Shelby M

Shelby M

4 Friends, 4 Personal Style Stories

Hi, my name is Shelby and I’m an 18 year old photographer. I started this photo journal project to document and celebrate personal style. I photographed myself and three other friends (Francine, Anna, and Kianna) and asked them what “personal style” meant to them. It turns out, personal style is much more than the clothes we wear! All the photos were shot with 35mm film in both San Diego and Washington D.C. This photo journal is meant to inspire and encourage girls of all ages to wear their clothes confidently as well as have faith in their own individuality and abilities!

Shelby. Age 18.

“Being Comfortable and the element of surprise are two things I keep in mind when I’m getting dressed in the morning. I like to be able to move around, but I also hate predictable outfits!”

“I’m really into headwraps these days, and styling my hair is one of my favorite parts about getting dressed. Whether I’m wearing my curls down or dressing them up with a headwrap or other kinds of accessories, I think personal style is really owning the features that you have. You’re the only one who can rock your features the best!”
“Fashion should be fun. Personal style isn’t limited to the clothes on your body. It’s also about the way you carry yourself. Do you enjoy putting outfits together? It’s one of my favorite things to do, because being presentable is important to me!”

Francine. Age 19.

“I don’t spend a lot of time figuring out what to wear, like I used to when I was in middle school. Now, I tend to just throw on whatever is colorful and comfortable. Fashion is meant to be fun. Some days I wake up and want to dress more gender neutral, other days I feel totally feminine. The beauty of fashion is that it’s for everyone to express how they feel. Style is personal. “

“I wear mostly all black because it’s so easy to throw together an outfit and nothing is ever mismatched. I also feel more powerful and confident in an all black outfit. Plus, I always look a bit overdressed, which is nice if I have to go from class to an event.”


“Style to me is just expressing who you are through what you put on your body. For example, I’m to the point, I tend to be serious, and I don’t like any fuss. Style is just another way to show people who you are.”

Kianna. Age 18.

“To me style is just how you express yourself and your gender. I don’t really think anyone has good or bad style because it’s all subjective; it all depends on who that person is. To me, style isn’t about what looks good, but about who you are. Sure, people can be unfashionable but everyone has their own style.”
“I usually wear clothes that are comfortable and really make me feel like myself, whether I look good in them or not. You can always catch me in my favorite pair of Vans.”


Anna. Age 19.

“For me, clothes should be as much about comfort and practicality as they are about personal style. As a woman, I often encounter clothes that just seem so impractical; it’s important to me to dress in clothes that allow me to take on the day. I love simple pieces and dark colors that I can dress up or down, and wear with and for almost everything. I wear clothes that make me feel comfortable and confident about my body. For me, this means accentuating my curvy hips and showing off my legs (remember, no matter what they tell you, thick thighs really do save lives).”
“I very rarely go out shopping for clothes with a specific purpose, instead I just acquire things along the way. I buy a lot from thrift stores and have a lot of clothes that I have inherited from my friends. I like the way that worn clothes just seem to have more personality, and it’s cool to wonder about what they’ve been through with previous owners/wearers. For me, clothes don’t have to be huge statement pieces to tell a story. I may dress rather simply, but I definitely have a huge personality, and endless stories to tell. I want to shine brightly no matter what I’m wearing, and I think being comfortable and confident in my clothes helps me to do so.”


Photos by Shelby