Todd Shaak

Summer, 2011 – A High School Assignment By Lina LeVine –

Todd Shaak had found his passion for photography only 6 years ago and has come a long way in such a short time. He is a St. Louis based photographer who specializes in Fine Art, Wedding, Portrait and Commercial photography. Recently he has taken a special interest in the landscapes around St. Louis. He uses a digital camera for all of his projects. He is 45 years old and graduated from Collinsville High School. His style is kind of different, but in a great way. He knows how to take the things around him, put his own little spin on it, add a different perspective, and it makes them beautiful.  He can take things that are old and decaying that nobody pays any attention to and turns them into a piece of fine art. He has tremendous creativity and passion for what he does and it shows in every photo of his you see. He adds life into all of his photos and that makes him a better photographer in my mind. My favorite thing about his photographs is that they make you think about everything in it; such as what the history was and who used the things that are being photographed. It all just really makes you think and I love that. He has gotten many awards at local art fairs such as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place Best in Show. He has deserved every one and more.

“If I can capture an image that makes someone laugh, cry, reflect, imagine, or even put their arm around a friend then I have made a connection on some universal level.” – Todd Shaak. A person that is that passionate about his artwork needs to be heard and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Every artist, whether they are a painter, singer, sketch artist, or photographer, should want to touch every persons heart who views their work they way he wants to. He likes to mentor the younger generation of people who have an interest in photography. He has told me many times “I wish I had the passion I have for photography now when I was your age because then I wouldn’t be doing art shows right now. So keep the passion you have.” He takes the time to have an in depth conversation with you just because he can. He answers any questions you have and gives you direct answers.

In my absolute favorite photo he finds some very simple, burned sheet music and books, spreads them out, and takes a beautiful black and white picture of them. The texture you get from the burned edges gives all of the sheets their own originality. The layers of all the sheets make it look alive in way because it looks like someone was just using them. The layers also add depth into the photo and it just makes the photo that much better. Todd just knows how to take simplicity and make something of it. Not very many people can do that in my mind.

He operates his business, Shaak Photography, out of his home. To contact him, call 409-1971 or visit the Web site at


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