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{low down, throw down with Sharon De La O}

I am so pleased that I get to introduce the next photographer for our low down throw down! When I stumbled upon her blog not that long ago, I was intrigued that I had found someone that mirrored myself in many ways. It's not every day that you find a photographer that is also a certified sign language interpreter! Sharon and I's love for photography, and the way Deafness is intertwined through our lives made us fast friends. Sharon's husband is Deaf, as is my soon to be adopted daughter. AND--I haven't even mentioned how sweet she is and how incredibly talented! I adore Sharon's work and the lady behind it. I hope that our families can meet one day!

Without further ado, I present the fabulous Sharon De La O.

Name: Sharon De La O
Business name: Sharon De La O Photography
Location: Huntington Beach, Cali
Website/blog: http://www.sharondelao.com/


Tell us one sentence to describe your photography:

Passionate, timeless and true.

What's one thing that everyone should know about you?:

I am an open book and wear my heart on my sleeve. I tell it like it is, the good the bad and the ugly! This is the only way I know how to be and I actually love that quality about myself. It also transcends into my photography.


How long have you been doing photography and how did you get started:

Wheww, this is gonna be long.. I have been doing photography for around 13 years. I took photography in high school, that is definitely when I first fell in love. My dad gave me the Minolta he used in college. I STILL use that camera with the original 55mm f 1.7 lens. LOVED developing my own photos and watching them come to life, it was magical. I went to college at California State University Northridge and majored in Deaf Studies. I continued to take photography classes while studying to become a sign language interpreter. After graduating, I was a full time interpreter and my photography hobby was placed on the back burner. Fast forward a few years...I met my future husband, Darrick, who happens to be Deaf . When our son, Taj, was an infant we took him to one of those cookie cutter photography studios. I was disgusted and the result. It was then I decided to buy my first DSLR to document the precious moments with my children, my own way. I was overwhelmed with friends asking me to shoot their kids, their families, their bellies and such. I LOVED it! While interpreting part time I also pursued my passion, photography, on the side. This summer I was laid off of my interpreting job. I experienced every emotion possible all at once from devastated to ecstatic and hopeful. I knew this was what was meant to happen and I was ready to dive into my photography full force. SO thats where I am now, 4 months later, straight hustling and loving every minute of it.


If they made a movie about your life, what would it be titled and who would play you?

It would be called, Incredibly Loud Silence. This says so much about me and my life. I would love if Natalie Portman played me, she does passionate and goofy characters really well. ;)

What is your best post processing tip?:

I am sure everyone has said similar, less is definitely more. Over processed images make my eyes hurt. Get it right in your camera and your life will be much easier. I do almost all of my post processing in adobe camera raw. I like to let the emotion from the moment captured shine without covering it up with too much editing.


What is your best tip for getting great lighting in photos?

This is a tough one for me to explain. My eyes somehow are trained to SEE the light. Does that sound crazy? Where it is bouncing and landing.. I can see where the rays are coming from and I position my clients accordingly. If something isn't working I keep moving until the light is perfect. I am such a natural light junky, seriously, it's like a high for me.

What does beautiful mean to you?:

Beauty shines from within. Beauty is reality. Beauty is when love looks like art. Beauty is the look in someones eyes that tells a story of where they have been.


Explain to us your dream vacation?:

My hubb and I never went on a honeymoon, tragic right? I would LOVE to go to Italy with him someday. Vino, gelato, pizza, romance and photography. ( not in that order necessarily) Sounds like pure bliss to me.

What type of sessions are your favorite (children, family, newborns....) and why?:

That is a toughy... I am really feeling my engagement sessions right now. I love feeling the passion between these couples and I am able to somehow to pull it out of them and make them feel 100% comfortable with being real in front of my lens. I was a second shooter for a wedding recently and LOVED it! Wedding photography is definitely the direction I am headed. I loved the emotion coupled with tension and passion throughout the whole day. It was exhausting and inspiring all the way around. I booked my first wedding in January and am thrilled beyond words that this amazing couple has picked me document their special day. (on a side note, if any photographers in my area are looking for a second shooter or assistant, hit me up! I would love to get some more weddings under my belt before january...)


What equipment do you use and if you had only one lens to use...what would it be?:

I shoot with a Nikon D700 and mainly my 50mm 1.4 and 85mm 1.4. I do have zooms, but they are collecting dust. It is sooo hard to choose between those two lenses, but I would have to say my 85. That thing is so sharp and the bokeh is super yummy! I rent other lenses (such as the 70-200 f2.8) if needed for gigs. My budget just doesn't allow for more than that at this time.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

A recent one comes to mind...I went through a whole shoot with this super sweet family, got in my car and looked at myself in the mirror, I had toothpaste all over my mouth! How did that happen? ughhh so embarrassing, but I still laugh thinking about it.


