At PhotoBiz, we see a LOT of creative work from both established and up-and-coming photographers. Stephanie Piedra of Stephanie L. Photography recently came to PhotoBiz and her beautiful website and photographic style caught our eye!
Stephanie's style is bold but relaxed, with gorgeous colors and composition that captures a range of emotion in her bridal, quinceñera, and family portraits. We caught up with Stephanie and asked her all about how she got started, how she approaches her craft, and what she has planned next for the future!
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Stephanie Piedra, and I am the photographer behind Stephanie L. Photography! I specialize in wedding, quinceañera & family photography in Raleigh, NC. My style is simple & relaxed. I believe in natural light, unique details, raw emotions & capturing the true essence of an individual or event.
I was born in NC and raised by a Mexican father and my Chicana mother, so my primary language is Spanglish (half English half Spanish). My dad is from Guanajuato, Mexico and my mom is from The Valley in southern Texas. I have two daughters who are polar opposites – so getting ready in the mornings is SUPER fun! One NEEDS a bow and the other HATES to brush her hair.
I've been a professional photographer since 2012, but it has been my main business for the last 2 years. I love to read books that allow me to escape reality, like Harry Potter or Game of Thrones! #teamtargaeyrns
How did you get into photography?
My interest in photography started at a young age. I was always taking my mom's camera and making "movies" with her camcorder. They were horrible. And of course, I recorded over priceless memories. (But I don't think my mom knows that!)
In middle school, I would take disposable cameras to school and take photos of myself and all my friends in the classroom, in the hallway, outside, etc. Throughout high school, I was the same. Just taking my little disposable everywhere with me. When the times changed, I upgraded to digital. Throughout all of this, I knew that I was taking pictures of genuine moments with my friends and capturing memories that could be forgotten of people that I would probably not see again after high school.
I remember the moment in 2011 when I realized I wanted to pursue photography as my career. I was at my mom's house and as I sat to eat I told her I had always liked taking photos and I wanted a job that would give me flexibility with my family. Quinceañeras are always going to happen and photographers are always going to be needed. Same with weddings. I enrolled in the Art Institutes of Raleigh Durham, and I LOVED it there. There's no better feeling than knowing you're surrounded by like-minded people that share the same passion. Unfortunately, after 1 year the price tag of a bachelor's degree in Photography got to me. But I realized that a lot of photographers were successful without a degree, so I unenrolled.
Between then and 2016 I did photography for friends and family, but with two daughters and adult bills, I put my passion aside for a full-time job. In April of 2017, I was let go from that position due to overstaffing. This gave me the opportunity to get back in photography, and I've been steady ever since. I have been shooting regularly and building up my portfolio. I still haven't decided if I'm ready to do this full time. It's a big jump from having a steady paycheck!
How would you describe your photographic style?
My initial goal was to get into wedding and quinceañera photography, but my main subjects right now are families and children. I use lighting for my portrait sessions like Sweet 15's and natural light for everything else, especially children.
I would describe my style as naturally posed. Sometimes posed and sometimes unposed. I would describe my editing style as not light and airy, not dark and moody, but true to color with slight enhancement of colors. I love color! I like for photos to be as clear and accurate as possible.
When my photos are being viewed in a photo album 20 years from now I don't want my client's family to say, "Why is it so dark? I can't see her face" or "Why is it so bright?"
I love light and airy and dark and moody, don't get me wrong! But I just want a style that isn't a current trend. I want a classic.
“I would like the world to know that life is short and its never too late or you're never too old to follow your dreams! This is the best country to do just that.”
– Stephanie Piedra
How did you find out about PhotoBiz and what made you want to make the switch?
I found PhotoBiz through a photography group on Facebook. Someone asked what website they used and I saw PhotoBiz. I had never heard of it and Wix was too overwhelming for me. I've always wanted a website to better display my work and I finally decided to go for it. PhotoBiz is so easy to use and easy to make your own!
You created a BEAUTIFUL website all by yourself, can you tell us a little bit about the process?
Thank you! I followed one of your templates. I picked a template that best represented my mind and organization and that I felt would best display my work. I tweaked the font and some colors, but otherwise, I used your framework.
What are some of your goals for 2020?
Right now my goal for 2020 is to establish a unique experience to set me apart. There are a lot of photographers in my area and I really want people to say, "Go to Stephanie, her photos are so good and it was so easy to work with her, she was so helpful!" I have a lot of ideas that I want to establish from the inquiry to the 1-year anniversary. My obstacle is time. I am now in school full time.
Is there anything else you would like the world to know?
I would like the world to know that life is short and its never too late or you're never too old to follow your dreams! This is the best country to do just that.
About Stephanie L. Photography
Stephanie Piedra is a professional wedding, quinceañera, and family photographer based in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Her style is simple and relaxed, focusing on capturing raw & timeless photos that pop with color. Stephanie is growing her photography business and establishing herself as a creative force in the central NC area.