About me, which really means...

Hello friend! I'm Steph, and I'm so glad you found my little corner of the world. I believe in serving my couples with compassion, kindness and humanity.  My work has given me so many amazing opportunities from getting nationally published on huge wedding blogs to traveling around the US to serve amazing couples. It's truly a gift. 

But life hasn't always been like this. The story of how I got here is a hard one, and if you have time, settle in with a cup of coffee (or glass of wine;)) and scroll down to read all about it. If you don't have time and need the short version, that's OK! No hard feelings, you can find the short version   HERE!

"How I survived and grew through a really tough time in life and discovered what makes me come alive and decided to fully embrace who I am." 

"HOW I SURVIVED AND GREW THROUGH A REALLY TOUGH TIME IN LIFe, DISCOVERED WHAT MAKES ME COME ALIVE AND DECIDED TO FULLY EMBRACE WHO I AM." 

Hello friend! I'm Steph, and I'm so glad you found my little corner of the world. I believe in serving my couples with compassion, kindness and humanity. My work has given me so many amazing opportunities from getting nationally published on huge wedding blogs to traveling around the US to serve amazing couples. It's truly a gift. 

But life hasn't always been like this. The story of how I got here is a hard one, and if you have time, settle in with a cup of coffee (of glass of wine;)) and scroll down to read all about it. If you don't have time and need the short version, that's OK! No hard feelings, you can find the cliff notes: HERE!

About me (which really means...)

Amber

Favorite Scent

4w3

Enneagram 

Here is a sneak peek at my beautiful family. My husband, Brian, and our spunky, independent, bright little girls, Zoey & Gemma. 

ENTER

I grew up in Columbia, MO on a couple acres, just outside of town. My childhood was filled with the outdoors, exploring, make believe, bike rides, & climbing trees. I am the 5th, of 11 children in my family. You read that right, 11. And for as long as I can remember that single fact has caused awe and fear in people, all at once. No, there aren't any twins. Yes, we all have the same parents. No, none of us are adopted. 

There were always so many of us and all I wanted was to be noticed, stand out from everyone else and be approved of. If you are familiar with the Enneagram, I am a 4w3, which means I often feel the weight of the world and have a large amount of feelings and empathy, while also wanting to be noticed and congratulated for my achievements. 

My story...

INFP

Meyers Briggs

Snow Patrol, Patty Griffin, Judah and the Lion, Jess Ray, Leon Bridges

Favorite Music

Vodka/Gin & Tonic with extra lime. I'm a sucker for Greygoose. 

Drink Order

"getting comfortable in your own skin

growth and healing can happen"

AND EMBRACING YOUR OWN story, IS WHERE

I'm a midwestern girl. I was born and raised in Missouri, in the middle of the country, in the middle of a family, constantly looking for a way to break out of the norm, be different. Getting comfortable in your own skin and embracing your own story is where growth and healing can happen

Brian proposed and we started planning our wedding. For most brides, that would have been a happy joy-filled season of anticipation and love. For me, I had begun battling daily full-blown panic attacks and felt like my emotional world was caving in everyday. My anxiety was at an all time high. I assumed it was stress induced and would stop after the wedding so I was just waiting for it to be over. But the attacks didn't stop, they continued. 

6 months after we got married, we found out I was pregnant - And my world officially collapsed. This was unexpected, unplanned, and definitely not what I had wanted for my first year of marriage. We wanted a family, just not right then. I was devastated, and ashamed that I was devastated. 

I continued an intensely dark and silent battle with depression and anxiety, miraculously and safely delivered Zoey, and 5 months later found out I was pregnant again. Naively, I just didn't know that was physically possible. That next year was a blur, I don't remember my second pregnancy. I was in survival mode, grieving the loss of my dreams and my sense of self. I felt like a caged bird. I was severely depressed. 

Looking back, I wish I could tell my old self a few things I've come to believe. 

