We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachael Stonecipher and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachael, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
A very important factor to any photographer’s success is the ability to make connections. In the beginning of my business the majority of my clients were friends, family, coworkers, and other people I was close to. Then those people started recommending me to their friends, and it grows exponentially after that. On my Instagram page I am very intentional in following other businesses and influencers in Denton. You never know who’s going to come across your page and say “wow, she takes great pictures. I want to hire her”. Anytime I meet someone I try to mention I’m a photographer, maybe they’ll go look me up and hire me. Making positive connections on shoots is so important as well. When you provide a service to people they remember how you made them feel. If you make them laugh, if you tell them how great they look, if you take the time to get to know them, they remember. They feel good. They hire you again, or they recommend you to their friends. Just like the brain, good connections stick, others get pruned away.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think something that sets me apart from others is that I work very well with children. I am a preschool teacher by day and photographer by weekend. I definitely use my teaching skills to get great pictures of little ones. I connect well with children, I know how to talk to them, and I know how to make them smile (the younger the better for me!). I’m also not afraid to get silly, sing, dance whatever it takes to get that precious smile. I’m most excited about the growth I’ve seen in my work over the past 5 years. I look back at old pictures and think wow, those are pretty good. But then I look at them compared to what I take now and I’m like dang, I’ve really grown. I’m always looking for the next step, I definitely don’t like to plateau. The most difficult part about my work has always been balancing it with my full time job. I have a full time job and 2 side gigs, but my photography business I definitely what I enjoy most. There are times that I feel like I’ve stretched myself too thin, but it’s always to get to the next level. There are also times that I really wonder if I have what it takes to do this full time. I’m still working on gathering that courage, more to come at a later date! I just want the world to know that it doesn’t matter where you come from; you should always take what makes you happy and run with it. You’ll get there eventually.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Honestly anywhere in Denton has great food. But you definitely can’t go wrong with Seven Mile Cafe for breakfast, West Oak Cafe for coffee, literally anywhere for lunch, LSA Burger or Milpa for dinner, Miss Angeline’s or Oak St. Drafthouse for drinks, and Beth Marie’s for ice cream. The best places to hang out in Denton are anywhere on the Square or just walking around the UNT or TWU campuses. The college campuses are great because you see so many interesting people and things. It’s always busy (except during finals week). If you should happen to be in Denton between April and November there’s a great Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. If you’re there the last weekend of April you can go to Jazzfest, which is my most anxiously awaited for event of the year.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My first photography teacher in high school, Kate Jenkins, got me started on this journey. She saw something in me and encouraged it and helped it grow, and I can never thank her enough. My in laws gave me my first camera, so they really helped me with the business side! Of course I wouldn’t be here without all of my faithful clients. You guys are the best and I love that you let me capture your lives.
Rachael Stonecipher Photography Nee’s Photography