I wanted to become an artist when I was 6
Many people ask me how I became a photographer. I would love to share my journey so that you can get to know more about me. I hope it will inspire you to follow your dreams too.
I have never forgotten the magical moment I visited my first art gallery when I was about 6. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the art in the gallery. It felt as if every beautiful painting was coming to life. I wanted to live in this magical wonderland forever!
When I got home, I told my mother I wanted to become an artist and create beautiful pictures for the rest of my life. I remember she said, "Whatever your dreams are, as long as you put your hard work into them, they will come true."
Everything I am today is because of my mother's unconditional love, believing in me and encouraging me to dream big, to explore my talents and imagination. She made me believe nothing in this world is impossible for a willing heart!
I spent most of my childhood drawing and painting. It gave me so much joy doing what I love. It also gave me the freedom to dream and to express myself through art. I achieved many young artist awards for my paintings and made my mother proud.
Life can be so cruel.
When I was only 13 years old, my mother was diagnosed with late-stage cancer, and she passed away within 3 months. She was my everything. I was beyond devastated!
My father cancelled all my art classes. He had a more practical approach to life and wanted me to have a secure financial future. I remember he told me, "Shan, you won’t be able to make a living as an artist. It’s not realistic.''
He encouraged me to focus on my studies with the hope that I would become either a doctor, lawyer or accountant and live a 'successful life'.
I followed my father's advice and studied at a school of economics to become an accountant. But I never had any interest or talent working with numbers. I loved working with people, so I found a job as a marketing assistant after I graduated.
I purchased my first house when I was 22 years old, enjoying financial freedom that allowed me to travel and support my family. My father was proud of me. I thought that was what a successful life meant.
But every single day I questioned myself, ‘Shan, is this what you want to do for the rest of your life?’
Instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, I felt empty in my heart and had a lack of purpose in my life. Every single day, I question myself, 'Shan, is this really what you want to do for the rest of your life?'
So in 2003, I joined the local photography society to do something I could be passionate about and to be happier in my life. I bought a simple digital camera and spent most of my days off taking photos. It felt I found myself and it bought me so much joy! I was surprised that I kept winning the monthly competitions and I won the club's Photographer of the Year award.
I said to myself ''What if I could do this in the rest of my life! That would be my dream come true!'' But I was so scared to make the wrong decision. What if I fail. What if I disappointed my father.
During that time, I met and fell in love with David (now my husband). I knew he was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I asked him if I followed my dreams and quit my job, to go and study in London and become a professional photographer would he come with me? He said no and told me I should follow my dreams, but that his life was on the Island. I felt so sad and disappointed!
So I took a leap of faith... and jumped
There isn't a day that passes when my beautiful mother doesn't cross my mind and soul. There is a place in my heart my mother holds, filled with loving memories and warm, loving energy that comes into every aspect of my blessed life!
Her voice inside me telling "Whatever your dreams are, as long as you put your hard work into them, they will come true."
I knew I had to follow my dreams and live the life that I wanted. Even if I failed, I would know that I had tried and done my best with no regrets.
In 2007, I decided to quit my job, sell my house and follow my dreams. I set up Shan Fisher Photography and went to study at Royal Holloway, University of London.
But I was so happy that I had finally become the person I wanted to be!
The changes in my life were hard at the beginning and I missed David. All I had at that time was my camera, my dreams, and so many unknowns...
I went from financial freedom to being dependent on student grants. On weekends I worked as a waitress to earn extra money. But I was so happy that finally, I was becoming the person I wanted to be and doing something that I loved every single day.
I took as many learning opportunities as possible - reading books, attending workshops, and learning from online courses to master my craft and build my photography business. I was so passionate and excited about my new life!
Today I'm living the life I dreamt of.
David proposed to me on Christmas day, 2008 and he supported me through my 3 years at University in London. He told me that he wanted me to follow my heart and whatever decision I made he would be by my side!
I returned to the Isle of Man after I graduated. We were married in 2009, and we became parents in 2013. We are now living in this beautiful little island in the Irish sea called the Isle of Man with our two little boys
In 2017, my dream came true to have a beautiful studio space where I could welcome my clients and make them feel at home.
In the beginning, I was lugging all my photography gear to and from clients' homes for baby photos and in 2013, after my first son was born, I started working from the corner of my bedroom.
My goal was to have a beautiful studio space filled with natural lighting, where I could welcome my clients and make them feel at home, ready to relax and enjoy their photoshoots.
I used to fear being different from many of the famous photographers, worrying that my clients wouldn't like my white and minimalist newborn photography style because it's not Fine Art or made use of trendy props.
But for me, nothing touches my heart more than capturing people's precious moments, creating those timeless & emotional storytelling photographs of their lives!
I am one of the most sought after photographers in the Isle of Man and received the Awards For Excellence Enterprise in 2018 and 2019. My work has been featured on many blogs and magazine worldwide.
I am proud to have become a photography educator, photographer coach and motivational speaker worldwide in 2018. My students travel from far and wide to my little island to learn from me.
I am living my dream and I am doing something that passionate about every single day, running my successful photography business, making an impact by helping other photographers to achieve success.
My success is not only due to the dedication and hard work I put into my business every day, but also the education I have gained by investing in myself.
I am grateful for all the mentors and educators who have shared their knowledge, skills, and experiences with me, enabling me to learn and grow.
I am grateful to all my clients for entrusting in me and giving me the opportunity to be part of their lives and to capture their precious moments.
I am grateful to have my wonderful husband, my family, my friends and all of you in my life.
Thank you for all your support and love so that I live the life I dream of and become the person I want to be!
“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal.
Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”
– DR. Maya Angelou
A little about me.
- I feel I belong to the Ocean. The Ocean always gives inner peace and energy.
- My Chinese name Hoi Shan means Ocean Coral.
- My favourite food is seafood.
- I live on a beautiful little island surrounded by the beautiful Irish sea.
- All my favourite places to the holiday are by the sea.
- I was a ballet and ballroom dancer.
- I love cooking and love hosting dinner parties with friends at home.