Today we’d like to introduce you to Sonja Stafford.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Sonja. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My name is Sonja Stafford I am the owner and photographer of Sonja Stafford Photography. I’ve been married to the love of my life for the past eight years and I have three beautiful kiddos ages eight, seven and nine months as well as a fur baby. I’m a major foodie, I enjoy fitness, traveling and fashion. I was born in a small town in Alabama and have lived in Alaska for ten years before moving to Phoenix this May. I spend most of my free time with my family exploring and making as many memories as possible.
Photographs have always been something I’ve held close to my heart. My Grandparents and parents were both awesome at capturing all of our families memories and taking pictures of everything including all of our road trips, vacations, birthdays and milestones. I’d always love to flip through my parent’s wedding album and look at old prints of my Grandparents in their younger days. When my mother passed away when I was 12 years old I became obsessed with always having a camera in my hand and capturing moments in time so that I had all my memories frozen in time and captured forever. When you lose someone and you have photographs of special moments and them it helps you remember and it brings them back to life and when I was pregnant with my son in 2010 I had wanted the same for him.
My husband bought me my first DSLR that year (2010) and I began to take pictures of scenery and friends for fun and in such a short time people were asking me left and right to take their portraits and they were paying me to do so! Word of mouth caught on and people loved my work, they loved my style, they loved how I captured people and within the first two years, I was popular enough that I had opened up my first studio. Here I am nine years later and still loving photography and most of all making my clients happy. The reaction I get when I show my client’s images never gets old and brings me so much joy. I still shed tears behind the camera during the first dance and I still get butterflies before every wedding I shoot even though I’ve shot hundreds of them!
Photography is something that excites me and something that I hope I can do forever.
Has it been a smooth road?
I started my business in a small town in Kenai, Alaska I would stay starting went smoothly however it was a different time then. Modern lifestyle photography wasn’t as popular in 2010 as it is now. In the small town I started there were only a few photographers and when I started my modern style was a niche that others hadn’t seen before.
The hardest part is moving and reestablishing especially in a dense market of photographers. I’ve moved twice in the past nine years. I’ve moved from Kenai, Alaska in 2013 to Anchorage, Alaska and now in 2019 moved from Anchorage, Alaska to Phoenix and having to entirely reestablish has been the toughest challenge.
Tell us more about the business.
I am the owner of Sonja Stafford Photography formally Dolce Vita Photo Boutique and I specialize in Wedding, Boudoir and High School Senior Photography as well as glamour/professional/lifestyle headshots. I am known for my true to color, classic and timeless images. I am most proud of the time I’ve spent doing photography and how strong my company has been throughout the years. My reputation was strong in Alaska and I stayed very active in my community. What sets me apart from others is my unique style and my knowledge of light. I love to watch people and when I see that something that makes God’s creations so beautiful that is what I look to capture.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I like to keep things simple, I try not to follow too many of the trends because part of my style is to remain timeless. I wouldn’t want anyone to ever look back at their wedding portraits or any of my images and say “That edit or fad was so the 2019” and be embarrassed by their portraits. I see myself in the next decade focusing on the genre’s I love to photograph the most, I’d love to specialize in just one genre and be known for just that.
- Pricing starts at $200 for a (Mini) Portrait Session
- Pricing starts at $1200 for Weddings
- Address: 124 W. Orion St
Tempe, Arizona 85283
- Website: www.sonjastafford.pictures
- Phone: 907-953-2508
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org