Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather O’Steen.
Hi Heather, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Heather O’Steen Photography began in 2007 under the name Timeless & Treasured Photography. What started as a little side hobby to capture my three little girls as they grew turned into a steadily growing business through the years. Once my girls were mostly grown, I began to invest more and more into my business taking it into a full-time job. My youngest daughter, who is now in high school, has a deep love for dance, specifically ballet. My passion for photography and her passion for dance collided into something beautiful. My favorite subjects to photograph now are dancers. I enjoy the extreme challenge of having to capture the fraction of a second that a dancer is most beautiful. Growing up in the dance world has its own unique set of challenges. We learned quite a bit along the way and decided to take the negatives we experienced and turn them into positives.
My goal was to bring the dance community together in a way that has never been done before while simultaneously promoting the Heather O’Steen Photography brand. Using the art of dance photography, we created a team whose mission is “community over competition”. This H.O.P. Ambassador team is made up of 50 dancers from 20 different dance studios from in and around the Baltimore area. These dancers represent and promote the HOP brand while also participating in several events throughout their year long term as an ambassador. These amazing dancers have discovered new friends who share their passion, they have a blast together at fun themed photoshoots, they support each other in ways I never could have imagined, they have each other’s backs, they share each other photos online and even get together outside of our events together to continue to grow their friendships. It is a win-win situation to have such incredible talent representing my business while also building friendships and uniting the dance community.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I’ve always taught my daughters that the negative things we experience in our lives can turn into something beautiful if we choose to allow it. It’s definitely not easy, but taking that negative energy and using it for something good is something we can all do. Instead of always competing with each other, whether that is in sports, dance, or life in general – if we teach our kids that community is so much more important than competition, we begin to see things with a different perspective. Something as beautiful as ballet and dance should unite our community. Our world is becoming more divisive by the day, so giving these dancers a place to belong, a way to express themselves as dancers outside of the studio, no matter their skill level, their body shape, the studio they train at, or the zip code they live in became part of my mission in uniting this team.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a natural light dance and portrait photographer. I mostly photograph dancers but also enjoy capturing families, newborns, children and graduating seniors. My favorite kind of session is working one on one with dancers of any age, customizing each session to help them express themselves as artists outside the dance studio. Together we come up with an outdoor location, a wardrobe and so much more to make each dancer receive a personalized portrait session which results in unique photos that highlight who they are as an artist, along with a great memory of a fun experience!
I think what sets me apart from other photographers is the experience I have gained from being a mother for almost 27 years. I love capturing the tiny details that the human eye tends to miss during the everyday moments. That little chubby toddler hand touching mommy’s cheek, the little boy tossing stones into a creek, the little girl twirling in her dress in the summer breeze, and that high school senior so full of hope and possibility. I love capturing emotion, movement, and those tiny moments that we wish we could hold on to forever, and in a small way I feel like I can do that for my clients.
In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
I have been in the photography industry for 15 years and the changes, shifts and trends have been so drastic! Through it all, I have stayed true to the artist inside me and this has been the constant that has withstood all the changes. The way that everyone has a camera in their pockets now has had both a negative and a positive impact on the industry. Even though everyone is essentially a photographer now, having an eye for knowing the exact moment to snap in just the right light while getting a natural expression or pose is a gift that not everyone can carry in their pocket.
Along with photography, incorporating videography is a big shift that is currently happening in the industry and is going to become a huge part of our lives. I’m looking forward to learning more about it and how to implement it into my business to capture those important big and small moments in new ways for the families that I serve.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.heatherosteenphotography.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heatherosteenphotography/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heatherosteenphotography
All photos taken by me, Heather O’Steen. Dancers pictured are all members of the H.O.P. Ambassador 2021 Team.