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Commercial Photography

Branding & Headshots | Kalamazoo Michigan Photographer, Elyse Rowland.

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Branding & Headshots | Kalamazoo Michigan Photographer, Elyse Rowland.

It’s always an honor to take branding and non-traditional headshots for small businesses. I don’t take that responsibility lightly — I know just how important the marketing and representation of ourselves really is in the small-business world. After all, we are our brand.

I met Devin last year while doing he & his wife Nicole’s maternity photos, and have since done an extended family session (as well as grabbing a couple photos of them with their precious baby at the end of this branding session - I couldn’t resist!), and it’s such a treat to get to know my clients and their families. In fact, I think I’ve said before that this is my favorite part of this job, by far.

I look forward to doing more of these branding non-traditional headshot sessions in the coming years. If you’re considering custom branding imagery and want to chat, reach out! I’d love to hear from you. I also offer documentary sessions for small businesses — a great way to show your customers or clients who you are as a person or the behind-the-scenes of your business. Let’s tell your story!

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Personalized Care at Wellspring of Schoolcraft Michigan, Commercial Branding Photography & Headshots by Elyse Rowland Photography.

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Personalized Care at Wellspring of Schoolcraft Michigan, Commercial Branding Photography & Headshots by Elyse Rowland Photography.

A quick disclaimer: this may be a post sharing professional commercial photography, but it’s also an honest post from my heart — one that I hope area moms and dads find helpful in their search for quality care in Southwest Michigan.

My Personal Experience with Past Doctors

A few years ago, before finding Wellspring, I was feeling completely frustrated with the level of care our family was receiving at our previous family doctor’s office. It felt rushed, impersonal, and lacked detail. I would sit for over an hour waiting (between the waiting room and the actual patient room), the doctor would walk in, and after an extremely short visit where I felt like nothing I said was listened to, they would prescribe a medicine or tell me I was all set. But it never felt like I was “all set” & many times I questioned the prescription because I didn’t understand why it was being prescribed or how it would help. It never felt like I was looked at as a whole human being or that anything was explained to me.

Enter Wellspring.

Ahhhhh. A breath of fresh air. I had heard through several friends in my community that they were incredibly pleased with the atmosphere, the doctor’s kind bedside manner, and the way they were listened to. Like someone actually cared. I immediately called to get my oldest two children in, then later my husband, myself, and last my third child.

And you know what? Every single appointment I left feeling listened to. Cared about. Treated like a whole human with feelings. I no longer cringe at the thought of taking my children to the doctor. (And if any mama’s have questions or would like to chat more about this on a personal level, please drop me a note!)

So when the opportunity this winter came up to photograph their beautiful office & their staff, along with a few patients, I was all in. We ended up with a brisk but sunny Saturday morning, and I loved how the staff came in and just enjoyed their time together, albeit another day at the office technically. They had coffee, chatted about life, and allowed me to shoot around them. I left feeling this pride of “YES! This is how a doctor’s office should be!”

And with that, I’ll leave you a few of my favorite images from the morning. If you’re local and searching for a better model of care, give them a call. Sherri is the front desk receptionist, and she’ll take amazing care of you. I just adore her. And if you have kids, she has the perfect “Sticker Picker Stool” where they can sit & pick their favorite out of the stack. I’m telling you… They’re all amazing. So thankful they’re in my area!

Is your company in need of quality branding or marketing photos? Headshots or group portraits? You can learn more about what I have to offer here, or send me any questions you might have about the process here.

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Kalamazoo Michigan Photographer | Senior Session: Kade

Sharing a few favorite images from a senior session last summer. Kade's not only model-worthy, he has a fantastic personality too. He's charismatic, funny, and kind. I was lucky enough to do his brother's senior photos the year prior, and his mom & I always have plenty to talk about as she's a mom of all-boys as well, two of which are yet to graduate. I feel so lucky to be the photographer she chose for the guys in her life. :)

Enjoy.

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Kalamazoo MI Commercial Photographer | Educational Community Credit Union / ECCU

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Kalamazoo MI Commercial Photographer | Educational Community Credit Union / ECCU

I've been so lucky to work with Educational Community Credit Union many times over the past couple of years. As a member and also as their photographer I can tell you they are always looking out for the best of their members, hence the reason they recently added some awesome new features to their mobile app, and seeing the interaction between ECCU employees and the members who are featured in their quarterly newsletter shows exactly why this credit union is consistently growing. For the fall quarter, ECCU highlighted Pilot Brian McIver and the way he utilizes the new mobile banking features as he travels around the world on a day to day basis. Here's a link to the full story: http://blog.eccu1.org/eccu-mobile-banking-soars-to-new-heights/

We began the shoot inside the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport, and thanks to one of the wonderful police officers on duty there that evening, we were given access to the runway. The experience was once-in-a-lifetime for me. I kept thinking of my two boys and how much they would enjoy the up-close view of planes coming and going, the wide expanse of lights, hangars, and sunshine. It's a piece of me now. This commercial side to my work has grown substantially over the past two years; from a few headshots to newsletters to marketing shoots. I've been bitten by the 'commercial work' bug and I'm loving it. (And there are a few key people who have truly helped me along the way - mentioning my name to their friend or boss, handing out my business cards - I am *so* thankful for those individuals.) There are many additional challenges when doing a commercial shoot, from meeting the person you're photographing on the spot with no prior knowledge of who they really are or how they tick, to managing lighting challenges (while remaining a natural light photographer to boot!), to having a one to two day turnaround time on all work - and I'm finding the challenges to be so worth it. It would be such a blessing to continue growing this side of my business.

