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Daily Inspiration: Meet Sydnee Schwartz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sydnee Schwartz.

Alright, thank you for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us how you got started?
I began doing photography in 2015 when I started my undergrad career at Arizona State University. I joined the Downtown Campus online newspaper, The Downtown Devil, as a photographer who didn’t know much. I learned a lot about what makes a good photo and the basics of editing and toning, which helped me gain enough experience to move up and become a photography editor for the publication. Throughout my undergrad career, I did photography on a hobby and volunteer basis, so I could continue honing and improving my skills. I also began exploring a different areas of digital media and taught myself some videography and graphic design skills.

In 2017 I began an internship with the marketing team at A.T. Still University, where I got some of my most significant social media experiences. Working with the team, I learned different social media strategies, intricacies of audience engagement, and collaborative content creation with students and different departments–all creating a diverse skill set that helps me continue to grow my business year after year.

With the skills I developed in my hobby, volunteer, and internship work, many family and friends began asking me to do photography and videography for their events and projects. With others seeing the value in my work and appreciating my art, I decided to open my own media business, so I could continue exploring these creative avenues. In November of 2018, I officially opened Good Eye! Media, and began some work with project-based clients, mainly doing event photography and company headshots. A few months later, I graduated from ASU and was fortunate to launch into my career with my first contracted client right away.

Now, I work with four contracted clients doing a range of social media management and content creation (developing post ideas and helping create the photos, videos and copy for those posts), photography and videography, graphic design, copywriting, and even a little website building and management. When available, I also take on different projects–mostly photo and video–for individuals and companies in the Valley. I work mostly in the non-profit and disability communities, where I have a great deal of passion, but I am always open to exploring new communities and connections, so I can continue to tell a diverse set of meaningful and impactful stories.

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced so far is knowing my self-worth and establishing it in my work and connections. I started my business when I was 22 and still in college, beginning to figure out the “real world” and entering the workforce outside of internships for the first time. I was naive and didn’t understand how valuable my skills were (and are), and I set the bar low. As I’ve grown in my career and my skills have continued to develop year after year, my self-worth and awareness of my value fell behind. Learning to advocate for myself has been hard to put into practice. When I look back at the seven years of experience in the digital media industry and the projects and work I’ve done that I and others are proud of, it’s clear this is an obstacle worth overcoming.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I specialize in most forms of digital media, including photography, videography, social media management, graphic design, copy/blog/article writing, website building, and management. I’m mostly known for my event photography and social media content creation, which I’m proud of, but some projects hold a special place in my heart. One is the photography work I’ve done with First Place AZ to help capture their prom events over the last three years. From getting hair and makeup done, ties tied, and shoes shined to photo booth snapshots and dancing the night away, capturing these moments for adults with autism and other neurodiversities has been unforgettable.

The other project that holds a special place in my heart is the work I’ve done covering Arizona Bike Week over the last few years. My hard work, experience, and features in various publications have allowed me to obtain a media pass and help capture some of the festival’s most insane moments. Whether it’s the Ives Brothers riding around on the Wall of Death, FMX stunt riders doing flips 40 feet in the air, or Rob Zombie and Lynyrd Skynyrd bringing down the house, there is so much fun to capture, and it’s been a memorable experience each year.

When I’m not working with my clients, I like to explore other avenues of creative expression. Photography is my favorite medium, so I branch out most in that area. A few times a year, I like to go on photography adventures, explore new places, shoot new subjects (or improve on familiar ones), and see what incredible moments I can capture. Whether it’s a trip up North or down South, to the desert in the middle of the night for an astrological event, or to San Diego to photograph the dolphins and whales, I can always find something fun to capture.

The other digital media I’ve begun to experiment with and learn more about is graphic design. I never took a class for it, but I know it’s a valuable skill, and seeing what some artists create has shown me its endless possibilities and makes it seem like a fun avenue to explore.

What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
I think my desire to help others has made me very successful in my work. When I was younger, I wanted to become a doctor because I grew up watching countless medical professionals help others. Molecular chemistry is over my head, so that dream died during my first year of college, but that didn’t end my desire to help others. I knew I had a knack for storytelling, and I realized I could still help people by telling the stories important to them and their missions in our world. My desire to help others allows me to connect with people’s causes on an intimate level, and a personal connection to their cause or story gives me the ability to create content for them that is rich, authentic, engaging, and meaningful to them their audiences.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Sydnee Schwartz/Good Eye! Media

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