Portrait of A Celebrity Photographer – Joshua M. Shelton

Bruce Edwin of The Hollywood Sentinel spoke recently with one of Hollywood’s hottest fashion photographers, in demand by some of the biggest agencies, models, and actors in the entertainment business.

The following is the producers exclusive interview with Joshua M. Shelton.


Q. What is your area of expertise (ie, headshots, model portfolios, music videos, film etc)?

A. Fashion, Commercial, Editorial, Fine Art. Services include Celebrity Editorial, Ad Campaigns, Fine Art Projects, Lookbooks,headshots and modeling portfolio shoots.

Q. Where were you trained?

A. I am self trained. I learned on set by working very hard, asking lots of questions and taking lots of notes. Worked my way up the ranks and I stayed focused on my vision.

Q. What is your favorite camera and gear you use?

A. I prefer Canon and Hasselblad cameras.

Q. Why?

A. I guess that’s what I was taught and it feels right. It does what I need it to do and they both are easy to work with.

Q. What is your philosophy in terms of photography and shooting?

A. My philosophy in terms of photography is Carpie Diem. Be alive, be in the moment and be aware.

Q. What is the biggest disaster if any you had during a shoot and what happened and how did you overcome it?

A. My biggest disaster was dropping a camera once. Ooops! It’s the kind of pain that makes you feel like someone got shot. Everyone gasped and the room was quiet for a long time. I think I was in shock.

Q. What are some celebs or famous jobs you have shot?

A. Everyone is a celeb to me. I don’t like to put people on pedestals. I’ve shot celebs and continue to work with amazing people. Everyone is a star and gets 15 minutes, plus or minus and hour or two.

Q. Who is your favorite photographer? favorite model? favorite actress? actor? filmmaker?

A. Photographer-Robert Capa (born Endre Erno Friedmann; October 22, 1913 – May 25, 1954) he was a Hungarian combat photographer and photojournalist who covered five different wars: the Spanish Civil War, the Second Sino-Japanese War, World War II across Europe, the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and the First Indochina War.

Model-Christy Turlington Burns (born January 2, 1969) she is an American model best known for representing Calvin Klein from 1987 to 2007.

Actress-Milla Jovovich.

Actor-Jude Law.

Filmmaker-Wong Kar-wai (Chinese, born 17th of July 1958) is a Hong Kong Second Wave filmmaker, internationally renowned as an auteur for his visually unique, highly stylized, emotionally resonant work, including Days of Being Wild (1990), Ashes of Time (1994), Chungking Express (1994), Fallen Angels (1995), Happy Together (1997) and 2046 (2004). (sources: Wikiepdia)

Q. What are your other big influences?

Asian culture has been a major influence in my life. I’ve studied Chinese language and culture since I was a boy. I translated for 3 years in China before I picked up the camera. Music is also a major influence in my life. I played blues bars when I was 16, and underground punk clubs when I was 17. Musicality is life.

Q. What should a model or actor do to best be prepared for a shoot that most usually do not do?

A. Practice in front of a mirror and take a yoga class. Be relaxed. Relaxed confidence is sexy.

Q. The model and talent industry is obviously hugely competitive, what advice do you have for aspiring models and actors to succeed in this town?

A. Never surrender. Work smarter not harder. Everyone succeeds at some point. You just have to keep going towards the goal.

Q. What are your long term goals?

A. After the fashion week circuit next spring I’ll be in Hong Kong for about 6 months working on projects.

Q. One thing I find amazing about your work is how great you are, but also how reasonably priced you are. Also, I know now that for the rest of this year you are providing a free phone consultation for new clients to help people evaluate what they need and how to achieve it, which is cool. So, how can models, actors, bands, or others reach you to book a shoot?

A. They can just e-mail or call, and also visit my site. Thank you.

[email protected] or phone 317-522-6206 (L.A., CA)