MEET. Stacy Keck

© Stacy Keck

Meet California based photographer, co-founder of @youbelonghereSD and APA member, Stacy Keck.

Who are your top 5 favorites that you’re following on Instagram? 
@danielnjohnson, a portrait photographer in LA. He captures movement and emotion in such a beautiful way.

@jessicavwalsh, a designer/art director in New York. Her #sorryihavenofilterimages series is hilarious.

@brinsonbanks, a husband-wife duo known for their creative portraits of creative
people. They share some great BTS moments in their Instagram stories.

@evanmcginnis, my boyfriend. He has such a good eye for capturing interesting
still-lifes and portraits. He also curates @found_film_photos, where he shares
images scanned from negatives that he’s collected at swap meets. The photos
are timeless and his captions are priceless.

Also, if you haven’t seen @dogs_infood, you’re doing Instagram wrong.

What is your camera of choice?
I shoot work stuff with a Canon 5D Mark IV, and travel/personal stuff with a Sony Alpha 7R.

What do you listen to when you’re shooting?
My musical tastes are pretty eclectic… some might say schizophrenic. My favorite playlist features songs by Wu-Tang and Neil Young, if that gives you an idea.

Who were your biggest influences?
Since I didn’t go to photo school, my influences aren’t necessarily famous historical photographers. I’ve been lucky enough to learn from and be influenced by the community of photographers in San Diego who have supported my interest in photography and helped me learn the ropes along the way. John Durant, scott b. davis, Monica Hoover and Hailley Howard have been there as mentors and friends from the beginning. 

What were you doing before you became a Photographer?
I worked in public relations for several years, most recently in the Public Affairs office for Caltrans. I used to do live TV interviews on KUSI, very early in the mornings, wearing a hard hat and reflective vest. Feels good to be on the other side of the camera now.

What 3 words describe your photography style?
Genuine, intentional, honest

When were you first introduced to Photography?
At a young age, by my grandmother. She wasn’t necessarily the best photographer, but she was always taking photos of me and my family. When she passed away a few years ago, she left behind 18 albums full of photographs, all meticulously organized and labeled with the names of her subjects.

What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out?
“Go out and fail. The magic happens outside of your comfort zone.”

If you weren’t a Photographer, what would you be doing?
I’d like to think that I can be a photographer in addition to being many other things. I’m in the process of starting a new project called You Belong Here, a creative co-working and event space opening this fall. There’s an area carved out for photographers to shoot portraits and small products, and collaborate with other members. Our vision for the space is that it will become a hub for all types of creatives to learn, work together and share ideas that will help small-business owners thrive. Follow along: @youbelonghereSD

What do you do when you get stuck?
Getting stuck is usually a sign that I’m spending too much time thinking about something, instead of feeling it out. My gut always knows what’s best, so typically getting stuck is just a reminder that I need to pay more attention to that feeling.

Do you have a favorite podcast?
A friend recently introduced me to Being Boss, a podcast based on the book of the same title by Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson. They talk shop with other creative entrepreneurs, offering guidance on business advice and lessons on self-care and finding balance.

What is your favorite curse word?

What is your best marketing advice for your peers?
Work hard, be nice to people. Your work may be great, but there’s no better marketing than positive word-of-mouth.

What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back 10 years? 20 years?
10 years: Relax, things are about to get really good.
20 years: Take it easy on the cheap vodka. 🙂

Check out more work from Stacy Keck!