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Meet Trailblazer Stephanie Cepero

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Cepero.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Stephanie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Even as a young girl I always loved the idea of photography and videos. Life is a collection of moments, some that we want to hold on to forever and having those moments photographed to look to in the future will always transport you back to those memories. So, what got me into pursuing photography professionally? I think it was something I had been trying to do for some time, but after my mom passed, I realized just how important those photos really are, not only because they serve as a reminder of those treasured memories and loved ones, but really they stand as the legacy of those loved ones for generations to come.

Which brings me to what I love most about photography, it’s the people in front of the lens. There is something so inspiring about getting to know a person’s story. How many stories can one person tell? Stories of their memories, their struggles, their accomplishments, their loved ones, their businesses, their love, their life. It’s an honor and privilege to be a part of telling their story.

Has it been a smooth road?
I don’t think it is ever a smooth road when you are starting a business, so don’t let it the lows discourage you. There were a lot of times when I first started this business that I was investing without seeing a return. There were a lot of free shots for family and friends to build my portfolio which was a lot of long days shooting and a lot of late nights editing. With that being said, I learned quickly not to devalue myself and my industry by shooting for free for others. I had to remind myself my time is worth more than that.

When I started Murals of Mercy, I understood that as a photographer I have the responsibility to capture a person’s most treasured moments in an authentic way. If you are hiring a photographer, chances are that it’s because you are honoring something of great importance in your life- memories captured that feel like genuine art to you, and authentic moments that become a mural of your life’s story. As the person behind the camera that pressure can sometimes feel crippling but you have to remember, if your heart ‘s in it, it will show in your work.

If you believe in something, you have to fight for it, and if you are going to believe in anything, believe in yourself. If you have dreams, chase them, don’t be complacent. You were made to be more than that and there is nothing better than watching all of your hard work come to fruition.

We’d love to hear more about Murals of Mercy.
Murals of Mercy (or MoM for short) was named after my sweet mami, and inspired by Jesus. My mom’s name was Mercedes, but she always preferred Mercy. She was my role model and my best friend- a real example of how to make lemonade when life hands you lemons. I strive to live every day by her example. The inspiration behind Murals of Mercy was the love of Jesus. The Bible tells us that God’s mercies are new every day, and we are blessed to walk in His mercy. My hope is that the photos I take will stand as a testament to the hand of God in our lives.

I think as a photographer in a big city like Miami, with so many phenomenal photographers and creatives, what sets you apart is your vision. As creatives, we all have our own style of shooting, editing, locations, and even what we specialize in. You know what they say, your vibe attracts your tribe, and it’s true. The vision and style you have will be a good fit for some clients while maybe not so much for others, and you learn with time that, that’s okay.

So much of the media coverage is focused on the challenges facing women today, but what about the opportunities? Do you feel there are any opportunities that women are particularly well positioned for?
I feel like as women we have always been taught and prepared to face those obstacles which is exactly where our opportunities stems from. We have had generations of strong women before us set the foundation for change, we can learn so much from our past and have the future in our hands. As women, the most important opportunity we have is to empower other women. We may all have different priorities, passions, values, religions, cultures, and even dreams for the future, but the best way to create a place for the generations of women to come is by working together to make the world a better place for people everywhere.

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Image Credit:
Murals of Mercy

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