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Magazine Love / onthetown

Thank you to  ONTHETOWN Magazine for inviting me for a second time to be a part of their publication. I am humbled by their interest in my work and grateful for the care they put in to showcase my photographs so beautifully. Also without my couples and my wonderful brides, none of the imagery would have happened. So big thank you to you as well !!

Pick up a copy or two and enjoy !

 

Minja + Mike / Colony Club

 

Not sure what is the best way to describe what incredible day the wedding of Minjia and Mike was. It was not because of all the beautiful details, not even because of Minja’s dress made by her mom, one of a kind, glorious creation… It was because if the closeness of everyone, the love, the laughter, the emotions. You can see that in the images below and maybe you can feel that I was a part of that family for that day. I was not the photographer, but simply Stela. So many wonderful moments throughout… I guess if I really have to pick a favorite, it would be Mike’s surprise song in Bosnian for Minja. He had her go through all kinds of emotions, from sheer disbelief to pure joy, singing with him with arms wide open!

I wish you guys, nothing but happiness like the ones I saw on your faces on your Wedding Day!

 

 

ISPWP/ Fall 2014

 

I am amazed every time one of my images gets an award from ISPWP. Not that I am not hopeful, I am, thats why I submit my work there. But then I look at the galleries and I’m blown away from insane amount of talent. I n s a n e amount of talent…. Bridal Portrait, 8th Place/ Fall 2014. Thank you to my bride Rebecca who stood in the hallway of a temple and looked serene while her relatives with a lively sense of humor kept coming in and going out right next to us. XO

 

 

i n s p i r a t i o n

And I’ve been a fool and I’ve been blind

I can never leave the past behind

I can see no way, I can see no way

I’m always dragging that horse around

‘Cause I’m done with my graceless heart

So tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart

‘Cause I like to keep my issues strong

It’s always darkest before the dawn.

And I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if don’t

So here’s to drinks in the dark at the end of my road

And I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope

it’s a shot in the dark and right at my throat

‘Cause looking for Heaven, found the devil in me

Looking for Heaven, for the devil in me

Well what the hell I’m gonna let it happen to me.

First time I saw Florence and The Machine was june 26th, 2011. They were opening for U2 in Ann Arbor.

I saw her move before I heard her sing. She was a vision made of  fuchsia silk. The music started, her voice came and filled parts of my being I did not know existed. Hypnotized I watched. Her dress flew around violently. It created a dream. Her fiery, red hair carried on the wave of the movement and her voice guided them both… this image stuck with me. I have always been drawn to dance and performance and the electrifying energy that comes from it. There have been glimpses in my work of that but I don’t think I really went there. Why didn’t I ?? Well, because it’s very easy to fall into a pattern of doing things people want you to do, get comfortable and forget why you picked up a camera in the first place which was to SAY something… guilty as charged.

A few days ago I came back from FC 2014. A powerful, positive, loving experience after which you set hight goals for yourself. With all of the speakers’ messages still fresh in my head I felt inspired but quite overwhelmed and fearful. I believe I cried pretty much the entire day following my return home… I set all of my notes on the table and from time to time I would flip through and read at random.  ” Fear is constricting, be fearless”, ” Commit wholeheartedly and swing for the fans, all in, balls out”, ” You Never really want to stop trying”, “BE YOURSELF!’,  ”As an artist pursue other things”, “What would Anna see?” and really, I mean really  ”Ask for wishes! “.  So I did. On the second day home, with puffy eyes I got to my studio with my flamenco skirt, remote control and Florence’s Ceremonials. I did a test for that shoot over a year ago and never dared to finish afraid it might be too much, I might get too honest and people might judge. So yesterday I finished it. And then I cried a bit more when I was done because a weight was lifted off my shoulders… But let me tell you this is not a happy ending. This is the continuation of more hard work and struggle and yearning in hope to be a better person and a shooter. I will continue to fail more then I succeed, but it tuns out so does everybody else… The important thing is not to forget where you want to go.

And because this is a post about inspiration I want to just mention the name of a friend who embarked on a huge project with an insane amount of love and attention to so many of us and with that reminded me that I need to stop whining and start working. Rebecca Kiger, I’ve said it before, I ‘ll say it again. You Rock The Mothership.

And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back so shake him off

Lyrics by Florence Welch/ Shake it Out

Florence + the Machine

Erin + Mike / Dearborn Inn Wedding

 

I have been incredibly lucky to work with some wonderful people for some time now. Erin and Mike are the perfect example. I believe I smiled throughout the entire eight hours I was with them. Laid back, kind and so in love… Enjoying their day to the fullest, being present and having a wonderful time. One of my favorite ceremonies this year as well. It was heart felt and warm, conducted by two of their friends it made everyone teary eyed one minute and laughing the next. It was personal, intimate and lovely. Just like their entire Wedding on this sunny, September day.

One final note on how perfect Erin looked. Nothing short of movie star. As a matter of fact maybe she is, I forgot to ask.

 

 

Second Photographer/ Michael Leaver

Makeup / Steve Oraha

Flowers and Decor / Twig and Berries Event Design