When looking for a photographer to take a family portrait or senior pictures, it's important to not only find someone with expertise, but also someone who can put their subjects at ease.
“It’s all about making people comfortable when having their portraits done,” said Dave Seidel of Dave Seidel Photography.
While making his clients feel comfortable is an important part of his job, Seidel said there are a couple things that make his studio unique—one of which is getting to know his photography subjects before the shoot. He said he spends time with his clients, before they ever step in front of camera, in order to learn about their personality.
His philosophy is to custom-design his work toward each family and individual, and he tailors the shoot to who they are.
“In our studio we have tried very hard to create an atmosphere of family with people," he said. "We want them to think of us when they need a portrait and come back."
While Seidel has been in the portrait business for many years, photography was something that he had to learn for a job he held.
Seidel said he got his start back in 1986 when the company he worked for at the time paid him to take pictures of damaged cars and car accidents. Seidel took an interest in the art form and started taking classes to learn how to get better at photography.
From there, Seidel said he progressed to taking pictures of people when his oldest son started playing t-ball. He started taking league and team photos, which later transitioned into portraits.
Seidel said one of the defining factors of his photography is that not all the portraits are shot indoors in a studio. Instead, he prefers to shoot what he calls lifestyle portraits, and pictures can be taken inside a client’s own home or at an outdoor location special to the subjects.
In addition, Seidel said he can offer clients a variety of scenes, since there is an indoor studio and an outdoor studio, which Seidel calls a portrait park, onsite at his workspace. Between the indoor studio and the outdoor portrait park, there are numerous settings that can be created on the acre and a half of property. With a pool, lake, a white sand beach and a waterfall all onsite, clients can get the look of an exotic photo shoot without ever leaving St. Charles County.
“We make it feel like you’ve been coast to coast in our portrait park,” he said of the experience.
One thing the photographer prides himself on is customer satisfaction. He said he wants his subjects to be completely pleased with their portraits, no matter what.
“Our guarantee says you have to be thrilled with the work, if you’re not happy we’ll make it right, at our expense,” said the photographer.
The business is run by himself and his wife, Michelle, who does the backdrop work and shoot scheduling. Seidel said he is the only photographer for the portrait studio. One of the reasons he makes sure his clients are completely satisfied is because his photography business isn’t just his job, it’s his reputation.
“Lots of places contract work out to other people, we don’t do that here, it’s my name, I want people to know what they see is what they’re going to get,” he said.
Recently, Seidel hit a career milestone by marking 25 years in photography. To celebrate his 25 years in business, Seidel will have a ribbon cutting ceremony at his studio. There will be also be a wine-tasting at the event. The public is invited to attend; the festivities will begin at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, September 14, 2011.
For more information about Dave Seidel Photography, call 636-926-0025 or visit his website.