Celebrating 20 years as a portrait Photographer
Friends, 20 Years.
I’m celebrating 20 years as a portrait photographer! That is so crazy to type.
I remember being 15 years old and picking up my first camera and I’ve never really put it down. Creating images was a new world for me. Asking my friends to pose, taking photos at holidays with the family. I loved the people in those photos and I wanted to capture memories for, and with, them. It puts a fire in my heart to this day.
In college, I studied Art History and even though I went in a different direction, art is still a huge part of my life. I eat up any information I can on art, design, colors, architecture, styles and it filters into my work as a photographer more than you might realize. The creativity and elegance in art is what I strive for in my sessions.
A building’s columns might be purely functional, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t also extremely beautiful. It’s the same with photos. Often, people take them out of obligation (we need a holiday card photo or we need a photo to send to Grandma, etc.) but my goal is for you to want to take pictures. Your own special masterpieces that stand the test of time, just like a beautiful building.
When I was 19, I got my first job as a portrait photographer at a studio inside the mall. I was hired for seasonal Christmas help, but it ended up being the start of my forever career. I was there close to a decade, even going back after we had our first son, but at some point I decided I needed more quality time with my husband and son, so I made the choice to go out on my own.
Clients I had worked with at the studio called quickly. I didn’t realize the power of the relationships I had built from my years at the studio and how they would remain in effect at my new gig. There really isn’t a bigger thrill than photographing a family for years and years, watching them grow and expand. Getting to know the kids from the baby stage, through the toddler stage, the big kid stage, the teen years and beyond.
At the beginning, I only shot on location, since I didn’t have a studio. In fact, I did Christmas minis out of my living room with my own Christmas tree! I would send Brent and Brody away for the day, move my dining room table out of the way, pull out the props and lighting from the basement and start my day! It wasn’t ideal, but I was doing what I loved, on my own terms, and I don’t think I would have had it any other way. It’s always going to be a fond memory.
This obviously wasn’t a feasible long-term solution and I found my first studio space about a year later. I was terrified about adding a rent payment into our lives. Was I going to take money away from my family rather than bring it in? I took the risk and it paid off. I grew because my clients talked and shared and sent new clients my way. My business is almost 90% referral based to this day. It all came down to the relationships and it continues to be that way.
Years and years passed and I had the opportunity to move to a studio much closer to home, which also (bonus) was on a highly traveled road, so I took a leap again. I moved in November of 2020. Talk about timing. The pandemic hit a few months later and I used the downtime to get my new place decorated and organized. While being off for so many months was challenging, I embraced what I could do and was so ready to welcome new clients in late Spring.
Molly’s mom was one of the first people I called. You see, Molly was my first client at Stacey Louise Photography. I’ve known her since she was just a baby (from the first studio at the mall) and she was the first client I did a creative session with back in 2014.
The infamous Glitter Session!
I felt inspired and I knew I wanted to do something different and showcase that pictures could be taken any time and for any reason. The glitter session was so much fun, still one of my favorites ever and I’m sharing some photos from that session above and below so you can take a peek.
2021 seemed like a good time to bring those creative sessions back into view, so here is Molly again! A little more grown up, updated glitter session this time, with the addition of florals to bring in a different element of style. There’s the art lover in me coming out again!
If you have an imaginative or original or clever idea for a session, let me know! If I put glitter all over my studio floor, you know I am game for just about anything.
Take Ryder, a Michael Jackson superfan that came in for some rad photos the other day. Fun fact, I went to highschool with Ryder’s mom and we have been friends for longer than I’ve been taking photos.
He has been watching and learning dance moves from MJ the past few months and I didn’t even have to pose this kid! He rocked it, dancing while I blasted music and took photos. It wasn’t his birthday or a special day, he was just in his element and now he has lasting memories of this really cool time in his life. Check out the session below!
You don’t need a milestone or a special occasion to have a session.
I’m offering a special right now - 30 minutes of studio time for $299
*10-15 digital photos with a full printing license
Not much is going on. The holidays are over, winter is hanging around, so let’s have some fun! Glitter, optional. :) This special will only run for the month of March. Contact me with any questions, I am here for you!