I'm constantly challenging myself to create images that stretch my creativity and skills as a photographer to set the bar higher each time. This project was a Tag Heuer watch, graciously on loan from Romance Diamond Company in Fayetteville. I chose this particular watch because of the mechanical detail in front and back. I spent the better part of nearly 2 days creating a variety of looks to see what worked and did not. You can see the elaborate set up in the behind the scenes photos, each light, flag and stand serves a specific purpose.
This was was amazing, to say the least, you can't help but admire the detailed workmanship. If you're in the market for great watches, or any other jewelry, check out Romance Diamond Company on Dickson St in Fayetteville.
Another way is being prepared, 'just in case' something happens, this is something I learned a long time ago. When going on location, I always carry backup, yes, it makes for a larger load but I know I'm prepared just in case, since I've been through several situations and learned from them. I always carry a backup camera, lens, batteries, backup flashes, cords, etc. that is, I have at least two of each just in case, say, a camera falls? This has actually happened a couple of times, as stressful as it is, I carry on with the session objective in mind and deal with the problem later, because I have a backup that will complete the job. One example was a wedding about 25 years ago when I was moving from the church to the reception and the camera fell off the tripod on to the concrete, when I picked it up, all i could hear was broken glass inside the camera (in the film days). I had another camera that did the job just as good and carried on. I once had a strobe start to smoke and over heat, I immediately unplugged it and replaced it with the backup.
Another way of being prepared is knowing the environment and situations of the location. As much as I communicate about the photography project, there are times were I'm not able to see the location until I arrive. On these occasions, I bring more than enough equipment to handle a variety of lighitng scenarios, my therory is that it's better to have too much, than not enough.
It's all about making sure the customer gets what they want and delivering the quality images they expect in a professional way. If you ever have a session where the person taking the photos shows up with only a camera and flash, be forewarned, not only are they not prepared, but they also don't have experience needed to provide the images you really want.
Shown below is a sample of the equipment taken to on location jobs, it always varies. Not shown are the light modifiers, tripod and stand.
Inspired by many photographers around the world I had some images in mind I wanted to create. A photographer is an artist in ever sense, to create and be creative, we have to think outside the box and explore new options and our creative side. This short session yeilded a great variety in a fun photo project.
Mark Harper and The Richland Group designed and built their web site, go check it out, many of my images are now featured there. I have no doubt the photos will be very profitable for Profab. This photo project was fun, insuring the product was lit properly to give depth and texture, combining light and shadows working together. Then hours were spent extracting and cleaning each image. Product photography does not always mean "small products", as you can see many were very large requiring fork lifts to put in position. I am very proud to be the photographer that helps their company be more profitable.
This project was for Brighter Ventures, a local company. You can find their commercial hand dryers (all photos by Branch) on Amazon. Foreknowledge of the product and consultation with the company owner prompted images that were exactly what he needed. More importantly, he told me later. that the images were of such quality that his sales were 400% higher than he expected, giving full credit to the professional images we created for him.
Whether your product is large or small, Branch will insure that your product is photographed to give your company the right image and impression for higher sale.
I had the opportunity to photograph Derek & Sarah Kilpatrick at the stables for Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce magazine. Sarah is the event manager, as you can imagine she is very busy lady. A side note, while talking with her, I discovered I photographed her cheerleader photos back in 2002 when she was in high school, small world… also starting to feel a little old. Derek is the vineyard manager and sees the the best quality wines are produced. Super nice couple who will make sure your visit and event is one to be cherished.
If you've never visited Sassafras, take a nice evening off in the summer and enjoy the back patio of the winery for a relaxing evening with their wine.
Wouldn't it be great if local companies could have a greater level of commercial photography that would compete nationally? My goal has always to offer the highest level of photographic images, whether portraiture or marketing photography. Over the next several months, I'll be taking on internal challenges to prove that for commercial photography by going beyond the norm. One such project involved Bike Rack Beer. I had a vision and this is the result. I also added a 'behind-the-scenes' to show what was involved technical side of the final result featuring this product photography image. As a commercial product photographer, I am constantly expanding the level of creativity and stretching my vision. Wouldn't this be great for a national ad campaign?
House of Webster in Rogers is one such impressive company. They started in 1934 by Roy and Evelynn Webster who sold baked goods. The original house is in the middle of the manufacturing facility with the plant being built around it. They now sell jelly, preserves, biscuit & pancake mix, syrups, toppings, etc. While they have a gift shop beside the manufacturing facility, they sell quite a lot on line and many companies purchase gift assortments in bulk over the holidays for their staff and the companies keep coming back, a great testimony to the great products they provide. The more I tell people about House of Webster, the more I hear how people love the jellies!
Scroll down for the 'behind-the-scenes' images and chef Will West helping style some of the food. A special thanks to Catherine Snelgrove for orchestrating the products in such an organized manner to insure all photos had the right contents. As you can guess, I gained some weight this week with some of the product left behind and it is GOOD! You must try them out either on line or go by their House of Webster store in Rogers!