If you're read this far, thank you! It's one of my longer posts to date, but I had to share. If you like what you see below, let me know in the comments below - I love hearing from you. I read and respond to every comment, and trust me, it makes my day. And if you think I might be a good fit for a project in your office, or if you need updated corporate headshots this winter, please reach out! I'll customize the shoot based on your needs.

Enjoy.

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ECCU | Kalamazoo MI Commercial Photography

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ECCU | Kalamazoo MI Commercial Photography

I feel so lucky to still get the chance to work with ECCU. I worked there for a little over 3 years prior to having my babies. It's the best place I've worked outside of my home. I wouldn't trade being my own boss, but I definitely recommend them as a top employer in the Kalamazoo area. Fantastic people, lovely members, and you can't beat a place that encourages you to achieve your goals and chase your dreams.

Commercial photography is interesting because instead of having my own vision for the shoot, I'm given the vision that the company has, and then I use my years of experience to bring their vision to light. In this case we were highlighting a wonderful couple in their quarterly newsletter who utilized the amazing ECCU loan rates to make a couple of dreams come true. 

Enjoy!

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Kalamazoo MI Commercial Photographer | The Garden Griddle

Adding commercial photography to my repetoire was a no-brainer for me when two Kalamazoo businesses inquired in the past year - especially when Sarah, owner of The Garden Griddle, contacted me. I had already worked with Sarah when I photographed her family on a local beach, as well as doing some interior photography of The Olde Mill where one of her restaurants is located, and knew how easy she was to work with. Not to mention the fact that she completely trusts my eye and artistic vision (and that is huge in a photographer's eyes!) I really love that The Garden Griddle is farm-to-table. They worked so hard prepping and planting on this specific day, and soon I'll be headed back to the farm to capture them harvesting. I'm so excited to see the results!

Fresh air, rich soil, sunshine, and some of the hardest workers I've ever met...Enjoy.   :)

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Creative Catering at Olde Mill Golf Course | Schoolcraft MI Commercial Photography

The best part of commerical photography? The variation. Every shoot is unique. This shoot in particular was a first for me - there were no faces, no smiles, no posing (or shall we call it un-posing since I'm a lifestyle photographer?)... but instead, there were clean architectural lines and the beautifully arranged flowers & linens at the brand new banquet center at Olde Mill Golf Course. Sarah Cox, owner of The Garden Griddle in Mattawan and also Creative Catering Services, recently partnered with Olde Mill Golf Course to become the exclusive event catering company. On top of that, this week she's opening a second location for The Garden Griddle inside the Olde Mill Clubhouse. I'm telling you - this woman's a powerhouse. And if you don't believe me, go check out the reviews on her Facebook page - her customer's rave about the food and service they receive every time.

Check out this description from their website:

Creative Catering Inc. will cater to all food allergy requests such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, etc.  We can work together to create a menu that will be appealing for all your guest.  We will work with any budget.  Our menus will be unique and specially created with you in mind.  All of our food is fresh and never frozen.  We will avoid all processed foods.  When you book with Creative Catering rest assured that we are making every effort to provide you with the best food for your money.
Our staff at Creative Catering Inc. is at your service.  We will provide you with the best in customer service.  We will strive to give you up to the minute information and never leave you wondering.  No question will be left unanswered.  We want to work together as a team with you to create the perfect event.  In order to best serve our customers we also offer free delivery in the Kalamazoo County area.

How could you possibly go wrong? Fresh, never frozen food. Impeccable customer service. Any budget. Brides and grooms: I've found your reception site. You're welcome. : )

And on that note, here are a few of my favorite images of the banquet hall... enjoy!

banquet hall table setting banquet hall table setting banquet hall tables banquet hall banquet hall stairway

banquet hall dance floor

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ECCU | Kalamazoo MI Commercial Photography

Yesterday at a diner check out counter, I pulled out my bright green ECCU debit card to pay for my meal. The cashier quickly said "I just joined there! Do you like it?" I laughed to myself before answering. See, before making the decision to stay home full time with my children and actively pursue my photography career, I lived and breathed ECCU. It's an amazing company, and the people that work there are even more amazing. I can attest to the fact that they love their members and strive each day to be the best possible place for you to bank.

I told the cashier all of this, and included a few fun facts, like how the credit union started in a single classroom of the old Kalamazoo Central High School in 1935 and has grown to over 36,000 members. She listened and smiled, and then said "I'm so glad to hear all of that." And I was glad she asked. I will always root for ECCU -- the credit union holds a special place in my heart, and because I personally bank there, I know they are still as member-centered as they were the day I gave my notice.

