Radio Interview Transcripts

MorePhotosRadio - Staci Sulhoff of Michael Graphix


ANNOUNCER:  Welcome to the More Photos’ Radio Photography Spotlight brought to you by helping professional photographers with all their internet needs. Also brought to you by Finally, an e-commerce solution for professional photo labs that makes sense. Now here is your host, Damien Allen. 
DAMIEN: Good afternoon and welcome to More Photos Radio. My name is Damien Allen, and joining me today on the phone is Staci Sulhoff of Michael Grafx Photography in Cleveland, Georgia. Welcome to the program, Staci.
STACI: Thanks it’s good to be here.
DAMIEN: Well Michael Grafx Photography is known for creating images that are unique and celebrate the individual, and Michael Grafx is growing. Tell us, Staci, what’s new?
STACI: We’re doing a lot of new things. A couple of years ago we started our outdoor portrait park and it is growing by leaps and bounds. We’re adding new sets and changing them seasonally to keep them new and fresh and it’s a great addition to our studio portraits.
DAMIEN: Well you’re doing everything from wedding to seniors and sports. What is the best piece of advice you can give when preparing for a photography session with your clients?
STACI: Best advice would be to talk to your photographer about what you are looking for, what is important to you. You want to talk about your clothing, your hair, everything that is going to go into the session so that there is planning and prep work and you both know what you want to receive out of the session and we want to make sure that if you see something you like, that we are not just doing what we want to do, but we’re also doing what you want to end up with.
DAMIEN: What makes the best type of photography, Staci?
STACI: This type of photography is creative, creativity and the ability for the photographer to connect with their subject to truly capture who they are. 
DAMIEN: Well you have very unique wedding portraits, how do you manage to capture that moment or is it a single shot? What makes that shot so unique?
STACI: Weddings are about capturing the emotions of the day, the joy, the love, the excitement and a successful wedding shoot takes a whole lot of careful planning and preparation, but also the ability on the photographer’s part to be spontaneous and capture that once in a lifetime shot and knowing where it’s going to be and when it’s going to happen and being there.
DAMIEN: That’s probably the most stressful day of a person’s life. What’s the best tip you can give to a new bride and groom on their wedding day as a photographer?
STACI: Relax, enjoy your day. Trust that everything is going to go as planned and that in the end you’re going to remember the best parts of your day, and your photographer is going to capture all of those parts and you’re going to be able to look back at those images and just know that it was one of the most important days and truly special days. If you spend so much time worrying about the little things that might go wrong, you can miss the importance of the day.
DAMIEN: Now besides the weddings and sports, you also have a very large senior portrait client list. What makes your senior portraits so special?
STACI: Senior portraits are the main part of Michael Grafx business. We truly believe in creating a “This is an All About Me” environment session. They’re not just school pictures.  These are the pictures that when you bring your children home to your parents’ house 20 years from now, those are the ones that are still going to be hanging on the walls. It’s important that you love them and it’s capturing all the things that are important in your life right now, and we custom build every senior session based on their interests, their hobbies, their likes and hope that when you look at those pictures, you go, “Yeah, that’s who I am.” 
DAMIEN: A lot of kids, I know when I was a teenager, we stressed about senior portrait day. What tips and advice do you have for Seniors preparing for their big day in front of the camera, Staci?
STACI: There’s a lot of things that go into senior portrait planning. There are some tips on the website that you can download, but some key topics would be, you don’t want to go out to the beach and get sunburned and come back the next day and hope that your senior portraits are going to look great. While we can do a lot of cleanup and touchup, there are things you can do in advance. You don’t want to change your hair style. You don’t want to go to some unique color that you’ve never tried before. You really just want it to be about you and you want to talk to your photographer about your clothing and the sets that are going to be used so that the planning is done and you both have a successful shoot.
DAMIEN: Now where is your studio located and how long have you been in business?
STACI: We are located at Turner’s Corner. It’s just up north of Cleveland, Georgia, and we are currently in our sixth year in this studio. I’ve been in photography for more than 20 years, and this studio has been open for about 6 years.
DAMIEN: You do a lot of group shots. How do you manage to do such large groups and keep everyone focused?
STACI: People focused or the camera focused?
DAMIEN: Either or!
STACI: Well keeping the camera focused obviously requires a lot of practice and skill. Keeping the people focused sometimes requires you to act silly and crazy just to make sure everybody is paying attention at the right moment.
DAMIEN: Do you work alone, or do you have other photographers on staff?
STACI: I do have other photographers on staff. I am the primary photographer and do most of the work myself. When we go on large events and large shoots, I do have other photographers that do work with me.
DAMIEN: What do you think is the single most important “skill” a photographer needs  to capture that perfect shot, Staci?
STACI: I think I would say an eye for the camera. Knowing what you want the image to look like in print. You can’t just get out there and shoot a bunch of pictures and hope for the best. You have to know what you are looking for.
DAMIEN: Now weddings, seniors, group shots, sports; what other services does Michael Grafx provide?
STACI: We do a lot of custom albums. It’s not just for weddings anymore. We do portrait sessions and albums, coffee table books, seniors as well. We do a lot of baby programs, some baby programs where we take from maternity and go all the way through to the first year and then create a baby’s first year album and with several sessions throughout that first year.
DAMIEN: You’re based in Cleveland, Georgia, how far out do you range within the state?
STACI: We pretty much cover all of North Georgia regularly. We schedule events throughout the southeast and it’s surrounding states where we shoot family portrait sessions on location and in different areas. 
DAMIEN: A lot of awesome stuff happing at Michael Grafx celebrating their 6th year. Do you have anything new coming up in 2011?
STACI: We do. We are currently updating our website. We have a new blog that we are starting and offering some new packages and really customizing the portrait sessions. Everything from seniors to families and weddings as well.
DAMIEN: Well if someone wants more information on the blogs or the, where do they go, what’s the contact information and website they need?
STACI: You can reach us at or you can reach us at the studio (706) 865-3000. 
DAMIEN: We’d like to thank you very much for joining us today, Staci, and talking about Michael Grafx with us.
STACI: Thank you so much for having me.
DAMIEN: We’ve been talking with Staci Sulhoff of Michael Grafx in Cleveland, Georgia. You’ve been listening to More Photos Radio. My name is Damien Allen.   Everybody have a great afternoon.
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