Happy New Year! Have you made your resolutions yet? We hope that one of your goals is to get published this year. It’s an effective way to get your work in front of potential clients, strengthen relationships with your colleagues, establish your brand within the industry and delight past clients. In just a couple of weeks, we’ll announce the results of Two Bright Lights Editors’ Choice 2015, an honor achieved by our members who were published most often last year. Until then, we’ll feature past winners for our Meet Our Members posts so you can hear just how important getting featured in blogs and magazines has been for their businesses. Two-time winner Keith Cephus kicks things off for us with his insightful interview!
Keith Cephus is a destination wedding and celebrity photographer based in Virginia Beach, VA. In his twenty-five year photographic journey, he’s been blessed to photograph destination weddings in exotic places such as Kenya, Africa, Hawaii, Anguilla, Dominican Republic, Puerto Vallarta, Antigua, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. When he’s not photographing weddings, you can find him on the sidelines photographing NFL football games. He also shot the cover of two-time Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas’ book, Raising the Bar.
How Did You Get Started?
I got started in photography while I was a young sailor in the Navy stationed in Yokuska, Japan. Obsessed with the opulence of the culture, I purchased my very first camera, a Canon AE-1. At first, my objective was to take photographs to tell a vivid story about my experience for family and friends back home. Then all of a sudden I began to enjoy my new passion, photography! One day while taking photos, I captured a pretty cool shot of a unique flower. After getting over the fear of rejection, I submitted the photo into a local military photography competition. It earned an honorable mention and after this experience, my camera and I became inseparable.
Keith’s Top Pro Tips
- Master Your Craft. In order to be successful in photography, you must master your craft. Learn several lighting techniques so you can give your clients more value and a better product. Continue to learn by attending workshops such as WPPI, PhotoPlus, Skip Cohen University and CreativeLive.
- Build Solid Relationships. Your skill set will only take you so far. That’s why it’s important to build relationships with your current and future clients. Most of our referrals come from past clients, which is a testament to our customer service and impeccable wedding day experience. In addition, build relationships with wedding planners, magazine publishers and event organizers so that they can sing your praises. If you don’t keep these people happy, your brand reputation will take a severe blow.
- Never Stop Dreaming. I remember early in my photography career, I wanted to be a big time celebrity photographer and photograph sports and destination weddings all over the world. In addition to running my studio, I am the sports editor for Coastal Virginia Magazine, covering events such as the 2011 Pro Bowl in Hawaii. I also cover NBA, MLB and college sports games on the east coast. It was merely a dream, but I had these aspirations throughout my journey. You can achieve anything in life if you are willing to work harder than anyone else, pay respect to the photo icons who’ve paved the way and channel your mindset to never fail.
Keith Cephus Photography
Keith shoots a wide range of subjects: weddings, engagements, editorial and sports photography. He has photographed musician Pharrell Williams, dancer Derek Hough, and sports stars like Derek Jeter, LeBron James and Gabby Douglas. Featured in publications like Munaluchi Bride, Southern Maryland Weddings, The Big Fat Indian Wedding, South Asian Bride Magazine and the Modern Jewish Wedding, Keith has been an Editors’ Choice winner twice!
Keith’s Two Bright Lights Experience
Getting featured in print and major blogs will bolster your brand and put you ahead of your competition. Since we’ve been published, we’ve gained new destination clients who have seen our weddings featured in Munaluchi Bride, WeddingWire, Two Bright Lights and Southern Bridal, just to name a few. Two Bright Lights has helped me to get featured in magazines and blogs, and gain national recognition throughout the world. This platform has been instrumental to our success from a marketing and client retention standpoint. Our couples love when their wedding is featured so they can share their big day with their family and friends abroad. Thank you Two Bright Lights for this amazing vehicle that I highly recommend to all photographers!