© 2014 Stacey Schmitz Photographer



Everybody has that picture. Maybe it’s your dairy-farmer grandpa—young, tanned and in work boots—crouching over an icy barrel of homemade ice-cream. Maybe it’s your now-grown daughter at five, wild hair and dirty t-shirt, proudly holding a finger-painting masterpiece.

That picture illuminates a life. It opens a once-stuck window into the past. It answers important questions in one bright image: “Who do I come from?” “How did they fall in love?” “What was she like as a kid?”

That picture rarely has neat rows of smiling people with matching shirts. That picture never showcases an illusion of a perfect life. Instead, that picture freezes a telling moment within real life, with all its joy, messiness, complexity and love.

That picture gets treasured, remembered and passed down. That picture becomes an integral part of how you understand yourself and your story.

That picture is my life’s work. In fact, I create entire albums of those pictures for the people I work with. I make true art photography that documents who you are and where you are right now.

I use still black-and-white film to create those pictures. Black-and-white film focuses attention on the emotion and life in the photograph. Black-and-white images transcend trends and never look outdated; they are made to be appreciated for generations. I also believe in the more measured and tactile process of shooting on film. The stakes are higher using this physical medium; every frame matters, and that adds meaning to every moment.

Let me capture this time and space in your life. Whatever you’re celebrating, marking or wanting to document, we’ll get those pictures together. Your LIFE photo shoot will be different from any session you’ve previously had. Don’t dress up. Don’t color coordinate. Don’t go to “picturesque” places you’ve never visited before. Do take me to your favorite haunts. Do cook a meal together or play tag in the front yard. Do let the kids run, the pets play and your hair down. Do live your life like you normally would. Trust me, it’s beautiful as is.

Music is integral to my life; our family has music playing every waking minute. I’m drawn to stories of how artists create the songs that become the soundtrack of their fans’ lives. If you’re a musician, I’d love to tell that story for you. Invite me in the studio and let me document the hours, emotions, hard work and cooperation that goes into making an album. You’ll have a collection of those pictures to accompany your record and tell the world who you are.

In my experience, customers want to buy from and forge relationships with people, not companies. My documentary approach to commercial photography will tell the story of the people behind your business. Those pictures will help consumers understand who you are, what you stand for, and what you offer. Way beyond glamour shots of your products or services, this storytelling photography will help you connect deeply with your target audience.