Photographer Spotlight: Stacy Marie Photography

Stacy Nish is a mom of 2 and the owner of Stacy Marie Photography out in Draper, Utah (although she does travel).

Stacy has a passion for photography and it shows in her work.  She has done the photographs for over 50 Fit For Photos members, and not only are the pictures amazing, she helps the women have an incredible experience, helping them feel beautiful.  The end result – the ladies have a fun, feel like rockstars and have pictures that they are proud to look at for life.

I interviewed Stacy about all things related to fitness photography and you can see a few samples of her work down below.  For a full album of the Fit For Photos members that Stacy has taken pictures for, check out her Facebook album here.  You can also check out her work on Instagram and on her website, Stacy Marie Photography.

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You can see from Stacy’s answers, how much she cares about the people she works with.

Scott: You know Stacy, Fit For Photos takes work (you’ve even done the program) and there are a few people that just want a family member to take their pictures. Why is it important to have a qualified professional photographer doing the pictures?

Stacy: You’re right Scott! There is so much work and dedication that goes into this program and you’re doing it for YOU! This is an investment into yourself and the photo shoot isn’t just a way to show off your progress or results at the end, it’s a way to reward yourself for all the hard work you put into it.

Having a family member take the photos isn’t doing yourself justice…

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Scott: When hiring a photographer, what should the members be looking for? We came up with guidelines but maybe you can express a few of them here

Stacy: For one, after all the hard work you’ve put in, you want to look your absolute best in your results photos, and hiring a professional is definitely going to help you there, but not only that, it’s so much more than just taking photos, the photo shoot should be an experience. I believe Krista Vo said something about being pampered, and that’s the way it should be. You should go all out for your photos, pamper yourself, reward yourself, FEEL BEAUTIFUL and having a professional photographer is going to add to the experience

Krista Vo: Spot on. And as a mom, after kids enter the world, the focus is all on them so it’s nice to be the center of attention for a minute.

Stacy: One of the biggest things you want to look for when hiring your photographer I think, should be experience. You want someone who isn’t just good at taking photos, but has experience capturing women, in particular, and helping them see how beautiful they are. So you’ll want to look for a portrait photographer, one with fitness experience is a big plus as well. There is so much to be considered with photography, angles, lighting, posing, all can be flattering or work against you regardless of how good you look if you don’t know what you’re doing

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Scott: I also love looking back at my pictures. The one you took of me in the hoodie…no one can ever take that away from me. It’s sooooo worth it.

Stacy: Well that’s part of the point Scott, these photos aren’t just something to get the job done and show what you look like, these are photos you’ll want to be able to look back at later in life and say “that was ME! Look what I DID!” and remember how amazing you looked and FELT. Like Lori said, it’s something she will always have and always be proud of.

Scott: And don’t just shop on price…these will last forever!

Stacy: Scott Colby Exactly! You definitely get what you pay for in the photography industry and again, you are investing in YOURSELF! So don’t sell yourself short. It’s a one time investment that lasts a lifetime

Audience question: I am using a photographer that did awesome maternity photos for me in 2014 & she has done boudoir photos (not of me) but she has never done fitness photos. How would you say boudoir & fitness photos are similar or different? We are planning to do my photos outdoors at Garden of the Gods (she has a studio as plan B if colorado april weather isn’t good)…

Stacy: Boudoir can be quite similar to fitness because you’re capturing a woman’s body in a flattering way. So while she may not have experience showcases muscle definition or tone, she should be familiar with posing you in a way that will flatter you and accentuate the good curves.

You also want to look for someone who is going to have your best interest in mind, someone who understands where you’re coming from and what you’re trying to achieve with these pictures. It’s ok to “interview” your photographer, because this is a big deal and you want to make sure you’re investing in someone who will really tell your story

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Scott: Stacy a lot of the women are nervous about their photo shoot, or even say they hate having their picture taken. How do you make it fun so they love the experience?

