I’m excited to announce a recent website update to include a new scheduling calendar. This app is now live on the contact page. This feature will eliminate phone-tag and limit emails to provide a better experience for my clients. I want to be accessible, prepared and present. Each appointment is set for 15-minutes for the purpose of aligning expectations and answering any pre-booking questions. This does not replace the design and wardrobe consultation. After a date and time is selected, it will prompt the user to give their name and basic contact information. An hour before the scheduled appointment, the user will receive an email reminder. I love this feature because I have my email pulled up more often than my calendar. Give this new app a try and let me know if it improved your experience!
Answering questions about portrait photography from my BNI visit
Since the fall of last year, I’ve been visiting various Business Network International (BNI) chapters. Only one person from each trade can join any given chapter so you build exclusive referral relationships. Scheduling conflicts and lack of openings for a portrait photographer has prohibited me from applying before now. Fortunately, one of the other chapters I visited forwarded my information to a group that meets early Thursday mornings, and they now have an opening. I submitted my application and the interview process is underway!
I’ve really enjoyed their meetings. They’re a fun bunch of people and I feel the camaraderie. This last Thursday we were instructed to write our name and profession at the top of a given piece of paper, and pass it to the person on our left. Next we were asked to look at the role and write down one question we had about that business. When we were finished, to pass it left and repeat this until there were at least 7 or 8 questions on each paper. When the exercise was over, the papers were returned to the owners.
This exercise showed me there is some confusion about what is “portrait” photography, who I am and what I want to capture. I was surprised. I thought they were going to ask questions about how they would benefit from a photo shoot, but they were much more basic. I learned I need to clarify what I do and be in front of my potential clients. It’s easy for me to hide behind my camera. I guess it’s hard to build a relationship with someone if they’re always hiding. The questions asked are answered below.
- How did you get started in your business?
I was introduced to photography when I was employed by my university paper to work as a web desk editor. I created multimedia web features and taught myself how to use a DSLR. Fast forward 5 years, I was experimenting with different genres and styles of photography when I stumbled upon my now mentor, Sue Bryce. Everything she taught spoke to my soul and I’ve been photographing contemporary magazine-style portraits exclusively ever since.
- Who do you love to photograph most?
I love photographing women of all ages. I help woman regain their confidence by giving them a makeover experience and showing them their beauty in their portraits! Woman are so hard on themselves and I understand being photographed makes them feel vulnerable. I identify with these feelings. I want them to look at their portraits and remember to love who they are today.
- What is your goal in the next 5 years?
My goal is to have 8 photo shoots a month, lease my own studio and have a large web of referrals. I want to give my clients a premium service and make new friends along the way. I continually strive to be the best portrait photographer in the San Francisco, Bay Area!
- Do you do weddings, parties, bah mitzvahs, etc. too?
I do not photograph events or weddings. These are separate genres and specialties of photography. Portrait photography captures the unique personalities of individuals and groups of people in a way they desire to be photographed. Sometimes it’s to honor personal milestones, update business profiles or celebrate important relationships.
- What do you hope to capture in the photographs?
I hope to capture genuine expressions, killer body language, and deliver the very best portrait my client has ever had of themselves. I want to create portraits that will be cherished for generations to come.
- Do you do dual personality pictures – 2 different looks in the same photo, same person?
During the consultation phase, I learn about my client and how they dream of being photographed. All of my portrait sessions include 4-6 unique looks. This means I coordinate your wardrobe with my backdrops and pose you to create the desired mood of each set of portraits. I can photograph the same person, styled and photographed twice, but composited in the same image. The image described has a fine art undertone. This can be achieved with a little extra imagination.
- What area, industry, demographics, events do you focus on?
I focus on photographing individuals and groups of people for personal and professional use. I photograph all demographics of people, and do not make assumptions about who can use and benefit from my services. No one should be excluded from an amazing portrait experience.
If you have any other questions, please send me a message or leave a comment.
Personal Branding Sessions
This year I’ve started advertising my Personal Branding session. It’s the only session where I combine the photo shoot and 2 digital images for a flat rate fee. It’s designed for people who are looking for just a couple of images for their website, social media platforms, or even online dating profiles. Personal branding involves reframing your public image to reflect the best version of you. This session takes you a step beyond the basic head shot. There is more imagination and planning around how you want to be perceived and where you will use your new images.I create contemporary portraits that are high-end, but approachable. It’s important your images resonate with your audience. If you are in business, you’re in the business of creating connections. They are mutually successful and your first impression begins with a powerful portrait.
The process of transforming your personal brand begins with a complimentary consultation. We discuss what you do and who you want to reach. We will brainstorm all the ways you can use new images and how to style them. I consider your personality, and the tone of our conversation, so I can design a photo shoot to exceed your expectations.
When you come into the studio for your portrait session, my talented hair and makeup artist gives you a makeover. Your look can be very natural, full glamour or somewhere in-between, that’s completely up to you! When it’s time to style your wardrobe, I give you recommendations on what to wear so we can pair it with the right lighting setup/backdrop. During the photo shoot, I give you direction on posing and expression. Small changes in body language drive non-verbal communication so we focus on micro-expressions.
Within a week of your photo shoot, we schedule an in-person digital reveal and I show your finished portraits. They are beautifully retouched. At this time, you select your two images and they are loaded onto a USB drive for delivery.
Personal branding is a growing trend and you can shape how people see you. I would love to influence your success story with new portraits this year. Please contact me to schedule your custom session today!
Happy International Women’s Day
Today is International Women’s Day. It’s wonderful to witness people from all over the world unite in celebrating women. I was fortunate to grow up in time and place where I was given many opportunities and freedoms. I don’t take that for granted. I am now in a position to make small, but powerful, positive changes each day. As a mother, I can teach my son the divinity of women and how to always honor them. As a photographer, I can show women they are strong, resilient and of highest importance. And as a woman, I can be successful, turning my weaknesses intro strengths. My mom always instilled a sense of worth and achievement. She will forever be my hero.
“Make a difference, think globally and act locally! Make everyday International Women’s Day.” – internationalwomensday.com
Hello, my name is Cerissa Mangrum
Hello, my name is Cerissa Mangrum and I’m portrait photographer. I specialize in contemporary magazine-style portraits. Every session includes a complimentary design consultation and professional hair and makeup. During the photo shoot I give you direction so your body looks amazing and you feel confident being photographed. I retouch the best images and present you with luxury products. It’s completely up to you what you buy.
Beyond the basics, I thrive giving you a service and experience I would no less expect, and I have idylic standards to a fault. I want you to know you are beautiful. Period. I can see the future, and it’s a vision of your posterity longing for timeless portraits of you. They want to remember you and feel connected. I know how easy feelings of inadequacy destroy your worth and I want to help restore it. A portrait is powerful. A portrait is forever. Celebrate who you are today.
Lets connect. I would be honored to photograph you!
Happy New Year 2017
Let this coming year be filled with joy and growth. I have so much to be grateful for and have lots to reflect on from 2016. Wherever you are, I wish you a Happy New Year!
I would also like to announce the launch of my new website. Poke around and let me know what you think. If you have a moment please share and follow. I dream of photographing all of you in 2017! What do you dream of doing in 2017?