Photographer Sharon Jones has been focusing ― pardon the pun ― on her medium since her teens. She has won Best of Show, People’s Choice, first- and third-place, and several honorable mention awards in local competitions. Jones also has had photographs accepted into juried international shows and in contests around Texas.
She belongs to the Galveston Art League, Professional Photographers of America, and Texas Photographic Society. Jones says these memberships “help me to grow in my craft, by learning from the workshops the organizations provide and/or by networking with others in photography. It’s also a great way to see what others are doing in photography and to keep updated on new products in the industry.”
Jones, who organizes juried competitions for the Galveston Art League, has taught smartphone photography workshops for the Galveston Art League Gallery in Texas City and for the Texas City Art Festival. She also has led two photo walks in Texas City that were selected as the Mayor’s Choice exhibit at the Texas City festival.
A Galveston resident, Jones sells her photos at online at SharonJonesPhoto.com and at Galveston Art League galleries at 611 6th St. N. in Texas City and 2117A Postoffice St. in Galveston. (The Texas City gallery will be open bonus hours of 5 to 9 p.m. for Art Walk.) Interestingly, her mother, Susan Douglass Moody, is also a busy volunteer in the Galveston Art League and sells her silk paintings through the league.
Below, Jones opens up about her photography.
Q: When did you discover your passion for photography?
A: I started learning about film and cameras in high school. I have always taken photographs. Perhaps my passion really became clear when I bought my first digital SLR in 2008.
Q: What is your educational background in photography?
A: Self-taught and workshops.
Q: How do you improve your skills?
A: I am constantly looking for workshops to attend and for tutorials on the web. I do my best to get out and photograph every week, if not every day. With the advances of cellphone cameras, you can photograph and edit just about anywhere and anytime.
Q: How significantly has computer technology affected your work?
A: Since I shoot mainly with a digital camera or phone, the computer is a big part of the editing process for me.
Q: You have a flamingo photo that, through computer modification, resembles a painting. How much does technology figure into your finished artwork?
A: It depends on the piece and how I will be displaying it. Sometimes very little and sometimes a lot of manipulation will be done to a photograph. The flamingo picture was photographed with the forethought of what I want it to look like in the end. I had wanted to create an artistic painterly like image with the flamingo and I think I achieved that effect.
Q: What programs do you use?
A: I use these three most: Lightroom, Photoshop, and Topaz Labs. I use iColorama, Snapseed, Stackables, and Mextures, just to name a few, on the iPhone and iPad.
Q: Where do you find inspiration for your artwork?
A: I find inspiration in the places I love to visit. I love the beach, to travel, and animals. People can find inspiration everywhere ― if they look.
Q: Is there a certain subject that is your specialty?
A: I would probably have to say landscapes and animals.
Q: What is your biggest challenge artistically?
A: Posing people for portrait photography and to not be so hard on my own work.
Q: What is your biggest challenge in terms of time management?
A: Organizing my time between work, volunteering, and photographing.
Q: Do you often enter competitions?
A: When I have the time. I think it helps me to become a better photographer.
Q: What’s the most rewarding aspect of creating art?
A: Making people smile and finding out if they see the same or different things in my work.
Q: If you won $5,000 to spend on your art, what would you do with it?
A: I would love to photograph the Camargue horses in France.
Q: Do you have any tips for aspiring photographers?
A: Shoot as much as you can. And when you think you are done, shoot some more. Ask a lot of questions and read your manual that came with your camera.