Grace Stufkosky

When your client asks to be photographed in a local bar or restaurant, you don't just say yes; you say yes while jumping up & down, and your heart pumps to the beat of your favorite song. Because this client, well...she gets you. Like kindred spirits. BFF's. Long lost sisters. And you know a wonderful collaboration is about to take place.

I liked Grace from the moment she emailed me. We had never met before, despite being fellow photographers (she's the lady behind Grace Stufkosky Photography), but I could tell she was kind and genuine. She knew what she wanted, but also gave me the freedom to create something special for her. And for a photographer, giving up that much control can be really difficult. It's kind of like being a backseat driver in your own car. Being in front of the camera is a vulnerable place to be and we know it; we see our clients be vulnerable with us day in and day out. We know how to be given that vulnerability and handle it with great care, but we're not usually that great at giving our own away. So when we need to update our head shots, it can feel extra daunting to give up the control we're so accustomed to having. But not Grace. She trusted me from the moment she found me on Instagram, and I could not have been more honored by that. She handed over her vulnerability without any hesitation and I held it close the entire shoot. 

Grace is an extremely talented photographer who specializes in food, drinks and interiors, so many of her clients are local bars, restaurants and magazines that feature related topics. While she loved the portraits she had previously, she wanted something new that would easily communicate to her potential clients exactly who she is and what she specializes in. She of course wanted to show her professional side, but she also wanted to give clients a more accurate idea of what she's like to work with, which is casual and easy-going. She needed more of a visual voice to tell her story and attract those ideal clients. She didn't need your basic head shot, she needed an environmental portrait. And I was beyond excited to help!

There were plenty of bars and restaurants that we could have asked to photographed in, but Bitter & Twisted was our number one choice for their killer style and giant windows, flooding us with all the natural light we could possibly need. Seriously, that place is amazing. The first time I met some friends there for happy hour, I felt like I had been transported to New York City. The high industrial ceilings, concrete walls, classy red booths mixed with high-top tables, a gorgeous bar that serves deliciously unique cocktails, and tall neighboring buildings that were visible through the wall-sized windows made me feel like I was in an episode of Sex in the City.  And. I. Loved it. Thankfully, Grace had just recently done a shoot with them, so they welcomed us with open arms during their off-hours and let us have free reign of the entire place. Thank you again to the B&T staff for their generous hospitality! We are incredibly grateful! 

Grace, I know I've already said this a few times now, but seriously, it was such a pleasure and an honor working with you! You have such a kind heart and I'm so excited to now call you my friend! I hope these portraits serve you well and I can't wait to see you again!

To learn more about Negroni Week, click here!

To learn more about Negroni Week, click here!

Fun Fact: The drink featured in this series was part of an annual event called Negroni Week, an international charity campaign where participating venues donate proceeds to the non-profit of their choice. For each Negroni drink purchased, B&T donated a portion of the money to HALO, an awesome local no-kill animal rescue group. Great work, guys!

Isn't Grace a total babe?! :)