We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Entin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephanie, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I would have to say what has helped me build, grow and sustain my photography business is nurturing relationships and bringing personalization to every job and photo session. Yes, I do have a vision of what I would like to create but what is most important is what my client visualizes and wants. This is at the heart of what I do. As a creative, it’s so easy to compare yourself to others and to have doubts about your own work. I have studied and followed many artists and take and implement different ideas that inspire me. And at the same time, I have to remind myself to stay true to who I am and my own style that makes my work my own.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a photographer and I specialize in birth photography. I also do newborn, maternity and other family sessions. What sets me apart from others is my ability to capture authenticity in the moments and in the people I am photographing. I like to shoot mostly undirected to bring out the most natural moments. Birth photography, in it’s raw and real nature, is documentary and all about telling the story through my camera and eye and shooting exactly what is happening moment to moment. This is where I started my photography journey and my work is rooted in the documentary style of photography. I am proud to have received international awards for my birth photography and for my work to be recognized and awarded in some important and significant photography platforms such as Birth Becomes You, International Association for Professional Birth Photographers, Click Magazine Voice Image Awards, Looks Like Film, Dear Photographer and the Documentary Family Awards. I am a self-taught photographer and started out by jumping in head first and learning on the job. I first learned photography and developing film in high school on the yearbook staff. I would say the road to where I am now has not been easy at all. I love to be challenged so the motivation and drive to conquer anything I set out to accomplish helps lessen the load of really tough days. When I first started in 2013, I was working full-time as a dietitian and as a single mom. I remember days at work and I could barely keep my head up because I had been up all night at a birth. I kept focused on the big picture and my goals and eventually was able to leave that job to pursue my photography full-time. What helps me overcome challenges along the way is the fact that I absolutely love my work and I pour my full energy into every shoot, every birth and into all of the editing. One of the lessons about having my own business I have learned along the way is to have good, solid contracts in place that communicate to the client how I run my business and photo sessions so they know what to expect from me and me of them. In the seven years I have had my business, I have yet to chase anyone down for outstanding payments. I also feel that good communication and nurturing client relationships from the first inquiry they make to booking repeat sessions with me is paramount. I have made many mistakes along the way and use them as opportunities to do even better. I am passionate about my work and put a ton of thought and focus on detail. I want all of my clients to feel like they walk away with images they will love and adore for years to come.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This question right now seems a little difficult to answer but I will answer in the context of things being back to somewhat normal I suppose. 🙂 If I had a friend visiting Los Angeles for the first time the first stop would be a relaxing spa day in Korea town at either Olympic spa or Wii Spa. Then some dinner downtown at a local ramen place called DTLA Ramen. It’s literally the best I’ve ever had. The next day, would be a fun, not-too-early morning bicycle ride on the beach in Santa Monica followed by a nice drive up the coast and lunch at Malibu Farm. The next stop would be El Matador Beach to watch the sunset. On the way back south down PCH to Santa Monica would be a stop for dinner at Blue Plate Oysterette. The next day would be a great day to go back downtown to see The Broad museum and a visit to The Arts District. Dinner would be at the wonderful and delicious A.O.C. on 3rd Street. Shopping would be next on the agenda and I love the boutiques and shops along the entire stretch of Melrose in West Hollywood. A concert and picnic at the Hollywood Bowl would make a perfect evening after shopping. The next day would be a great day for a hike in Griffith Park and a visit to the observatory. Drinks and dinner at one of my favorite vegan restaurants called Little Pine in Silver Lake would make the day perfect and healthy. The last day of the trip would be back to the beach area with brunch at Gjelina and shopping in Venice on Abbot Kinney Blvd. One of my favorite sunset watching spots is in Santa Monica at the top of the Huntley Hotel. After a drink or two and watching the beautiful sunset, off to have sushi for dinner at Sugarfish, which is first come first serve and no reservations. These are just a few of my favorite spots in this beautiful city I have called home now for over 22 years.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
When I decided to start birth photography in 2013, I asked my friend and photographer Daniella DeVarney Paluso what lens I should buy that would be my first lens. My friend and photographer, Andy Holzman, showed me how to work my first camera and I have always loved his work as a wedding photographer. Another friend, fellow birth photographer and artist, Elliana Allon, who lives in Winnepeg, has given me so much support, inspiration and friendship over the past few years. Her voice and body of work is breathtaking and unique. My daughters have been so supportive and understanding with the unpredictable work I do as a birth photographer and doula. They are the biggest reason and inspiration for what I do every day. There is another incredible human being…my boyfriend, who is my biggest fan and supporter, and who is an accomplished, talented artist and most gifted storyteller. I am grateful for my family who supports me in all I do with my business. I am truly blessed to be surrounded by lots of guidance, support and inspiration.
Kelly Fajack (main headshot image)