliments back from wives that say their husbands were like, that was actually fun, which is great. That’s like to me, I’m like, that’s a great compliment. I’ll take that all day. [00:11:50][20.2]

[00:11:51] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah. [00:11:51][0.0]

[00:11:51] Shannon McTighe: I give dads breaks like kids. And I know that sounds a bit of like a kid needs a break, but I can tell like a dad is needing a break or he’s just like, doesn’t. I’ll say, oh yeah, we’re going to do so much as mom and the babies. And when I’m working with dads, I tend to work faster with them for their shot. And I don’t post them too much. I just I always tell them, you don’t have to look at me. You just play with the kids. You can just love on mom and I try to get their shots quicker probably than the other ones, especially if I’m getting that feeling that they don’t want to be there total. [00:12:21][29.4]

[00:12:21] Lisa DiGeso: And you’re you’ve got a lot of movement and a lot of motion and a lot of playing and laughter and giggles and hugs. Now, do you ever have families that show up and they’re like really stiff and really uncomfortable, and they just want to look at the camera. And how do you like turn that around to get what you want? [00:12:35][13.8]

[00:12:36] Shannon McTighe: It’s so funny. So a lot of times those families, it’s the end of the session where I get all those emotive moments. And so in the beginning, I’ll start with more post that maybe what they’re more used to. So I’ll start with post, and then usually I have to give them more prompts and my prompts aren’t to look fake. It’s more like I’ll give them a prompt and then I’m looking for the in-between moment during the prompt, not for the prompt itself, if that makes sense. [00:13:00][24.5]

[00:13:01] Lisa DiGeso: Totally. [00:13:01][0.0]

[00:13:02] Shannon McTighe: I just know what the in-between moment might. Look like. Want to give that promise? [00:13:05][3.0]

[00:13:05] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah. What would you. What would you say is an in-between moment like a prompt in an in-between moment that you would be looking for. [00:13:11][5.9]

[00:13:12] Shannon McTighe: Like one of the ones like special foster families? One of my favorite things is I always get I call it the Christmas card shop, where you just get that one where they’re all looking and smiling, and then I say, okay, now nobody look at me and just talk, you know, just with each other. And I say that every time, and usually that they always turn and look at each other and they look awkward at for a moment. So I’m not taking that photo. I’m literally waiting till they start laughing. They always laugh because it feels awkward, especially if they’re not used to having to do something like that. That’s not a normal pose, usually. Then they start laughing and that’s the shot I want. Or they start like looking down or smiling just like these, I don’t know. It’s just like that in-between moment, not the moment they actually look at each other, but the moment they either they feel ridiculous or they start laughing or they relax. So sometimes all I say, we’re just going to hold this to talk about dinner. [00:13:58][45.8]

[00:13:59] Lisa DiGeso: I love that. Do you get that feeling like, you know, you got the shot like it. Just like it’s like a sucker punch. It’s like I get so excited. No, just like I’m dancing around. [00:14:07][8.2]

[00:14:08] Shannon McTighe: I do. I get super excited. [00:14:09][1.1]

[00:14:10] Lisa DiGeso: Can’t wait till I get home. You’re like, you know, that’s the one you’re going to do for their sneak peak, right? [00:14:14][4.3]

[00:14:16] Shannon McTighe: Hundred percent. They love it. [00:14:18][2.1]

[00:14:18] Lisa DiGeso: Now with maybe children that are especially camera shy. Do you have any techniques that you use to maybe get them to warm up? [00:14:27][8.3]

