Team Work.... is what it's all about. Putting together a great photo shoot is about much more than just lights, camera, action. We understand it takes coordination, communication, talented design, and styling before the shoot, and talent behind the camera, to make it all come together. After the shoot we aim for consistent and dependable delivery of client work. We understand the importance of delivering our products and services on a deadline when requested.
C. Michael Potthast, M. Photog., CPP, FDPE
Joel Faubert Video Producer
Rick Maldonado Video Producer
Catherine Lindsey Studio Assistant
Beverly Gustafson Studio Assistant
Amy Potthast Studio Assistant
Lynda Whitney Stylist, Costuming and Design
Elvin Velez Stylist and Makeup Artist
Perry Oakley Makeup Artist
Robin Ireland Special Events Photo Coordinator
C. Michael Potthast, M. Photog, CPP, FDPE
Dabbling in the darkroom starting at age 5, Mike grew up in the business of a professional photography studio. Working with his father, he assisted with the responsibilities of a family-owned studio.
After years of learning camera, lighting, and darkroom techniques, Mike chose to study commercial photography at Daytona State - Southeast Center for Photographic Studies, a nationally recognized school for professional photographers. He is also a graduate of Warner University with a B.A. in Business Management.
His first professional job after college was a freelance photographer for the Orlando Magic. Furthering his interest in the visual arts, Mike learned the art of motion film and broadcast editing when he worked for several years as a producer for the media group Time Warner.
In 2001, he decided to pursue his dream of operating his own studio. Located in Central Florida, Potthast Studios attracts many local and international corporate clients. The studio has approximately 10,000 sq. feet and has the capacity to handle several shoots at the same time. Mike routinely travels shooting jobs for clients and agencies throughout the country.
Our Studio facilities are among the most capable.
Features and Capabilities:
• 10,000 sq foot studio facility
• Natural Light Studio
• Concrete cycloramic for seamless blue / green screen projects
• Tethered Shooting Capabilities for Live Previews during sessions.
• Client Retouching area for hands on retouching requests
• In-house photography lab providing clients the highest quality or rush requests
• Frame shop with custom made and ready-made frames
234 West Central Avenue
Winter Haven, Florida. 33880
Our studio is located in the Historic Downtown District of Winter Haven, Florida. Our hours are posted below and your invited to visit us anytime. We do offer appointments for consultations and shoots outside our normal hours.
Monday - (By Appointment)
Tuesday thru Friday - 9am to 3pm, After 3pm (By Appointment)
Weekends - (By Appointment)
If you would like to upload a file(s) to the studio, follow the link below:
Do You Offer Family Portrait Packages ?
Yes. Collections are portrait packages that were compiled together by the most common requested sizes. Collections include a studio session (which can be upgraded for outdoor sessions), wall portrait(s), and several gift sized prints. There is a moderate savings when portraits are ordered in collections. Collections start at $700. Individual and Couples portraits and finished ala carte (session fee and prints billed as ordered).
What if the Collection is not really what we need?
Ala Carte (or individual) portrait pricing is available as well.
Can you shoot on weekends or in the evening ?
Yes. Evening and weekend sessions start at $300.
How far in advance do I need to schedule?
We usually ask for 2 to 3 weeks to properly plan the best session time for you. However, we understand that sometimes family comes into town last-minute, or a special event gets planned on short notice -- we may be available on short notice (subject to availability). Holiday times are very busy. Start planning early to get the best options.
What are the Studio Hours ?
Monday - Production Day (Available By Appointment Only)
Tuesday through Friday - 9am till 3pm (After 3pm we are by appointment only)
Evenings and Weekends - By Appointment Only
Please call the studio outside our posted times, you will often find us working in the lab and finishing projects and can meet with you.
Can I bring my pet to the studio ?
Absolutely, we love pets!
How long does it take to get my work?
Preview sessions are usually held within a weeks' time. It's best to preview in the studio so we can help with suggestions on finishing your work. From the time the order is placed we usually ask for 2 to 3 weeks to complete. Our Art / Painted Images can take up to 3 months. However, with any of our services, if there is a deadline, please let us know and we can try to accommodate.
Facebook / Social Media and Internet Previews ?
We are Facebook friendly. With any collection order you place, we are more than happy to release an image with a small studio watermark to be used for Facebook / Social Media purposes. This watermark must be visible and not cropped.
We are able to provide a printed preview book of your images or a website. The preview book costs $125 or the website costs $250 and can be credited back to your final order if it is returned and your order is placed within two weeks. This is the best way to allow family not in the area to see your images.
Do I get a disk ?
Family Portraits: The printing and finishing work we perform on each image is very much a part of the process of any of our finished portraits from our studio. In order to achieve the quality we produce, we print our own portrait work in-house. Taking a disk of your images to a photo lab won't even come close. If you're looking for a Facebook / Social Media type of image, we are happy to provide a tastefully watermarked image for you with any collection order.
Weddings: Yes. We want every couple to have every image from their wedding day as part of their package. All of our wedding packages include full-res digital images usually saved in a JPEG format.
Business Portraits: Yes. If you are using your portrait for business purposes, we accommodate digital requests from our clients so they can be printed for magazines, brochures, business cards, etc.
Sometimes there are special situations not mentioned above. Please check with us if you should have any questions.
When do I pay for my session?
Session Fees for first-time clients are due at the time the session appointment is made; for our returning clients we ask for the session fee at the time of the session. On orders, we ask for a deposit at the time the order is placed. The balance is due at the time of delivery. 7% Florida sales tax is applicable on all sales.
Do you offer framing?
Yes. No need to take your portraits elsewhere. We have several lines of custom frames that are very comparatively priced. Allowing us to frame your finished portraits will guarantee they are installed without mishap and fit perfectly for display.
Do you suggest certain clothing options?
Yes. We offer a clothing guide to any client with a scheduled shoot. Email the studio for the password - firstname.lastname@example.org. We also recommend looking at previous samples for inspiration. Think about your house and your family - are you more casual or formal? Is your house more jeweled tones or beauty, etc? We like to explain choosing your clothing like designing your house... you want to coordinate each other without being too matchy-matchy. We would love to set up a consult before you session to fine tune everything and make sure we capture your family in the best possible light.
In business for 50 years, we have the experience of providing high-quality images for generations to come. We guarantee you’ll love your images. If for any reason you’re not happy with them, we’ll do another session without charge. It’s important to us that the images we create for you meet or exceed your expectations.
Don't just take our word for it, what else qualifies us to be your photographer?
Here's a list of Awards and Features we have earned...
What does being a Certified Professional Photographer mean to you as our client ?
Of course our portfolio is our best measure of what we do. However, in addition to creating quality images, our studio is also committed to maintaining high professional standards. In order to make sure we’re doing that, we participate in the Certified Professional Photographer program.
While there are several technical requirements for being Certified, the best way to think about it is like board certification for a professional doctor, lawyer, accountant, etc.
While you can assume that both of them have a certain level of knowledge, the certified professional has been tested...and the certifying agency takes steps to ensure that the professional continues to add to his or her expertise through education.
It’s the same way with photographers. As a Certified Photographer, you can be assured that I possess enough technical knowledge of my art to consistently create good images for you... and I continue to take courses to maintain my technical and creative edge.