We had the good fortune of connecting with Stacy Andress and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stacy, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My love for photography started with a disposable camera from Santa in my stocking at age 7, which resulted in about 20 blurry photos of my sister doing cartwheels. I was so disappointed they weren’t good photos that I couldn’t wait for my next camera to try again! That passion to take good photos only grew! I have always been the “picture girl” throughout my life but now I just get paid for it!
I finally purchased my first nice camera in 2017, took a class and promised my husband (who hated pricey photo sessions) that we would never pay for another session! God very boldly told me to bless families with free photos while I practice so that is what I did! I always thought that people deserved GOOD affordable photos of their family. Being a mom of two toddlers, I know how hard sessions could be on everyone! (Including Dad!) I wanted to make it fun and capture genuine JOY in the moments. It was these ideas combined that really inspired my own venture in 2021. I want to provide clients with photos they love without it being a hectic nightmare for everyone involved! It encouraged me to make sessions affordable, quick and fun!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
In my professional career before becoming a Mom, I was a professional event and special projects planner. I did mostly non profit work with galas, fundraisers, runs and volunteer management. I am a true “type A” planner at heart. This has helped me tremendously with my new photography business. I have had successful mini sessions with multiple families with no hiccups due to this planning experience. Not to mention, I already have the entire 2022 planned out!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite spots in the city are anything with a view! I love Eleanor Tinsley Park and Buffalo Bayou. One of my favorite memories is grabbing our favorite Pinks Pizza and having a picnic there right after capturing my parents photos with the skyline in the background. (Including pics!) I have lived in Clear Lake, Houston Heights, Montrose and now the Woodlands, so I have traveled all over Houston for many years. With a friend visiting in town, I would try to show little bits all around. In the Woodlands, we have Market Street with fun restaurants and shopping. As a mom a fun tip is the splash pad there for warm days!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’m a stay at home mom of two toddlers and I truly think it’s the most wonderful job in the world! When I felt called to start a photography business, I didn’t want to take away time from them and miss out on these amazing young years with them. I knew I would have to be efficient and mindful of my work load to keep my focus on them. My biggest challenge would be editing after the sessions and I knew I didn’t want to spend any more time than needed doing that. In order to do that, I knew I needed some more education on taking good photos to begin with. I have taught myself photography my whole life and have a natural eye for it but I wanted to create high quality photos as well. I started with a class from local photography, Aillee Petrovic, and then took extensive classes from world known photographers Amy & Jordan Demos, as well as Katelyn Jordan. Their love and joy for photos really aligned with mine so it felt natural to learn more from them.
I’m a strong woman of faith and God has guided every step of my business. I owe all the glory to him!! My husband has stepped up in weekend time with the kids as I step away for photos. Every single time I leave the house he sends me a text with a prayer and words of encouragement. It helps me relax and stay focused on the joy of it all. I owe so much of my success to his love and support. He not once told me I was crazy to start a business when I had two kids under two. He probably should have!
I would have never thought in my first year I would book solid but my community around me has been amazing and so supportive choosing me to capture their families. I couldn’t be more appreciative for all this support!