Today we’d like to introduce you to Stacy Golden.
Stacy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve always had an interest in photography. I received my BFA in art education major with a concentration in photography. With the economy downturn, my art position was eliminated and art jobs were hard to come by because of that lack of funding. In 2009, I opened my doors as a business and dove in, head first! There was a MAJOR learning curve with running a business since I had no background doing that, but I have slowly figured it out and really love it! The fact I get to create art for families, and they select ME to do that, is humbling. I am honored to be invited into families in this way.
Has it been a smooth road?
Was it smooth? 100% the opposite of smooth! In the beginning, I knew nothing about expenses, advertising, branding…you know, everything that’s the heart and soul of being and running a business! I assumed that having a website and slapping some photos on it would have people running far and wide to want me to photograph them. Um, no. That’s exactly how it DOESN’T work. There is so much more involved that I never knew about when I decided to start.
A big struggle for me once I got the business basics down was workspace. I was using a small room in my house as my studio (which is great in the beginning), but there was only so much I could do in terms of shooting space, prop storage, and a client area. I made it work, but it was definitely a struggle at the time as I got more and more busy.
The work/life balance is a constant struggle, too. When my studio was in my home, it was hard to set hours since everything was under one roof. Now that my studio is no longer in my house, I feel there is a mental divide between the two so I can try to turn off the business side of me once the computer powers down for the day. Having 2 young kids at home, they need me to be present!
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Golden Photography story. Tell us more about the business.
I specialize in maternity, newborn, and family photography. I know photographers that provide that are a dime a dozen, however my studio is known for artwork that is more than just some simple photo prints. Photography is an investment and I don’t want you losing your files on a computer over the years! The families I work with love that I do more than “just digital files”. I work with them to create wall galleries or a single, statement piece that they want to display in their home that matches their style. (I have some pretty cool software that lets them see different sizes on their walls before they order something too large or too small). I’m super proud that I take my service a step further beyond just taking the photos and aim to create something truly special for the families that select me.
I was selected at one of the top 18 maternity photographers in Chicago. There is SO much talent in the area, to even be considered for that list is flattering. But to then be placed on it? It’s an immense honor!
I also do headshots, product photography, and other business-oriented photos. Besides websites, my photography has been used in local and international ad campaigns, on product packaging, brochures, and posters. That realm of photography is a whole other beast when compared to family-type stuff, but I do love it! It’s a lot of technical control that the nerdy side of me really enjoys.
I am also a member of the Professional Photographers of America, so I take what I do pretty seriously. I am sure to take at least 1 workshop a year so I am always working on my craft to offer families the best that they deserve. Education is so important in this field – everyone has a camera anymore! Knowing how to properly use it, angles, lighting, proper editing techniques, etc goes way beyond simply having a camera.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I am starting to see a swing of families moving away from wanting solely digitals (which I do offer, but more and more they are going with wall art AND digitals). I think a lot of families have been burned by not backing up their files and losing them. Or they realized they have never printed their photos from 5+ years ago and don’t want that to go to waste, again. They are printing more and printing a lot, which of course I love because I can help them order the perfect size or grouping.
- Full sessions start at $600
- Address: 40 N. Old Rand Rd.,
Lake Zurich, IL 60047
- Website: golden-photography.net
- Phone: 224-286-4286
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/Goldenphotog
- Facebook: facebook.com/GoldenPhotog