College & Marriage

My struggle with depression started at a really early age. When I had my first ever counseling session as an adult at age of 27 , I was asked to think of when I first felt sad and had suicidal thoughts. I told the counselor I remembered sitting on the rooftop of our family homestead garage and contemplating if anyone would come to my funeral or even know if I was gone. I was 11. 

I had no context, as a kid, for that type of sadness, and it would be a long time before I received help and tools to start my mental health journey. But we'll get to that... 



Fast forward 13 years. I made it through high-school and college with little issues, besides my underlying, untreated depression that I had learned was just a part of life at that point. I met Brian in college in Omaha, NE and we became close friends. He is this funny, quirky, cute, devil-may-care guy, and I was literally smitten from the moment we walked into the wrong classroom at the same time on the first day of class. 

We were pretty directionless in college, just job hopping from one lousy job to another. I was working in business and finance (an extremely left brain job for my right brain self) and Brian was working a couple part time jobs.

Continued...

01

Everything happens for a reason

A few things I believe...

The really hard part

02

feelings are not facts

A few things I believe...

03

be kind to yourself, change is hard. 

A few things I believe...

04

It's ok to be scared, you don't have to go it alone.  

A few things I believe...

i.

II.

We moved to St. Louis to start Brian's grad school in January of 2015. Gemma was 4 weeks old, Zoey was 13 months old. I'm pretty sure people thought we were crazy. Maybe we were, but we were also searching for direction, and purpose, and we both felt like we needed a change. During that first lonely year, I hopped from one enterprise to another - selling paintings, making girls hair bows for an Etsy shop, flipping and restoring furniture. All of this I fit into the suffocating four walls of our little 2 bedroom apartment with 2 kids under the age of 2. I was desperately trying to find myself. Something was missing, some purpose outside the home, that could fill me up so I could cope with the storm inside me. 

I loved my girls, but being stuck at home felt like a death sentence to my severely depressed brain. 

I started going to counseling in February of 2016, and for the first time, I found the words to describe and name my depression and anxiety. I remember sitting in my counselors office silently sobbing, feeling known and seen for the first time in my life. I wasn't crazy. These feelings weren't normal. I made sense, and what I was experiencing was valid. Feeling like this wasn't just a part of life. There was hope. 

And so I emerged, slowly and painfully from my cocoon of depression, with the help of counselors, doctors, and my husband. I began the hard work of changing my thought patterns and the way I spoke to myself, unlearning a lot of poor coping skills and life lessons I grew up with. 


I wasn't healed overnight.  I still struggle with anxiety, and have to choose good habits daily. I still go to counseling because there's so many things to work on in all of us and it's a form a self care. I began to find creative avenues of self-care. Things that made me happy, and made me see the world in a brighter light. That's when I got my first camera. 

I’m not saying photography saved me, in all reality counseling probably saved my life along with a whole lot of grace, but when I picked up a camera and started taking pictures of my kids in our everyday life, I began to experience freedom to create something beautiful in the everyday, ritualistic, often overlooked and mundane existence of being a mom.

The effect snowballed as I threw myself into creating with my camera and friends and family started asking me to take photos of their loved ones and special moments. A deep, deep love and conviction grew inside me to not only create beautiful pictures, but to give my clients something that meant so much to me during my hard season: eyes to see the beauty and meaning in small things.

 That’s why I photograph touch, feelings, and movement - because when I was sad, those things gave me hope that even when you feel at your worst, your life and your people are beautifully precious: you just need someone to show you what you can’t see through the dark. 

Since that season I have...

NEXT

BUILT A successful AND thriving PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO

GROWN IN compassion AND empathy FOR THOSE WITH MENTAL HEALTH STRUGGLES

BEEN nationally AND locally PUBLISHED 

LEARNED THE VALUE OF LIVING slowly AND intentionally

CONNECTED WITH AND SERVED THE MOST amazing, grace filled couples

III.

IV.

This is probably the beginning of the hard part. 

