Aside from my photography business, I am a 23 year old college graduate still trying to get her life together! I graduated with a degree in multimedia communications, I am a nature loving outdoorsy person, I love fishing, taking walks through the woods, and just being outside. I'm a huge lover of travel, Harry Potter, Disney, many many many books, and anything artistic, from theater and music to drawing and painting! I don't fall into one category, I'm into many different things, many different genres, and I fit into many different groups. I'm a mess of contradictions and that's okay, it's no fun being ordinary!
Tell us about your business, and how you got started.
I've always known I was going to be doing something artistic in my career field since I was a little girl. in Elementary school I told my teachers I wanted to be an actress, writer, or an artist. Sometimes I just told them I was going to be all three! Then at 12 years old I got my first polaroid camera. I loved taking pictures of my friends and my family. eventually I got my first digital camera in 8th grade and I took my camera to school all the time. took pictures of my friends constantly. Sometimes we'd have full on photo sessions in the parking lot and playground. It was clear at that point I wanted to be a photographer. When I got to high school I was introduced to my very first graphic design class and I fell in love with that as well. Being able to transfer the art I did on paper to a digital design on the computer blew my mind! And that's when I decided that photography and graphic design was my passion.
So after going to college for multimedia, I realized just how much I loved Photography, I sharpened my graphic design skills and I went to work in designing my logo and thinking of a name for my photography. I never just wanted to just say Sydney Stump Photography, for some reason it never had a nice ring to it. So I decided to come up with a business name with the same initials as my name. the rough draft were pretty funny, things like simply satisfying photography, and other things that just didn't make sense! Eventually I got to thinking how much I thought of photography as artwork, and you finish off a piece of art with a signature. So Signature Shots was finally thought of, and Signature Shots Photography was born!
What made you want to become/consider becoming an entrepreneur?
To be entirely honest, I never thought about becoming an entrepreneur until my photography business was created. I never thought to myself through High School or college that I was going to be my own boss. However once I created a business that I loved, suddenly I was ready to face whatever challenge came my way and I was going to be a Photographer. I am officially a full fledged entrepreneur but not because I thought to myself one day that I want to be my own boss but simply because I had created a business I was extremely proud of. And now there is no limits, I plan to be my own studio in the next couple of years. I plan to take this business to its highest levels because this is what I'm passionate about. I'm very grateful for my 9 to 5 job, because I'm doing graphic design and photography here as well, but I can't wait for the day that I will be able to leave this job and focus on my photography business and my studio. It's what keeps me working hard.
Who are some of your biggest role models and why?
I have quite a few role models I look up too, However when it comes to business owners and other female entrepreneurs I really didn't get to know any until this past year. My role models growing up were my teachers in high school, my graphic design teacher encouraged me to no ends. He always incorporated my photography into all of our school projects and that helped me tremendously. My theater director, and English teachers as well always have been people I've looked up to. My theater director had me create some of our playbills, which was awesome. One of them has retired and started writing her own books and that inspires me so much! She always told us if it doesn't make you happy, why do it. Another one of my biggest role models was my graphic design teacher in college. He encouraged not only me but all of his students to pursue what they love. his advice still sticks with me today, he is a huge part of why my business got started.
As far as fellow female entrepreneurs, I've only met a few this past year but they definitely inspire me every day. those ladies are Meghan from Chicka and Co. Rachel from the Bold Co Girl. Tina from Third Eye Artistry. And I actually met one of my biggest role models in college, and she became a really good friend of mine. Liz from Liz Martinez Creations, I've watched her business grow and I was there when she officially decided to start. she helps me all the time, whenever I'm feeling discouraged which is an amazing thing to have. Having a friend who is in the same line of business has been extremely helpful for me.
What are your top tools for success? This can be anything from a really good planner to a cup of coffee!
My top tools for success. vision journals, my planner, and like 6 cups of coffee! I have never been the most organized person. I have sticky notes everywhere, random notes scattered all over the pages of a notebook. So this year a goal of mine is to be more organized. I now have a few things I use. I have a big calendar on my fridge at home, that's for everything! rehearsal schedule, photo sessions, things my boyfriend has to do, Dr appointments, and events he and I have to attend. than I have my little planner, this has all of my things. rehearsals, photo sessions, and my Dr appointments, anything that just I have to keep track of. I also now have the planner partner from the Bold Co Girl. and in here I will keep track of my content clanger for instagram and facebook, and I plan on using it as a shot list check list for my more bigger sessions like weddings or big families.
When you have a super rad idea, what are your go-to methods for making it a reality?
When I have a big idea, I go straight to Pinterest. I start looking at other similar ideas, and look for inspiration. Once I get all of my inspiration and I feel ready to go I'll write it all down and create any sketches that might go with it. Then I run that idea by, my mom, my sister, and a couple of close friends! just to see what they think and take in reactions. And from there I just run with it!
What made you apply to be a Bold Co. Girl?
I wanted to apply to be a Bold Co Girl, one because I love the products that Rachel has. I have lots of vision journals, and having them has gotten me back into drawing which has really been awesome! The second reason I joined was to expand. I love meeting new people in this community, being an entrepreneur is hard at times, and having a boss babe community is definitely a game changer. We've only met as a team a couple of times and already it's been amazing getting to know the other Bold Co Girls and interacting with them, it's a boss babe support group that I'm happy to be apart of.
How do you want to inspire and empower other female entrepreneurs?
I want to inspire everyone to just do what they love, and be true to themselves. I struggled big time growing up in just being myself and doing whatever I wanted because too often I let people who judged me, stop me. Today, I don't let it stop me. I'm doing what I love, I'm meeting new clients and new people, and I'm surrounding myself with people who encourage me. Everyone else I have removed, and I want to encourage others to do the same. You need to pursue what you love and surround yourself who will encourage you to do so.
I also struggle with mental health. I was diagnosed with manic depression at the age of 14 and it's been hard trying to accept that. I developed anxiety because I thought people were looking at me as weak, or thinking that I should just get over it. I was always worried I wasn't doing enough to please people and it was exhausting. As I've grown I've realized how much I've changed. I still struggle and have a relapse from time to time but that's okay. I've excepted that it's okay to not be okay. And that's what I want other's to know. that you don't have to be okay all the time, and just because you struggle with mental health doesn't mean you can't pursue what you love. It's hard sometimes, but I want to encourage people to push through their lows. Anything worth having usually isn't easy.
What are some of your wildest business dreams and goals?
I have two major goals that I'm planning right now, the first one is building my perfect in home office. I'm ready to get a nice desk and shelves put in and create the perfect work space for editing, creating, drawing, and planning! and my second goal is to have my own studio! that's been a dream of mine for a long time! In high school I would drive past boilings in my little town and imagine if it was my studio and how I would set it up. My specialty is outdoor photography, but I also really love studio work. I want to improve my studio work and having somewhere indoors during the winter will be a huge advantage. I can't wait to have my own space to be creative with clients!
Who is your ideal client?
My ideal client is anyone ready to laugh a lot and capture moments! I have poses but I also just want you to have fun, dance in the fields, hold hands and run, enjoy each others company! I specialize in couples and families, I love giving a couple new photos to cherish as they grow together, and I love giving a family beautiful memories they can hang in their home. I also love doing solo portraits, guys or girls! I love capturing who a person is and what they love. So if you're a photographer, bring your camera, if you play a sport, bring your equipment, if you love books, let's go to a library! I love getting creative and doing something different! So if you're ready to have fun and try new things, I'm the photographer for you!