Interview by Jason Setnyk | Submitted Photo
Cornwall, Ontario – In a world filled with fleeting moments, Stephanie Gravel has found her calling behind the lens. This talented photographer has been weaving her passion for photography into a blossoming business for the past five years, turning ordinary moments into extraordinary memories. Her unique perspective, coupled with unwavering dedication, has garnered attention and admiration from both clients and peers alike.
Stephanie’s love affair with photography began long before she considered it a profession for herself. Armed with a camera, she delighted in freezing those special instances shared between loved ones, preserving the magic of cherished connections. However, an unexpected turn of events truly ignited her passion and set her on an extraordinary path.
When asked to photograph a motocross race, a sport she adores, Stephanie discovered a newfound infatuation. The thrill of capturing the adrenaline-fueled moments on the track stirred something deep within her, and she knew she had found her niche. Fueling her newfound fascination, Stephanie purchased her first beginner’s professional camera in preparation for a trip to Maine, where she planned to explore the scenic coastal landscapes and iconic lighthouses.
It was during this transformative journey that Stephanie’s Sixth Sense Imagery was born. The name carries a deeper significance, rooted in Stephanie’s unique world perspective. Being profoundly deaf in both ears, Stephanie’s visual acuity and heightened sensory awareness allow her to perceive images in a way that transcends the ordinary. Her photographs capture the essence of her subjects from a fresh and unparalleled angle, offering a glimpse into a world often unnoticed by others.
Although deafness may present certain challenges, Stephanie has never allowed it to hinder her artistic vision. With the aid of a cochlear implant, she has harnessed her remaining sense of hearing to further enhance her work. This harmonious blend of her enhanced senses empowers her to create captivating visual narratives that resonate deeply with her clients.
Beyond her artistic pursuits, Stephanie is a devoted family woman. She shares her life with her spouse Trevor, who has been her unwavering pillar of support throughout her photography adventures. Together, they have a beautiful one-year-old daughter, whom Stephanie affectionately calls the “best baby ever.” As a doting mother, Stephanie cherishes the moments spent with her loved ones and understands the importance of preserving such precious memories through her craft.
When Stephanie is not behind the lens, she embraces the joys of summertime, relishing in the sun-drenched days spent on the river with friends and family. Winter, too, holds a special place in her heart as she indulges in her passion for snowmobiling, seizing every opportunity to carve through the snow-laden landscapes.
Stephanie Gravel’s remarkable journey exemplifies the power of passion, determination, and unwavering love for her craft. Through her lens, she paints vivid stories that go beyond mere photographs, capturing the emotions and essence of the human experience. Her photos serve as a testament to the extraordinary beauty found in everyday life, inviting us all to see the world through her eyes.
Five Questions with The Seeker
1 – What camera do you mainly use, and do you prefer digital or film?
“The camera I use is the Canon R6; I’ve always been a Canon fan. It has never disappointed me, and I love the mechanism. I will have had this camera for two years this summer. I love it, and it is a mirrorless camera. My secondary camera, my first true professional full-frame camera, is a Canon 5D Mark II. I prefer digital, only because that’s all I have known. But I would love to expand my knowledge in film. It’s making a comeback and becoming popular.”
2 – What is your photography education and background? Are you self-taught, did you do an apprenticeship, or go to art school?
“I am mostly a self-taught photographer. I took a few one-on-one photography education sessions with local photographer Jason McNamara of Framed Photography a few years back. It was very helpful; it boosted my confidence and helped improve my photography skills. I also rely on YouTube education, and I recently went on a cool photography workshop trip to Utah to learn about the importance of the business as a whole. For example, social media content, shooting in different lighting, client support, etc. I’m always looking to expand my education in photography. It is a job that is always evolving in creativity.”
3 – Do you have any tips or advice for photographers just starting?
“My advice for a photographer just starting would be to look for inspiration in something you like and make it your own. Don’t stop learning. YouTube is your best friend. Also, practice doesn’t make it perfect, but it will help you improve your creativity and experience, and don’t stop creating content.”
4 – Has anyone inspired you or influenced your work?
“Kennedy Kiara Photography is a photographer based in Utah and someone that I have followed on social media for quite some time. I am in awe of her work. It is simple but elegant and unique. She is amazing at what she does. She was our educator at our workshop trip to Utah! Her work inspires me, and I love the connection she makes with clients and the art of her photography.”
5 – Do you have any long-term plans or goals for your photography?
“My long-term goals for my photography would be to expand my portfolio and take it to the next level in creativity, and make it a full-time job! I now have a studio, so it is super beneficial for the winter months to have a space where I expand my availability year-round.”
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