Stephanie has a bachelor’s in Psychology from Illinois Wesleyan University, and believes that having an understanding of people is vital to portrait photography. She has over 10 years of experience as a photographer, and established her business in 2015. Her main focus is Weddings, but in between weddings she also works in the Senior Photography and Headshot space, as well as Fine Art portrait work. Her creative influences come from photography greats such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Richard Avedon, and Annie Liebovitz to name a few. Always inspired by fashion photography, Stephanie takes a documentary and fine art/editorial approach to wedding days. When she is not shooting you can find Stephanie taking her kids to the park, exploring new cities with her family, or out for wine and charcuterie with friends. Stephanie describes herself as an introverted people person and loves getting to know people underneath the layers and images we all put out on social media, and getting to the real heart of what makes each person tick.
Tell us about you and your story.What is your background and how did you find your way to the wedding industry?
I got my start in wedding photography when my younger brother was getting married and they were going to have a friend take their wedding pictures. Having had a background in photography (though not professionally trained at that point), and with photography being my highest priority for my wedding day, I decided to gift them wedding photos and work together with their friend to capture their day. It was a fun and crazy day, also having my daughter as the flower girl and a 6 month old baby at the time. But it was a blast and I was hooked. Getting to tell someone's story in an artistic and authentic way, while flattering the bride and making the groom look like a badass became my passion.
Share a little bit about Stephanie Wood Photography's history.When did Stephanie Wood Photography launch? What are you known for?
I launched my business in 2015 and weddings and engagements are my main focus. I love working with couples and really getting to know them. Their likes, dislikes, the ins-and-outs of their personalities and relationship, and then translating that into imagery that will carry on with their legacy for a very very long time. Legacy is so important - we spend our money on random stuff here and there but few things will hold up to the test of time the way photographs will. Printed photographs that will outlive your computer, your CD or USB drives, and even you. That's powerful stuff.
What sets you and Stephanie Wood Photography apart?What's your secret sauce? What makes you different from everyone else?
I think one of the things that sets me apart is my ability to understand people and capture them in a unique and authentic way that is different for each couple. No two couples are exactly alike and I think each person's wedding album should reflect that. Photographs that tell a story and not just look pretty, but are full of heart and authenticity to who they are - and how they see themselves.
Tell us about your ideal couple.Tell us about the type of couple that really clicks with you and your company.
The couples that are drawn to my style the most have a very deep and intimate connection to each other. They are romantics at heart and can do anything or nothing at all together and have the best time. They have an amazing sense of humor and love to have FUN. They love black and white photos and photos with a candid, natural feel. They are passionate in their careers and in life and have tons of friends. Their dream wedding is chic and elegant but also a totally fab party where everyone is on the dance floor. They want their own uniqueness to come through in their wedding day and they care deeply about giving their guests an amazing experience for their special day.
What is the best advice you have for couples currently planning their weddings?You've seen so many couples go through the planning process. Share your best pearl of wisdom for those just starting out with their planning.
Don't be afraid to think outside the box and break some rules when it comes to traditional weddings. Let your personality shine - and work with a planner who can see your vision and help you bring it to life in a way you could never even have dreamed!!
What's the ONE thing that couples shouldn't forget to ask potential wedding vendors?Spill! What's the single most important question that couples should ask before booking a vendor for their wedding?
That's a hard question, because each aspect of wedding planning is so different. I would say definitely make sure you get along with and like your vendors as people - it's so much better working with people you really connect with and that will show in the way they work with and for you!
Thanks for stopping by Lakeshore in Love, Stephanie!