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Check Out Stacy Firkus’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stacy Firkus. 

Hi Stacy, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Hello, my story started 7 years ago. I had just bought my first townhouse when I was 23 years old down in Lakewood Colorado. I transformed my master bedroom into an indoor studio not knowing what all I was getting into just yet, but knowing that photography was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I had no clue what I was doing from the very start I googled how to start a business and searched YouTube for all the tips and tricks on what to do. At this time, I was currently employed at King Soopers working in the produce department I started this job when I was 16 years old which helped pay for all my equipment to get started. 

But first, let’s dive back in time. When I was younger going with my parents on all our family vacations my dad would always bring a camera and take photos so my mom could put them into a photo album. I asked my dad several times if I could take the photos but I was too young at the time so that was a no. I fell in love with the idea of capturing a moment and being able to look back at it for years to come. I realized how important and special these photos became over time as I grew up. I visited these memories often. I knew my dad still had his camera so I had come to him on March of 2014 and asked if I could buy the camera off of him so I could pursue what I loved. This camera was not the greatest but when just starting out it worked for me. The very first camera I used was a Canon Rebel XTi crop sensor and tiny. I taught myself how to use a digital camera and editing photos for the first time using Photoshop it took a while to get the hang of things but I’m a fast learner. I would go outside and take photos of anything and everything, animals are always my favorite I love animals, landscapes around my house, my own family photos even and then go back inside and edit them. I am a hands-on learner so reading a book about how to be a photographer wasn’t going to cut it I needed to be in the action. I love to travel and see the world! 

As the years went by, I dabbled into many different avenues of photography I became an actress about 5 years ago and pursued what that entailed. I was able to meet many different people along the way and to see the side of photography and videography on the front side of the lens. To say the least it was a blast I loved it but it still wasn’t my niche. However, with that, I wanted to learn how to become a videographer I mean why couldn’t I offer both photography and videography to people. I could make a mini movie out of someone’s wedding for them to cherish for the rest of their life. I love watching movies so why wouldn’t a bride want to relive their day? I still remember the year 2016 when I offered a killer deal on video to drive my clients in I had about 35 weddings that year and boy did I get my practice in on becoming a videographer and photographer. It was a busy year to say the least and I enjoyed it all, just being able to see all my couples in love and their families there to celebrate such an amazing day. My favorite part on a wedding day isn’t when the bride walks down the aisle don’t get me wrong it is important but while everyone is looking at her, I turn and look at the groom. His reaction says it all and it makes me cry every time seeing the love and joy on his face knowing he is about to marry his one true love. I get the goosies! I love, love. 

Fast forward to the now, just last year in 2020 I had been working at King Soopers for 14 years and it was time to quit my job. I turned 30 years old in June and that was the true turning point in my life. I turned my photography company into my full-time job and it was the greatest moment of my life. I couldn’t believe my time was finally here being able to do what I love, what makes me want to get out of bed every morning. To be able to work for myself and no one else is a feeling I can’t describe, the feeling of being free, knowing I get to call the shoots! A little sarcastic phrase people at King Soopers would make often was, how are you doing? Living the dream? My response was always “Yeah, living someone else dream” And at that moment about to clock out for the last time it hit me I was finally “Living the dream” my dream. I worked hard all my life to be able to take on my passion my love for art and photography and to share it with the world. Of course, this was a challenge due to the world pandemic of COVID. If the worst could happen it did and man, was I in for a ride. It was a hard year to quit my job at King Soopers knowing my steady income was no more. I also sold my townhouse, bought a truck and 5th wheel to travel full time in, and go anywhere my brides are. Scared you ask? Yes, I was terrified. I was use to consistency and the same old rut and throwing a wrench in the mix wasn’t what I planned but I did it. I jumped in with both feet all in and to this day 2021 I have no regrets! I have been able to focus solely on my company and book more weddings now that I have all the time to do so and nothing is getting in the way. I absolutely love the choice I made and I encourage anyone with the same passion, may not be with photography but other adventures take that risk, take that leap into thin air because without doing so you’ll always ask yourself what IF.

I also started up a food truck in 2020 called the Yeti Dog Smoothie Shack with a good friend of mine. We found our trailer got it custom painted by an incredible artist and it has been so much fun ever since. We plan to be at all the local fairs come 2022 so we hope to see you there. Starting up a food truck just a few months after the pandemic was a little rocky I could say.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I’d lie if I said this was easy. When just starting a business as young as I did from scratch and no one to tell you what to do you make all the mistakes. The obstacles for me was just knowing where to begin, what equipment to get, and all the right lenses, tripods, and more. Getting my name out there was a challenge and still is I think it’s always a growing factor. Gaining peoples trust to want to hire you to show how I can stand out from the next photographer. What makes my company unique from the next and to answer that is my personality and drive that’s what sets me apart from others. To be able to relate to my clients and give them a customer experience they will never forget. There will always be obstacles and challenges. 

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a candid style wedding photographer and videographer. I capture weddings, events, high school senior photos, and family photos. What I specialize in are adventure weddings, destination weddings and elopement weddings all over the world with an editing style that is vibrant, bold, and true to life. 

I am most proud of myself for starting up my own company from scratch with no one to help me along the way. I’m proud that everything I own and own for my company I have bought and paid for myself. Being able to work as a professional wedding photographer full time and be my own boss that to me is my greatest accomplishment. 

What sets me apart from other people is my personality. I love to have fun and be creative. I love to think outside the box. I have the gift to get anyone in the room to laugh and feel at ease no matter what. I’m not afraid to be silly on a wedding day to brighten up my bride’s day. I go above and beyond for my clients. I want their experience with me to be one they remember. I’m very outgoing and can get along with anyone. I’m a great team player and I truly want what’s in my client’s best interest. 

Do you any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
My favorite childhood memory would have to be Christmas time. I remember as a kid getting all excited to open presents on Christmas Day. I was never able to open any on Christmas Eve so the anticipation was building. Anyways, the morning of Christmas was here and it had been snowing all night so it was always chilly but for some reason, I was up at the crack of dawn about 6:00 am. My dad was already awake so I had to be sneaky and quiet. I’d get up from my bed and sneak down the hall to take a peek around the corner to see if Santa came and he sure did. Tons of presents under the tree! I could hear my dad’s chair move from in the kitchen so I quickly ran back to my room before he noticed I was up and get back into bed until my mom would come wake me up. Then when she did it was present time! I will never forget all in one Christmas I got a TV for my room, DVD player and a VHS player of course this was 20 years ago so it was a tiny TV with a huge back to it. I literally watched movies in my room all day. It was a great day. 

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