Brian proposed and we started planning our wedding. For most of my brides, that would have been a happy joy-filled season of anticipation and love. For me, I had begun battling daily full-blown panic attacks and felt like my emotional world was caving in. My anxiety was at an all time high. I assumed it was stress induced and would stop after the wedding so I was just waiting for it to be over. The attacks didn't stop, they continued. 

6 months after we got married, we found out I was pregnant - And my world officially collapsed. This was unexpected, unplanned, and definitely not what I had wanted for my first year of marriage. We wanted a family, just not right then. I was devastated, and ashamed that I was devastated. 

I continued an intensely dark and silent battle with depression and anxiety, miraculously and safely delivered Zoey, and 5 months later found out I was pregnant again. Naively, I just didn't know that was physically possible. That next year was a blur, I don't remember my second pregnancy. I was in survival mode, grieving the loss of my dreams and my sense of self. I felt like a caged bird. I was severely depressed. 

Looking back, I wish I could tell my old self a few things I've come to believe. 

College & Marriage

My struggle with depression started at a really early age. When I had my first ever counseling session as an adult at age of 27 , I was asked to think of when I first felt sad and had suicidal thoughts. I told the counselor I remembered sitting on the rooftop of our family homestead garage and contemplating if anyone would come to my funeral or even know if I was gone. I was 11. 

I had no context, as a kid, for that type of sadness, and It would be a long time before I received help and tools to start my mental health journey. But we'll get to that... 



Fast forward 13 years. I made it through high-school and college with little issues, besides my underlying, untreated depression that I had learned was just a part of life at that point. I met Brian in college in Omaha, NE and we became close friends. He is this this funny, quirky, cute, devil-may-care guy, and I was literally smitten from the moment we walked into the wrong classroom at the same time on the first day of class. 

We were pretty directionless in college, just job hopping from one lousy job to another. I was working business and finance (an extremely left brain job for my right brain self) and Brian was working a couple part time jobs. We were, essentially, directionless. 

Continued

01

Everything
happens for
a reason

NEXT

A few things I believe...

02

Feelings are
not facts

NEXT

A few things I believe...

03

Be Kind to 
Yourself, 
Change is 
Hard

NEXT

A few things I believe...

04

It's Ok to be
scared, you
don't have to
go it alone

NEXT

A few things I believe...

We moved to St. Louis to start Brian's grad school in January of 2015. Gemma was 4 weeks old, Zoey was 13 months old. I'm pretty sure people thought we were crazy. Maybe we were, but we were also searching for direction, and purpose, and we both felt like we needed a change. During that first lonely year, I hopped from one enterprise to another - selling paintings, making girls hair bows for an Etsy shops, flipping and restoring furniture. All of this I fit into the suffocating four walls of our little 2 bedroom apartment with 2 kids under the age of 2. I was desperately trying to find myself. Something was missing, some purpose outside the home, that could fill me up so I could cope with the storm inside me. 

I loved my girls, but being stuck at home felt like a death sentence to my severely depressed brain. 

I started going to counseling in February of 2016, and for the first time, I found the words to describe and name my depression and anxiety. I remember sitting in my counselors office silently sobbing, feeling known and seen for the first time in my life. I wasn't crazy. These feelings weren't normal. I made sense, and what I was experiencing was valid. Feeling like this wasn't just a part of life. There was hope. 

And so I emerged, slowly and painfully from my cocoon of depression, with the help of counselors, doctors, and my husband. I began the hard work of changing my thought patterns and the way I spoke to myself, unlearning a lot of poor coping skills and life lessons I grew up with. 


I wasn't healed overnight.  I still struggle with anxiety, and have to choose good habits daily. I still go to counseling because there's so many things to work on in all of us and it's a form a self care. I began to find creative avenues of self-care. Things that made me happy, and made me see the world in a brighter light. That's when I got my first camera. 

I’m not saying photography saved me, in all reality counseling probably saved my life along with a whole lot of grace, but when I picked up a camera and started taking pictures of my kids in our everyday life, I began to experience freedom to create something beautiful in the everyday, ritualistic, often overlooked and mundane existence of being a mom.

