"Giving lots of good love to my friends"


Shelby Duncan is always ready to throw down.

Written by: Susannah Tantemsapya

Shelby Duncan is all about living the good life. Hailing from the wild west of Reno, Nevada, she moved to Los Angeles seven years ago and started photographing her friends and emerging musicians such as Ariel Pink, Phoenix and Soko.

Always inspired by genuine emotion, she strives for the intimacy to be seen by everyone, and the story to be fully felt: anything that evokes the thirst to feel it, to dance with it and to experience an authentic connection with her subjects. From documenting friends in the sultry, portfolio entitled "Wild Things," to running around with ex-pats in Tangier, to getting naked with French actress Lea Seydoux in her swimming pool, Shelby wants to tell the visceral story of living a passionate life.

3.5 Questions with Shelby Duncan

What is your secret talent?
I’m really good under the hood of a car, especially old cars. 

Where do you find inspiration?  
By what is happening right now, in my own environment… from my wild friends dancing in the kitchen to eating fish tacos in Mexico. I'm inspired by the light, color and different cultures, whether it’s in Reno or Paris. Also, experimental images from the 1960s and 1970s continue to amaze me.

Tell us about the picture or job where you realized “Damn, I might actually make this happen”:
When I was 18 years old, I took my first photography class. There was an open-call that my teacher submitted my work to, and my photo won. The exhibition actually paid to show my work in a gallery. From that moment, I knew this is what I wanted to do. 

I ENJOY… Travel. Fresh food. Giving lots of good love to my friends. Finding real charm and grit in everywhere I go. 

View all of Shelby's Prints