Interviews

DIY Shelley combines her passion for home renovating with her love for content creation

Post by
Marisa Young
DIY Shelley combines her passion for home renovating with her love for content creation

You might be more familiar with Shelley Gunton as her DIY Shelley identity on Instagram. Her home transformations and hands-on renovations keep her 40k strong following captivated. An interior lover from Sydney, her beautifully composed and sophisticated home forms the perfect backdrop for her complementary product photography side hustle.

Shelley’s talent for interior styling has proven very adaptable to content creation and her light and bright style allows any product to shine. Paired with an impeccable eye for detail, props and the perfect blooms, Shelley’s images are relatable to her audience as her home is her photography studio. She can show the product in its natural space with the real life sets she has created through her passion for renovating.

Shelley is amongst a special group, she is one of our original creators who has styled some of our most memorable visuals, from wine and beverage styling to home and personal products. After 5 years working in collaboration with our platform and over 40 projects under her belt, Shelley is certainly one of our go-to creators for in-situ product styling and home lifestyle photography.

Scroll on to be inspired by Shelley and the fruits of her labour.

Let’s meet Shelley

Hi, I’m Shelley! My day-to-day involves running a small family business from home and constant renovation projects, which are starting to evolve into renovating other family members’ homes. I've shared a lot of it along the way on my Instagram page @DIYShelley and from that have had a lot of wonderful work opportunities.

I have three adult children, two still living at home. I have a boxer dog and a mini lop rabbit. I relax by going for walks, a lot of them on trails around some of the world's most beautiful beaches that I am lucky enough to live near. I have always loved taking photos from family events, landscapes, to holiday snaps. I used to do a calendar every year for my parents and in-laws as Christmas presents!

My product photography has just been something that has evolved over time from sharing my renovation photos on Instagram.

I like lifestyle photography, something that sets a scene in a part of my home. Beverages would probably be what I'm best at. I have photographed a lot of wine, even though I don't drink it!

I have worked very hard renovating my home and many of those rooms have become great spaces to photograph products in. But my actual passion is nature photography, beaches, birds, and landscapes. I used to do it as a hobby and really should get back to it as I loved it so much.

My personal aesthetic would be simplicity. I like things uncluttered, comfortable, and inviting. I like space and clean lines with a little added detail to bring things to life.

One of Shelley’s most memorable images for McWilliams Estate wine showcasing her impeccable eye for detail. Source: Creatively Squared

Journey with Creatively Squared

I used to join Creatively Squared’s challenges on their Instagram page and it was actually Co-founder Ruth that contacted me to ask if I would be interested in doing some paid photography work. That was about 5 years ago now and I have been lucky enough to have had so many great opportunities through Creatively Squared since!

The most enjoyable was my first project for KAS bedding. I wasn't 100% sure how to nail a brief at that stage and I know I didn't quite hit it, but they are the sort of interior design style products that I am interested in. I feel I have learned a lot since then and it is always good to look back and see how far you have come.

Shelley’s first Creatively Squared project back in 2018 was for KAS Australia where her interior design flair shined. Source: Creatively Squared

Tools of the trade

I have a Canon 5D Mark III. I recently invested in a new tripod too.

For my editing, I use Adobe Photoshop that I pay a monthly subscription for, and know very little about how to use it. Basically, I am not a technical photographer in any way. I am one of those people that doesn't read instructions. I get things out of the box and press the buttons until it works. I am well overdue to get some new equipment and do some course on how to use everything. If only had the time!

What are your favourite props or locations to work with?

Plants and flowers soften everything. Glassware, cutlery, and things that you would find in your home that create a scene and atmosphere.

My kitchen and bathrooms are great spaces to work in but my deck is where I do most of my work. I have the most amazing deck that overlooks that water. You don't get to see it in my photos but the natural light and greenery surrounding it makes such a great place to take photos.

Shelley’s beautiful deck and kitchen have formed the backdrops for many of our wine and beverage projects including this summery campaign for Sunraysia. Source: Creatively Squared

[#cta]

Shelley’s creative process

Whenever I have a photoshoot, I wing everything....with a little planning on the side. I plan everything in my head. Does that count?

For inspiration, I follow a lot of very talented people. Too many to list. If I ever need inspiration for a shoot I search hashtags relating to the product and go from there. It has been a wonderful way to find people that inspire me.

During the shoot I rarely get help. I am the stylist, photographer, model, and editor. I can get two of my adult kids involved sometimes as hand models...but one has moved out for work and the other one wants a 25% cut on every photo 😂

If I want to get into my creative zone, I look at images of what I would like to achieve, then I look at things I have done before that I am proud of. I find we compare ourselves to others too much and I don't ever want to copy anyone else's work. So I focus on working in spaces of my home that always have great light and great angles to shoot from so the image will always end up with my signature.

Shelley’s recent bathroom renovations have become the perfect set for our customers like Love, Beauty and Planet. Source: Creatively Squared

Shelley’s top creative tip

As I am not big on editing, for me it is all in the setup. I set a scene I love in the right light and I know the outcome will be great!

What’s next for Shelley?

I would love to level up my technical skills. There are plenty of them that I could learn!

Thank you Shelley for sharing your Creatively Squared journey with us, we appreciate of all your hard work over the last 5 years. If you want to keep up with Shelley too and get some DIY tips yourself, follow her over at DIY Shelley. Perhaps Shelley will inspire you to use your home as your own photography studio or turn it into one with your some DIY renovating.

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