American photographer Stephanie Ann has been photographing for a number of years. Mostly working in the area of self-portraits, her light-hearted style and beautiful composition allows her to create truly wonderful photographs. A technique we have mentioned before which is levitation photography, is another area the Stephanie likes to work in. With the use of Photoshop and a combination of images, Stephanie creates photographs in which herself or another model appears to ‘levitate’.
Below, we talk to Stephanie about how she became involved with photography and what she enjoys most about her life as a photographer.
Hi Stephanie how are you?
I have been doing quite excellent, keeping busy, following my dreams!
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I live in the United States of America and grew up in a small town in the middle of California. I was always fascinated by the camera and producing some sort of idea, emotion, or story. I had a lot of spare time when I was younger, and would spend it learning new things. Beyond photography, I love to write, produce videos, play piano, sing, compose music, write lyrics, and communicate with friends across the world. I also have a massive desire to travel.
Do you think living where you are has influenced your photographic style in any way?
I’ve never really thought about that to be honest. I feel very limited with where I live, as if I dream up greater things. It has helped me try to be creative as possible though, despite the lack of locations to photograph at.
How did you begin to fall in love with photography?
I grew to love it when I got my first decent camera and started playing around with ideas. Through self portraiture and being a part of deviantART is how I truly fell in love. I was about fifteen when I started getting more serious. Classes were never offered at my school, so everything I have learned was through practicing and experience with my cameras.
What type of camera do you use?
I currently use a Canon 5D Mark II with prime lenses.
What’s one or two of your favourite images you’ve created?
A particular favorite of mine is a self portrait jump shot on a very cloudy day.
Another favorite is a more recent shot in which I sat on top of a mountain. These both remind me that I can live dreams in photos.
Who/what are some of your inspirations?
My first inspiration was Lara Jade, whose work stood out to me and caused me to want to join deviantART. My main inspiration today is my entire life, and the people in it. Beyond those inspirations, I thank God the most. All that He has done for me is greatly influenced into my work. This journey is not over!
What do you enjoy most about photographing self portraits?
I enjoy feeling like I am in another world. I like to imagine beforehand what I intend to capture, and I feel like anything is possible! I can just speak my mind through a photograph of myself without having to speak to anyone.
You also shoot levitation photography, tell us what that’s like?
Editing for levitation is quite simple if photographed correctly! Usually I will only use two images for a simple levitation shot. I have on image as the background and the main image of my intentional pose in the “air.” Some special shots of objects floating may require up to 20 different photographs just for one shot!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to talk to friends, or sleep, really! But if possible, I’d prefer to go out and shoot another self portrait to try new ideas in my head.
Any advice for someone who wants to start a photography business?
Do not start a business, but rather ignite a passion. Many people get the idea in their head that photography is “easy” money, but it’s not. It’s an art that some people are willing to pay you to share, but should definitely start in the heart. If you have this passion, go for it! Shoot away! Find your best subject, your strong point, and practice and experiment! Whatever you do, just don’t do it for any sort of money.
What has been one of the best experiences you’ve had on a photo shoot?
That’s hard to say! But I’ve had some rare occasions where I’d shoot in cloudy weather right until the second before it rained horridly! Another time it was so windy, I could hardly see!
Do you photograph any other subjects besides models?
I photograph families, couples, babies, and classic portraits for people who come to me in need. I enjoyed my first lightning shoot, but prefer self portraits or models most!
What are some things you wish you had been told before beginning photography?
To be honest, there is nothing I wish I was told. I’m quite happy with how it all started for me, and never imagined it becoming a business (soon to be a personal hobby again). It just grew over time, and never really was a decision. It just…happened through my curiosity over the camera, before I even used the word “photography.”
In under a sentence, please summarise what your collection of work is about…
My collection of work is about my life, what I’ve been through, what goes on in my head, my imaginations, and my dreams. In a photograph, you can do absolutely anything.
Stephanie’s websites and social media connections are below: