My Manifesto

I believe photographs allow us to hold onto moments that might otherwise quickly pass us by. I believe the most powerful photographs remind us of how a moment felt, not just what it looked like.

I want to live in a world where families spend quality time together; a world that isn’t tethered to an electronic device; a world where people care more about feeling good than looking good.

Here’s what I know for sure: when you stop and look around, life is pretty amazing. The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. It’s up to you to see it.

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”

~Omar Khayyam

Sharon Reiley

Photographer. Designer. Director. Mom. Wife. Self-Starter. Manager. Artist. Nurturer. Introvert. Survivor. Intellect. Optimist. Empathizer. Observer. Adapter. DIYer. Listener. Problem-Solver. Collaborator. Geek. Athlete. Superhero. Woman.

Why photography matters to me

I fell into photography after the loss of my son Owen in 2005. Before then, I had a successful career in graphic design, but his loss left me feeling dissatisfied with my work. Everything seemed so temporary and unimportant. I wanted to be doing something that would last, something that was meaningful, something that would bring joy to others. I wanted my son’s life to matter so that he would not be forgotten. That’s when I found my purpose in photography. I started Reiley Photography at the end of 2006, not long after the birth of my sweet daughter Paige. Since then, every photo I take is proof that Owen’s life has made a difference in the world. You can read more about my story here:

How I work

For the most part, I am a quiet observer. I have often been told that being photographed by me is like having nothing done at all, and I take that as quite a compliment! My goal is to capture who you really are and the best way for me to do that is to let you be yourself without forcing you to do things for the camera that you wouldn’t do in real life. I believe a ‘real’ photograph of yourself will be far more valuable to you years from now, than my (or anyone else’s) idea of what your images should look like. I believe the responsibility falls on me to capture the beauty of what already lies within you, and I believe it is a gift that I am able to translate what I see into beautiful photographs that show how much you love each other.

A little background…

I graduated from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with a BFA in Digital Media. My roots were formed studying graphic design, animation, early web design and fine art. I stuck to a strict web-safe palette of 218 colors, carefully sliced and optimized graphics for dial-up, and constructed tables with hand-coded HTML. I shot on film and developed my own prints in the darkroom. I sketched live models in charcoal and conté crayons. And I designed and scripted my first interactive app with Macromedia Director. I began my professional career as a web designer, working for marketing and advertising agencies in and around Boston. Some of the clients I’ve worked for include GM, Gillette, Intercontinental Hotels, Microsoft, HP Computers, Bayer Healthcare, Novartis, Reuters, Liberty Mutual, and Cigna Healthcare. Following the loss of my son and later the birth of my daughter, I left the corporate world to start my photography business.