Meet Stephanie

While Stephanie truly is passionate about her artwork, she also has the education and training to back it up. After obtaining her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at Millikin University (double majoring in Photography and Design) in 2008, she opened Green Tree Media Photography and has been creating cherished heirlooms for her clients ever since. In her nine years in business, she has photographed over 425 session, taught over a dozen classes, and worked with several schools and stores. She is a member of the Professional Photographers of America and Co-Founder of the Central Illinois Professional Photographers, which is dedicated to furthering the education of local photographers and fostering community over competition.

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Life is a crazy thing. You can have ideas of what your life is going to look like but you never truly know how it’s actually going to turn out. And I feel like this idea… this unpredictability… has been the cornerstone of my life.

As a young person, I truly believed that I was unlovable and would end up alone. But by some miracle, God led me to ask the goofy bass player in our church band for his screen name. (Yes kids - I am that old!) And the rest, as they say, is history. We’ve been together for 13 years now, and I can honestly say that he is the greatest thing to have ever happened to me. I can’t imagine going through the highs and lows of life without him by my side.

And there certainly have been some serious highs and lows over the years! In October of 2011, we lost everything in a house fire. Something I never imagined happening to us. But that was nothing compared to the difficulty of our seven-year struggle to grow our family. Our journey may have been long and painful, but God is SO good! He led us on a crazy road to our beautiful baby girl, who we just adore!

But all those experiences have shaped me into who I am today. Those heartaches and hardships have given me a unique perspective through which I view the world. Growing up not being able to see my own beauty, I have been blessed with a gift of capturing others and helping them to see their true beauty. Losing everything in a fire has helped me to value and treasure the every day little things and moments, something I try to preserve in my imagery. And our struggle to grow our family gives me a huge heart for capturing our tiniest clients in their newest moments. These are things I have become known for with my work - highlighting your beauty, preserving moments, and capturing fleeting moments in high quality artwork that will be cherished forever!

Out in the World

So what will you find here?

The Journal, as I lovingly call this online space, is where I share... well me! I share my clients - all the awesome people I get to work with and capture in my portrait art. I love sharing their sessions and who they are with you here because they deserve to be known. I write about tips for preparing for your session or choosing your photographer or what to wear. Posts that help give you guidance and take the stress out of planning for your session. I even share tips for other photographers too. Oh! And with that I also, from time to time, share the latest products I've created for BoxDrops by SJP, an online photographer shop! And let's not forget my fine art creations! I love when I have the time to create one of my fine art pieces! I always try to share the concept behind the piece and the creation process here for you to enjoy.

But I don't limit The Journal to just work... because I personally can't separate who I am from what I do. So much of me is wrapped up in my art and the way I run my business. So you'll probably see me share personal posts here as well. The one thing I've written about on here the most is our baby journey. Whether that's infertility, miscarriage or adoption, I try to share our experience and the things we've learned with others. I share my random thoughts and ramblings and ideas too. They're not always sunshine and rainbow posts, but they are most certainly honest, candid, and real.

Truthfully I can't write about the struggles of growing our family without incorporating another passion of mine - mental health. I've worked through anxiety and depression issues over the years and I'm a big believer in fighting the stigma and misunderstanding of mental illness by talking about it! Additionally, my faith is a huge part of who I am and my journey over the last few years. I'm so grateful for how my relationship with God has grown and I wouldn't be who I am today without Him. I promise though I'll never get preachy or pushy about it!

On a more light-hearted note - I am a giant nerd who loves all things Tolkien, Dr. Who, Sherlock, Supernatural, Marvel, etc... So it just might happen that I'll share some of my fandom love with you here too

Lastly, I love every reader who stops by this page! Seriously - THANK YOU! It means the world to me that you’d leave a comment, become a fan, follow on instagram, or however we happen to connect! I read every single word you write in response and try my best to reply! I hope that you have an amazing day and that I’ll see you back here soon!