We are so excited to welcome Stephanie Sifuentes of Dahlias and Daisies to the Blog! Her dreamy, and whimsical imagery just makes our hearts sing! Thank you so much Stephanie for sharing your work with us today. Don’t forget to leave some love below!
Where did your inspiration for photography begin?
With my daughter! My husband bought me my first DSLR for Valentines Day while I was pregnant with her. I took at least one picture a day for the first 6 months trying to figure out the darn thing! Then one day in Dec when she was 5 months old I decided we needed a holiday card so I gathered up some random stuff and did a little photo shoot on a bench in our front yard! That was the start of Dahlias and Daisies!
How would you describe your photography style?
Colorful, whimsical, and innocent!
Did you study photography in school or are you self taught?
Self taught for the most part but I have mentored for newborns with some of the best! Newborn mentoring is a must as far as I’m concerned!
What camera do you shoot with and what is your favorite lens?
I have a Canon 5D Mark III. My favorite newborn lens is my 50mm f/1.2 while my favorite outdoor lens is 70-200 f/2.8 IS II USM, I use it almost exclusively outside!!
Do you have any tips for photographers on how to find the light?
Never shoot a new location cold turkey! Take a model 1-2 hours before sunset and explore every angle and see how the light behaves for you. Try things you don’t even think will work because you just might be surprised!
What is the most challenging thing about photographing newborns?
Definitely temperament! You never actually know what you are going to get with newborns. You can do all the tips and tricks on keeping them sleepy and happy, but some just won’t sleep. Have a back up plans in case this happens. Some of my favorite and most creative shots are of newborns who are wide awake! I’ve found that it’s us photographers that really strive for those beautiful perfectly posed naked shots while the parents really just want beautiful pictures of their babies. Get creative with wraps and back drops and you will be ready to handle anything that comes your way!
What is a good lesson you have learned this year in photography or in your business?
Maintaining a work life balance. In 2013, I only had 4 weekends off and did as many as 70 sessions in one month (all full sessions). I missed my family, friends and life. It’s been said over and over again that the amount of bookings a photographer gets does not define success and that is absolutely true. In 2014 I’ve cut way back and now have more time to focus on each session and my family and friends. I feel like I’ve had more ME time in Jan than I did the entire 2013, though I probably wouldn’t trade the valuable learning and lessons I gained for anything!
If you could encourage a new photographer in one area, what would it be?
Take some time and develop your own style. It will eventually come if you allow it to and not get hung up on what others are doing. I see to many photographers getting discouraged because their images aren’t turning out just like so and so’s. You’ll never take photographs like _________(insert rock star here) because you aren’t said rockstar. But that doesn’t mean you can’t create work that is just as valuable and cherished by making it your own!
What do you love most about being a photographer?
Getting totally lost in a session. My mind tends to take over and just run. I may be stressed out or cranky before a session starts but as soon as I have that newborn in my arms or baby sitting in front of me it all melts away. I sometimes think of the sessions as mind yoga!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Doing 2-3 sessions a week! And doing those 2-3 sessions in a beautiful studio built on to my home instead of INSIDE my home! I’m not exactly the worlds best housekeeper ☺ I just recently licensed a newborn image for a popular baby brand. I may explore doing more commercial work.
About Stephanie Sifuentes: Ever since I was a child I always had a passion for creating. Born and raised a Texas girl I attended the University of Texas in Austin where I studied Performing Arts with dreams to become a choreographer on Broadway. But one thing led to another and I entered the world of advertising in 2000, branding and creating websites for some of the largest and most popular companies in the world. It was absolutely my dream job at the time! After 11 years in the agency world, and my new turn in life of becoming a mother, I decided to pursue my next passion and that was photographing babies. Which is now my dream job! Family Picture by Ochoa Photography