Photographer, traveler, dog lover, business owner—those are just some of the ways we can describe Lindsay Lau. Lindsay is the owner and photographer for Lindsay Stephany Photography where she captures gorgeous photographs of couples, weddings, and families. Simply, she’s a photographer who loves to capture love and we dig it! Aside from her photography business, Lindsay also works full-time at SUNY Brockport, is a crazy world traveler and is even expecting a baby in November. Basically she's a super-woman.
Tell us a little bit about yourself! What are some of your hobbies and interests?
I live downtown with my husband and our very large Goldendoodle, Reggie. Reggie is a monster but he's super sweet and 100% entertainment. We also have a baby on the way, due in November!
I work full time in the Office of International Education at The College at Brockport as the Assistant Director of Study Abroad, I'm the owner and photographer for Lindsay Stephany Photography where I shoot primarily weddings, couples and families and I co-own ROCtheShot with Rachel Sifferd from RachelLiz Photography. We teach photography workshops for people interested in learning more about their DSLR cameras and for aspiring photographers.
My hobbies and interests? I love traveling and I have a severe case of wanderlust, I want to go everywhere. I kind of stress out if I don't have a trip on the horizon. And obviously photography, I love photography!
When did you first become interested in photography? Was it always a passion of yours?
I first became interested in photography during a 6 month trip to New Zealand. I had a point and shoot camera and I suddenly felt the need to document the whole experience with photos so I wouldn't forget it, something I hadn't felt the need to do before. It wasn't until years later that I invested in a DSLR before a trip to Tibet, and on that trip something really clicked. I did my sister's engagement shoot soon after (still fully shooting in auto with an entry level DSLR and kit lens) and then started taking photos for families, kids, babies, all while messing up a ton in Manual mode and trying to learn everything I possibly could about taking photos. That was 5 years ago!
Aside from weddings, couples, and families what are some of your other favorite things to photograph?
Aside from shooting weddings, couples and families, I love shooting little details that tell a story of a day or of a person—a corner vignette in someone's living room, the way a person displays a vase of flowers or their cookbooks, how a restaurant chose to hang their art. Sometimes I really appreciate having a traveler's outlook—when you go to a new country or a new city you look at things so differently from how you look at things in your day to day life. Walking in to a restaurant in Barcelona is going to feel very different from walking into the your favorite Rochester bar for the 500th time, but if you consciously keep a traveler's eye you do tend to notice those little details you might have otherwise missed!
We admire how you strive to capture the essence of “love” in every shot. Aside from capturing and photographing “love” what else inspires you or do you strive to capture in your work?
Weddings and couples are definitely my favorite subjects. I do love love. I love capturing the connection between people and I really appreciate that a connection between two people will look different for each couple. I try to capture connection and I often try to photograph people in places that mean something to them, whether it's a bar where they first met or on a street they walk down together as a couple, I think those details will bring them back to this time in their lives whenever they look back at their photos.
You are quite the world traveler! Out of all of the places you’ve visited, which excursion was your favorite and why?
I am! I've been so lucky to travel a lot personally and a lot for my full time job in International Education at The College at Brockport. I've actually been to all 7 continents and every trip has been amazing in different ways. It's actually impossible to pick a favorite! This past winter I was able to go to Argentina and Antarctica with my husband. I think it'll rank up there as one of my favorites because the entire time I was conscious of the fact that so few people will travel there, and because it's a place that's so rapidly changing with the climate that in even 5-10 years it'll look vastly different from the place we saw. Research scientists who were on the same ship counted that our group saw about 53,000 penguins, we also saw countless Minke, Humpback and Killer whales, many types of seals, the wildlife was incredible. Plus, the extreme silence, the total lack of connection to anything off the ship (no phones, no wifi), the enormity of the ice shelves, the thousands of icebergs jutting, sometimes as high as mountains, out of the clear water, it was really a spectacular, spectacular place.
You offer DSLR photography workshops not only at the Brainery, but through ROCtheShot as well. Tell us more about that and what it offers the community.
I do! The lovely Rachel of RachelLiz Photography and I started ROCtheShot as a venue for budding photographers to learn about photography in a different way. We offer a workshop for beginners that teaches the ins and outs of DSLR photography and shooting in Manual mode, as well as a workshop geared toward people who might be interested in taking their photography to another level—in that workshop we talk about workflow and editing, client interaction, style, posing (with models!), etc. It's a great one!
In your opinion, is photography a skill someone can pick up or does it require a lot of practice over time?
It's definitely something that can be picked up, but it absolutely requires a lot of practice! I think there are people who struggle a bit more with the technical side of photography but maybe have a good eye for composition, and people who struggle with capturing the shots they want while they have less trouble nailing the settings. It's challenging for everyone in different ways, but it's an amazing creative journey!
What advice would you give to aspiring photographers?
Keep learning! Ask questions, connect with other photographers—we have a wonderful photography community here in Rochester!
What do you enjoy most about photography or being a photographer?
I love that it's a creative outlet that's also very challenging. There is always something to learn! And I love that it provides the opportunity to connect with other people: clients, workshop attendees, and other photographers in the area.
What is your favorite photo you’ve ever taken?
That's really hard to say because it changes all the time. There are always one or two shots from each new session that are my favorites, and then I do a new session and love those photos even more!