Stephanie Williams is a force to be reckoned with, and that is a huge understatement. Her photography never ceases to amaze us, especially in our fall lookbook – definitely one of our favorites to date. San Francisco, Stephanie Williams, and ThreadSence was a complete match made in fashion heaven. Let’s get to know the talent behind our Fall 2012 Lookbook: Meet Me Where the Sidewalk Ends.
TS: How did you get into photography? Has it always been your passion to pursue a career in this medium?
SW: I’ve always needed a creative outlet; ever since I can remember I’ve needed to draw, paint, daydream, scribble, create and photograph. I pragmatically pursued a degree in psychology and worked as a server through college to pay the bills. I was all set to go into grad school in 2006 when I started shooting and assisting a wedding photographer as a part time gig. On a whim, I had answered an ad on craigslist in order to get out of serving at restaurants (it wasmaking me cynical). This photographer literally gave me a quick tutorial and then threw me into shooting various events. It was sink or swim, and I quickly fell in love with photography and had a desire to improve and find a way to make it my career. I devoured every online tutorial and photography book I could get my hands on, and gradually started pursuing photography full time. I simply hadn’t considered photography or anything artistic as a career before, especially since my parents had made a point to emphasize the image of the “starving artist” while I was growing up. I’m really fortunate to have been able to dive right in and pursue it as aggressively as I did.
I love all of the creative aspects of my job and my days are never the same. I don’t think I could do a 9 to 5 and I love being my own boss and making my own schedule. I work really hard and really long hours sometimes, but I’ve found my passion. Shooting thrills and energizes me at the same time, and I love that I can dream up something and then bring it to life!
TS: You recently shot ThreadSence’s Fall Lookbook and it is honestly our favorite lookbook to date! How was it shooting in San Francisco, and the whole experience in general?
SW: Aw shucks! Thank you! I loved shooting this lookbook because of the creative freedom the team gave me to scout locations and create the “feel” of this lookbook and run with crazy ideas. It’s a lot of pressure, but oh so invigorating to see the final outcome. The shoot itself was jam packed with locations literally all over San Francisco, cold weather, and but the Threadsence team was amazing and the day really ran smoothly!
TS: What are your favorite shots from the lookbook? Is there one in particular you really love?
SW: That’s a really hard question because there were so many different locations and props for this shoot…I like these shots because of the mood/feel and this one because of shooting with the wigs… (All photos included in this interview were her favorites!)
TS: What were some of the most challenging aspects, if any, of this shoot?
SW: A lot of the challenges come at the initial planning stage. There are a lot of elements that have to come together…locations, permits, choosing the right models, matching outfits to scenes, creating a timeline that’s doable…there’s a ton of planning before a shoot, so the actually shoot itself seems like the easiest part to me.
TS: You use both digital and film cameras, do you prefer one over the other? What is your all-time favorite camera to use?
SW: I love love love the look of film, but it’s not always the best choice for a shoot, especially when you have rushed deadlines for image delivery. For film, I love my Contax 645 medium format camera and for digital, I love my Canon 5D Mark III.
TS: What are your must-haves for a photoshoot? Do you have any rituals for preparing for a shoot?
I definitely pre-visualize the day before and look over my moodboards multiple times…my must haves are a kick ass model + team and good light
TS: What has been the most difficult (or weirdest) shoot you’ve ever done?
SW: Well, because most of our shoots are on location and outdoors, the most difficult shoots have been because of crazy weather (100 + degrees or un expected cold weather and rain). When you’re shooting on location you pretty much have to be ready for anything.
TS: In an alternate reality, what would you be instead of a photographer?
SW: Feltmaker or sheephearder.
TS: What’s next for you? Any upcoming projects?
SW: Hopefully, tons of travel to far off places! Continuing to work with awesome people and build up my portfolio. I have a book coming out next year, which is pretty exciting. Next year is looking like all kinds of busy, busy, busy!
Introducing awesome people, one interview at a time,
Melissa and Teresa