Photog Life March Featured Photographer ~ Linda Stansberry
We are super excited to have had the chance to chat with Linda. Congratulations again on being our March feature.
Tell us a little about you and your personal life. Married, kids, fur babies? We want to know it all!
Hi, I'm Linda. I live in Palm Harbor, Florida. It's just north of St. Pete and Clearwater, on the Gulf side of the state. I'm married to my high school sweetheart, Greg, after a 26 year hiatus. Thanks to Facebook, I tracked him down after all those years. I'm a mom of FIVE ... three adult children of mine and two adult bonus children. We have an ass-cat named Mulder. He can be loving sometimes, but most days he's an asshole. LOL. We're enjoying being empty nesters. My hubby is a pilot for Delta Connect and is based out of Atlanta. so we take every opportunity possible to travel. Back in 2013 I was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer at age 48 and spent the year going thorough chemotherapy. That next summer (2014), my hubby, a then CFI and Cessna pilot downed a plane in Apalachacola. Thanks to his incredible skill, he gently dropped the plane into some sea grass in the Gulf. Needless to say our near death experiences have changed the way we live our lives.
What made you decide to get in to photography and when did you first start?
I had a dream of being a photographer since I was in 4th grade. My mom wasn't quite supportive, so I felt pushed to get a 'real job'. I need up working in a TV station in Grand Junction CO during college. I soon quit school to take a promotion at the TV station. I then used writing and producing commercials and promos as my creative outlet. Photography took a back seat as my hobby and something I did for my friends. Then in 2011-2014, I supported Greg in becoming a pilot while I held a Corporate job as a Creative Director for a cable news channel. When my contract wasn't renewed in late 2014, he supported me in starting my own photography business in 2015. I left the unhealthy corporate environment behind and have NEVER looked back!
What type of photography do you shoot? What are you most passionate about?
I like to stay busy, so I shoot all kinds of photography (gotta put food on the table!). But my passion is female portraiture and couples. I love showing women how beautiful they truly are. To me, all women have a beauty that shines from within! I also am in love with love! I love photographing couples at any stage in their relationship! I'm now trying to work at destination photography. I've done a few destination weddings and have been working on a client base in Minnesota (where I grew up).
Not that this really matters, but what do you shoot with?
Canon Girl here! I have a 5D Mark IV and Mark III, plus a Canon 6D. My first "real' camera was a gift from my dad for my high school graduation, a Canon AE1 film camera. I still have it today!
What makes your passion shine? What are you most passionate about when you are holding your camera?
I love surprising people, especially all the ones who say I'm not photogenic or I take awful pictures. I love it when I turn to show them the back of the camera during a session and they are blown away at how awesome they look.
During your journey as a photographer, what has been the hardest part?
The hardest part was just starting. I was terrified to start my own business. I believe I would have never had the balls to start if my wonderful hubby wasn't backing me each step of the way. I dipped into my retirement fun to buy my equipment and then jumped in what both feet!
If you were to go back in time, is there anything you would change?
Never! I believe even the biggest challenges are wonderful lessons in life. My tiny missteps in photography have made me better at my craft and serving my clients.
If you could photography anyone, alive or not, who would it be and why?
OOOOOoooooo, this is tough! I think I'd like to shoot the Spiritual Masters, like Jesus, Buddha, Mary Magdalene, etc. I'm not religious but I am very spiritual and I believe you could learn so much from just spending time photographing these masters and being in their presence. I would be asking so many questions during our session!!
What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind as a photographer?
The only legacy I wish to leave is for my children. I hope they look back on my life and see that they too have the power within them to follow their passions and dreams. That they can learn from my struggles and not have to repeat them.
What advice do you have for a photographer that is just starting out?
Learn more than just photography. Sure, you should always be taking courses and bettering your shooting and editing techniques, but you also need to learn as much as you can about running your business. There is WAY more to the administrative and client services aspect of the business than many photographers realize. I would also recommend being an apprentice to a long term, established photographer for at least a year. I did this and it taught me so much!
Thank you again Linda for sharing your story! Be sure to follow her here:
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