Owner and Photographer of RedRock Photography is Stephanie Loewen, based out of Calgary, Alberta, who is a dear friend of mine and has been for almost 10 years now. For me, personally, it's been exciting and fun watching Steph hone her craft and develop it into something that has birthed RedRock Photography. Her ideas and creative shoots are original and fun.
Stephanie is full of life, energy, and has the most contagious laugh you will ever hear. I'm not even joking. Stephanie is boisterous, loveable, fun, and time spent with her is never dull or boring. Even when getting a shoot taken (she did our maternity and newborn shoots), it's hard to keep a straight face sometimes, but she always manages to get those moments of sincerity and stoic grace, between the giggles that inevitably ensue. It's always a pleasure to have a shoot done by RedRock Photography, as I hope you will see for yourself. :)
A few of our maternity pictures :)
Stephanie's launch into photography is as unique as is her bubbly personality. As she recalls "In a cliche sort of way, I really did start into photography after literally begging my dad to let me use his old 35mm Nikon camera that my mom gave him for his birthday one year. To this day, my dad usually refuses to lend out his things to me, but somehow by some miracle, I was allowed to use his camera when I was younger. I remember trying to pry open the back to get the film out, while I was away at camp, during one of these uses. I had no idea how to open and load the thing. I went through many wasted rolls of film during my few uses of his camera.
Finally, after tiring of my incessant pleas to borrow his camera, my parents gave me my very first camera (a Fujifilm) the Christmas of '97. I was literally overjoyed. I lost it on an over seas trip to the UK after exploring Strattford, England and setting it down to buy a book of Sonnets by Shakespear. I was nothing short of devastated."
In another few short years, Christmas came yet again, and to Stephanie's elated joy once more, her dad surprised her with a used 35mm Pentax ME. "Again, after many wasted rolls of film (I knew how to open the camera at this point) and a few injuries because of attempts of being "artsy", I would decide that I was in fact, a terrible photographer. I kept at it though, and on occasion I would snap a decent photograph. Composition, technique - I had none."
It wasn't until Stephanie made the purchase of her first digitalSLR and took a trip across the expanse of ocean to the land down under, Australia, that she would really start to develop her technique and acquire an eye for imaging.
"I wouldn't have even considered myself an amateur, but I had met some gifted photographers there that really inspired me to dive into the craft." Stephanie was given hands on advice and shown some practical tips for improving her skills. "I was over the moon and I started taking pictures of everything."
Following her stint in Australia, Stephanie returned to Calgary, Alberta, and decided that she should start a business. "Just like that, I went from thinking I was terrible to "I should start a business". I was, what most in the professional photography world would consider, a bit of a joke and you know, a "professional" because I have a digital camera."
I'm sure many of you can probably comprehend what Steph was feeling here, as in our day in age, every "Tom, Dick and Harry" has a digital camera these days and thinks them-self a photographer. The profession has become very diluted of excellence and expertise. It's one of the reasons I, myself, discontinued my pursuit of photography as a career. I'm so glad that Stephanie continued down this road, as her's is a truly great talent.
"To further discredit myself, I posted an online kijiji ad as a "free" photographer accepting "donations". Even as I recount this story I laugh to myself at how absurd my approach was. But really, it was done in innocence and it was the first step into dreaming and believing that I could do something more with my photography. During my travels I had encountered so many sights, and a longing to tell stories with my photography began to stir in my heart. Photography has become my tool to tell stories and capture peoples personalities".
From that kijiji ad, Stephanie got a response and met up with the clients she would potentially shoot for. It would prove to be a monumental and pivotal meeting for Stephanie. Coincidently, the gentleman who contacted Stephanie was a prosperous business man who had built his business from the ground up. "His free solicited advice to me was to value my time, for in business, even that is worth money." To date, Stephanie continues to understand this concept more and more as her young and flourishing business grows.
"Photography has been a huge tool of growth for me. Everyday I am challenged to grow as a professional and as an individual.
Behind the lens I am transported to a different place. I am captivated by a persons beauty in a way that I may not notice in an everyday encounter, and by beauty I am not simply referring to external. Whether the subject realizes, photography is a very intimate thing for me and it is the intimacy that can make business as an artist tricky, because part of my heart goes into every shoot I do. Where I feel most proud is finding the perseverance and determination to continue pursuing my dream, in light of discouragement. Even if it means working a full time job and spending hours at night in front of the computer and forfeiting my weekends to shoot, be it business or working on personal projects.
Like anything in business, competition is fierce and there is always someone more skilled, more artsy, more, more, more of something, and I am so blessed to receive timely encouragements and compliments on my work when I need it most."
At this point in her business, Stephanie is focusing on lifestyle portraiture, ie. weddings, families, engagements, etc, but her personal projects are very documentary focused.
"My big dream is to travel with photography and do documentary work full time, but that is an Everest I continue to climb. There are a few local photographers, one whom I have the privilege to be aquainted with, whose work blows me away. Dream and act is my philosophy. I try not to ever let my camera get dusty. And true to the first camera I ever held, I am a true-blue Nikon lover.
I cried when I bought my first pro body a year ago and I am still so honoured when someone asks me to take their picture. I never want to lose that".
All of Stephanie's work can be viewed at RedRock Photography's website redrockphotography.squarespace.com. Please check it out.
RedRock Photography also has a facebook page that you can check out. It's updated frequently, so I encourage you to go take a look and "like" the page to stay connected! Check the page out here
For bookings, information on packages and pricing, please contact Stephanie directly by email
or by phone 403-700-5048.
Stephanie is absolutely willing to travel for shoots, however mileage will be added to the final bill if travelling outside Calgary.
RedRock Photography has a Back to School special happening right now! Please contact Stephanie for those details.
For those of you interested in Wedding photography, contact RedRock Photography directly for packaging details.
And now the part you've all been waiting for, I can tell ;) Growing Green's special incentive for my valued readers, in other words, you!
Book your session with Stephanie and give the PROMO CODE: Growing Green and receive 25% off a full session! This promo code expires Dec 31st, 2012 and your session date must be before May 31st, 2013.
I hope you enjoy Stephanie and RedRock Photography as much as I do.
Stay tuned for tomorrow's featured photographer: Matthew Keoni Photography