Steph Pate, Unraveled | An Interview

We are stoked to share our interview with Steph Pate with you all today. Located in sunny San Diego, Steph is not only a super active student and member of our community but she also created a beautiful little lesson on children's portraiture within our Academy. Oh, and the best part? We got to squeeze her in real life at the Unraveled Retreat in Utah. Soooo, let's just say, we are going to keep her...forever. Her work is classic and powerful and her vibes are rad. 

To view Steph's course and enroll in the Academy, please go HERE. 

For more inspiration from Steph: 

Instagram | Facebook


What do you love to shoot most? : I love to capture ALL moments. The good, the bad, everything. Anything that evokes emotions or a memory. I want to freeze that moment forever in a frame.

What inspires your art? : My family is my biggest inspiration. I am a mother to 3 beautiful girls, both my husband and I grew up in a single parent homes. We didn't possess many photos from our childhoods and I wanted to change this. I wanted amazing photos for my girls to share with their kids when they grew up! 
Historical art and photography is another source of inspiration for me. I do try to incorporate that inspiration into my shoots . l enjoy creating photos that spark that sense of nostalgia from my own childhood. I find myself constantly being able to evolve in this way and always, always happy with my shoots.

What do you shoot with?: Nikon D850 & Nikkon 35mm 1.4

What other ways do you express your creativity?: I was a seamstress once! I used to own a small childrens' clothing shop and from time to time I will sew something for the girls. I also love working with flowers! Making flower crowns ("haku" lei's- "haku" is basically a Hawaiian flower crown)) or flower lei's. It's a Polynesian past time that I thoroughly enjoy doing when I have the extra time to- lots of pictures happen usually along with that too.

How do you de-stress at the end of the day?: YOOO! Yoga & surfing keeps me grounded! I like walks on the beach too, or maybe even eat a brownie :P Glass of wine. I guess it just depends on how stressful the day. I do really try at some point during the day and take at least 5 min to meditate and be present in the moment; be conscious to receive and release energy. My 5 min mommy "time-out".

What kind of music do you listen to while editing?: It depends on what I am editing,I could honestly go for classic rock all day- love Fleetwood Mac! I will drop in Adele, Kiiara, Goldfrapp, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bob Marley- ya it's a bit of a mix. I love all music really. Anything that just makes you want to get up and dance is good editing music to me.

What is your favorite book?: Rupi Kaur - "The Sun and her Flowers"
"Big Magic" - Elizabeth Gilbert

Name one movie that inspires you.: Goonies - Steven Speilberg - Epic 80's classic

How do you handle self-doubt or creative slumps?: Just keep shooting through it. Something will come. But do not put that camera down.

What has been the most difficult part of your creative journey?: The most difficult part of my photography journey was trying to stay authentic to myself and not make comparisons to other works. It became important to me to try to keep focus and learn to build my own self confidence. If I could give my younger photographer self advice, it would be shoot what you love, don't compare yourself to others, believe in your work, shoot for light first- subject second and hit every angle for all the shots. Don't ever be afraid to try anything new and most of all, have fun just doing your thing.

Who is one of your favorite photographers?: Vivian Maier, Saul Leiter, Twyla Jones, Henry Benson, Marilyn Mugot, Brooke Shaden, Anka Zhuravleva, Adi Dekel