[00:14:27] Shannon McTighe: Um haven’t you different things. So when they get out of the car, like I said, I really go off their energy. So if a kiddo is coming out and they’re completely shy, they’re clinging to mama. In my head, I usually start with a family shot, but I’ll actually take advantage of that moment where they’re being held. And, um, I’ll take photos of that. I don’t get in their face right away. I let them warm up. I actually let kids play with my camera, which I know sounds great, but I will, like, let them come behind and they can take pictures of their parents. So almost every session, kids are taking pictures of their parents during the session at some point. So for the shy kids, that really works. They love pressing the buttons and I just watch their little fingers make sure they don’t hit anything, but they don’t hit delete on the back of my camera. They can press like the little square on the viewfinder, and then they take the picture that way and they get so excited about it. And then I have I usually show them, especially the shy ones too, but I have a bag of prizes in my car and so I show them at the beginning of the session, you know, like, oh, look at all these prizes. And that usually gets them really excited too. And we talk about the prizes throughout the session. And there’s so prizes that usually I, I always say, oh, you get to pick a prize. But by the end they’ve able to pick like four. So I just use it to redirect them or get their attention again. [00:15:46][78.4]

[00:15:46] Lisa DiGeso: And how long would you say your sessions are? [00:15:48][1.5]

[00:15:49] Shannon McTighe: I don’t put a time limit on them. I just shoot as long as I need. But I’d say usually like an hour. [00:15:53][4.6]

[00:15:54] Lisa DiGeso: And you find like mainly in the evening, like sunset each time. [00:15:57][3.0]

[00:15:58] Shannon McTighe: Mhm. It depends on location because I have the mountains here. If we go all the way up to the mountains and we’re smack up against a mountain, we have to shoot a lot earlier. Yeah. Um, because you get blue hour like two hours early and then um, but if I’m down in like, because I live like 45 minutes from the national park. So if I shoot down here, then a little bit closer to sunset. [00:16:16][18.3]

[00:16:17] Lisa DiGeso: Love it. How often are you shooting? [00:16:18][1.2]

[00:16:19] Shannon McTighe: Oh, a lot, too much I know. [00:16:21][2.2]

[00:16:22] Lisa DiGeso: Right. We we all have a tendency to over, Booker says. I don’t like preaching to the choir. [00:16:26][4.2]

[00:16:27] Shannon McTighe: During like 4 to 5 days a week during the fall season and then 3 to 4 during the summer and spring and then slow season is a winter here. [00:16:35][8.7]

[00:16:36] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah. And do you find that you’re mainly an outdoor photographer or do you do in studio as well? [00:16:40][4.6]

[00:16:41] Shannon McTighe: I do some studio, but not like the backdrop studios. We have some studios out here, like greenhouses or um, some natural light studios. And so I’ll go there. Yeah. And I like those, but I’m more outdoors. [00:16:51][10.3]

[00:16:52] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah. Love that, love that, I love that. So we had mentioned earlier that you had done a collaboration with Greater Than Gatsby. So I would love to know sort of how this collaboration came together and how these tools can really enhance a creative process for maybe someone who hasn’t heard of them. [00:17:09][16.8]

[00:17:09] Shannon McTighe: This story always makes me laugh. I love how this happened. So I have follow Greater than Gatsby for years. I’ve used their actions for a long time. To me, they were there like like way up here. Like. Yeah. So excited. So I got an email from Josh, who was the owner, and I thought it was him. I thought it was someone just trying to get my information. And because I didn’t think there’s any way greater than Gatsby was reaching out to me. So I ignored it for like a week and a half. I want to say I didn’t I didn’t even respond to it. I just assumed it was fake. And I was just randomly talking to my husband one night. And he even knows who greater than Gatsby is, only because I’ve talked about it before with my work. And so my husband’s a police officer. And so I was talking to him about it, and he was like, what makes you think it’s fake? And I told him I was like, well, why would they reach out to me? And he was like, well, why don’t you just call the number and I’ll sit there with you and I’ll give you a thumbs up if it’s good and thumbs down if I think it’s a, you know, someone trying to get your info. And I was like, okay. So then I called and the whole time my husband’s, like giving me thumbs up. And I was like, oh my God, I cannot believe I ignored them for a week. I love it. I don’t even know if Josh knows that story, but I did not think he was real. [00:18:16][66.6]

[00:18:16] Lisa DiGeso: I love it and it is there such an extensive action set like it is like. [00:18:20][3.9]

[00:18:21] Shannon McTighe: Oh, but it. [00:18:21][0.4]

