Updated: Jan 19
Alpena, MI - January 2023
For January's local creative highlight, we are highlighting Steve Jakubcin. Steve is an outstanding photographer and videographer local to Alpena, Michigan.
Steve grew his passion for photography through his place of employment. Ever since, he has been able to not only love what he does but also he now teaches workshops to make photography easier for the average person. Keep reading to learn more about Steve and what makes him so unique!
Steve Jakubcin, is a 47-year-old creator that resides in Alpena, MI who enjoys creating digital work in both photography and videography space. He really grew in his photography over the past several years at his place of employment, Cliff Anschuetz Chevrolet. While documenting vehicles and finding creative ways to attract new customers, Steve also started a Youtube Channel in August 2019 that started his journey into videography.
While he still does traditional video work, much of what he creates now is done for short-form, social media platforms like Tiktok, Instagram Reels, and Youtube Shorts. He also has done some editing for larger influencers on the side.
Photography has been a way for Steve to disconnect and decompress by exploring our surrounding areas. As much as he enjoys taking photos, getting out from behind the computer screen, and taking in a healthy dose of exercise and fresh air, often then inspires him to document the area he is exploring. This combination is often what he tries to convey in his work. Steve makes getting out and exploring year-round a priority to not only his physical well-being but more importantly his mental and emotional well-being.
Recently, Steve has been working on making photography easier for the average person and enjoys teaching workshops and giving tips on what he’s learned on his social media platforms. This past year he’s taught workshops with both Art in the Loft and the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce and has more workshops coming soon with both, so keep an eye out for that.
To learn more about Steve you can find him by searching Hey It’s Me Steve or his media page, If It Ain’t Bokeh Don’t Fix It, on Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, and Youtube.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your creative pursuit.
My name is Steve Jakubcin and I live in Alpena, MI. I really got my start at my job, Cliff Anschuetz Chevrolet where I help take pictures and sell Chevrolets. After a while, I decided to create videos to help sell and market vehicles. Through that process I had different people ask me to help out with different projects which have led me to where I am currently. At the beginning of 2023 I was promoted to Digital Retail Manager and have continued to grow my small media business: If It Ain't Bokeh Don't Fix It.
2. Have individuals from the community been supportive of you through the process?
So many. The most important person has been my wife who has constantly encouraged and cheered for me. The next would be my good friends Rick and Brad who have been tremendous in supporting me and giving me feedback when I am unsure. Lastly, my team at Cliff Anschuetz has been incredible as well as they have supported me and encouraged me to continue to push myself and grow.
3. How do you stay motivated and find inspiration in the community despite potentially limited resources?
I actually find it the opposite. I get overwhelmed sometimes by all the different things we can draw upon. On top of that, we have so many talented artists in our area to find inspiration from like Mariah at Lovely Little Lettering or my friend Larry shooting local landscapes. It's easy to think that it should come from art or fellow artists but I get just as much inspiration from my wife fighting her Autoimmune Disease, my boss Jamie heading to school so she can take over her family business, or my buddy Rick's wife Meag who is leading the charge to clean up and protect our Great Lakes. It's all around us.
4. Would you say that finding success was more difficult, less difficult, or about what was expected given the location of Northeast Michigan?
A little bit of both. I think there is less competition just because there is less population, but I think it's easy to take all the artists in Northeast Michigan putting in work for granted. It's tough as I think that one of the most rewarding things for an artist is seeing people appreciate and recognize your talent, and some of that recognition, unfortunately, does come in monetary form. Not properly compensating artists isn't just unique to our community; this is a common thing worldwide.
5. How do you think your ability to be creative in the face of challenges can be inspiring to those who might also want to try their hand in this space?
There is a saying in the creative space that says if you're not looking back at your work from 5 years ago and not cringing you're not pushing yourself enough and I can fully relate to this. I think a lot of what I made not too long ago embarrasses me, but that's just because I've gotten better. I think there is absolute, 1,000,000% value in just showing up and putting in the work. Trying something new and failing. Learning from what went wrong and then trying it all over again. Everyone has to start somewhere and I think there's no better time to go for it than right now. Especially in our local community, our fellow creatives can be incredibly encouraging! Hit one of them up and you'll be surprised how happy they'll be to help. I'm always honored when someone thinks to ask me for some advice or help.
The Sunset Project seeks to elevate every creative in the community regardless of subject or outlet. The ideologies and beliefs found within creative pieces are those of the artists, not necessarily The Sunset Project as an organization.