Welcome to episode 44 with guest, Stacey Poterson! Stacey is a local photographer, entrepreneur, wife, and mother of three (as if just one of those things isn’t enough already). In this podcast, she talks about her background, business and even shares some solid relationship tips.
WHERE IT BEGAN
Stacey first got into photography when she was in high school. She studied graphic design in college because, “I wanted to keep it [photography] a hobby, so it would stay fun.” She later realized she could make a career out of it AND keep it fun. She started her photography career shooting high school seniors. “They are up for anything,” Stacey said. Their personalities are really able to shine through in a fun senior shoot, which is why she enjoyed it so much.
HOW HER BUSINESS HAS EVOLVED
Today, she still loves to photograph people. From newborns to families, to weddings and beyond. As long as there are people in her photos, she is happy.
At first, Stacey was intimidated by wedding photography specifically. This was until she was forced to jump in and take photos for a bride that would not take no for an answer. She admits the work is exhausting, but it comes with the job.
She has tried many areas of photography, which ultimately helped her decide what she liked the most and wanted to hone in on. Having children did interrupt her entrepreneurial journey here and there. She would put weddings on hold to do shorter shoots when her children were young. Now that her children are older, she has more time for extended shoots and also focus more on the business aspect of photography.
Stacey came to have a studio space when she found herself getting into boudoir shoots. She loves how empowering and vulnerable the experience is. “When women see their images after they’re done and after they go through the experience they actually start thinking and believing that they are beautiful,” Stacey said. It’s fun for her and her clients to see the end result, and it is often a confidence builder for the women she works with. Diving in and showing her clients poses herself along with constantly talking them through the process, playing music and maybe even offering a drink or two is how she gets her clients to relax and be themselves during a boudoir shoot. She asks each client to bring five or six outfits they can go through together to pick the top three that will photograph the best and make them feel most confident. “When you feel empowered, you feel sexy, it changes the way you approach everything,” Stacey said.
ADVICE FOR NEW PHOTOGRAPHERS
Her top tip for photographers just starting out is to learn to direct from behind the camera. Making people feel comfortable and allowing them to have fun leads to amazing photos. Any photographer can learn the craft and buy the fanciest equipment, but making the experience positive can make all the difference to a client. A bonus tip for those actually being photographed – skip the spray tans before a shoot! They photograph very orange, which is a difficult color to hide during the editing process, according to Stacey.
Last summer, Stacey launched her latest business endeavor targeting influencers, bloggers, brand ambassadors, and Instagram models alike. For a monthly membership fee, influencers can sign up for a weekly photo shoot at different locations around the valley. She shoots four people an hour every Tuesday. They are able to bring three outfits and she simply rotates each person in and out of shooting. While one is changing, another is in front of the camera. The client receives the raw files, so they are able to edit them to match their aesthetic.
She first got the idea while talking to a friend who is a fashion blogger. This friend needs content constantly because she posts daily. Photoshoots are often too expensive to be taking part it that frequently, so Stacey came up with an affordable option. Often times people feel uncomfortable asking people they know to take photos for them, or they just don’t have someone around who is willing and able to take quality photos.
She has found great success tapping into this niche of Instagramers who love to tag and share the entire experience with their followers. She has even had people from other states reach out to her, so she’s thinking about traveling to shoot in the future.
FAVORITE MEMORY WITH A CLIENT
Stacey’s favorite photography moment was with a high school senior and her mom at the senior’s photo viewing session. She had shot and edited the photos and it was the senior’s first time seeing her photos. At the end of the viewing session, the senior said, “I really believe what my mom says now, I am beautiful.”
LIVING HER CELEBRATED LIFE
Stacey lives her celebrated life by taking time to focus on her family, putting her phone down, and enjoying the little moments with her children.