I'm a full time wedding and elopement photographer based in Cincinnati, Ohio, but my husband would probably introduce me as your sunshine-filled photographer with the heart of a five year old who only wants to eat mac and cheese. And while he isn't wrong, I'd rather be busy dreaming up my next big adventure or making plans for my next destination wedding. From living in Singapore, San Francisco and Chicago, I've come to realize that God will never stop surprising me with His creation! 

Truly though, I feel so incredibly blessed to capture each individual couple's adventures into marriage. I can honestly say that it never gets old even as I reach over one hundred weddings documented this year! Your story is uniquely you and to have the opportunity to witness it and craft memories for you to cherish for literally generations to come is an honor! I can't wait to bring some sunshine to your day and get to know you better. 

Meet Shelby

Why, hello there!


My faves

Morning cuddles with my furballs, Cleo & Indy 

My big red comfy editing couch 

Being so organized that I can afford to be spontaneous

Hats for photoshoots...not so much for real life

Reese's, Star Wars, hot chocolate and mountain hikes 


CRAFTING your timeline. Instead of your day "flying by," we'll touch base and work out a custom timeline that builds in structure and ease.


CONNECTING. I want your photos to authentically reflect YOU! Thus, step one is sitting down and really getting to know one another. 

COLLABORATION. I want you to have the dream team for your day. Need a florist? Hair and makeup? A DJ? I've got the hook up!

CARING for you every step of the way. Think of me as your wedding guide. I'll connect the dots, help out and serve you however I can!

CANDIDS. Tears, laughs, the heart racing before the aisle. Helping you to be fully present is my number one goal. Soak it all in, my friend!

CREATION. For me, there is simply nothing more breath-taking than sweeping vistas and epic views of God's creation. Heading on a trip soon? Simply coordinate the travel with me and we'll capture your adventure!

The name Odessa James is derived from our middle names!
Shelby Odessa & David James
Just like our marriage, the name Odessa James speaks to the idea of two becoming one. Named after our parents and grandparents, it's also an ode to their marriages that have created a firm foundation for ours. It's always crazy to ponder just how two individuals find each other in life, but I'm sure glad we did. And, SURPRISE! David and I also love to work together.


If you’re looking for a dream team to make your day seamless and stress-free, we’re here for ya! David is an incredible DJ working corporate events and weddings all across North America, so when I say he's a pro...I mean it!

Fun fact


capturing adventurOUS LOVE wherever

Work With Us

you are.