[00:18:21] Lisa DiGeso: Is like it is the most expensive one I’ve ever seen. Like it is. It is so worth it. [00:18:25][3.8]

[00:18:26] Shannon McTighe: That’s a labor of love that so our goal when we collaborated on it was obviously to get where you could get similar colors and styles to mine, but to make it versatile for every kind of photographer and to speed up the workflow, that was the biggest thing. I was like, I want it to be where it’s like, click, click, click, click, click. And so did that. So we went back and forth for months, like making tweaks to it. And it was like it was a good I loved it. It was a great collaboration. We worked hard on it. [00:18:53][27.7]

[00:18:53] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah, you can tell. You can really tell. There is a lot of work and love going into it. [00:18:56][3.0]

[00:18:56] Shannon McTighe: Their team is wonderful. [00:18:57][0.6]

[00:18:58] Lisa DiGeso: That’s awesome, I love that. Awesome. So what I really love about you is that you really have a commitment to furthering your education and having a learners mindset. Can you maybe share what that means to you? [00:19:11][13.1]

[00:19:12] Shannon McTighe: Uh, learners mindset? Definitely. Like just having that passion to continue to learn. I do tend to I still take like mentorships and I watch tutorials, but I, I tend to pick things that I do not like. If you saw what I’m trying to learn, it never matches my style because I want to learn stuff that’s not my style and how I can bring it into my style. Like, for example, I went to a workshop a couple of years ago and it was mainly for wedding photographers, for flash photography. I don’t do weddings and I don’t do flash photography, but I went to it because in my head I’m thinking, well, flash photography is kind of like how to direct sunlight in my head. It’s kind of the same thing as directing sunlight and how to angle people. So I came in from the perspective of a natural light photographer and where they’re using the flash. I’m thinking that’s where I put my sun. And it was really funny because everyone’s like, why are you here? And why I’m here to learn angles and lighting. So, I mean, I know how to use flash obviously from that, but I really learned how I can kind of get a little more creative because of that. I didn’t take it for the reason that you’re having it, but it helped my photography, like how to angle my light and stuff. [00:20:18][65.4]

[00:20:19] Lisa DiGeso: I love that I went to a workshop in Salt Lake City. This was, I think, in 2017 maybe, and it was with Karina Cheol, who is a Russian incredible photographer. She’s like a fine art children’s photographer. The entire workshop was in Russian. Yeah. [00:20:35][16.2]

[00:20:36] Shannon McTighe: Oh. [00:20:36][0.0]

[00:20:37] Lisa DiGeso: I don’t speak Russian then. [00:20:39][2.0]

[00:20:39] Shannon McTighe: Oh, that’d be so hard. [00:20:41][1.9]

[00:20:42] Lisa DiGeso: But I was, like, committed to learning. And I was like, you know what? I’m a smart cookie. I can figure out enough. And it was great. There was another girl there who she spoke a little English and Russian, so she kind of it really helped me and translated a bit for me. But gosh, it was like wild like, but I like it’s like sometimes you just have to, like, immerse yourself in something that you don’t know because you’re so curious about, like, you’re like, I’m going to get something right. [00:21:12][29.6]

[00:21:12] Shannon McTighe: I’m drawn to painterly. So there’s been a lot of painterly I’ve seen is there’s quite a few photographers who do the painterly style in like northern Europe, um, tons of photographers. So I’ve looked into tutorials in the past and they’re always in a different language. And that has not stopped me because I’ve been like, I, I figure I can follow them on photos. I don’t know what they’re saying, but I can follow their cursor. [00:21:31][19.2]

[00:21:32] Lisa DiGeso: You know, what I did is I actually purchased something recently that was completely in, I think it was in Spanish, and I set up my Google Translate and I said, I sit and I watch it and I translate it, and that’s how I learned there. Where where there’s a will, there’s a way. Yes. [00:21:50][18.2]

[00:21:51] Shannon McTighe: Exactly. Oh, I love it, I love it. [00:21:54][3.7]

[00:21:55] Lisa DiGeso: So I want to talk about managing the demands of having your part time nursing career and your full time photography business. So any advice you have to someone who might be trying to balance their multiple passions? [00:22:05][10.4]

