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Meet Cheryl Groff of Cheryl Groff Photography in South Bay

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cheryl Groff.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Cheryl. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I first started photography right after high school. I started taking a bunch of photo classes at the local college and fell in love. It was such an amazing feeling to work in the dark room, hands-on and be able to physically create what I shot with my camera. I miss that feeling sometimes. Not long after, I started documenting the LA music scene and that lasted about 10 years. I started to get well known for my music photography and was asked to do several solo art shows and started working freelance for a few independent music magazines. I was lucky enough to also be published in some worldwide major music magazines as well. When my niece was born, 14 years ago, my love for child photography started. I loved documenting every part of her life, from her first day of life in the hospital to her pre-teen years. She was definitely my muse. From there, friends would see my work of her and tell their friends and I would get jobs here and there taking photos of people’s babies and kids, but I never promoted it or thought of it as a job. Then fast forward to 3.5 years ago, when I was pregnant with my daughter. I didn’t want to miss capturing one moment of her life. I started taking self-portraits of her growing in my belly, I brought my nice camera to the hospital and just started taking photos when she was just hours old, and that’s when I really fell in love with maternity, newborn and baby photography. From there, I started taking workshops to master the craft of newborn photography and started my business. I already was an established photographer, but newborn photography is a whole other category. There’s a lot that needs to be learned as far as safety and posing and comforting and soothing. My clients trust me with their most precious gift, so I made sure I had the best training before jumping into this business and the training for me never stops. A lot of my clients are first time parents and I love that they look to me for advice and help with their new babies. I don’t know how many times I’ve been referred to as “the baby whisper.”

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s been a pretty smooth road, though it took me years to jump into doing this as a full-time business. The main struggle that held me back for so long was fear and self-doubt. I think it’s really common for artists and photographers to compare themselves and judge their own work and it’s something that for sure held me back from pursuing this. Even though I’m human and I still sometimes struggle with self-doubt, I’ve come a long way to where I am now.

So, let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Cheryl Groff Photography story. Tell us more about the business.
I’m a photographer and while I love capturing everything, I specialize in births, bellies, and babies. I also love family photography too. I document all parts of life, from pregnancy to birth and to the first breath of life. I’m known for capturing natural & authentic moments and connections rather than stiff posed photos with everyone looking at the camera.

I’m most proud of the way my photos make people feel. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve received an email, after photos have been delivered to a family, where the Mother writes me saying she’s in tears. It’s such an honor that these families let me into their lives to capture some of the most important times in them and I’m super grateful for every family I’ve been able to work with. I’ve definitely made a ton of new friends through this business. Something else that I’m super proud of was I was just found out I was voted as the South Bay’s favorite photographer by the Daily Breeze newspaper. They ask readers each year to vote for several categories and businesses and I was voted as the number one favorite. Only being in business for 2 years and being up against hundreds of others that have been in business for much longer, it was an amazing honor and surprise.

Something kind of new that sets me apart is I’m now offering videography sessions too. I’ve been taking several workshops this past year and now offer lifestyle, documentary types of video sessions, capturing brand new babies just days old, at their place of birth as well as birth stories as told through video. I’m very excited about his new venture and capturing not only still images, but moving ones as well. It’s nice to remember what our babies looked like through photos, but to remember the way they sound, or their cooing and crying and those moments that slip by so fast, but in a high-quality, short film…of your life.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t know if luck has had a role, but hard work, kindness, and empathy are some things I try to maintain in my life and I’d like to I think that has helped me.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Cheryl Groff

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