I first met Stacey while searching for a second shooter for my first 2015 wedding. We successfully conquered that wedding and another one in September together and I'm counting my lucky stars that I found a wonderful photographer with a creative eye who also is now someone I consider a friend.
Stacey is first and foremost a terrific mom to her boys and she'll talk about her love of getting them in front of her camera, plus the duties of a second shooter and what she loves most about being a photographer. She even shares what it's like to work with me behind the scenes!
Tell us about your business!
SKRS Photography is a Philadelphia-area lifestyle and portrait photographer specializing in families, children, maternity, engagements and pets. I enjoy working in natural light, outside in beautiful rustic and historic places.
How did you get into photography?
My first camera was a Pentax from a flea market. My high school offered photography classes and I was intrigued. I remember how supportive and positive my teacher was, telling me I had quite an eye for it. I enjoyed the act of capturing a person or scene and freezing time. I learned the basics in high school, honed my skill and carried it to my college career, working for the campus paper as a staff photographer. After that, I kind of put the camera down. Well, I just didn’t pick it up as much, though post-college, I headed to NYC and loved capturing snapshots of the city, just for fun. When my kids came along, I upgraded to a Nikon, went digital and inched my way back into what I’d loved before learning I loved it even more now.
What do you love best about photography? Do you have a favorite memory or defining moment?
What I loved best about photography, back when I first got started, was working in the darkroom. I loved exposing the paper and then going through the processing and watching that white sheet of paper suddenly possess an image I’d captured. It was magic! Ah, I also loved the challenge of transferring the film from the back of the camera to the developing container (the name escapes me) without using my eyes (so contrary to the nature of photography). Haha and I loved the smell of the darkroom!
In your own words, what is a second shooter? Why are they so important to the primary photographer? To the couple?
A second shooter is a second set of eyes. A second imagination. Second shooters are sort of like those eyes in the back of our heads we sometimes wish we had. They’re there to capture some of the unexpected moments happening on the outskirts of those we anticipate to be a part of the couple’s day. And a second shooter has the opportunity to explore, a bit more freely (because there’s way less pressure on us than the primary!), different angles, different manners of cropping and everything happening around the bride and groom. The second shooter brings more to the primary photographer’s vision, giving the bride and groom a fuller retelling of their wedding day. The second shooter, the person with way less responsibility, can also bring the bride a bottle of water or a drink, hehe
What part of second shooting do you enjoy most?
Well, if I’m being honest here, I enjoy that though I’m responsible to take amazing photos, the responsibility does not rest heavily on my shoulders. I have more freedom to be creative without the worry of making sure I capture the must-have moments. And I love the opportunity to interact with the bride and groom, bridal party, families and guests. On the other side, I enjoy working with another photographer a great deal. Working with Wendy has afforded me the opportunity to learn on the fly and bounce ideas off of someone. I appreciate the primary-second shooter relationship, that common bond of capturing incredible and special moments and knowing we’re working together to capture that wedding story. It’s quite an adrenaline rush!
What is it like to work with Wendy at a wedding? Any favorite stories or moments?
It is a pure treat to work with Wendy. She is kind and compassionate with her couples. She’s confident and supportive. She’s organized and prepared and shares so much information about the bride and groom, special family circumstances and the locations ahead of time which is awesome! I found a good friend in Wendy and the common bond of our D700s extends beyond that as we share the experience of motherhood, starting our own businesses. It’s pretty remarkable to connect with someone who gets it, understands that challenge and the juggling that goes with it. At a wedding, Wendy knows exactly which moments and people are most important to her bride and groom. Weddings are challenging and can make for quite a long day, and despite that, Wendy maintains a very constant energy and honestly ends her day with the same demeanor she begins it with -- she’s pleasant and takes every measure to ensure the bride and groom’s vision is captured in camera. Every wedding I’ve had the good fortune to work with Wendy on has been a favorite story. I feel like we laugh together and simply enjoy the shared experience.
What would your photography dream be? Where would you like to see your business in one year? Five years?
My photography dream, I think like so many of us, is to establish a business that I can grow into as my kids grow. Right now, it’s perfect. In a year, I honestly don’t wish to see much change outside of working towards continually growing my skill in camera and post and a small but steady growth in my client base. In five years, I’d like to step more into the wedding world, just a smidge but grow my work with families a bit more. I enjoy what I do. It’s an outlet for me. I want it to be just that, a creative outlet that lets me be me!
(Stacey captures fun in nature with her sons at home)
What's in your camera bag?
I'm a Nikon gal because it's what I know. My college paper experience found me working with a freelance AP photog, and I secretly coveted his Nikon -- a top-of-the-line full frame camera. Though I shot film with my trusty Pentax in those days, my first DSLR was a Nikon. My bag currently houses a D700, 85mm and a 50mm. The 85mm is my go-to, though I look forward to expanding my primes for springtime weddings! My back-up is the D7000 with a 35mm and a 50mm, though I admit it barely sees daylight and is truly an emergency back-up.
You can follow Stacey's journey at: