David Stanley said he has always enjoyed photography but never considered it as a viable career.
His photography career began when he took photos of his best friend’s wife, who was diagnosed with cancer, and her daughter.
After this, a woman reached out to him to take her wedding photos. He was paid $2,000 to photograph the wedding—just enough to cover the price of the gear necessary to take the photos. That year, five more brides asked him to photograph their weddings.
“When people were paying the prices they were paying for me to do it, it was almost like, ‘Well why not try to do this as a living?’” Stanley said. “I say it just sort of fell into my lap.”
Stanley officially started DC Stanley Photography in 2010 and moved to his Friendswood address in 2019. Stanley is a Friendswood native, making the city an obvious choice for where to move his business. As the business is part of the downtown district, Stanley and his family are able to live in the top floor of their building, with the bottom floor operating as the DC Stanley Photography studio.
“We are the definition of ‘live here, work here,’” Stanley said.
Prior to working from home, Stanley worked at a strip center. One of the perks of working in Friendswood at his own building is the ability to tailor the space to the business’s needs. The business has a pool for underwater photography, one of the services Stanley offers. He is also planning ahead and has planted a garden, which includes Italian Cypress Trees and Goldenrods, for portraits in a few years.
While Stanley offers portraits at the studio, most of his business comes from shooting weddings and events.
Stanley has entered his work in different contests and has been acknowledged both nationally and internationally. Stanley said he not only has his work entered but also listens to how the judges critique other contestants as well.
“It’s a lot of pressure. The judges pick it apart,” Stanley said.
While Stanley loves the freedom that comes with owning his own business, there are challenges, including keeping up with changing technology, he said. Despite the changes around him, Stanley’s style stays the same.
“I am who I am, and I am not going to change the certain style or look. I have never changed it. It’s always been the same,” Stanley said.
316 Morningside Drive, Friendswood