SELFIE| Sheri Lossing

MON SHERI DESIGN| Sheri Lossing

website designer - graphic designer - photographer

location| Grand Rapids, MI

credentialsinterview

50% CODE| left-brain

responsive website design · coding · specialize in WordPress

50% DESIGN| right-brain

custom graphic design · web & print design · photography

left vs. right brain

Did I hear you say WHAT???

Good news. Since I speak nerd, you don’t have to. No worries about coding, fighting with your machine, and ending up somewhere you did not want to be… after way more time and frustration than you planned on.

Why I do what I do.

I love what I do! I have degrees in both Web Design and Development and Digital Graphics Communication. And I must admit… I like to sit in front of my computer all day! 🙂

FIVE-STAR SERVICE| period.

what I bring to the table

  • photography 100%
  • WordPress 99%
  • brand strategy 90%
  • Photoshop 90%
  • Illustrator 90%
  • HTML | CSS 80%
  • InDesign 75%
  • Javascript | PHP | other code 50%

ABOUT| me

this & that…

%

OCD| detail-oriented

HOBBIES computer|photography

COFFEE| my favorite food

FORGET-ME-NOT| favFlower

%

CREATIVE| right-brained

MY FAVORITE TOYS myMac|myNikon

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{photography} questions

Q. What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
A. Clear and responsive communication is vital and important. I normally communicate with clients about their upcoming session to see if they have preferences, Pinterest posing ideas to try, location preferences (or I send them venue possibilities &/or samples of pics I have taken in that location), and if it is a portrait session I send a PDF with prep tips.
Q. What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
A. My degrees are in Digital Graphics Communication and in Web Design and Development. I have also studied digital photography at GRCC, and art at Central Michigan University. I work from home and on-site in the Grand Rapids, MI area. I have samples of my work on my website, along with client recommendations.
Q. How did you get started in professional photography?
A. In the process of getting one of my degrees I was required to take a digital photography course. Long story short, I ended up taking more classes, buying a LOT more equipment and everything snowballed into me landing where I am. About half of the work I do is in the area I began in (Web and Graphic Design), and about half of my work is Photography. And I LOVE what I do!
Q. What types of customers have you worked with?
A. I do portrait work ranging from newborn/maternity to weddings. I also do commercial photography, from studio product photography and headshots to on-site or event photography.
Q. Describe a recent project you are fond of.
A. I was recently contacted by a couple who wanted engagement pics – in a couple of days. They decided they wanted to go to a park, then downtown where he had proposed. On the day we quickly realized that the park was not the stronger venue since the autumn colors were all but gone, so we did the larger portion downtown. It was both fun and romantic, and we walked to several nearby urban settings for some great alternative options. I was thrilled when they contacted me to do their wedding pics as well! It will be my first winter wedding. Corny, but I’m saying it anyway… cooool! 🙂
Q. What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a professional photographer?
A. Find a photographer whose work you love. There are a lot of awesome photographers… and there are a lot who do sub-par work. Professional photography is a luxury. Uncle Joe can snap some pics and you can make do with those. If you are hiring a photographer, you are looking for the quality, style and variety you are not likely to get with Uncle Joe’s pics.  Professional photographers work long and hard to learn their craft and spend thousands of dollars on equipment.  If they are good, they will spend many more hours than you realize on planning, shooting and processing your photos. When you look at their prices, keep that in mind. On the other hand, don’t go crazy on your budget, and don’t spend what you cannot afford. There are quality photographers to fit into most budgets. Don’t get your heart set on one you cannot afford. Also, just because they ask a certain price does not always mean their work is up to that price. Make sure you check their work, their style, that it matches their asking price.
Q. What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
A. What is your pricing and what do I get for that? How long will my session last? What should I do to be best prepared for my session? Do you have an assistant? Do you use fill light and reflectors if the light is low? Do you have a studio? Do you have a website where I can view samples of your work? Are there reviews or references from previous clients that I can access?
Q. Do you have a standard pricing system for your service? If so, please share the details here:?
A. I have portrait package pricing for various types of portrait requests. I also have three levels of pricing packages for Wedding Photography, plus I offer custom pricing quotes or à la carte pricing. Pricing specifics are included on my website on the ‘prices’ page in the à la carte pricing section: https://monsheridesign.com/prices/
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade?
A. My camera is a Nikon. I absolutely love it now. When I was first learning to use it in manual, I absolutely hated it. It is a lot of work to learn to not just ‘point-and-shoot’ in automatic or programmed modes, but it unlocks tons of possibility to go through that effort. Also, equipment is huge… and unfortunately it costs. Sometimes a lot. It is a big commitment, and a ton of work. There is a reason you pay people money for their hard-earned skills. 😉 I never realized how true this is until I went through it.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. I look at my photography as an extension of you. Pictures that reflect you, your personality and your passions allow for the opportunity to capture more than a simple likeness. My hope is that a memory, and hopefully a reflection of your personality, can shine through your photos.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. I am an artsy-fartsy type — both educationally and in practice. I also enjoy working with people. I love how digital photography allows me to combine these personal traits of mine with the skills I have worked hard to develop in my education and on my own. Capturing the image, the moment, the detail, is huge, but it is only the first step with digital photography. I also shoot in ‘raw’ mode on my camera, as this allows for the optimal amount of image information.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you?
A. I am frequently asked about what I charge for prints. I have spent my adult life dreading that question when I went to a professional photographer. What a racket! I provide a print release and digital images files to my clients.  NOTE: Customers are responsible to arrange any printing with a third party.
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{website design} questions