The effect snowballed as I threw myself into creating with my camera and friends and family started asking me to take photos of their loved ones and special moments. A deep, deep love and conviction grew inside me to not only create beautiful pictures, but to give my clients something that meant so much to me during my hard season: eyes to see the beauty and meaning in small things.

 That’s why I photograph touch, feelings, and movement - because when I was sad, those things gave me hope that even when you feel at your worst, your life and your people are beautifully precious: you just need someone to show you what you can’t see through the dark. 

Since that season I've...

NEXT

as seen on

My desire for you on your wedding day and every day before and after, is to experience freedom to be yourself, to grow from hard things, and to flourish where you are called.

Mine is a story still in the making. But I am honestly so, so thankful for where I've come from, and where I am. My struggle with depression and anxiety has cultivated my love and conviction for finding beautiful things in everyday people and their stories.

Ok, it's a messy story right? Are you surprised I'm putting all this out there? I am not going to lie, I was a little nervous about that too, but the core of what I do is about transparency, humanity and telling stories, even my own, honestly. And that means that we share the good with the bad. We don't do perfection here, we do real honest human connection. 


My desire as your photographer is to remind you of the incredible gift you are, and to be your eyes to capture all the beauty you have created in your story. 

Mine is a story still in the making. But I am honestly so, so thankful for where I've come from, and where I am. My struggle with depression and anxiety has cultivated my love and conviction for finding beautiful things in everyday people and their stories.

Ok, it's a messy story right? Are you surprised I'm putting all this out there? I am not going to lie, I was a little nervous about that too, but the core of what I do is about transparency, humanity and telling stories, even my own, honestly. And that means that we share the good with the bad. We don't do perfection here, we do real honest human connection. 


"With Steph, you get so much more than pretty photos. You get her personality. Her heart. Her creativity. And you get the real you and your real emotions in those gorgeous photographs."

Kind words

From kind people

first things first, i'm a real person

Here for the short version!?

01

I make a mean breakfast taco


02

My dream trip is to visit the irish countryside

02

My dream trip it so visit the irish countryside


03

I have a plant addiction, they make me so happy. 

03

I have  a plant addiction, they make me so happy.


04

I once broke both my arms, at the same time.

04

I once broke both my arms, at the same time.


05

Compassion and kindness toward others are A big deal to me

05

Compassion and kindness toward others are a big deal to me


06

I have ten siblings, i'm in the middle at number 5

06

I have ten siblings, i'm in the middle at number 5


07

Most people don't know that I have played guitar for 15+ years

07

i have played guitar for 15+ years


08

my favorite place on earth is my parents' back porch

08

My favorite place on earth is my parents' back porch

NEXT

8 things you might not know about me

PREVIOUS

Steph

Brian

Zoey & Gemma

INFP, 4w3, wife, mom, photographer and musician. I love tacos, creating beautiful things, intentional conversations and a good cup of coffee on the back deck.

INTJ, Enneagram 1, still figuring out the wing. Avid board gamer, fiction reader, pipe & tabacco connoisseur. Tender and compassionate dad and husband. Cleans the house while blasting ACDC. 

Personalities and enneagram, TBD. Spunky, artistic, and adventurous little nuggets. Zoey loves all things beautiful, and can find a wildflower in a sea of weeds. Gemma is athletic and goofy and loves to snuggle. 

If you're reading this and this transparency and human-ness resonated with you, I'd love to hear from you. I so value who you are, what you've been through, and will do my utmost to document your story with dignity and beauty, no matter what it looks like. 

If you'd like a story teller like me there, on your wedding day, or whatever season you find yourself in, I'd be honored. You have my attention. Say hello below. 

Stories matter

As you can see, I'm all about transparency. My story is a little bumpy - but, like yours, it's beautiful in its flaws and redemption. I'd love to hear yours. 

Say hello

I'd love to hear from you! You can reach me via the contact form or via email at hello@stepheniemasat.com

My business hours are 10-4 Monday - Friday

Send me a message