[00:22:06] Shannon McTighe: So I, like I said earlier, I know I’m blessed because I have a really great support system, which is wonderful when all I can think of is like, if you don’t have that, trying to balance is more difficult, but it’s not impossible even if you just do. Like if photography is your passion and you really want to like get into it, even if it’s just one photo shoot a month, just go for it. Even if it’s just one and you can’t do another one for another month, go for it. And then just keep doing the education and learning and how to dress them, how to angle them and it will calm it it for me, it took a long time, but it will come. [00:22:40][33.9]

[00:22:41] Lisa DiGeso: So do you have personal projects as well? On top of it, of top like do you do that as well? [00:22:47][5.2]

[00:22:47] Shannon McTighe: Yeah, yeah. I mean of course the greater than Gatsby, the Bohemian Rhapsody in Fleetwood. Um, I have several workshops coming up this year. I have one in Ireland excited about. Yes, and one in Arizona that’s actually releasing today. And then I’ve. Two in Colorado. Those are booked. So I’m really excited. And then, um, I do mentorships, one on one mentorships and zoom editing mentorship. [00:23:09][22.0]

[00:23:10] Lisa DiGeso: I love it. Oh, girl, when you come to Canada, you got to look me up. I love it. So are you ready to switch gears? We’re going to dive into our lightning round. [00:23:19][8.7]

[00:23:19] Shannon McTighe: Okay? Okay. [00:23:20][0.6]

[00:23:20] Lisa DiGeso: Uh, um, coffee or tea? [00:23:23][2.4]

[00:23:24] Shannon McTighe: Coffee. Okay. [00:23:24][0.6]

[00:23:25] Lisa DiGeso: What did you want to be when you grew up? [00:23:27][1.3]

[00:23:28] Shannon McTighe: It is, I believe it or not. Exactly. This a nurse and a photographer. Uh, I went back and forth on it all the time, so I love it, I dream. [00:23:34][6.3]

[00:23:35] Lisa DiGeso: What’s your favorite movie? [00:23:36][0.8]

[00:23:37] Shannon McTighe: Uh oh. Good one, I love Elf. [00:23:39][2.4]

[00:23:40] Lisa DiGeso: What’s for dinner tonight? [00:23:41][0.7]

[00:23:42] Shannon McTighe: Pot roast. [00:23:42][0.3]

[00:23:43] Lisa DiGeso: Oh, yum. Um, favorite. Guilty or not so guilty pleasure. [00:23:46][3.3]

[00:23:47] Shannon McTighe: Crumble cookies. [00:23:48][0.4]

[00:23:48] Lisa DiGeso: What are they? [00:23:49][0.3]

[00:23:50] Shannon McTighe: Oh, my God, I think so I do. Some people don’t like them. They’re these giant cookies that are warm. You can you can go to the shop and buy them. They make them fresh every day. And they’re these giant. And they have each. Yeah, they have different flavors. [00:24:04][14.3]

[00:24:05] Lisa DiGeso: I like that. Um, what’s your favorite comfort food? [00:24:09][3.8]

[00:24:10] Shannon McTighe: Mac and cheese. And. [00:24:11][0.8]

[00:24:12] Lisa DiGeso: Okay. Where do you feel most centered and happy? [00:24:14][2.7]

[00:24:15] Shannon McTighe: Uh, in the mountains. Mhm. Um. [00:24:17][1.8]

[00:24:18] Lisa DiGeso: I love that was my next questions. Oceans or mountains and wine. Oh I love it. What three things do you want to be remembered for? [00:24:27][8.5]

[00:24:28] Shannon McTighe: Uh, kindness. I know that sounds cliche, but that really is huge to me. There’s, there’s just a lot of not kindness in the world. And so being kind to like, mentees and clients, um, and of course, my art, my colors. Yeah. And just being a really good educator. [00:24:43][15.6]

[00:24:45] Lisa DiGeso: I love it, I love it. What has been the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given? [00:24:50][5.3]

