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Start Your Business Success Stories

Small Business Snapshot: Hair Face Photo

Small Business Snapshot: Hair Face Photo Credit: Stephanie Johnson/Hair Face Photo

Company name: Hair Face Photo
Website: www.hairfacephoto.com
Founded: 1997

Owner Stephanie Johnson shared the story behind Hair Face Photo, a creative photography business that specializes in portraiture, reportage and stock photography.

This photograph shows a little bit of everything that I do in my business. It is meant to showcase a different perspective, one that shows who I am and what I do — photography — without being clearly defined. It has some accents on the creative and is slightly dramatic, but it's still open for individual interpretation.

I suppose you can say I've been a photographer my entire life, which would be over 40 years now. Growing up, my mother would give me disposable film cameras and I would blow through the available frames in what seemed like minutes. I had a background in journalism and went on to public relations. The firm I worked for had a bevy of commercial real estate clients and I happened to have a camera that I enjoyed photographing architecture with. I was an in-house budget saver for the firm and it gave me an excuse to take photos more often. It reminded me of that simple joy I had as a child with a cheap disposable camera, and my love for it just grew from there. Making that love a business is simply how I get to live with my passion. I love life and people so, for me, it's always been joyous to get to grab it and hold onto it, photographically.

I think that photographers face a lot of the same challenges that other creative professionals do: Devaluation of the craft — just look at photo contract issues in the news as of late — and copyright issues like internet thieving. There's also having to push through the swarm of people who buy nice cameras and open up shop the next day. While I don't begrudge the love people have for photography — I have that love, too — I do think that too many lack the experience and the years of work.

There's so much more to photography than just snapping the shutter. Someone recently remarked to me that it must be amazing to get to see so many free shows, and they looked confused when I responded that I don't really get to see the show. I'm looking for cues and listening for audio keys that may mean a big shot that I have to be prepared to grab. There's a lot more to it than most people realize. I'm not just photographer — I'm also a creative director, staging expert, post processing and graphics/photo editor and public relations professional.