ECCU recently said goodbye to longtime CEO Chuck Cornelius, and welcomed Julie Blitchok as their new President and CEO. I was lucky enough to photograph both of them, and several of my images were highlighted in the company's 2015 Annual Report. Here are a few of my favorites from that day...

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Looking for a commercial or editorial photographer to capture your business? Elyse Rowland Photography is currently booking commercial work through August 2015. Please contact us here for further details or email elyserowlandphoto@gmail.com.

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FAQs (with examples!)

Just a few questions that I'm frequently asked.... thanks for reading! What should I expect from my session? You should expect a photographer who loves what she's doing, who wants nothing more than to make you look fabulous, and who will give you direction, but also watches for natural interactions that add depth to your gallery of images.

How long will the session last? Sessions usually last 45 minutes to one hour, with the exception of Senior Portrait Sessions, which tend to run longer due to an outfit change or two.

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What does "Lifestyle Photography" mean? Lifestyle photography essentially tells a story. It captures you, the real you, living life as you normally would. To me, lifestyle photography is capturing those in-between-moments that happen in a blink... it might be the way your husband glances at you and smiles as you teach your daughter to fly a kite, or the way you and your spouse naturally interact while the kids are dancing around you... it's those chunky little toddler legs running along a boardwalk, or your newborn being cradled for the first time just moments after birth. Lifestyle photography is a work of art, because it freezes moments in time that you'll too-soon miss.

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May I send you my Pinterest board/pins to show you my favorite shots? And will you be sure to get those shots? You are welcome to send me your Pinterest board or favorite pins, but please note: I will not specifically copy these shots. I may use your board as inspiration, or as a way of getting to know you. My photography style is much more photojournalistic, and not cookie-cutter. I want to capture you having fun, interacting, being YOU.

What's the best time of day for photos? Simply put: the "Golden Hour(s)". Basically, the hour or so just after sunrise, and the hour or so prior to sunset. The soft light photographs beautifully, and will give your photos a warm, vibrant, golden look. I realize this time of day may be tough with young children, so I'm willing to work with you on timing and planning the session around your schedule.

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What happens if the weather doesn't cooperate? I promise to carefully watch the radar and will stay in close contact with you if it looks like we might get hit with a storm. I will sometimes make the final call within the last few hours prior to your session. This is Michigan after all... : )

Do you have a studio? Technically, no. But I am able to set up my natural light studio equipment in my home, and will occasionally offer this type of session in the winter. If the weather is nice enough, I would far prefer to be outside, soaking up as much sunshine as possible. Studio photography is not my passion, but it's helpful to have the equipment for just-in-case.

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Can I bring a friend along? Of course! I especially encourage this for Senior Portrait sessions. Whoever makes you feel comfortable and happy, bring them!

What kind of equipment and software do you use? I edit all of my photos in Lightroom on a PC (yes, a PC! I still have my Mac as a back-up). Some photos end up getting run through Photoshop for specific edits, but for the most part I am strictly a Lightroom gal. I built my business using a Canon Rebel T1i, and upgraded to a full frame Canon 6D in 2013. My lenses include the Canon 50mm 1.4 and Sigma 24mm 1.8.

If you could only use one lens for the rest of time, what would it be? My 50mm 1.4 without a doubt, and if money were no factor, I'd upgrade to the 1.2.

Do you only do portrait work? My goal for 2014 was to expand commercially, and so far things are looking great. I've added corporate and individual headshots to my portfolio, and I've enjoyed the experience even more than I imagined I would.

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Didn’t get your question answered? Drop me an email to elyserowlandphoto@gmail.com

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Elyse Rowland Photography | Kalamazoo Michigan Headshot Photographer

If you had told me two years ago that professional headshots would become one of my favorite types of sessions, I might have cried from laughing so hard. But, really...they are.

And I cannot stop thinking about when I'll get to do my next one. I still dream about Fresh48 & Newborn sessions, because I'm passionate about birth... mamas... families. But there's something magical about delivering professional headshot images to a client. It's something about the way it can help take their business from starter to established. From point-n-shoot to professionally photographed, re-touched, and ready for the world. I like that my clients are looking for the "soft, natural light look", because that's what I do best. My set up is simple and I can meet in a tiny office, the living room of an apartment, or invite them to my home studio. It takes 10 minutes or less to set up & tear down, and I work quickly so that I don't hold them up from their most important work. Easy peasey.

Before a headshot session, I like to get to know my client... their line of work, what stage of growth their business is in, and where they're headed. I also like to find out where the images will be used. Collectively, this helps me customize their gallery to exactly who they are and their needs. I want every session to feel slightly different, because every business is different. Whether it's a sole proprietorship or a corporation with hundreds of employees, we're all working toward something, and our headshots need to reflect that.

Here are a few I've done in the past few months for fellow photographers, employees at Educational Community Credit Union, and a comedian friend of mine who I just happen to believe will be famous someday - so pay attention to that face!

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Thinking you'd like to update your professional headshot? Email elyserowlandphoto@gmail.com for details or use the contact form below. No pressure to book - let's just chat and see if I'm the right photographer for you.

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