I first met Stella about 2 years ago back when I was just starting and she was gaining her stride. I think I first met her at Hamilton Pool for a Mommy group thing and then learned that she was a photographer when she took my families photo for baby dedication day. I swallowed my pride and asked her if she would mind giving me some help in getting started, and she did! To me, Stella was a drink of cool water in a dry place. So very helpful and giving of her time and her knowlege...without fear, which some of us in this field tend to operate from. If I had a question, Stella could give an answer. But thankfully, I have ran into more successful photographers like Stella than the other.
1) Introduce yourself and get the visitors “in” on your work!
Hi, I’m Stella Crowl, owner and lead photographer of Style Image Studios. I’m a very passionate self taught photographer who has researched and worked my way up to where I am now.
So I seriously love this photo of you. I know it was taken by our friend and fellow photog Angel Cupp of TCupp Photography.
2) I love your work. LOVE it…which is why I look at it often. How did you get started in the photography business, and when?
After I had my first child 3 and half years ago, I had taken her to a department store photo studio and it was the worst experience. I told myself that I could do this myself. So, I did. I started taking photos of her, then family, then friends and it just spiraled from there.
3)When was the first magic moment that you knew you wanted to be a photographer?
When someone said to me, Wow! These are really good, you should do this for a living.
4)When did you make it a full time thing?
I was working fulltime for a local magazine while doing my photography on the weekends and I just started getting busier. I didn’t mind my magazine job but my love wasn’t there. I became pregnant with my 2nd child and I told myself that when I go on maternity leave, I’m not coming back. I wanted to do what I loved and be with my children full time instead of being gone all day from them. So, I’ve been full time now for about 2 ½ years.
5)And I have to ask, because it’s a question that people are asking themselves anyway, what do you shoot with and what is your favorite lens?
I shoot with a 50D and my backup is an Xsi. I love the 50mm lens and my lens I use all the time is the 28-135.
6)Describe your style.
My photography is a mixture of fine art, traditional and photojournalistic photography while adding a stylish, glamorous flair to every image. I love to make my objects glow, I love the beauty in a photo.
I LOVE the glow! Sometimes it just makes the picture.
7) Your subjects range from newborns and children to seniors to newlyweds and families… what is your favorite subject to photograph?
My favorite to photograph is newborns. It’s such a beautiful experience. Especially, when you get shots of the mom and dad with the precious baby. Just amazing. I love the challenge of it, too.
While newborns are my favorite to capture, outside of this setting, my absolute favorite to capture is Fashion. I’m fashion photographer at heart. Runway is an addiction to me. I’m so proud to say that I’ve just recently joined the Phoenix Fashion Week Media Team. I’m now complete. lol
Thats awesome! Congratulations. I must say that your fashion photos are my favorite. I can definitely tell your heart is in those pictures!
8) What is something that you are still learning?
This career along with many others is a work in progress. You can never be done learning or teaching yourselves new and exciting things. With technology things are forever changing, so its all about keeping up and keeping it fresh. Learning different editing techniques, posing and designing, branding, etc.
9)What is the one thing that you LOVE LOVE about what you do?
I love all the perks that come with being a fashion & event photographer. I’ve had the opportunity to do some pretty amazing things…Kardashian event at the Playboy Mansion, Gene Simmons event in Dallas and much more. My assistant/husband isn’t complaining either.
10) I don't have a studio, so for someone who is looking to bulk up her studio creds, would equipment should I get first?
All you need to get started is a couple backdrops, triggered lighting and your camera. As, you go you’ll start building your props pile (which I’m sure you have plenty of by now), different backdrops, seats, tables, etc.
Well, I do have some props...that goes without saying LOL.
11) When you have nothing scheduled, where are we most likely to find you?
If nothing is scheduled, then it means I’m home editing.
12) As a photographer, I look to others, their work, their business model, who they seem to be as a person as viewed through their blogs or FB posts; if I look to you, who are YOU looking to?
Hmm..good question. For wedding photography, I look to photographer Jasmine Starr for inspiration. For my fashion photography, I’m an “America’s Next Top Model” addict. I watch it religiously, I memorize, I listen to the advice. I watch the artists work and get inspired from there.
13) Coke or Pepsi?
Lol Diet Pepsi. As of a month ago I was drinking this all day everyday. I made a change and I haven’t had it since.
Oh I am with you there on the diet part of the diet coke...! But I am all about the coke man. (Wait, that sounded kinda weird...you know what I mean).
14) Knowing what you know now, what is something you would have done differently when you first started out?
I give less images and I charge a little more. Lol After realizing just how much work goes into what we do, we have no choice. There’s a big difference between a department store photographer and a professional photographer.
15) Something that I would like to know is, if ever, at any point in your career, have you thought about quitting, or doubted yourself, or hit a wall and wondered how to get over it? If so, can you give a little background? How did you over come that hurdle?
I’ve never gotten to that point where I feel like quitting but I have doubted myself before. There was one client that wanted a reshoot but it was because she didn’t like how she looked in the photos. One thing that clients think is that we’re magicians and we can make them skinny and beautiful with the click of the mouse. A re-shoot isn’t the answer because it would be the same. I talked with her and asked exactly what she didn’t like and we worked it out without shooting again. She was a very happy client in the end.
That's great! I have run into a few tough customers myself, you have helped me with at least one of them! But it always is better to work it out with the client so that its a win win for both.
16) Who are YOU, other than a photographer?
I’m a Christian woman first, a wife, a mother and in my spare time I love to sing and dance.
17) I have a huge purse love, do you have any fun or extraordinary talents or obsessions, that you’d like to share with us?
I’m a huge purse person, too! Other than that, something that keeps me even more busy these days is my obsession for couponing. No, I’m not a fan of the Extreme Couponing show. That show is horrific. I do love to save money and I plan to be debt free soon! lol
Why didn't I know that about you? I should have guessed! I bet though we had better not go purse shopping together. Especially with the debt free thing too, which I am totally down with.
18) Looking back on all you have done to date, what has been your favorite moment as a photographer?
I would say my favorite moment, that I still get butterflies thinking about was arriving to the Playboy Mansion as the event photographer. It was a celebrity-filled night and it was great to be at this beautiful mansion while raising money for a worthy cause.
19) What has been your best marketing strategy?
One of my best marketing strategies would be networking. I’m a firm believer that networking is the way to go. I don’t pay for advertising, so this is the best route to get to know new people and bring them to your business. Other strategies, such as referral rewards, contests, etc, work just as well.
I am learning this as well. I am starting a little late in the game, but at least I am trying to figure this out NOW rather than a year from now. I believe this will make a big difference, though it can be hard and intimidating too; asking someone else to come along side you as you both build your businesses.
20) You and your camera, across time and space, where would you go and what would you photograph?
I would have loved to photograph the world towers before the tragedy occurred.
21) What is the one piece of advice you could give that could be invaluable to someone starting out?
Keep the passion.
22) Lastly, what is one word in the English dictionary that describes you?
Okay, so I am going to admit that I actually went to the dictionary to see if "go getter" was a word in there. I was thinking it was an idiom! But there it was...right there on the page, with a definition! go-getter definition 1.n. an energetic person.
However, why did I doubt? You creme me every time we play WordFeud on our phones...every time LOL
Where can people find you, like you, and love you just as I do?
Website site: www.styleimagestudios.net
Facebook: Style Image Studios
Eye color: Brown
Blood type: Negative 0
And favorite food: Asian!
Stella has also won:
Reader's Choice Award Winner~PCL Magazine
and is the latest member of the Media Team - Phoenix Fashion Week