Anushila Shaw - From Lawyer to Photographer

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By A Correspondent

Have you ever wanted to quit your career and start over again?  Many of us fantasize about taking a leap into the unknown, even decades into our adult lives and careers, but there are always compelling reasons not to do so: family, a mortgage, or, simply, a fear of the unknown.  But one young Canadian photographer, a former banker and lawyer, is challenging the norms and taking the fashion photography industry by storm.

At the age of 27, Anushila Shaw was well settled into her legal career as a litigator in a major New York City law firm.  Her orderly—and predictable—life had progressed steadily on an upward trajectory when she earned her business administration degree at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo followed by a law degree from the University of Illinois.

Anushila moved to New York City in 2010 after graduating from law school and passing the bar exam and shortly found work in leading edge financial services litigation in the aftermath of the Financial Crises.  Representing major financial services institutions in headline-making cases and even advising post-war democracies with constitution building efforts was exciting and challenging.  But, like most of us, Anushila dreamed of a life beyond the long workdays chained to her desk, late night takeout and a uniform of dull grey suits. 

Anushila had always been an artistic child.  In college that interest evolved into a casual photography hobby. Anushila’s parents gifted her with her first DSLR camera for her 20th birthday—a fun high-tech toy to take photos of her beloved dogs, family and travels.  But over time, photography, which had started as an extension of her interest in drawing grew into a serious hobby, then a passion, and, now, something much deeper.  After a decade of casual interest, in 2014, she enrolled in a night course in portraiture and discovered her calling.  In a little over a year and a half, Anushila grew from taking her first portrait to being a full-time, published fashion photographer, a business owner and, soon, she will be pursuing her master’s degree in fashion photography at the prestigious School of Visual Arts in New York City. 

Anushila has been published digitally in fashion magazines in both the US and Europe, has shot runway fashion at Toronto’s World MasterCard Fashion Week and as the house runway photographer for Fashion Takes Action’s sustainable fashion show, and has assisted noted NYC-based fashion photographer Filippo Del Vita on photoshoots for Marie Claire Arabia and Cosmopolitan Magazine, South Africa.  In addition to her noted fashion and portrait photos, Anushila’s compelling landscape images have garnered attention in National Geographic’s ‘Your Shot’ website and have been used by the City of Toronto’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation unit in their social media outreach.   

Anushila expects that her upcoming graduate program will add substance to her creative vision and install this critical element into her technical strengths, business acumen and strong values in such a way that she emerges into the world of photography as a unified force destined to contribute high-impact work in the epicenter of the fashion industry in New York City.  She strongly believes that her education and previous work experience give her a unique advantage in her field.  Anushila incorporates the best traits of her previous profession: determination, a strong work ethic, ambition and the ability to tell a compelling story. 

See more of Anushila’s work on her website:, or connect with her on Facebook at or on Instagram via @anushilashaw


Vol. 12 - No. 3


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