DC Beat Cop turns hobby into passion with street photography


WASHINGTON, DC -- Officer Shaun Heffelman is an eight year veteran of DC’s Metropolitan Police Department who never imagined that one day he might be moonlighting as a street photographer.

Officer Heffelman, who got the photography bug while on vacation said, “We were going on a lot of vacations and then coming back without any pictures because we always forgot to take out our phones and so I bought a big DSLR, learned how to use it.”

He’s only been snapping pictures for about two-and-a-half years, starting with pictures of landscapes and portraits, but officer Heffelman says when he first started out, his work was getting ripped to shreds by other, more seasoned photographers.

“It was just terrible, so i kinda stepped up my game.”, said Officer Heffelman.

Once he began to take his hobby seriously, he gained a following with pictures that show deep contrasting shadows and capture moments that would easily be missed by passersby.

For officer Heffelman, he says his street photography is about something more.

“Getting up close and interacting with them a little bit more, talking to them and trying to tell their story with the photographs.”, he explained.

According to Officer Heffelman, interacting with his subjects through photography has also helped out in his role as a police officer, saying, “You know, being able to speak with them and connect with them. Even as a police officer, you can create a better understanding that I’m a human too, you’re a human and let’s all just get along, and I think I learned that through street photography.”