This week we spotlight, Stacy from Flair Custom Photography, a Helena Montana photographer. Stacy, thanks for taking the time to let us get to know you a little better.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Stacy. I’m the married (to one unbelievably hunky guy), home schooling mom of four crazy kids. I live in the beautiful state of Montana and I absolutely love it. Well, from May through November and December 25th , I love it. The rest of the year I tolerate it and count the days until the temperature rises above freezing.
My passion for creativity began as a child. I was blessed to be born to a mother who is amazingly talented. Creativity run through her veins. From an early age I remember her creating, restoring old furniture, quilting, sewing, crafting and painting. Because of her example, I find such joy in being able to creatively use photography to capture moments that people will cherish for a lifetime.
How long have you been doing photography?
I’ve been doing photography as a hobby since 2001. I launched my business in 2009.
Are you a self-taught photographer? If you are not a self-taught photographer how did you learn?
Not long after I got my first DSLR (a Canon Rebel XT complete with a kit lens), my husband bought me a course at the Picture Perfect School of Photography for my birthday. It was the first real instruction I had ever gotten in photography. And I loved it! From there, I have continued with other courses and workshops along with much googling, reading, googling, reading, and also lots and lots of practicing. I also belong to a couple of great forums with other photographers where I’ve been able to learn and grow.
Do you specialize in a certain area of photography?
I don’t specialize in a certain area. Sometimes after a newborn shoot, I’ll say “I only want to photograph newborns! They are so sweet!”, but then I’ll have a senior shoot and I say, “I think I want to specialize in senior sessions. Seniors listen to instruction, they don’t run away, I don’t have to bribe them with Smarties to look at the camera……” So while I think specializing in one area is fabulous for some, for me I realize that I love every part of life. I love being able to capture the preciousness of a newborn, the twirl of a 4 year old, the sassiness of a senior, the love of a family, and the legacy of those who’ve grown wise with years.
What equipment and software do you use?
For my portrait sessions I use a Canon 5D. If it’s an outdoor session I will mostly use a 50 mm 1.4 lens. For studio work I primarily use my 24-70L lens. When shooting sporting events I use a Canon 40D with the 70-200 f4 lens.
I use Photoshop CS4 to edit all of my images.
Do you have a studio or do you shoot on location?
Both. I love outdoor /on location sessions! And that is primarily what I book from May-October.
I also have a studio set up in my home. Nothing fancy, and if you are a past client, you know what I mean. I have my living room set up with backgrounds and studio lights and closets full of props. It’s what works for me right now. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t browsed around in the local paper and Craig’s list to see available spaces though!
What advice would you give someone who is interested in photography and wants to improve his or her photography skills?
To start out here are 3 things I would recommend:
1. Get a DSLR – Don’t go overboard here, even the entry level models have all the controls that you’ll need to learn how your camera works.
2. Join a photography forum – I have learned so much from spending time pouring through tutorials on photography forums. It’s been a blessing for me to be able to learn from more experienced photographers!
3. Shoot your camera everyday – even if it is just snapshots. Get comfortable seeing through the lens and composing different types of images.