Meet Steveo Spirals of Spirals Photography in Tempe
Thanks for sharing your story with us Steveo. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have had a hard road to get to where I’m at today. When I was five my mom died and I started experiencing horrible emotional anguish and didn’t fully know why. When I was ten my dad gave me away. My aunt and grandma adopted me and I came to live in Arizona then. I’ve loved taking pictures ever since I was 15. My aunt’s friend who was a professional photographer took me to the desert with a disposable camera and started to open my mind to the possibilities through a lens. Shortly after that, I went back to live in Tennessee with my dad again and not more than a few months living with me he decided to send me away to a secret prison for kids in the middle of nowhere for about a year where I was abused and tortured. After that, I started to struggle hard with drugs and spent many years addicted to heroin until I got sober finally for the last time in 2012. It’s been a long arduous process to get to where I’m at today, owning two businesses, my own house, and the ability to travel and see the world.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
One of the biggest struggles I faced was acquiring skills after I squandered so many of my prime years of being addicted to drugs. When I finally got my life together and cleaned up one of the worst tragedies in my life was yet to come. Remember when I mentioned my aunt and grandma who adopted me? In 2016 my aunt died suddenly with no warning of a rare autoimmune disorder called Addison’s disease. I got a call from a detective on the morning of January 30th saying Ms. Laveson had been discovered dead in her home. I thought the detective was referring to my grandmother who was in her 80’s. When he said no I’m talking about Nina, it hit me harder than anything in my life ever had. I let out a bone chilling scream. I lost it. I could not stop crying. My aunt was the human I loved more than anyone in the whole world and she had just died. I couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t real. The next few months were the hardest I’ve ever been through. It broke me down. Six months after that my grandmother passed as well. It was the most difficult year of my life.
Please tell us about your business.
In the coming years after the deaths of my most cherished loved ones, I started to see the world very differently. I decided to follow my dreams and become the person I had always been meant to be. I had developed extensive digital marketing skills over the years and decided to turn that into a business. I started my first company at the end of 2017 with Danielle Petty. We were doing one specific kind of digital marketing known as pay per click advertising due to our backgrounds as Google contractors. Shortly after that, we merged with another agency called Digital Radar that did all the things we weren’t great at so that we could become a powerhouse. During the time of startup growth for the agency, I rediscovered my love for photography as well. I started shooting all the time whenever I had a chance In my spare time when I wasn’t working on client accounts with digital radar. I learned very quickly that the portraits were my favorite. I liked working with people. Then learned that my pain and trauma guided my creative direction. It was healing for me. I’d also discovered that it was healing for not only the people I was shooting with but for people who were perceiving it. I felt constantly inspired and needed to bring ideas into the world. I seem to attract the people in my life who have also been through a lot. Those are the people I relate with the most and people feel comfortable with me to express themselves truly. It makes for a pretty incredible combination.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest moment has been starting to become recognized for my work and affecting people emotionally. I get messages all the time about how this piece meant a lot or how much my work inspires them. That is all I want is to heal and inspire. If I can continue to do that with my work then that is much more than I could ever ask for. I’m so honored and humbled to be a conduit for art. I always cherish every person who trusts me enough to work with me.
- Website: Spiralsphotography.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/spiralsphotography/
- Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/spiralsphotography