Cheyenne Schultz Photography – Charlotte, NC

Our first fellow Charlottean to be profiled, we warmly welcome wedding photographer, Cheyenne Schultz!  Cheyenne and her husband Geoff work as a team, but do not brand themselves as such. Geoff is her second-shooter, does all of the album design, and is the mastermind behind her branding.  She shoots with her left eye and LOVES the color and sharpness that comes straight out of her Canon 5D.

cheyenne_schultz_headshot

www.cheyenneschultz.com

www.cheyenneschultzphotography.blogspot.com

Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?

I wouldn’t say there was just one moment that I decided – it kind of happened over the course of a few months.  I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures, but photography as a career just kind of fell in my lap after some friends of ours asked if we’d shoot their engagement pictures based off of some abstract photography I had done on a trip with them to the mountains.  The shoot turned out well, so they asked if we’d do her bridal portrait.  Before I knew it, our business was blowing up.

cheyenneschultz_0003 17-40mm 4.0, f/4, 1/60, ISO125, 17mm

What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?

Oh goodness…it is so hard to pick just one thing that I’ve found to be valuable – I’ve been a sponge for the past year and have picked up so much valuable information.  A few things are: learning how to shoot fully manual, being consistent and original in my brand, not to go cheap on your equipment, and about the importance of networking.

cheyenneschultz_0001 17-40mm 4.0, f/4, 1/500, ISO320, 17mm

What makes you different from everyone else?

This is a question that I’ve thought about daily since I started.  I think the one main thing that makes us different than anyone else is that we are us. J Style of shooting, business philosophy, equipment, post-processing technique – all of these things can easily be comparable to others…but there is only one Cheyenne and there is only one Geoff.  It is our personalities that make us different.

cheyenneschultz_0005 17-40mm 4.0, f/4, 1/125, ISO800, 17mm

Who is your one favorite up-and-coming photographer?

It’s a toss up – there are two in particular that I really like to follow:

Kristen Leigh – http://kristenleighphotography.blogspot.com/

Jamie Delaine – http://www.jamiedelaine.com/blog/

I’m inspired (and jealous!) to see these two discover and go after what they love to do at such a young age.  I wish I would have found my love for photography and business ownership much earlier in life.

cheyenneschultz_0008 70-200mm 2.8, f/2.8, 1/2500, ISO400, 135mm

One item you can’t live without?

My 70-200…..I SOOOO love this lens.  And chocolate.  It would be really hard to live life without chocolate.

Your best bokeh image and why?


cheyenneschultz_bokehimage 50mm 1.8, f/1.8, 1/250, ISO250, 50mm


I rarely shoot totally wide open because I can only get 1 out of 10 actually in focus.  While waiting for an outfit change of one of our couples during their engagement shoot, I made Geoff model for me so I could play.  I LOVED the result, but shooting this way for weddings, portrait sessions, etc. just isn’t practical for me.  I’m good at a 2.8.

Favorite book?

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Favorite movie?

FOR SURE Jim Henson’s The Labyrinth.  I mean, David Bowie’s white tights are pretty gross, but still – it’s a fave.  In fact, I know every single word from that movie – so don’t watch it with me – I’m irritating.

cheyenneschultz_0007 70-200mm 2.8, f/2.8, 1/1000, ISO200, 90mm

Where do you find inspiration?

Easy – I find it in our church – Elevation Church.  Seriously, the growth of the church is unexplainable….having gone from a dozen people to thousands in just three short years, it totally blows my mind.  They consistently push creative boundaries, don’t compromise their core purpose, and give 100% effort in everything that they do.  Mediocrity is NOT an option.  This is what I try to emulate in my business.

cheyenneschultz_0004 24-70mm 2.8, f/2.8, 1/1250, ISO200, 70mm

If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?

Here’s my top three:

Nate from The Image is Found: http://www.theblogisfound.com/

Bobbi + Mike: http://www.bobbiandmike.com/blog/

Amelia Lyon: http://www.amelialyon.net/

Seriously, these three rock my face off.  It just feels like EVERY image is done with precise intention and is so interesting and incredibly clever.  I’m constantly trying to exercise my brain to see things different then the obvious and the norm.

cheyenneschultz_0009 70-200mm 2.8, f/2.8, 1/2500, ISO400, 145mm

Are you a member of any organizations?

I’m a member of DWF and Modern Photograhers.

What did you have to do to actually take the leap?  Did you have any hoops to jump through?

To fully plunge into my business, I had to leave my full time job.  However, it wasn’t just any full time job – it was my career that I spent six years of my time and money getting an education toward.  Deciding to leave that all behind took some serious soul searching and wasn’t something I took lightly.  What it came down to was that it just wasn’t worth it to stay in a field that I wasn’t happy in just because of my investment – I couldn’t deny the rising passion in my heart for photography and undeniably felt God calling me to it.

cheyenneschultz_0006 50mm 1.8, f/2.8, 1/60, ISO1250, 50mm

What is the biggest or most creative thing you do/have done to draw new clients?

There’s definitely no magic bullet for getting new clients (at least, I haven’t found it yet!).  I’ve found the most business has come from:

-Word of mouth.  I try my best to treat my clients as though they are my ONLY client.  Happy clients bring more business.
-Networking with local photographers.  Create a network to refer clients to when you are booked – they’ll do the same for you.
-Networking with other wedding industry professionals.


cheyenneschultz_0010 17-40mm 4.0, f/7.1, 1/60, ISO1000, 17mm (light source- softbox)

Anything else you would like to share?

It’s great to be inspired by other photographers, but don’t let the work and success of others put you in the pit of self-doubt and discourage you from moving forward in your business….I’ve been there many, many times and it’s only moved me backward.  Here’s an excerpt from a post on Jasmine Star’s OLD blog as she was starting out that I found to be particularly encouraging (I even printed it out and put it in a journal of mine):

“What struck me the most was DJ insisting that one of the most vital things to succeed in this industry is faith.  Faith that a business will blossom.  Faith in thinking outside of the box.  Faith that the journey is just as important as the destination.  DJ had no clue how close to home his words were hitting.  Every sentence pricked my heart because I knew that I needed faith more than I needed anything else.  I hung onto his words – picking them out of midair and filing them away in the Never Forget file in my brain – and instantly new it was the sign I was looking for.  God used him as my confirmation.  I’m going full-throttle with photography and I’m faithful I will succeed.”  – Jasmine Star

cheyenneschultz_0002 17-40mm 4.0, f/4, 1/500, ISO125, 29mm

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6 Responses to Cheyenne Schultz Photography – Charlotte, NC

  1. G-off Rocket says:

    Great interview baby! You continue to amaze me 🙂

  2. Aw! Cheyenne!! Didn’t expect to see my name! Thank you so much! 🙂 🙂

  3. […] today and I know we have officially reached adulthood.Also, be sure to check out my interview with The Bokeh Pot that was blogged today by the fabulous Crystal Genes!And finally – we’ve got something super big in […]

  4. So SOO stinking awesome! I am so proud of you – you are an awesome photographer 😀 Big hugs for YOU!
    ps. thanks for the kind words! you are too sweet 🙂

  5. love your style guys!!! great composition and pp!!

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