Q. What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
A. I love working with people and creating new or updated websites for my clients’ businesses or personal use! I am excellent at communicating and am very accessible to my clients. I believe strongly in both responsive service and responsive websites. Once a quote has been accepted and my clients have their domain name and hosting in place (which I can help with), and after we have discussed any core purposes, goals and design preferences for the website, I get started. Once I have an initial ‘look’ for the pages and layout, I will provide the client a link so they can view the site and give feedback, then I do corrections/changes with this feedback in mind, etc., until we have the look and layout that they are happy with. Once the site is ready to go live, I will make it so!
Q. What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
A. My degrees are in Digital Graphics Communication and in Web Design and Development. I have also studied digital photography at GRCC, and art at Central Michigan University. I work from home and on-site in the Grand Rapids, MI area. I have samples of my work on my website, along with client recommendations. I have also done multiple sites for a hosting business, D.C. Helms.
Q. How did you get started doing web design?
A. I had a business and decided to make my own website. I tried to learn to customize the design for additional things that I wanted and quickly found out how complicated that can get. I am an artsy-fartsy person by nature (and education), so I loved the idea of learning more about how to do web design correctly, how to custom-code what I want, etc. I thought I would take a college course on web design. Long story short, I ended up going back to school full-time and here I am — three degrees later. My grant money ran out, so I had to stop adding degrees. 😉
Q. What types of customers have you worked with?
A. Mainly I have worked with small to mid-sized businesses and start-ups. As I mentioned above, I have also done multiple sites for a hosting business, D.C. Helms. I also do commercial and portrait photography.
Q. Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
A. Recently I have done a number of sites for a hosting business, D.C. Helms. Clint had a number of clients with older, non-responsive websites that were in need of re-vamping. I absolutely love updating these old sites, as it is incredible what a difference it can make! I come away from it feeling that I have taken a site that probably hindered their business to provided them with a tool that will do what they want — get customers to the info they seek, even if it is just the map, phone and store hours. Oftentimes clients do not see how much they needed the change until they see the new site functioning — then they cannot wait to get it up live. I love that part! How long does it take? That depends on a number of factors, and on the responsiveness of the client. On my end, I actually work quite relentlessly and hard. I am very tenacious. My OCD benefits my clients in this way. For a typical small-business site, if clients get right back to me with each leg of their part (feedback, hosting and domain name set-up, etc.), and depending on my workload, I normally have initial work to show them within a week.
Q. What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a web designer?
A. I would advise them to insist that the designer use responsive web design. It is absolutely important for the viewers of your site, and to make a good impression. A responsive website will re-size to the device you are viewing it on. Now-a-days if you do not have a responsive website, you are losing business. If your website is doing wonky things, looks cluttered, or is not clearly navigable — you are losing business. When a user goes to your site, they are expecting to quickly and efficiently get the information they need and to have the site present well on their device (phone/tablet/laptop). If this does not happen within a few easy to find clicks, they will typically bounce on to another site. If the site is behaving oddly this is an instant red-flag to users, and they flee. If the site is old-looking, cluttered or unattractive, this does not impress the modern visitor to your site. I would also recommend they look for designers who are not so overwhelmed in their workload that they get caught in a long, drawn-out process. I am surprised at how many clients I have already dealt with who are waiting, waiting, waiting on someone to finish something (a logo, a program, a design, etc.). Sometimes it completely stalls the whole process of getting their site live — a site that is completely finished aside from that element!
Q. What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
A. Make a list of essential elements that you want for your website. Do you have strong design preferences? Find three websites that you like the design of for examples for your designer. What features do you like in the websites? What is the personality of your business? (Serious, fun, vintage, feminine and soft, masculine and bold, classy, formal, casual, etc.) What is your budget? Shop around and get an idea of what the going rate is for your needed design services. If you extend beyond your means, obviously this is not good. On the other hand, budget sufficiently to pay a quality designer for their time and expertise. If you’re gonna do it, do it right. I’m all for doing certain things on the cheap, but your business website really should not be one of those things.
Q. Do you have a standard pricing system for your service? If so, please share the details here:?
A. I have three levels of pricing packages, plus I offer custom pricing quotes or à la carte pricing. Pricing specifics are included on my website on the ‘prices’ page: https://monsheridesign.com/prices/

