Category: Marketing and Branding

20 years of photography for SOP!

Commercial Photographer, Nashville Photographer, Sheri Oneal

By Sheri Oneal

As we reflect on what happened last year, set new goals and look forward to the new year ahead I want to share my best photography of 2015!”  Before I do that I would like to express why this year is extra special…2016 marks the 20th year anniversary of “Sheri Oneal Photography!”

I have been in love with photography since I was 6 years old, I started my professional career at 21 and in 1996 I went out on my own and opened my first 1250 sq. ft. commercial studio space in Orlando, Florida. My very first clients included Harcourt Brace Johanovich PublishingScholastic Book Fairs and Cara Cosmetics. In 2001 I relocated to Nashville, Tennessee and have never looked back. The past 20 years have been bitter sweet and the changes in technology have been extremely challenging. I have relocated my studio space 4 times, changed from traditional film to digital technology, learn how to use industry software on computer platforms as well as developing online marketing methods that include social media and web development for my business. I have transitioned from payphone -to beeper -to cell phone -to smart phone and have struggled through a tough recession with in our economy. The industry changes in photography over the past 20 years have been incredible and they have allowed me to mature into what Sheri Oneal Photography is today.

Sheri Oneal Photography Studio Space 1996

1996, SOP first commercial studio space in Orlando, Florida located off of John Young Parkway.

 

Sheri Oneal Photography Studio Space 2001, Nashville.

2001 commercial studio space located on 8th Avenue downtown, Nashville.

 

Sheri Oneal Photography Studio Space 2008, Nashville.

2008 commercial studio space located off of 17th Avenue near downtown Nashville.

 

Sheri Oneal Photography Studio Space 2015, Nashviille.

2015 commercial studio space of Sheri Oneal Photography near downtown Nashville.

 

I love that I have the ability to make a living with my camera, that I can share the stories of others through my imagery and that in a single frame I can freeze time…it is magical. I love the rush of adrenaline I get when I know I’ve captured what I was hired to do but even more when I capture something extraordinary, unexpected or genuine. I have traveled to beautiful places, shot in flight harnessed from helicopters with no doors, captured video at 50 MPH, shot from rooftops in NYC and rented plush studios in LA to shoot celebs. I have worked with countless art directors, photo editors, creative directors, food stylist, wardrobe stylist, make-up stylist, set designers, production managers, animal wranglers, videographers and assistants. I have photographed everything from kids, products, pets, executives, factories, farms, architecture and food among other things. I have been honored to have worked on assignments with Getty Images, Cracker Barrel, CBS, Discovery Channel, The National Arthritis Foundation, United Way, Kodak, Scholastic Book Fairs and so many more.

Although I have been blessed to work with large corporations, professional models and celebrities it is the smaller companies, publications and individuals that keep my business alive. Client relationships are what I cherish most and the smaller clients allow that kind of interaction. As a small independant business owner, loyal clients and referrals are what keep me in business. I am forever grateful for my clients and even more so for the loyalty of those who continue to refer and use my services. My number one goal is to earn their trust, to make sure they are happy with my work and to enjoy the experience of working with me.

It has been a long road with many ups and downs but I am so grateful to be doing what I love for a living. It has not been easy but it was a childhood dream that turned into reality. It proves that if you truly want something, you can have it as long as you never give up.

Behind the scenes with Sheri Oneal, 20th Anniversary.

20 years of photography…

 

Thank you all for letting me work with you on your projects, for referring me to others and for allowing me to stay in touch.

Before I leave I want to share (below) me “Best Photography of 2015” by showcasing some of my favorite assignment photos from last year. Each year I love the opportunity to look back and see what I did and these images reflect the work I enjoy doing most.  It also allows me see how much I grow as a commercial photographer through the body of work I get paid to create.

Wishing you the happiest and successful 2016 imaginable, may all of your dreams come true!

Nashville photographer Sheri Oneal shares her best Commercial photography assignments from 2015.

The Best Photography of 2015

If you would like to see some of the past “Best Of’s” feel free to click any of the links below!

The Best Photography of 2008

The Best Photography of 2009

The Best Photography of 2010

The Best Photography of 2011

The Best Photography of 2012

The Best Photography of 2013

The Best Photography of 2014

*If you would like to leave a review of my work please do so here, here or here!

*NOTE all Sheri Oneal blog post are ©2016 by Sheri Oneal. Any use of photos or content (other than sharing the link) must be agreed upon in writing.

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The power of an elevator pitch!

Nashville Loves Food

By Sheri Oneal

I am getting a late start in the new year but I have some great things lined up for 2014! Last year while attending a morning Chamber event I was caught off guard when the host asked that we go around the room and give our 30 second – 1 minute elevator pitch. I have been teaching a business course at Nossi College of Art to young budding professional photographers for several years. The elevator pitch is what I have my students master because I do believe it is the most important part of a business so seemingly this would be a very easy task for me. That being said we don’t always practice what we preach and I was a bit caught off guard. As the people around the room began speaking one by one I became extremely nervous the closer it got to my turn. Honestly I can hardly remember what I said when I spoke but I remember my last few words being “I am a Visual Storyteller.” As they finished up and allowed the guest speaker to talk my nervousness subsided and I quickly forgot about the experience.

