We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Cheri Anderson. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Cheri below.
Cheri, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. Can you open up about a risk you’ve taken – what it was like taking that risk, why you took the risk and how it turned out?
There are always opportunities surrounding you. The question that haunts us all is if we’ll take the risk and try something different or new. Are we smart enough? Strong enough? Carry enough determination? All these questions flash through our brains before taking the leap. Well, at least for me they did when considering launching my own photography business. Although I’ve had formal education in photography, I was the mom of three young children and had spent the last several years taking care of them; being their personal assistants, chef, and chauffeur. It was after one of their sporting events that a dad suggested that I get back into photography professionally. This hadn’t really crossed my mind, but after him insisting on shooting his daughter’s senior portraits, I was completely intrigued by the idea. I spent the next few months learning and building the business side of things. I got a laptop and brought it everywhere, just absorbing, researching, and then slowly building a website. I was just recently reminded of this when a fellow hockey mom told me she remembered me always at the rink just working away. That seems like forever ago. I’m still, to this day, learning, building, and transforming my business, but the point is I haven’t given up and I’m grateful for the push and I’m grateful I took the risk.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
I got into photography because I love documenting life; the realness of it, the grittiness, the true genuine nature of it all. As a lot of photographers will tell you, I was that young girl always with camera in hand trying to snap photos and preserve a little history. Let it be known that I still have boxes and boxes of old photos from all my years, and I still love looking through them and remembering. None of those shots were wasted. I attended the Art Institute of Photography right out of high school and learned to hone my craft. Throughout the next years, I worked in several genres; glamour, family, sports, weddings, and even managed a one-hour photo center. Although I love creating all the images, I fell in love with documenting high school seniors. That is what makes my heart sing. I slowly started phasing out what didn’t bring me joy and that was the best decision I ever made for my business. Teens are what speak to me. I love their ambition, spark and vulnerability. I work well with their quirkiness and enjoy getting to know them, drawing out their personalities, and transforming that into images. I love the shy, the outgoing, the sporty, the too-cool-for-school – all of them. Lemme at ’em!
Any advice for growing your clientele? What’s been most effective for you?
The most effective strategy for growing my clientele has been always being myself. I am a little silly as well as kind, honest and open. My clients appreciate this and share their first-hand experience with friends and family. There is nothing more genuine than a recommendation from a trusted source. That’s it.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative in your experience?
For me, it’s the excitement a client experiences after seeing their final result. Most don’t realize how great they’ll look after relaxing and being in front of the camera for a bit. I love to surprise them with THEM! It’s the best feeling ever!
- Website: www.Highway4Photography.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/highway4photography
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/highway4photography
Image credits to me @Highway4Photography