Keith French Photography

Keith French Photography

5.0 (14)
Best of 2022
38 years in business

About this pro

With 34 years in the industry gaining experience from every client. I can help new clients and old solve their visual marketing challenges, capture their best look, and provide insights into a successful image campaign. Technology has changed greatly over the last 34 years. I love trying it out and seeing how it applies. I embrace the changes ONLY if they improve quality, or maintain quality and improve workflow. The one thing that has not changed is the expectations of the client. They want good communication, professionalism, reliability, and good value for their expenditures. Those are my everyday goals.

Not only do I work in the commercial photography industry but when I play, I use a camera as well. I’m always behind a camera. The creativity I get to enjoy in my “play” time often spills over into my work time.  Without creativity the vision dies, the work gets boring, and the excitement fizzles.  

Check out my Instagram at keithfrenchphoto to see some of my play stuff and some occasional work stuff

A Veteran owned small business.

Every day is different. Every Client is different. There is no "normal", and that's exciting to me. I love the challanges and I love the fact that because I've been doing this so long, I have been able to apply what I have learned about some businesses to help solve the needs of others. Seeing the look on a client's face when they view the images for the first time is priceless. That will never get old.

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Elgin, IL 60121
Email verified

14 Reviews


  • Bruce Jones

    I’m proud to say that Keith French was my photography mentor when I first bought a new Nikon camera. I would travel up to his photography studio and film lab in Elgin Illinois and he would work with me on learning how to shoot in manual mode and adjust all the camera settings like a pro. I also went on a few photo workshops that he held in southern Illinois and got some great shots of waterfalls, nature & some old small commercial buildings. Keith has been in the photography business for decades and knows everything about it from wedding photography to portrait photography, landscapes, product photography and more.

  • Rachel Newmark

    Keith was a pleasure to work with and his photos were great! Very high quality and he was very helpful with a short project timeline.

  • David Mayo

    I had a business portrait that was 4 years old and was outdated. I decided to get a current portrait and to use Keith French because of the reputation of his work. Keith is very professional and easy to work with. My business requires that I have a professional business portrait as I am providing a professional service to my clients. I am very please with the new portrait. I highly recommend using Keith French for your photography requirements.

  • Madison Knight

    I'm a software developer and found out about Keith by seeing what he did for one of the jewelry stores that use our software. I was impressed with what he had done and decided that I wanted him to do the Google Business View tour for my dad's jewelry store as well. Unfortunately, I cannot give you much of a review of what it was like to have him in the store because I wasn't there for that part, but I'm very happy with the results and my interactions with him by email have been very pleasant. As a bonus, he not only did the tour he also took several still photos to attach to our Google business account. They were very professional photos and I think they significantly add to our Google places entry.

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What is your typical process for working with a new customer?

There is no typical process with new customers, at least in my mind. Every customer is different, has different needs, and communicates differently. My job starts with listening, then asking some clarifying questions, then if necessary inform them of the process that is different from their understanding.  Then provide them with their desired results.


So maybe if I had to map it out:





What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I’ve had the privilege of learning under a few professional photographers.

Their mentoring and friendship has provided me with a great foundation during my journey. After a very successful career in the United States Marine Corps, I moved into the executive sector of the corporate world managing 10’s of millions of dollars in assets and people while learning photography on nights and weekends.  The opportunity came to acquire a retail camera store and photography studio and I jumped at it enjoying many successful years until the economy tanked in 2009.  I closed the retail store in 2011 but remain full time in commercial photography.  My clients followed me and with out the hindrances of running a retail store I was able to really grow my footprint in the industry. It also opened a new segment of the business, that of a more educational role. While I taught many classes on photography in a classroom setting in the back of the camera store, I now have the opportunity to teach in a workshop type fashion on locations that are photographically attractive and exciting to learn in.  

My experiences  and successes allow me to connect to upper executives, hobbyists, novices,  mom & pops businesses, and everything in between.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your services? If so, please share the details here.