Stacy: I deal with that all the time, not just with women who are doing FFP or getting fitness photos, I have clients who don’t even like getting family photos done for the same reasons. But you have to keep in mind that photos are keepsakes, and if you don’t take any now, you won’t have any to look back on later. I know that being in front of the camera can be very vulnerable, especially if you don’t have a ton of self confidence, but I can assure you that not one single person I have photographed through FFP has ever regretted doing a photo shoot. Yes, at first some people are hesitant, even dreading it, but once they embrace it, and really go all out with it, it ends up being a really fun, really liberating experience! I personally like to focus more on the person I am photographing and what makes them feel beautiful, and not as much on just capturing their “fitness pictures”. If that makes sense…

I really try to find out what makes my clients feel empowered, beautiful, strong, sexy and run with it. If you don’t like how you look or feel in your photos, you won’t like your pictures. So I always encourage women to get their hair and makeup professionally done, you’ll be amazed at what that can do for your confidence, and then I help them figure out what to wear, how to prep etc so once at the shoot, I give TONS of direction so they feel comfortable. I play music, act goofy, whatever it takes to help them loosen up. That’s ultimately going to get the best photos out of them as well.

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Audience question: Since you were my photographer and I was already familiar with your work and trusted you because of Scott’s recommendations and all of the other FFP people you worked with, I didn’t really have many questions to ask before we met. Sometimes, we don’t always know what questions to ask the people we are hiring and handing our money over to. What are some key questions you would suggest people ask the photographer they are considering hiring?

Stacy: Good question Lori! I think it’s important to just express to the photographer what you’re ultimately looking to get out of the entire experience. And if you don’t know, cause some people just don’t, then that’s ok too, but ask the photographer what kind of experience they have photographing women, if they have fitness experience, if they give lots of direction during the shoot….ask them what comes with the session, what is included, how long do they shoot for, what is the turn around time etc.

Scott: What do you love about the members of Fit For Photos that you’ve met while doing their photos or on the adventure trips? I know you love them! 🙂

Stacy: Oh man, where to begin?! The woman (and a few men ) that I have met through this program have all been so inspirational! I think too, that because I am capturing them in somewhat of a vulnerable situation, I have been able to connect with many of them on a deeper level. So many of these incredible members have become close friends of mine and I consider several of them family.

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Scott: Last question from me, Stacy – do you have any favorite FFP shoots or experiences you wanted to share?

Stacy: Oh man, so many to choose from, but I’d have to say that the people I have met in Richmond, VA have been the most influential through this whole experience. Not to give any less credit to the other incredible people I have met and worked with in Denver, Texas, Costa Rica, Las Vegas, Utah etc. but as you mentioned earlier Scott, Richmond has had the most FFP people and I travel there at least twice a year to take photos, but the women I have met and befriended there have become my family. I take a genuine interest in all of my clients’ lives and I have really been able to bond with the amazing women in Richmond. Jodi Salvin Perschetz, Shannon Batty Anderson and many other FFP warriors to name a few. They have changed my life for the better and I am so grateful I have been able to continue to work with them through multiple rounds of FFP as well as family photos, boudoir sessions, senior shoots etc. This program really does create a special bond with the women you go through it with and it is just so much more than jsut a “workout” program. Scott genuinely cares about his members and what he provides for them and isn’t just in this to make money, he’s in it to make relationships. 🙂

Scott: Thanks Stacy Nish! Yes we’ve been fortunate to work with so many incredible people that we can now call friends. We are blessed. Stacy I appreciate your work and for being our special guest. This has been some great insight for everyone…thank you!!

Stacy: Thank you for again for having me! hopefully I’ve been able to help ease anyone’s mind who may have been on the fence about the photo shoot part and help them realize that it really is a positive and powering an amazing experience! It might seem scary at first, but I guarantee it will be so worth it in the end. Especially if you hire a good photographer. 🙂