Friday, April 19, 2024
HomeCommunityWhy We Love This Place Wednesdays: Stephanie Blakeman

Why We Love This Place Wednesdays: Stephanie Blakeman

By Terra Avilla

I asked her to take photographs of me in my uniform. I wanted something that I can show my little girls when I am old and wrinkly. I wanted them to have nice pictures, and I knew that Stephanie could capture the feel and essence I was trying to portray.

However, as I stood in the middle of Stephanie Blakeman’s studio, the two of us talked and cherished the time we had with each other. I have known Stephanie for years, but this was the first time I was lucky enough to get her alone. Just me, her and her camera.

Stephanie Blakeman owns her own photography business. Taking beautiful, iconic pictures, as she photographs seniors, J&J Dancers, families, the Susanville Symphony, the cast of Dancing for a Brand New Me, etc.

No one can dispute the woman is a talented photographer. However, there is so much more to her than her skill with a camera. Stephanie is active in her faith and, more importantly, active in community and youth. Stephanie has been a foster mom as long as I have known her.

Now, I have a soft spot for anyone who takes the time and the commitment to foster children, however, I also know great foster parents when I see them. And Stephanie and her husband are great ones.

They usually foster slightly older children and teens, which can be difficult and trying at times. However, I have seen her interact with her foster children, and she does so with such compassion and skill, she truly has it down as a craft.

She is who they need, and who, once they are in her home for any length of time – who they all grow to love.

And how could you not love her? As I stood in her studio, the two of us conversed for well over an hour and she captivated me with her story. She is intelligent, and engaging, with just the right amount of sass.

Stephanie has a huge heart, which is evident in the volunteer work she does for her church, but also for nonprofits – like Lassen Family Services. She spends countless hours, helping the dancers feel like stars and editing pictures for promotional items.

She could be playing with her grandchildren or driving around in her beautiful little yellow sports car, but instead, she makes the time to find ways to give back to our community.

As I spoke with her the focus was less on my photographs and more on me just being inspired by this woman. This humble, kind, and wonderful woman is most certainly one of the reasons I love the place we live.

Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso Publisher/Editor
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