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Meet Stacey Jemison of Stacey Jemison Studios in Richardson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stacey Jemison.

Stacey, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have always been drawn to the creative side of life, whether it was studio art, ceramics, or creative writing, but photography was a field that I fell into without too much forethought. I was working as a bartender while attending community college in Austin, going a whole lot of no direction at all. I signed up for a photography class because it started at 1 pm, which I was fairly certain that I could wake up in time to get to regularly. I borrowed an old Pentax from my dad, who had always been a hobbyist. I thought it would be nice if we could have something in common to talk about.

Little did I know when I walked into my first darkroom class that I would fall head over heels. I spent every waking hour that I wasn’t working wandering around Austin taking pictures and then developing them in the college darkroom.

I attended Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, California, where I was surrounded by a huge group of photo nerds who spent our social time with photo fixer on our hands. After that was a stint in New York City interning for my photographic idol, Mary Ellen Mark, and graduation back in Texas from Texas A&M- Commerce. I spent 5 years assisting some of Dallas’ best photographers before I took the leap and started shooting on my own.

I have a business based in Richardson where I shoot Advertising and Commercial projects for clients big and small, as well as Marketing Videos, Art Direction and Branding. I recently took over the role of Creative Director/ Editor for Richardson Living Magazine. Exploring these other creative outlets has been really great for me, as I always find new challenges and learn to stretch myself into uncomfortable places, creatively.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Oh boy, no. I don’t know anyone who has chosen to make a career in creative that hasn’t hit obstacles along the way. I graduated from college in 2005 and was working steadily as a photo assistant for commercial and advertising jobs, while also bartending at night. It was hard work.

When I started my shooting career around 2008, the economy tanked and photographers just weren’t getting work, and the work was paying less and less. It was a hard time, and a lot of photographers I knew jumped over to other careers.

The lesson I took from that is to be agile. As long as it’s creative, and involves problem-solving, it’s right up my alley and I am happy to explore. The market will always change, but if you have an eye for light and composition, so much else is possible.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Stacey Jemison Studios – what should we know?
I specialize in creating photographic images and video to represent a company’s brand. Clients range from local “mom and pop” businesses to large corporations such as Southwest Airlines and JC Penney. My business has evolved from simply providing the images for a company to use in marketing, to include a sort of “creative clearinghouse”, where a business is able to most effectively market their brand. The years I spent working for a large corporation has taught me how important it is to create a brand story that is not only visually pleasing but consistent across mediums. I noticed that small business owners, without deep pockets for marketing, were unable to successfully use the images I provided them. In order to tell their stories with greater success, they needed not only the images but the appropriate color scheme, layout, etc. With access to an extensive network of professionals, such as graphic designers, writers, video editors I am able to design a brand that tells the client’s stories visually in the most effective way. It’s about being thoughtful and creative about the entire business. We want to be true to a company’s mission and purpose. We do this by spending time with the client, asking thoughtful questions, touring their facilities, if applicable. With my creative design team, we can ensure that the branding message is consistent across mediums to create greater success for the client.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I would like to thank the Academy…

No really, my mom and sister are my rock. They are the strong, smart women that I hope one day to live up to.

My teachers and mentors, Mary Ellen Mark, Stewart Cohen, Cindy James, John Shipes, Philip Bower, Michael Haskins. They taught me not only how to light a set, but to talk to clients, and to be humble. To take out the trash and mop the floors and pay my dues was a lesson that many don’t get in today’s world.

The people that I have hired and taught what I know have taught me so much. Chelsea Conway, Adam Bayacal, Tanner Ellison.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All images ©2018, Stacey Jemison

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