As a mom and photographer, how do you balance your life?:

Working on it! As for now I am one exhausted mommy photographer. I have two amazing kiddos, Taj (3 1/2) and Lani (1 1/2) and they keep me on my toes running around like a crazy woman all day. I shoot mainly at dusk and I don't edit until they are fast asleep. I really need to work on balancing my laundry pile. I can't quite seem to ever really get on top of that.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?:

I see myself with a solid photography career. Owning an RV and taking it up the coast stopping at each beach to surf with my hubby and kids.

What song inspires you? You know the one that can lift your spirits no matter what:

"Everything is Everything" by Lauren Hill


What is the all time best book you've ever read?

This is going to be embarrassing, but I gotta be honest. LOVED the Twilight saga. Trendy and awesome. Made me feel like a love sick high schooler. LOVED every page!

If we surprised you at your house today, what would be the first thing we would notice?

Pictures pictures everywhere! You would probably also notice it is pretty loud even though american sign language is the first language used in my home.


And lastly.....when we started the maternal lens, all of us filled out this questionnaire and shared our answers....now it's your turn :)

What is your favorite word? sweet!
What is your least favorite word? booger. I hear it all day long.
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? love
What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally? fakeness
What sound or noise do you love? my babies belly laughing together
What sound or noise do you hate? Any noise loud enough to wake my kids while napping! ha
What is your favorite thing to say when you get mad? Ask my husband haha
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Singing
What profession would you not like to do? ummm, construction?
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? You done good, kid. I need to update my portfolio, you do headshots? Remember when you got laid off? I did that.


  1. She is amazing! Love this feature!

  2. thanks for sharing with us Sharon!!

  3. I love the "remember when you got laid off? I did that" :)

  4. Awesome Sharon!Thankyou! great job!!

  5. She truly has a gift. Amazing work, Sharon!

  6. Anonymous10/21/2010

    Once again Sharon, one of the lovliest, most talented and compassionate women I know.
    Her vision is like no other..She has many gifts and from seeing all her pictures..you can only feel LOVE! Well done Sharon..you are a MASTERPIECE!!! Alexis

  7. I love the low down, throw downs, and this one is amazing. I just found a new favorite photographer.

    Her work is incredible and she seems SO real and sweet and talented!

  8. I know you've heard me say it tons, but you are SUCH a talented photographer and a huge inspiration. never.stop.snapping! lots of love.

  9. Great feature! I truly enjoyed reading this, and her photos are amazing!

  10. I love Sharon's work! Her work exudes emotion and tenderness...she really captures that in her clients. I wish I didn't live so far away...I'd have her "shoot" my family in a heart beat! ;-)

  11. wow! amazing work. love her.

  12. This woman is REAL! Love her work, and love her awesome personality! Great Interview!

  13. Her work is amazing! I love learning about all these photographers and what makes them tick...

  14. I am laughing so hard at your last comment (You done good, kid. I need to update my portfolio, you do headshots? Remember when you got laid off? I did that). What a reminder that we are so in the hands of the God: Good, Bad, and the Ugly.
    Thanks for stating it like it is and best of luck! You inspire me.

  15. Thank you all so much for the love! You sure know how to make a girl feel good! xoxoxo Much love for TML <3

  16. WOW!!! Fantastic feature!

  17. I was your typical girl who had photos done at the "cookie cutter" photo shops, that us until I met Sharon. Now I walk by those places and feel sorry for the Mommy's inside, I feel like I should go inside and hand out Sharon's biz card, haha, show them that there is something better than a pink graffiti background and a fake cake for their baby's 1st B day shots !! Sharon and I met as friends and now she is my family photographer. I must say, if you think her photos are amazing, wait until you meet the girl behind the camera ! Sharon is a "TOP SHELF" lady. Sharon has an old fashioned heart with a smile and a laugh that can make you feel like a kid again. She is tell it like it is,sassy & passionate, but also the warmest, kindest & most talented girl I know ! I had to comment because she deserves all the recognition & credit she has been receiving and then some ! The worlds a more beautiful place with you in it girl !

  18. Aww, Shar, your last answer about God totally made me tear up. You are amazing!! <3

  19. Sharon is my daughter-in-law and I am proud of it. She is so amazing with creativity that we never thought of... xoxo

  20. Oh! Beautiful pics! Thanks for sharing your story!!!

  21. Anonymous10/23/2010

    I love this woman and this feature. I feel so proud to call her my friend. Ahe portrays LOVE in her photos. What she captures is amazing. You rock Sharon. Completely. Xoxo--Renee. (Nay)

  22. What a great read! I met Sharon a couple of days ago at Mike Colon's 777 Workshop in NOLA . . . It was one of those connections where you just know we will be friends for years to come. She is a beautiful person inside and out and absolutely adores her husband and babes. I am excited to see what her future holds :)
    xoxo - Jamie

  23. Great work cuz! I see a long prosperous career ahead for you! Now I just gotta get you to do some good group shots of my band for our new album when it drops! Talk to you soon, much love always!

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