humans of coffee

Humans of coffee: Kyle Wade Sheppard

Who is Kyle Wade Sheppard?

In a nutshell, I’m a husband, Jesus follower, professional photographer and coffee enthusiast, so basically your average Instagram hipster haha. I’m a big picture oriented dreamer with an excessive amount of energy and I’m frequently stoked about a great many things. Professionally, I travel and shoot weddings with my wife (Kyle Loves Tori Photography) which is a crazy awesome gig, I couldn’t be happier with it! When I’m not traveling, I manage social media and content creation for local businesses in St. George, UT, where we live currently. Though I live in Utah, I’m a native born Coloradan at heart, and I’m very proud of my home state.

What is your favorite childhood memory?

My dad bought a digital SLR sometime when I was in late elementary school/middle school. He would take pictures through out the week at the summer camp my family ran. Sometime in high school, I remember my mom telling me that he, referencing my dad, had a special eye for it. I don’t know why that moment lodged so firmly in my memory, but I remember latching on to that and wanting to be like him and have that same “eye.” I could write a bunch of these little stories about watching my dad as I grew up and how many small things he did impacted me and made me the person I am and strive to be.

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Photographer: Alyssa Ence

If you could have a do-over in life, what would you do differently?

Honestly, I really love where my life is. A lot of mistakes that I made and paths I chose that I’m not proud of still led me to where I am, so in the large scheme of things, I wouldn’t change anything.

That being said, I would change my attitude and learn some lessons earlier. Namely, I would take a hold of the idea that anything worth doing is worth doing well and embracing a willingness to be inconvenienced. Even though I’ve been taught those ideals for a long time, I didn’t let them sink in until the last couple of years and if I had taken them to heart earlier I think I could have grown more and left a bigger impact on the people I interacted with.

What do you feel most proud of?

Right now? The growth of my business. I left my job managing a local coffee shop earlier this year to go full time with photography, a goal I’ve been working towards for almost 4 years now. The business is growing more than I thought possible and I’m incredibly stoked to reap the benefits of all that hard work. It’s a huge blessing

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Photographer: Tyler Rye

If you could keep only 3 possessions, what would they be and why?

Man that’s a hard question. I tend to more practical rather than sentimental when it comes to possessions, so I would probably say my computer, my main camera (I’m going to include a lens on there too, so that might be cheating), and my phone. I can pretty much do everything I need to with those three items.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

“Whatever he did, he did well. Whoever he loved, he loved dearly.”

What is The Handsome Wade coffee blog?

When I officially left the coffee industry to go full time as a photographer, I knew I’d want some sort of outlet for my coffee passion, so the coffee blog was born! I named it in part after my Grandpa Wade, because he was primarily responsible for getting me into coffee. According to the internet, Kyle comes from a Gaelic word that means “handsome” and that was too good of an opportunity to pass up. I use it as a creative challenge to photograph and write on a consistent basis. It’s an opportunity for me to share what I love most about the world of coffee and it’s an invitation for others to see that world through my eyes.

 

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Photographer: Alyssa Ence

 

What is your favorite kind of coffee?

I love coffees with a more fruity and floral flavor profile, so pretty much anything from Africa, especially naturally processed Ethiopia’s. I love lots of complexity and profile shifts that tend to occur in natural and honey processed coffees. As far as brew methods, Aeropress is king in my book, followed closely by the V60.

In which coffee shops are we likely to bump into you?

To be honest, we don’t really have that many coffee shops here in St. George, so I end up doing coffee at home primarily. When I do venture out I usually end up at The Harbor, a church sponsored student/community center that offers pour over coffees from Hidden House Coffee Roasters. When I travel however, I love to check out local shops. Some of my favorites are: La Barba in Draper, UT; Corvus Coffee in Denver, CO; Kiln Coffee Bar in Grand Junction, CO; Wesley Andrews in Minneapolis, MN; Quixotic Coffee in St. Paul, MN; and Slate Coffee in Seattle, WA.

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Photographer: Kyle Sheppard

What does a perfect day look like?

I have two drastically different answers to that, because I love having variety in my life, too much of any day would lose its lustre very quickly for me.

In one of my perfect days, I’m shooting a wedding. I get up early with my wife, swing by a local coffee shop and meet up with the bride early to photograph her getting ready. I get to watch the anticipation build as the girls get ready and then go hang out with the guys for a bit (they’re usually playing games or something). As the day goes on, we get to know the couple and the people they’ve chosen to have closest to them on their best day. During the ceremony, we get to watch two people make some of the most important promises of their lives and begin a new chapter of life together. We get to take them to an amazing place, away from the hustle and bustle, so they can have a moment together to take it all in, just a moment to themselves. And finally we get to party like crazy with them. It doesn’t always happen in that order or exactly like that, but I love every minute of it.

At home, I get up early and make myself a cup of coffee and start my day with a chill hour of reading and praying before heading up into the office to work. Ideally, I get to meet up with some of my friends either for more coffee, rock climbing or bike riding. I then get to spend my evening with my wife watching Netflix or playing Mario.

In a nutshell, my perfect day revolves around variety and getting to spend time with other people either who are close to me or who I get to be a part of the best day of their lives.

Cover image by Chad Braithewaite