[00:24:51] Shannon McTighe: One of the best pieces. Oh, for social media. This was a really great one. Was, um, post what you want to draw back. So like if you are really drawn to newborns, post newborns. If you’re drawn to storytelling, post storytelling, if you’re not drawn to post, you can take post, but don’t post those shots. Pose the non pose because you’re going to draw in what you put out. So if you’re constantly posting post, you’re going to get people that want those post photos. So I try I always take post photos but I post the non post. [00:25:21][29.8]

[00:25:21] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah, I love that. And what advice do you have for someone just starting out? [00:25:26][4.4]

[00:25:27] Shannon McTighe: Just go for it and don’t. Don’t compare yourself to others. [00:25:30][2.6]

[00:25:31] Lisa DiGeso: Oh, that’s like that’s the biggest thing, especially when you’re first getting started. Is that comparison game of like, I’m never going to be as good as like x, y, z photographer. Like we’ve all been there. [00:25:40][8.9]

[00:25:40] Shannon McTighe: I got all of us. I can show you where I started. Like all these new photographers that come out, I’m like, oh my God, I started witnessing. [00:25:47][7.0]

[00:25:48] Lisa DiGeso: I know, like up to some of them. Like, I’m just like when I, when we open up the retreat groups and they’re like, yeah, I’ve been shooting for like two weeks and I’m like, good lord, you’re amazing. [00:25:57][9.0]

[00:26:00] Shannon McTighe: I was like, oh man, I’m never going to you. I was like, you. [00:26:02][2.9]

[00:26:03] Lisa DiGeso: I did not have that natural talent. [00:26:04][1.3]

[00:26:05] Shannon McTighe: You know, I love. [00:26:07][2.0]

[00:26:07] Lisa DiGeso: It. So you’re actually coming to teach with us for our next retreat? So you can you share a little bit on what you’re going to be teaching on? [00:26:14][6.7]

[00:26:15] Shannon McTighe: I’m excited. This one. Um, what I’m teaching is like a family maternity session, and I, I loved it, it was this. Could it be, in my opinion, one of the best behind the scenes videos of what a true family with little boys. I want nothing to do with the first shoot. I haven’t had one like I didn’t quite like where all of the kids didn’t want to be a part of it. And so I was like, well, this is going to be a good one. Those are how I try to bring them back in, and how I get the photos for three little ones that just want to throw rocks and don’t want to be there. [00:26:46][31.6]

[00:26:47] Lisa DiGeso: I love it, and you’re going through your editing process as well. [00:26:49][2.2]

[00:26:49] Shannon McTighe: First in my editing process and my thoughts when I’m calling and stuff like that, I’m really excited. [00:26:54][5.4]

[00:26:56] Lisa DiGeso: What makes your soul light up? [00:26:57][1.6]

[00:26:59] Shannon McTighe: Uh, personally, my family, my boys. And then professionally, we were talking about earlier. Like, when you get that shot, it’s like the best feeling ever when you know, like you’re going home, you’re like, oh, I got it, I got it. This is like the most amazing. So those are probably my two things I love it. [00:27:14][14.9]

[00:27:15] Lisa DiGeso: So where can our listeners learn more from you? [00:27:17][2.0]

[00:27:18] Shannon McTighe: They can go to I have Facebook and Instagram and my website, my websites, uh, And then um, ShannonMcTighePhotography for Facebook and Instagram. [00:27:30][12.2]

[00:27:31] Lisa DiGeso: And love it. And for in-person mentorship. Um, would they find that on your website? Awesome, awesome. I love it, so I love to end my interviews just with this last question. And it is a what are you currently curious about or artistically curious about? [00:27:45][14.7]

[00:27:47] Shannon McTighe: Uh, right now it’s video, like film and video. I see a lot of it. And I’m like, how could I do that? But also keep my style. I love the film look so much, but I’m trying to think, how can I do the video? I want to learn video and how to keep that like kind of more painterly look some. [00:28:05][18.2]

