Looking vs. Seeing

In the Frame

We all want to be heard or seen by someone- recognized for the space we hold on this earth- and valued for not just what we do, but why we do it. I am passionate about doing just that for the people that come into my life.

The human experience is rarely a solitary one, yet it is so unique to each person even within a family. How we experience life and what we bring forward to others changes with time and the people we are with. I see you, the individual and you, the unit; and I'm honored to be there to document all of it.

boy puts hands up on Slinky Dog
grandfather shows grandsons how to make greek cookies
It Matters

Philosophy

I truly believe there is more value in the everyday moments than in the forced smiles of standard portraits. An annual family portrait session specifically designed to get you an image for a holiday card will capture what you all looked like that year.

A day-in-the-life session will capture what it feels like to be your family at this stage in your lives together. A vacation session will allow you to live in and for the moment with the people you love most, without the worry of having these memories saved forever.

For all these reasons and more, I started a studio focused on delivering beautiful, authentic, real moment imagery that makes for 100% unique, heirloom art pieces.

How Photography Became My Why

I grew up with a camera in hand, looking for ways to capture those in my life in an artistic, yet honest way. My dad owned a photography studio and gifted me my first Nikon SLR at 16- I still have that F4 in my collection.

I spent the last decade documenting love stories under the Sona Photography brand. As I ventured further along in my own journey, I found that there is so much more to a person’s story leading up to and beyond their wedding day. There is beauty in moving into your first adult space on your own, in sharing breakfast with your family at home on a rainy Saturday, or when you’re lost in your own creative world producing something special for the perfect customer.

Why Documentary Specifically?

When you’re a photographer you’re always the one holding the camera and making the tough decision to capture it or to live it. Thanks to technology, we’re all photographers making that tough decision day-in and day-out. And, as parents, it really stinks to not be in or be an active part of those memories.

This was really true for my dad. He worked hard every year so we could take an annual trip to Walt Disney World. He has always been a huge fan of Walt- admiring his innovation and perseverance. We would leave right as Erie, PA had a solid four feet of snow on the ground and make the 16 hour drive down I-95.

All of those years with a camera in his hand, and not one picture exists today of the two of us together having fun in the park. Those memories were a big reason why I moved to Orlando as an adult, and the key reason why I wanted to capture real moments for other families.

photo by Aura Lux Photography

owner of The Inspired Storytellers, Stephana Ferrell

A Little of the Personal

I spent my early adult years living in different parts of the US- at one point I lived in seven states within five years. On my third move to Orlando it became home. I met my husband on my first ever date on Match.com in 2008. We married in 2011, and our boys followed in 2013 and 2015. 

I would like to say that I’m a neat and tidy person, but if you showed up at my house today, it would probably be in a very shameful state. I try to keep up, but it’s utterly impossible and there are so many better ways for me to enjoy my time with my family.

If I had to cast a celebrity to play me in a movie about my life, I would be honored to have Tina Fey in that role. I love everything she creates and how she has balanced being a high-achieving female, an involved parent, and an all around awesome human. She coincidentally is another Greek woman that rocks glasses most days.

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