Regina Pagles Photography
Hello! My name is Regina Pagles, aka ‘shineylewis’ and I am a hobbyist photographer living in Springdale, Utah. It was over 20 years ago that my dad purchased the first version of Photoshop and installed it on his Apple 2e computer. We had no idea how to use the software and it was clearly above our skill level. In spite of this, we managed to figure out how to place my dad’s head onto Arnold Schwarzenegger’s body. To this day, I remember our laughter!
I was fascinated with Photoshop, but never found the time to devote to learning all of it’s intricacies. I always said to myself, “One day…” Fast forward 20 years: that day has come. I am obsessed with learning Photoshop and have finally decided in earnest to master the program to the best of my ability.
I considered myself primarily a landscape photographer until I was first introduced to studio lighting and portraiture at Photoshop World 2010. Westcott had a ‘Shoot Out’ booth on the Expo floor with professional lighting, sets and models. I was instantly hooked and spent hours taking hundreds of photographs. Upon returning home, I entered Westcott’s Flickr Photoshop World Shoot Out contest and amazingly, won first place. Shortly after, a truck pulled up to my front door and delivered a bunch of lighting equipment. Luckily, my husband and I had the space and we set up a small 400 sq. ft. studio. I can’t imagine ever going back to landscapes!
Even though it has been 3 years, studio lighting is still a mystery to me. I approach each photo shoot as an experiment. Sometimes the experiment goes well and sometimes not as well as I had hoped – but it’s all a learning experience. It’s the same when it comes to retouching. Some images are winners and quite a few end up in the trash can. I need to constantly remind myself: “Every shot does not have to be a masterpiece.”
I would like to make it clear that I am not a naturally gifted artist or photographer. In fact, I consider myself to be quite a hack. My theory is that if you throw enough mud against the wall, some of it is bound to stick. I just persevere. A huge inspiration of mine is Joel Grimes, and my favorite quote from him is “Hard work will out perform talent any day of the week.” That quote resonates with me because I am just a rather boring and realtively unimaginative person with a lot of patience and drive.
Photography and retouching are just a hobby and I do not accept paid assignments. I made a promise to myself not to turn my passion into a career and I am proud to consider myself an amateur. It is and always will be just a hobby, albeit one that I eat, breath, sleep and dream about. It is liberating to pursue something just for the sheer love of it. For me, it doesn’t always have to be about money. This is a subject that I feel very strongly about and have actually gotten into serious arguments over. It amazes me how many people that I come across who feel that if a person doesn’t charge money, then their work or art has no value. Worse still, some feel that I devalue their work because I ‘work for free’. I have ruined many hobbies in the past, turning them into jobs. It may sound silly and possibly extreme, but I am of the opinion that once a person hands you money, they own your creative vision. It becomes all about the clients’ wants and needs and I want it to be all about me! I am perfectly fine with no deadlines, no do-overs, no unsatisfied clients and no stress!
My sincerest thanks to all those who have generously offered their time and energy to assist me in my endeavor to improve my skills, especially my husband, Fred.