[00:28:05] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah, I love it. Honestly, the answer is DaVinci resolve. I haven’t learned it yet myself, but it’s a program called DaVinci resolve and they use it for editing, for editing video. And you put these things called loops or Luts on them, and it’s incredible. You can make your own Luts and you can like color grade. And so that’s what I’m currently like, trying to figure out and learn. It is fascinating. [00:28:31][25.9]

[00:28:32] Shannon McTighe: That’s going to be my goal for slow season. [00:28:34][1.4]

[00:28:36] Lisa DiGeso: I love it. We’ll share and thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been a treat chatting with you. [00:28:40][4.2]

[00:28:41] Shannon McTighe: Thank you for having me. This is really special. [00:28:43][1.7]

[00:28:44] Lisa DiGeso: Oh my beautiful friends. I hope you have loved this conversation just as much as I have. I am sending you so much of my light and my love today and every single day. We’ll see you next time. [00:28:57][12.2]

[00:29:01] Lisa DiGeso: Hey, friend, you know what’s the worst? It’s just being mid-session and completely freezing. You start to feel awkward, your clients start looking at you for direction, and your brain feels like you just hit a wall. Now, believe me, you are not alone. And that’s why we created the Storyteller’s Toolkit. It’s an emotive prompt guide to help sessions stay free flowing and fun. And best of all, right now it’s totally free. It’s full of prompts for parents, motherhood, family, siblings and couples, and even surefire smile prompts. We’ve put together over 200 prompts for you so you’ll never be lost for an idea again. Grab your copy at [00:29:01][0.0]

share the love


Leave a Comment




Focus on Inclusion: Empathy and Advocacy in Neurodivergent Family Photography with Stacey Feasel

Learning Curves: How Maintaining a Lifetime Learner Mindset Can Help You Master Your Fine Art Maternity with Esther Kay

A Kid at Heart: The Art & Business of Preschool Photography with Trina Julius

The Business of Being Yourself: How Embracing Your Uniqueness Unlocks Your Creativity & Helps You Stand Out in the Newborn Niche With Natasha Simpson

Better Together: How Hiring a Team of Associates Can Help You Grow Your Photography Business With Jill Smith

The Wild Side: Embracing the Beautiful Mess, and Capturing Authentic Connection with Tiffany Crenshaw from Animal House Photography

Golden Moments: Elevating  & Nurturing Client Relationships with Maternity and Newborn Photographer Kellie Golden

The Heart of Photography: Josie Tan’s Approach to Client Connections & Building Relationships in Your Photography Business

Advice From the Pros: Lessons and Reflections From 16 Photographers on What They Wish They Knew as Beginners

Giving Up the Ghost: Releasing the Stories Holding You Back in Your Photography Business.

Practicing Presence: The Healing Power of Slowing Down & Tuning into Mindfulness & Creativity in Photography with Joy Prouty

Inkpot Insights: Crafting Web Magic for your photography business with KP and Jessie from Inkpot Creative

Creating or Consuming: Education as More Than Entertainment, Taking Intentional Action Towards Your Creative Goals

The Art of Elegance: Elevating Your Photography Business Through Client-Centric Strategies with Kayleigh Ashworth

Making Maternity Magic: Empowering Women, Staying Profitable, and Nurturing Creativity in Photography with Karli Braaten

Guiding Stars: 6 Truths from 14 Years in Business & Photography with Lisa DiGeso

Prints with Purpose & Crafting a Luxury Studio: A Conversation with Photographer Ambreia Turner

The Honest Lens: Capturing the Beauty of the Everyday with Documentary Photographer Amy Dangerfield

Storytelling Films: Incorporating Family Legacy Video in your Photography Business with Dorte Kjaerulff

Finding Focus Amid the Chaos: The Importance of Nervous System Regulation and Self-Care for Photographers with Renee Bowen

The Fine Print: Legal Tips Every Photographer Should Know with Paige Griffith from the Legal Paige

Let’s Play: Advice for Fun, Playful, Child-Led Photo Sessions with Melissa Miller

Let It Go: How to Stop Perfectionism From Holding You Back as a Photographer with Megan Boggs

The Fearless Photographer: Your Art, Your Way with Bobbi Barbarich