Norman photographer's work displayed at Capitol 

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Housed in a 100-year-old building on Norman’s Main Street is Shevaun Williams and Associates, one of the area’s leading commercial photographers and artists. Recently, Williams brought a sampling of her work to the state Capitol, giving visitors a peek into her world behind the lens.

“I wanted a themed selection that would stand up to such a distinctive location as the Capitol,” Williams said. “I knew I wanted to show images of the world; however, it was not until I studied my favorite images that I noticed a frequently recurring theme of worldly women. I felt the images told a story of dignity, grace and beauty.”

The exhibit, Women of the World, features women from Havana to Zimbabwe, some in portrait settings and many more captured candidly on the street. It will be on display in the Capitol’s North Gallery through June 21.

Looking back, Williams says her passion for photography began early one Christmas morning when she was a kid. She received a Kodak Pocket Instamatic camera, which she still has today.

“I would love to be able to get some film for it and give it a go,” she said.

Williams credits a summer trip to Paris and the south of France during college for cementing her love affair with travel and photography. She revisits all of her images and recently went through her transparencies from almost 40 years ago.

“My only class in photography during college was in the school of architecture,” she said. “We concentrated heavily on black-and-white processing and printing. It taught me to be consistent in process and obsessed with precision.”

Besides that class, Williams is a self-taught photographer who grew up with a father, local media personality Danny Williams, who was very artistic in his own right.

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“I definitely got my work ethic from him,” she said. “He was the most nonjudgmental person I ever knew, so I think he just wanted us to choose paths that made us happy. There is an element of entertainment in the way I run a shoot. The photographer must be the ringleader in the circuslike environment of a photo shoot.”

A typical day for Williams begins early, around 4:30 a.m., blogging, studying or enjoying the images of a newly found photographer. Then it’s an hour of exercise and she sets off to work.

“Those location shoots with a 5 a.m. call time puts a wrench in that plan,” she said. “If I am not on location, I head for the studio. Then, in the evenings, I usually work on editing the day’s shoot. Sunday is my day — no plans allowed!  And in my spare time, I plan my next big trip. I am most excited when I am at the departure lobby of the airport. New visual environments are like mother’s milk to me. After 40 years, I continue to be inspired by the art of photography.”

Print headline: Female lens, A Norman photographer has mapped out her own career and has the photos to prove she was there.

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