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Meet Stevie Dee of Stevie Dee Photography

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stevie Dee.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Stevie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Growing up my parents were self-employed; I’ve seen the hard work, the ups and downs and everything else that came with it… and for some reason, I wanted that life for myself. I’ve always been creative, but in 2010 I started a career as a small business and consumer banker for a large corporate bank. Although I liked my job, the monotony of sitting inside a building day in and day out (plus working way too many hours of overtime) was starting to drain me.

After working for the bank for a few years, I realized I desperately needed a creative outlet and with my 22nd birthday approaching, I put a DSLR camera on my wishlist. I knew it was a long shot and didn’t get my hopes up, but to my surprise, my wish came true! I unwrapped a red Nikon D3100 and immediately burst into happy tears! It was a pretty basic starter camera, but it had a manual mode and everything I needed at the time and I was stoked! That night I went online and watched an endless amount of Youtube videos and learned the camera inside and out.

Shortly after, I taught myself how to shoot in full manual mode and joined some photography forum groups to learn from others around the world.

I would do small photo shoots for friends and family just for fun, and to practice my skills, and before I knew it I had strangers calling to hire me for photo shoots! This lit a fire inside of me and I jumped in head first and built my small business from the ground up while continuing to work for the bank. In 2014 my particular branch had some management turnover and I knew it was now or never. If I was going to try this, it had to be now, with shaky hands I gave the bank manager my resignation letter.

In April 2014 I walked away from my corporate safety net and took a leap of faith… I haven’t looked back since.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The following months after leaving the bank were tough. There was no manual telling me how to run a business and I was figuring everything out the hard way. Taxes, SEO, client management, pricing, website design, advertising, networking, social media management, and everything in between was overwhelming at first, but I believe the best lessons learned are the ones learned the hard way.

I had to retrain my brain to think like an entrepreneur and get used to the idea that I had no idea where my next paycheck was coming from, how I was going to pay my bills that month or the month after, or how I was going to design a retirement.

Although my family was incredibly supportive, my mom came to me one day and gave me a job application for a local credit union that was hiring. I completed the application and seriously considered going back to work in the banking industry, but I knew that life wasn’t for me and I never submitted my application.

There were a lot of uncertainties in my life at that time, but my success was never one of them. I knew it was sink or swim and there was no way I was going to sink. Failure wasn’t an option. Somehow, some way I made it work.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Stevie Dee Photography – what should we know?
Stevie Dee Photography is a premier photography company specializing in outdoor natural light wedding and portrait photography. We photograph everything from babies, maternity and family sessions to high school seniors, engagements and weddings. We are best known for our classic bright and airy editing style and have been featured in over 15 national and international wedding blogs and magazines such as: Pop Sugar, Borrowed & Blue, Santa Barbara Wedding Style, Inspired By This, Pretty My Party, Boho Weddings, Two Bright Lights, Lucy Dylan Weddings, Beauty & Lifestyle Magazine, Pretty Pear Bride, Loverly, Joy Wed and more!

We pride ourselves on remaining a small boutique business, and in doing so, we are able to connect with our clients on a much deeper level. I personally communicate with each client and photograph every wedding and portrait session. Our ability to make our clients feel comfortable in front of the camera and provide an exceptional customer experience (in addition to stunning images) is just one of many reasons clients choose to hire Stevie Dee Photography over anyone else -just read our online reviews!

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My husband Ryan has been incredibly supportive from the start and never once doubted me. He believed in my dream just as much, if not more, than I did! In fact, a few years ago he picked up an old camera and asked me to teach him the basics. He volunteered to shadow me on photo shoots and now has become the second shooter I’ve always wanted on my team. On a wedding day you can find him hanging out and photographing the groom and groomsmen while I photograph the bride and bridesmaids. We make the best team and I will forever be grateful for his love and support.

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