Lifestyle Magazine

Driven: a Passion for Photography

By Whollykao @whollyKao

Welcome to the third installment of Driven. This is a mini-series focused on friends who are admirably pursuing their passions.
Driven: a passion for photography
We’ve all heard that ‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’ In this world of the iPhone, we are all always taking pictures. Snapping a picture isn’t very hard. What takes real skill, though, is taking pictures that tell stories. My friend Stacey has that talent. Her photos draw you in and make you want to know more.

Stacey had dreams of being a photojournalist for a while, but didn’t pursue it recently. She had been working at a medical care company, when they told her that her position was being eliminated. She decided that was a good sign to pursue photography, packed her bags, and headed straight for the UK to start her career. Since then, she’s become a jet setter, taking pictures in London, China, and in the States.

I admire Stacey’s style and her ability to capture personalities and cultures through candid shots. She’s also got a knack for making food look delicious! Check out more on her website and her blog.

Driven: a passion for photography

When did you get hooked on photography? 
I first became interested in photography when I was in middle school. My family was going on a trip to Disney World and I asked for a camera so I could document the trip. I ended up with a hot pink toy camera with a Minnie Mouse figurine by the flash. I don’t think my parents anticipated how much film I would burn through. I just remember loving being able to capture the trip the way I saw it. But yes! That was it! I was in love.

What’s the process been like to get to where you are today? 
It’s been a pretty interesting ride. I was originally on the path to medical school so I worked in a few different areas of the health care field after college to make sure I was ready to take the leap. Most of my work involved working closely with patients with severely debilitating conditions or who were on their deathbed. By the time I met these people, there was nothing medicine could really do for them even though for most of them, their condition could have been prevented. At this point, most of them just wanted someone to talk to and I gladly obliged. Each of them had such interesting stories not just about their upbringing but also about their battles with the health care system. It was at this point I decided I wanted to use my photography as a way of telling people’s stories.

Driven: a passion for photography
Driven: a passion for photography

What’s it like to be on the road pursuing your dream?
It’s really exciting! I often find myself recapping the day before going to bed and thinking, how did I get myself into this situation? I think that’s one of the best parts really. There is no set path and you never fully know how things will turn out. It’s probably the best and scariest part. As fun as it is on the road, I always find it difficult to be away from family and friends. 

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve shot so far? And the most exciting place you’ve shot at?
The most interesting is a tricky one. I was photographing Billingsgate Market in London once. It’s a fish market that caters mostly to restaurants and only opens for a few hours at the crack of dawn. I ended up befriending all these different fishmongers and sitting around talking fish and life.
The most exciting place? I wasn’t there specifically for a shoot but I was up in Denali, Alaska and a friend’s uncle flew us around the state park on his propeller plane and landed us on a glacier. Probably the most surreal and serene place I have ever been.

Driven: a passion for photography
Driven: a passion for photography
Driven: a passion for photography

Any tips for people who are getting started in photography?
Just keeping shooting and shoot as much as you can. Find a story you’re interested in and pursue it.

Driven: a passion for photography
Driven: a passion for photography

What are your goals for the future?
The goal is always the same for me. I want to share the stories of those who aren’t in the position to advocate for themselves. One single image can really make an impact and I can only hope that one day my work can help open up other people’s perspectives.

See more of Stacey’s work on her website and her blog.

Thanks for being a part of Driven, Stacey! Can’t wait to see where your talent in photography takes you!

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