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‘I’m a Dreamer’: Lindsay Steele Turns Her Passion for Photography into the Longview Business She Loves | Local

Editor’s Note: October is Small Business Month for Women. This is part of a series of stories about local women-owned businesses.

Lindsay Steele is living a dream.

The owner of Lindsay Steele Photography recently released “Dream in Color,” a book filled with her unique and colorful portraits inspired by pop culture, books, and movies.

“It’s like the creative work of me and my friends,” Steele said of the joint effort of herself and her makeup artist, model and hairstylist friends. “We did something together. He’s my baby and I’m really proud of him.

However, being a successful photographer, author, and business owner was not the dream Steele originally dreamed for herself.

After graduating from high school, Steele attended East Texas Baptist University. When she graduated in music in 2010, she also received a gift from her father: a brand new Canon Rebel digital camera.

Steele began teaching choir at Gilmer High School. Over the next five years, however, the White Oak native who grew up cutting Annie Leibovitz’s photographs from Vogue magazine and hanging them on her walls said her interest in photography grew.

“I just started playing with it, and it became something that I really liked,” she said. “I think it’s in my blood, but I didn’t realize it until later.”

Steele said that in 2014 she began collaborating with others to create stylish portraits. It was then that she realized that she had fallen madly in love with photography.

“I’ve never loved anything so much,” she said. “A lot of people get tired of their job, but I never get tired of it. I love it, it’s like my soul mate.

It was also at this time that she realized that she wanted to make photography her job.

“I loved my students, but I wasn’t happy,” she said, “and I wanted to do something that gave me joy. Photography did that, and I think the shots stylish views made me realize that I could do fun stuff – make a business out of it and still be creative.

In 2015, Steele quit her teaching career and made photography her full-time job. Two years later, she opened her Tyler Street studio in downtown Longview.

Steele said she’s never encountered a “glass ceiling” as a photographer.

“Women are more comfortable with women, and most of my clients are women,” she said. “So I feel like female photographers have an advantage over male photographers.”

Steele said his toughest challenge was being a solo show.

“Being one of mine – not having a clone,” she says. “It’s just me, so having to balance everything is sometimes difficult.”

Steele said she enjoys the freedom to create her own schedule, but has to be careful not to fall behind on her work. Many clients don’t realize that one hour behind the camera brings five or six more hours behind a computer to edit the footage.

Steele said her father owned a business, so she knew there would be things she needed to learn on the business side. With the help of fellow photographers – and through trial and error – she was able to find solutions to her professional problems.

“As a creative, I would say the business side is the hardest part, but I make it work,” she said.

“I’m a dreamer. When I discovered photography, I loved it so much that I didn’t feel like there was anything I couldn’t do. So don’t let anyone hold you back” Steele said, “Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do it. People close to me told me I should move to a bigger city to do what I wanted to do, but if you believe in you can do anything.