Still Life shooter Shana Novak jokes that becoming a photographer was for her less of a choice than a genetic pre-determination—both her grandmother and grandfather were photographers. Still, she has spent years perfecting her craft, which imbues her images with a unique blend of humor, energy and emotion.
Novak works with a wide range of clients, including Time Inc and Lands End Canvas, on subjects from food to product. She is especially adept in partnering with new media brands to convey their message in an ever-complicated advertising landscape.
“Good photography amazes me because it's never about your light or your subject or your angle or location...it's about the choices you make in mixing them all together. It's the special sauce,” says Novak.
Novak’s own special sauce has brought her to the finish line of The New York Marathon and to the cover of Women’s Wear Daily.
It was the Olympic Bid Committee that hired Novak for the Marathon shoot, where she was alone with her camera in a sea of exhausted runners who had just pushed their bodies to the breaking point. Novak found herself incredibly inspired by that rawness of spirit, and wanted to pursue that in her work.
Another source of inspiration for Novak is the craft of writing— how inspired writers “string sentences together that can turn out so impactful—I always want that for my own work,” she says.
Indeed, thirst for adventure and interest in the big picture informs Novak’s outside of work as well—if she’s not shooting, she’s likely to be found in the mountains of New Mexico, or on a desert highway headed there.