Pricing is determined by the job, whether in my studio or at your location, or some other location to make the scene work.  Products vary from head shots, which vary from environmental  uses, etc.  So we’ll need to talk for me to understand your needs then put together a quote for you. There will never be any surprises but rather than make you fit into my box, I desire to hear your needs and make a win-win proposal.

How did you get started in this business?

The very beginning was back in the early stages  of military service. I knew eventually I would be seeing some awesome places and wanted a nice camera.  I was going through complicated and stressful training and photography provided me with a perfect relief and distraction. Not knowing the two were going to blend at some point and really ignite a passion but it did and I never looked back. There is a much longer version of this story on the “About Me” page on my website

What types of customers have you worked with?

I have worked with Forbes top 100 to the little elderly lady next door.  Corporate giants to not–for-profits. I’ve helped Mom & Pop stores get their visual marketing perfect and I’ve been able to teach and share my experiences to 1000’s of clients.  My clients are all around the country, so traveling to them is no big deal.  Industry, manufacturing, services, hospitality, sports, architecture, tourism, and fine arts have all been in my area of experience.  That’s why I love this work. No two days are the same. 

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I have been able to channel my workshops into opportunities for fundraisers for an organization that helps military veterans with PTSD.  Hearing how this organization has literally saved lives makes this an easy decision. Through out the year a portion of my time and my revenues are channeled into this organization.  Reading letters from spouses and children giving thanks that they have their loved one back, engaged and functioning in the family again is a joyful experience.  Especially knowing that statistically 22 veterans take their own life EVERY DAY. This organization is making a dent in that number and I’m all to honored to help. Check them out at

What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a pro in your area of expertise?

The most dangerous words or thoughts that a client can say is “It’s good enough” 

That will result in money spent on lackluster results.  Not every one that shows up in a search is highly experienced and a well trained professional. We live in a very visual world and fast paced as well. The images for your business and professional use will be viewed by others and they will make a decision based on what they see in less than 6 seconds.   You need images that will stop them in their tracks and cause them to dig deeper, or at the very least pause.  

The wrong photographers are working for beer money, with $800 worth of equipment and no spares. The right photographers have invested tens of thousands of dollars in their gear, their continuing education, and have a passion for serving you and creating the perfect images to help you gain the most you can from your investment in them. The beauty of images is they can be used over and over again for many events or marketing opportunities. When you spread the costs over all those events, it makes so much more sense to do it right the first time.  Images that are “good enough” are probably losing you money. They are average and do not separate you from the pack.  When you invest in a photographer they need to be committed to your time and your success. Not one and done, but an on going relationship that allows for even better images the more they get know about you.  A professional on your time clock will not have any excuse for a poor performance except maybe a delay for weather and even, in that case, will most likely provide a backup plan before hand.

Can you imagine the planning and commitment that occurs on your side of the relationship to schedule a photographer?  What if it included stopping production lines, or taking the day off work? Regardless of how big your commitment is, you have one. You have “skin in the game”. Now imagine an hour into a shoot the photographer has an equipment malfunction. Is your reaction going to be “oh well” things happen? Or are you going to expect them to go back to their vehicle for a spare?  The latter, of course!  You have time and resources invested and you expect your professional to be equally committed at the minimum.  The questions I would be asking a photographer is way beyond price, it’s the commitment to me, and the commitment to success the first time. Price is important,  budgets are important,  but success and impact must be part of that equation. 

What questions should customers think through before talking to pros about their needs?

-What am I photographing

-What is your desired result.

-How will the images be used.

-How soon do I need the final images.

-Does the photographer display the experience I’m looking for?

-What is my budget, or can the photographer assist me in      developing one?

-Will the photographer allow for a phone  Q & A to help me create my shoot?

-Does the photographer value my investment in this photo shoot?

-Do I understand that great images are priceless and will make me money if done properly?

Services offered