Today we’d like to introduce you to Stacie Jaye Meyer.
Stacie Jaye, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My love of photography started when I was small. My grandfather was a photographer, and I have such vivid early memories of watching the images come up in the trays under the red light in his dark room. My father also had a camera that I would sneak when he wasn’t looking. I loved the click of the shutter, the beautiful design, the weight of the camera in my hands. I’ll never forget it, it was a black and silver canon 35 mm—we’re a Canon family all the way.
The camera has always been an important tool for me. In art school, I studied photography along with painting and sculpture. It was all about film in those days, and I used an old 35mm to work out my ideas for drawings and paintings. The photos occasionally found their way into my collages. As I developed as an artist, it also became necessary for me to document my own work. That’s an art in and of itself, and I was fortunate enough to study with a longtime photographer Tony Dolenski, who made a living documenting artwork for institutions like Norton Simon and LACMA. He taught me so much.
After art school, I started my own decorative painting company. Back then I was using my camera to document the art I was making, as well as to photograph the wall treatments, murals and hand painted decorations I was doing for private residences, commercial spaces, interior designers and architects. Eventually friends started asking me if I could shoot for them, and the rest is history! Documenting art was a side hustle for many years, but it’s actually become one of my main focuses. And of course when digital came along, I relearned my craft and began to use a DSLR.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Yes and no. I like the word challenges better than struggles—I guess you could say I’m an eternal optimist. I’ve certainly had some amazing things line up for me, but every once in a while it feels like I’m grinding my gears. That’s just the nature of the process though, everything goes in cycles. When I step back from it all, I can see that these sticky times are often when new ideas and opportunities are emerging. Change can be stressful, but also really fruitful.
When cameras went digital, for example, I needed to get into Photoshop and learn all these new technical things. It was like going back to school for me! That was hard, but also an important reminder to keep moving forward in my process. I am committed to never stop learning.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Art Lens LA – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Photographing 2D and 3D work are my specialties. I also photograph installation art, exhibitions and products. There is an attention to detail that is required to accurately capture the nuances of an artist’s work. Whether the art takes the form of painting, drawing, sculpture, installation or video, I bring a fine art background and unique eye to the documentation process.
I like to involve my client in every phase of the process. My job is all about honoring their work, after all, so I always ask questions beforehand. Everything from how they want the work to come across to how they want the shadows to appear in the shots. I’m always amazed when new clients tell me no one has ever asked these kinds of questions before! I also share tips and tricks with my clients about how they can maximize their studio setups to snap their own pics for social media.
Since I have experience building archives for artists, I also frequently work with clients to organize and manage their personal archives. Sometimes just going through the process of setting up a system is all a person needs to spend less time doing administrative work and more time creating!
My general philosophy is that life and career are like a mixed media artwork—all the elements should enhance each other and coalesce into a beautiful whole. I guess it’s in my nature to wear more than one hat. As an artist, my studio is always calling, and there are side projects that I just can’t say no to. I’ve done large scale wall pieces throughout my art career, and lately I have been getting commissions for this kind of work, too! So don’t be surprised if you find me painting some walls and then taking pictures of it. That’s just my work, coming full circle!
This fall I’ll be teaching a workshop on how to take better pictures of your art at the Woman’s Center for Creative work.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I could write a short story about my journey! Throughout my career, everything just unfolded in this really magical way. So many things just fell into place, and so many people went out of their way to support what I was doing. Projects grew from a day gig to months-long projects, and when I had financial difficulties, totally unexpected windfalls showed up at just the right moments. One person to highlight is a mentor and friend Richard Shelton, 9 years ago he asked me to work with him to create an archive of his entire body of work, organizing and documented 50 years of drawing, painting and sculpture, over 2000 artworks total. This project gave me the confidence to do art documentation professionally. It’s been a wild ride, and I have fantastic, loving, generous and kind friends and family to thank for a lot of it. I am married to a beautiful musician, and he is one of my greatest supporters creatively and emotionally.
How do you, personally, define success? What’s your criteria, the markers you’re looking out for, etc?
On a technical level, success is an evenly lit picture that is color correct and perfectly square (yeah, I’m a perfectionist!). On an emotional level, success is when I make a difference in a client’s working life. Of course I love when a client is really happy with the images I create for them and they turn to me the next time they need work documented, but I also love when I get a client referral and I get to hear about my client’s great experience from a third party. Personal referrals are everything. It’s also really satisfying when I hear that the archive system we set up is improving the way they work.
- Special pricing when you mention you found me through Voyage LA
- Address: Los Angeles, CA
- Website: www.artlensla.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @artlensla
Stacie Jaye Meyer / Art Lens LA / Art by Lesley Goren
Stacie Jaye Meyer / Art Lens LA / Art by Joan wynn
Savannah Lamal / Seto
Stacie Meyer / Art Lens LA