I am a new fan and was introduced to you by the person I would like to nominate; Stephanie Newbold out of Tucson, Arizona. I have only met Stephanie once – at a photography workshop last February. We became Facebook friends and haven’t seen one another since. Someone once told me, and I am paraphrasing, they had heard someone speak about “The Greats” of our world; George Washington, Princess Dianna, Mother Teresa etc. Apparently, a study had been done to see if there was one common characteristic these people shared. After hundreds of interviews and documents read, it was discovered that they all shared one characteristic; people walked away from a single interaction with them feeling better about themselves. This was true across the board with every “Great” studied.
I believe Stephanie is a, “Great.” She was the one person whom reached out to me during the workshop. I was nervous and new to the craft and extremely unsure of myself. Stephanie made me feel comfortable and a little more confident; I certainly left feeling much better about myself after our limited interaction. Soon after the workshop I chose to make the difficult decision to put my ambitions on hold in order to help my special needs granddaughter. Because I was Facebook friends with Stephanie, I had the opportunity to watch her grow her business and evolve as a photographer. Every week was filled with humor, trials, tribulations and always, ALWAYS, positive thoughts and energy. She began collecting links to other photographer’s sites and networking. Then I noticed a pattern. Stephanie not only became involved with the photography community – she became their biggest fan. She is a cheerleader for all photographers, willing to help with whatever they need, not putting herself in a world different or above anyone else. She remembers how she began and she hasn’t forgotten. She gives back to her community; donating food, taking photos for families brought together through adoption and recently offering mentoring workshops for beginners. A few months ago I sent her a little note of gratitude for her inspiration – kind of a sideline cheerleader shout out, “Keep up the awesome work and Thank You!” She is so humble and had so many positive words to share with me. What she did not know, and still does not know, is that her “walk” – the one I have been privileged to witness, has helped me find my way back to my love of photography. After 9 months of therapies, specialists and uncertainty regarding my granddaughter progress, I had pretty much come to the conclusion my photography aspirations were over; she needed too much support. I was able and willing to help my granddaughter and this trumped my desire to become a photographer. I was actually okay with it too; my granddaughter was hitting her milestones – very late – but she was hitting them. I was making a difference and it felt good. As the days turned into months, I picked up the camera again and started posting some pics on FB. Stephanie “liked” some pics and, as my confidence and portfolio grew, so did her encouraging comments. I had a little cheerleader in my corner, someone whom knew the craft, and she cared. I didn’t know I needed a fan outside of my family and friends, but Stephanie showed me I did. A simple “like” meant the world to me. I began to flirt with the idea of trying this photography thing out again. I found I was still in love with it and my ambitions flooded back. I also started posting photos my son took whom was 18 and photographing the monsoon season. Stephanie always took the time to “like” or leave encouraging comments to us both. I never solicited Stephanie or asked an opinion; but maybe she knew the power of one photog to another. My son, whom had very little ambitions as a photographer (getting the photo was secondary to chasing the storm,) was inspired by her encouragement and sent his photos into AZ Highways (and consequently were published on their blog.) Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference. I have witnessed Stephanie’s “little” things greatly influence and help others over and over again in countless ways and I genuinely believe she has no idea what a difference she has made. Recently, she helped another photographer get her website up and running (and it’s gorgeous.) Stephanie does not give of herself in this manner to better herself in this industry. Her motive isn’t to get ahead and trample the newbies. Sure she markets and networks as she should. However, she does it with grace, encouragement of others, willingness to help others and maybe a little coffee…okay well, a lot of Starbucks coffee. Please see her website and blog: www.stephanienewboldphotography.com
Do you know an amazing photographer that helps support and encourage others in our community? Nominate him/her by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with a write up of who and why your nominating.