At the end of the event as I was headed to the door several people came up and introduced themselves asking for my business card they mentioned that my pitch intrigued them. From that one experience I was able to arranged two coffee meetings just because of my elevator pitch. Jeff Halliburton (printing sales consultant) at Lithographics, Inc. was one of the people I was able to meet with and he offered me the opportunity to develop an imagery series of my choice for Lithographics to use in a print promotion. This would eventually become a trade collaboration called “Nashville Loves Food” with Lithographics, Inc., art director Joe Smith (Art Dude Creative) and social media consultant Melissa Corbin (Corbin In The Dell).

In my original meeting with Joe and Jeff we brainstormed ideas of what we could do, as a creative I wanted to do something interesting where I could meet new people and capture interesting personalities in unique locations with my photography. We wanted to center around what Nashville was really good at outside of music. FOOD was the definitive choice! With all the press Nashville is receiving from media sources like CNN,  The Food Network, The New York Times and Food & Wine Magazine we felt that showcasing local farms and artisans was a perfect fit. From farm to table became our plan and over the course of several months our project grew wings!

This year I will continue my “Made in America” series but it will be linked to the “Nashville Loves Food” project. I will introduce you to the local farmers and chefs I had the opportunity to work with and share the imagery from those visits. Soon I will kick off with the first story and I look forward to your comments!!!

Nashville Loves Food

*If you would like to leave a review of my work please do so here, here or here!

*NOTE all Sheri Oneal blog post are ©2014 by Sheri Oneal. Any use of photos or content (other than sharing the link) must be agreed upon in writing.

Please feel free to share this page!

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Thinking is not doing, ACTION is a requirement for any kind of change…

Well…spring is here and I have this uncanny need to share.  I have decided that I will limit my time doing unproductive things, I don’t pay attention to the news very much anymore and just getting outside a few times a week makes me feel better as a human being!  I have surrounded myself with positive minded people who complain very little, are full of energy and seem to be not only happier but more successful.  It is rubbing off on me and that makes me feel better about myself which in turn makes me want to make others feel better through my process of sharing.

No matter what we allow ourselves to believe the fact remains that things are changing in business and in our world.  There seem to be more tragedies’ happening or maybe we just have the ability to know more about them due to mobile media and the internet.  We have to work harder for a dollar than we used to but we have an array of choices around us to potentially make our businesses grow wings. Due to this constant and aggressive change around us we need to be persistent in learning new things and often that may feel uncomfortable.  The biggest lesson I have learned in business AND in life is that thinking is not doing…ACTION is a requirement for any kind of change.  It is something I am working hard on because even with all of my marketing ideas in place I have realized that taking action is the most difficult thing to master.

I have embraced the internet because I see the potential it has to offer a business but it also helps me to feel connected.  Being single in my 40’s with no kids, self employed and working from my home I can sometimes feel very removed and lonely if I allow myself to stay in my bubble.  With the new world of internet marketing and social interaction, I have found a new way of not only making business connections but also making new friends and realize that in this new world taking ACTION is easier.  So many of these things were not available to us in the pre-internet social era and it was much harder to reach large groups of people with similar interest.  That being said I do believe you must interact in person to make those relationships feel real, for them grow and to take them to the higher levels.

I am a creative person living in a business world and at times I realize I fall short with certain business functions.  By choice I do not allow myself to focus on the things that I lack in a negative way, instead I choose to believe I can always be better at anything as long as I believe I can be.  I have noticed as a creative person when I refer to things like business marketing or advertising I feel tense but when I refer to the same things as social networking or social marketing I feel a little more at ease.   I love being social and it feels better to me when trying to build business relationships.  I want to be friends with my clients not just have them as a client.  This doesn’t necessarily mean I want to hang out with them on a regular basis or talk about the personal details of my life. What is does mean is that I care about them as individuals and I am interested in not only the success of their business but also that their son graduated from high school or their daughter had a visit from the tooth fairy.  These things help me feel connected and help to establish a relationship.  Although making money is the primary function of a business, in my business the relationship is just as important as another dollar in my bank account.

As I leave you I realize this post doesn’t really have much depth other than my ranting in a personal fashion about what makes me feel good with my business in the new world of social activity.  I love what I do, I have never felt I fit into the corporate mold yet no matter who I am working for I know I can carry myself in a professional manner.  Taking action with my ideas is key to gaining new clients and building my business.  Social media allows me to put myself out there hoping the relationships I build will come to be because I am a real person who cares.  It is not just about my happiness I love making others happy too!  Wishing you all the best and hoping you all are enjoying the beauty of spring time!

*If you would like to leave a review of my work please do so here, here or here!

*NOTE all Sheri Oneal blog post are ©2013 by Sheri Oneal. Any use of photos or content (other than sharing the link) must be agreed upon in writing.

Please feel free to share this page!

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