Stephanie Cerny, Photographer and Videographer, Faithful Photo Co
Stephanie was born and raised in Upstate, NY and the youngest of three. Being homeschooled, she had lots of free time to pursue her interests. During this time, she found that she loved music and enjoyed photography. She first starting making videos on her Mothers MacBook Webcam at the age of 12 and at the age of 17 she shot her first wedding!
After having her first child, she got into videography and capturing special once in a lifetime moments with her family to share on social media. From there, she started getting bookings for baby announcement videos.
Watching Youtube, experimenting and bouncing ideas off of one of her good friends who does it professionally, she was able to improve her skill. In 2017 she was hired professionally to shoot a wedding and has been doing it ever since.
I met Stephanie through our photographer, Lauren Shambo with Lauren Victoria Photography. It was so nice to have vendors at our wedding who knew each other professionally and personally. When vendors are able to connect on a different level, it enhances your experience so much more. They are in sync and ensure everything runs smoothly. Although Stephanie currently lives in Maine,
she traveled all the way to NY for our wedding and we couldn’t be more grateful.
Enjoy her story below.
Tell us about yourself - Where are you from and what do you wish to be when you grow up?
When I was little, I wanted to be a Wife and a Mom. I always imagined this little girl in a red sweater, and fuzzy blonde hair running around, and that’s my Daughter exactly!!
What brought you to where you are today?
I’m a Christian and firmly believe that when we use our gifts for Gods glory, He gives provision and Joy in the journey. I try hard to always be generous with my skills, and I believe he has blessed that by giving me business!
What do you do professionally?
I work Part time doing Photography and advertising for a local business, and create online videos for their social media outlets.
What year did you start your business and how long did it take to acquire a consistent client base?
I started Faithful Photo Co. in 2017 (my video work is under that as well) and most of my work was found through word of mouth, and volunteering to shoot for community events for free.
How long did it take to become a profitable company?
I’m very fortunate to have been self sustaining from the start. I already had the gear I needed to transition into video at a small scale but, that meant working with older equipment and making sacrifices not to go into debt. As I’ve become more profitable, I’m now able to not have to be as tight and invest in better equipment.
What does a day in the studio look like?
I have two kids and work mostly from home, so I have to prioritize my work flow and grab a few minutes here and there. I’m answering emails, scheduling shoots, working on personal projects and client projects, brainstorming ideas, looking into education, etc.
What do you do to stay involved in the community?
I love being a part of our local Chamber of Commerce, and enjoy shooting promotional videos for their quarterly events! I interact with other families through our library programs, and often find that personal connections turn into business connections too.
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
I Hope to continue learning and making personal friendships through the work I do. I’d love to see myself doing more promotional work for businesses and online videos. Maybe eventually doing some tutorials of my own!
What advice would you give to people your age looking to start their own business?
Try it out before you make a big investment. If you’re able to apprentice or tag along, try to do that. I buy a lot of equipment from people who didn’t know why they bought it in the first place, and now I’m getting a great deal! Also, so much of business is YOU as a person. Some people will hire you just because they know you. Make sure your work is consistent and honest with your personality. Nobody likes a person who’s work doesn’t live up to their description of it.
If a child walked up to you and asked for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?
Some of the best things are a lot of work. Enjoy learning new things even when they’re difficult, and never stop! Make friends with people who support your passion, don’t waste time trying to fit with people who don’t recognize your value.
What do you enjoy most about being a videographer?
I enjoy creating and I always have. I love that video is the outlet I’m most passionate about right now, and that it has been well received and supported by the people I care about. It benefits me in the way I get to preserve my own memories, but then I also get to share in some of the happiest moments in people’s lives. Or, in the event of working with businesses, I’m helping them do something new, and we are all learning and growing.