credentials

degrees| certification
Grand Rapids Community College
Grand Rapids, MI. Attended 2012-2015.
Graduated: Web Design and Development certification December 2013.
Graduated: Digital Graphics Communication Associate (Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences) May 2014. President’s List. GPA 3.92
Graduated: Web Design and Development Associate (Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences) May 2015. President’s List. GPA 3.92Studied digital photography at GRCC.
Awarded Delta Pi Alpha for graduation for Graphics/Web Development Associate and Digital Graphics Communication Associate May 2015
Central Michigan University
Mt.Pleasant, MI. Attended full-time 1981-1984. Completed general requirements with emphasis in the areas of Social Work/Sociology/Psychology, English, and Art courses. Dean’s List. GPA 3.44
educational honors| awards
Grand Rapids Community College
Grand Rapids, MI. Attended 2012-2015.
President’s List & Dean’s List Awarded Delta Pi Alpha (top 5%) for graduation with Web Design and Development Associate and Digital Graphics Communication Associate| May 2015web designer & graphic designer - Grand Rapids MI-Sheri Lossing - Delta Pi Alpha
Central Michigan University
Mt.Pleasant, MI
Dean’s list
Showcased Photography in GRCC’s Gallery/Exhibition
Winter 2015
Spring 2015
Sheri-Lossing-AWARD-photography-showcase-GRCC-web designer & graphic designer - Grand Rapids MI
beta tester| wordpress theme
2015 — I was selected as a beta tester for an expansive update of Elegant Themes’ “Divi” theme.
2016 — I have continued to participate in beta testing for several 2016 updates of Elegant Themes’ “Divi” theme.
volunteer & sponsorship| photography
Head On: Stories of Alopecia
Headshot/portraits of a local subject of text.
iCrush MS Walk/Run 5k
Photography for fundraising event.
The Untold Stories Project
Sponsored project. This is a ‘Kick Start’ project that involves the creator/writer traveling around the United States to interview individuals and collect their stories for publishing purposes. The premise is to collect the life stories and perspectives of individuals with various backgrounds, above the age of 70, with special emphasis on the documentation of how technological advancements have effected their lives and society.
Frontline Community Church
Photography for their website and other purposes {service, Sunday School, lobby, etc.} — ongoing.
volunteer| graphic design
Frontline Community Church
Created template vector slides for their worship services.
THUMBTACK| Best of 2015 Award

Thumbtack Best Pro of 2015

mon Sheri Design| photography
 Awarded a Best of 2015 Award  —  “based on great customer reviews”
THUMBTACK| Best of 2016 Award

Thumbtack Best Pro of 2015     

mon Sheri Design| photography
 Awarded a Best of 2015 Award  
 Awarded a Best of 2016 Award —

Sheri, your service has been awarded a Best of 2016 award because of your great customer reviews — for the second year in a row!

Now What? Show and tell.

my portfolio

ME| in brief

designer —  
Sheri Lossing
location —  
Grand Rapids, Michigan
degrees —  
Web Design & Development
Digital Graphics Communication

AWARDS

2015| mon Sheri Design| photography Awarded a Best of 2015 Award —  “based on great customer reviews”  {Sheri Lossing}
2016| mon Sheri Design| photography Awarded a Best of 2016 Award —  “based on great customer reviews”  {Sheri Lossing}

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