Shannon Ainsley and her family moved from the beaches of Pensacola, Fla., to Pulaski County almost a decade ago, and they are staying. They have as many kids (3) as dogs (3), and they love the New River Valley, in part for the snow. Shannon enjoys gardening ~ “not that I’m great at it, but it is fun to try.”
She got her start in photography by shadowing and working with other photographers, going out on her own a few years before coming here, photographing weddings and family portraits on the beach. The business really took off, however, once she settled in the NRV. As Always and Forever Photography, Shannon has done many photo shoots for the Virginia Tech Yearbook, company products, catalogs, promotional literature and magazines. She has been photographing for Marine Corps balls at Quantico and in Washington, D.C., the past four years, and they recently awarded her a 5-year contract.
She especially enjoys the variety of shooting for New River Valley Magazine and doing weddings and follow-up family photos, documenting a family across the years. She makes certain who is the groom, as early on, in a non-typical wedding format, she focused on whom she thought was the groom. He turned out to be the most photographed best man ever!
The family lives in Dublin, which she says she hopes to see thrive in the near future. They all go camping, hiking and exploring and are quite pleased to have departed the heat and beaches for the more temperate, 4-season climate in the SW Virginia mountains.