Artist Spotlight: Capturing what she loves

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, March 27th, 2019 at 7:46 PM
Artist Spotlight: Capturing what she loves by Jamie Heinrich
Photo: Jamie Heinrich

When Shaddai Crosby came to Edinboro University for business administration, she never expected that after one year in the program she would change her major to photography. Now a junior in this new field, she hasn’t looked back.

Crosby was born and raised in Erie. She chose to stay close to home and to attend Edinboro in 2016 due to the reasonable cost and the business administration program.

“My first year in business was very challenging, because I did not really fit in that area. I really felt like I was being put into a box, if that makes sense. I was not able to adjust well and did not see a future in that field,” Crosby said. “The shift from business administration to a full concentration in photography was gradual.”

Crosby explained that initial fear held her back from her desire to pursue photography. “I was afraid I wouldn’t make enough money to be successful, so that’s why I stuck with business for an entire year.” She ultimately changed her major in 2017.

Crosby recognized the jump from business administration to photography was a big one. But as she explained, it was based in self-expression.

“I know what it’s like to get a rush of emotions from looking at a really good or a really bad photograph. I really just enjoy showing people how I see things. I’ve always been drawn to photography, [and] I just love all of the freedom my camera gives.”

Crosby describes her photography style as “based on capturing the emotional moods of life.” She wishes to portray moods and a strong sense of emotion through her work. “I love [photos] that convey hope and joy and things that stir up curiosity,” she explained.

Currently, she is working on a mini black and white series capturing the emotions of the humans she encounters. She wants those who see her photos to be able to feel the emotion presented by her subject.  

Crosby also wants those who view her photography to be able to see the touches of herself that she leaves in each piece: “I want [my audience] to see a girl who wasn’t afraid to capture what she loves. I want people to be inspired to pursue their God-given talent.”

She has a strong desire to start exploring conceptual art as she finds herself drawn to the “weird things” in art. “By weird art, I’m basically just explaining how some work may appear. For example, weird art would be an abstract photo of something that may or may not have been manipulated,” she said. She’s beginning to explore what this fully means through studio classes offered by the art department.  

Crosby described an unplanned photo of her sister as the piece of art she is most proud of creating. “It’s a candid of her laughing, and for some reason, I always find myself coming back to it.”

When asked what “making it” would be to her, she described being able to “live off of my work and support myself and create a successful empire.” Crosby also hopes to branch into different fields of photography and has a desire to teach others how to be a professional in her field.

She went on: “I want to be able to touch people’s lives with [my] work and I really want to get more involved with travel photography. There’s just so much to see and explore.”

Crosby showcases her work on her Instagram page (@photos_bydai_), where she posts new images every week. Sometimes she’ll also post images of paintings and drawings she’s working on.

Jamie Heinrich |

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