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Welcome Stacey Beesley! (Posted On: Monday, February 09, 2009)

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mycollingwood.ca is proud to welcome the newest member of our team. Stacey Beesley is an up and coming photographer in our area that will be shooting for mycollingwood.ca. We are thrilled to have her as part of our team.

Stacey was born in Meaford and raised in Thornbury. She developed a strong interest in photography in high school well taking several media and art classes. This prompted her parents to buy her her first camera when she was 16, a Canon Rebel X.

Stacey always loved photography but only considered it as a hobby. It wasn’t until many years later while living in Toronto that she realized it was becoming much more than just a hobby. Though she still used the camera she was given back in high school she knew it would not last her much longer.


Her uncle, with whom she was a strong admirer of, owned a much newer version of the same camera and had a love for nature photography. He often showed her his most recent shots from the Muskokas where he resided, and encouraged her to pursue her passion. But tragedy came when her uncle unexpectedly lost his long battle with HIV. Stacey found herself at a cross road in life.

In the fall of 2005 a year after her uncle’s death she took his advice and began taking black and white film photography at George Brown College in down town Toronto. Finishing her first course with an A+ she was eager to keep going and continued registering for future courses.

When Christmas came that year she received the greatest gift she had ever been given. While opening her gift from her late uncle’s partner, her eyes welled up with tears, as she pulled his camera from its black leather case. Looking up in disbelief she saw her whole family staring at her with tears in their eyes and knew that this wonderful gift had truly been given to her.

With her uncles camera in hand she went on to complete the certificate program with honors. Almost immediately after finishing school Stacey and her husband moved out of the big smoke and back into small town life, preparing for the birth of their first child. One month later their son was born, and Stacey decided to take this time to focus not only on her new son but her photography. Now beautiful country side replaced concrete towers, and she found it virtually impossible to continue with black and white. Reconnecting to her first love, colour photography, was not a difficult choice to make. She began finding inspiration everywhere she looked. From the flowers in her mother’s garden to the red winged black birds that rested on lonely branches. Stacey was shooting almost daily, and working towards her first photography show. Her long time family friends at Piper’s in Thornbury were eager to help her with this mission. When opening night came one Saturday night in March, nobody would have anticipated the biggest storm of the year to come rolling in with it. Feeling very discouraged about what may come of this, Stacey was delighted when 12 of her 18 prints sold by the end of the week. With the apparent approval of her vision and a new found confidence in her work she felt that it was time to start up her own business.

With the support of her husband Salvador Hernandez, who currently teaches Judo at Barton’s dojo, they made the move from Heathcote to down town Collingwood in June of 2008. Two weeks later, with no time wasted, Stacey had registered her business. She began getting jobs at once, which were coming from word of mouth. Aiming to keep her cost low she made the hard decision to switch to digital, always keeping her trusty film camera close by. Slow yet steady she has been shooting everything from weddings, family portraits, expectant mothers, portfolios and her favourite “special request”. “Special request is when someone has a great let’s say “gift” idea in mind, and they hire me to go out and capture it, print it and frame it. I love it because it allows me to take somebody’s blind vision, a few key words and some imagination and create a face for it. I love that the client’s involved from the beginning and that I’m taking their idea and bringing life to it. I love going beyond their expectations and I love when they love it so much they order a copy for themselves, hahaha”.

Since starting her business Stacey has become a participant at Store 54 on Hurontario St. Stumbling across this great opportunity seemed like a blessing in disguise. Though Stacey loved the artistic aspect of her job she admissibly knew nothing about the business end of it. Since joining, Store 54 has teamed her up with a wonderful marketing mentor and a few essential courses to help her better understand her business. With her ever growing confidence and a new out look on what’s to come, Stacey is excited for the opportunities the New Year will be bringing and thankful for what the past year has brought.

You can catch some of Stacey’s work at the “Below the Radar” exhibit at the Collingwood Public Library at 100 Second Street on now until February 26th.

Welcome Stacey!

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