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Behind the Lense with Stephanie Soto

Updated: Feb 22

Stephanie Soto of SXCLUSIVE Media


woman holding camera for a self portrait
Meet the creator behind the image, the artist in the details, + the woman behind the brand.

 

My Side Hustle is My Day Job

Stephanie Soto is the driving force behind SXCLUSIVE Media. In her photos and videos, whether curated or candid, she captures moments with a combination of lighting, geometry, and inspiration. Bringing out the depths of her subjects, she’s created a space for her unique voice and vision, and will stop at nothing to accomplish her goals. 


Starting her own business brought  on a slew of new pressures, challenges, and victories but, like all good creators, she is constantly on the move


“I’ve always got YouTube up, trying to learn something new. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, I’m multitasking and learning new skills. Or I’m working on editing some little thing and getting it off my plate. “



Woman lying back with the sun shining through the window

Magic Behind the Scenes

Bridging the gap between creator and model holds a deep significance for Stephanie. She finds inspiration in fellow artists who portray the intricacies of their craft, capturing not only the final product but the entire journey – from video shoots to behind-the-scenes moments.


The authenticity to her approach distinguishes her as an artist with a profound understanding of the creative process.


Embracing a mantra of self-belief, Stephanie shares her evolution, acknowledging a shift in focus from self-doubt to embracing her unique personality.


“I put “believe in yourself” because I was so in my head last year being embarrassed: “Oh my god should I post, should I tag this brand, this business? I put a lot of self photography and videos, but I want to market myself more this year. Show more of my personality. I was showing a lot of my art but not who I was.”


Like most entrepreneurs, she has learned which ones to don at the right time, adapting as clients need.



On her accomplishments + aspirations:


“First off, I asked myself, ‘Who is Stephanie?’ The introspection’s important; I’m going very delulu this year. My bio, I changed it: I put lead creator, photography, film, producer, director, designer, event coordinator. Why not? I did all that and I’m going to do more.”


On the importance of nuanced client relationships: 


“Some clients don’t want to be the face of their own company. They don’t want to record or film anything. That’s OK with me. I’ll go to crazy lengths for my clients, like one time I said, “I won’t even look at you.” I just hit record on the camera and let them do their thing. It's like OK, I can make you look good in the edits. That’s what I do.”


On her unique style:

“I’m working on picking my next client; I’m trying to choose the right model. I'd rather work with the models just because I'd like to be taking photos of the models as they get ready, behind the scenes. The creators I tend to look up to are really behind the scenes, they video shoot, they stay to shoot behind the scenes and then they edit on top of all that. There’s so many components to this, and I’m constantly evolving as I go.”




The Strategy of Catalytic Creation


A glimpse into Stephanie's updated bio reveals both the extensive roles she assumes and her aspirations in the coming year: lead creator, photographer, filmmaker, producer, director, designer, storyteller, and event coordinator.


This list speaks volumes about her versatility and the breadth of her skills, showcasing Stephanie as a true creative polymath.


Stephanie's commitment to her clients goes beyond conventional expectations. Her style goes beyond a single genre or inspired take. Her work ethic permeates into every aspect of her life and it shows in the clean, professional images, videos, and performances she elicits from her subjects.



Lighting/Setup: @kimmiec @lunaprincess_ & Makeup Artist: @loressajo


As she navigates through a landscape both made for and resistant to new business owners, finding new footholds and avenues to shine is top of mind for Stephanie:


“[I did] this simple video for that band, and I was like, ‘I’m not just into streetwear! I do other things too! Yes, I like hip hop and rap but I’ve also got different tastes!’ It was me showing what I can do as a creator, and I’m creating new ideas from those experiences.” 


Her mantra, "Rejection is redirection," reflects her resilient mindset, redirecting setbacks into opportunities for creative growth. The world is trying to turn us all into gig workers, so the savvy are rebranding themselves into freelancers, contract employees, and business owners.


SXCLUSIVE Media is a product of that world, and owner Stephanie Soto is declaring with each new project that her company, vision, and influence are here to stay.


Go check her work out, and let her know what you think. 


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Based in Phoenix, Arizona, Stephanie is a creative filmmaker and video editor supporting film and content creation of all sizes. She has developed a passion for documenting community lifestyle, fashion, and events, bringing any moment to life. Stephanie fell in love with art at a very young age, vividly recalling her first digital art class at the age of 13, never imagining that over a decade later, she would be pursuing this passion full-time. From Los Angeles and Las Vegas to Phoenix, Stephanie has showcased her creative photography and editing skills. Additionally, she possesses expertise in office coordination/organization, contributing to the productivity and efficiency of production teams.

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