Memories are a POWERFUL thing, it can lift us up, bring us down, make us thankful or learn from mistakes. I was recently working in the shop with walnut wood and the smell triggered memories of my father and I making an entertainment center when i was 16, it's like I was there. The senses of sight, touch and sound are just as impactful.
Recently I was listening to the 70's music on iHeart Radio, wow did it ever take me back to a simpler time, you know the feeling. It's amazing when you hear a song and it unlocks memories and triggers emotions from times you thought you had forgotten, it's a powerful thing. Not long after that, I was thinking, 'what ever happened to my first camera?', honestly, i have no idea, but i had to look on eBay and found the exact model in pristine condition, an Olympus OM10. I purchased a camera exactly like this in 1979 to photograph sporting events for my local hometown newspaper. As soon as I got it, yep, I looked through the viewfinder and, more powerful than any song, a flood of memories came back as I saw the meter and heard the click of the camera and cranked the film advance. Then I looked at my current camera and thought of millions of images I've been blessed to take over the last 35 + years, the people the camera has put me in front of and the number of cameras I've had. So I had to take this photo of the two cameras, the first and the present.
I calculated I've had right at 20 different cameras between, some were very large as the second photo shows (a copy of a self portrait), the largest was a Mamiya RB67 with a 100-200 zoom lens. A few others were Hasselblad that I used at many proms, graduations and weddings and put thousands of rolls of film through them all. Wow how times and technology have changes… but thankful my memories the cameras have given me have never changed.
Everyone needs a good quality headshot, but what defines a great headshot.
Lets first answer the question of the purpose of a headshot.
1. Shows the face behind the business. This is pretty simple but important so the client can visualize you while talking. This gives your business a personal touch, people like to put a face behind the name, it's a step in making a relationship.
2. To show that you are approachable. Being approachable is crucial in any headshot when you're representing a business, when a prospect can feel connected and feel that they can easily do business with you through a headshot, that quickly turns into profits and more referrals. This is achieved in the posing and expression.
3. A quality headshot will compliment your biography page. While prospects are reading about your history and accomplishments, they will relate this information to your portrait.
4. It will make your website look more professional. Most businesses invest heavily into their web site, it is the 'billboard' for your business, a professional headshot is required.
5. It is useful for Branding and Marketing assets. A headshot is not limited to a website, it is vital in LinkedIn as well as printed materials whether business cards, brochures or even billboards.
So now you are ready for your headshot, here are some Tips:
1- Don't use an old photo of yourself, when you were younger, we all want to look younger, but you want a headshot that shows what you look like now. Anything else is misleading about your age and you want to be honest.
2- The average shelf life of a headshot is about every two years.
3- I always ask the client what type/color background they want. It's best, when applicable, to tie in the background color with the marketing colors or type of business. Background colors can also have a psychological effect, for example, a white background can denote clean, which would be good for doctors, black would denote a more dramatic image.
4- Solid colors work best, ladies should avoid sleeveless outfits, but 1/4 sleeves are ok. Men should be clean shaven. The type of outfit will be reflective of the type of business, a plumber will not need to wear a suit and tie.
5- Since the images can be used on web and print, make sure to get a large resolution file in addition to web resolution.
Business portraits can be in studio….
Or on location….
The great leaders we have in NW Arkansas is impressive to say the least. Whether from those small business owners who have excelled to the large corporate CEOs. I know you're tired of me saying this, but I'm truly blessed to have a job where I get to meet these great people. You never know who you'll meet out and about in NWA, they're people just like you and I.
Last year, I had the opportunity to photograph Patrick Swope, who was promoted to CEO of Legacy Bank. In the brief time I had to speak with him, I could tell he was humble and had true concern and dedication for the bank and his new role. I make an effort to listen when great leaders, such as Patrick, speak, you never know where they'll drop 'pearls of wisdom' that could enhance or change your life.
PS: When visiting Legacy Bank web site, I have the honor to have created the banner images on the front page :)
Rosie is one of those people that, after chatting with her, you're thankful to know her. She works closely with people all over the world, diagnosing English as a second language problems and prescribing remedies (to borrow her words). She gives group sessions and webinars to help more of her clients all over the world with their English. Imagine you speak a language other than English and have been given a great job opportunity, but everyone speaks English. Words and phrases, and general 1-2-1 interaction, can be greatly different from your country of origin. This is where Dr Rosie steps in to help make a transition. She has a huge heart for helping others, this is quickly apparent when getting to know others, which makes her even better at what she does.
It takes a lot of thought and courage to rebrand a business, Rosie has done just that with a theme that will be memorable and tie into what she does. Visit her web site at: http://drrosie.org/
Here are a couple of the images created for her business brand…
Developing relationships is important in any business. Over the past 6 years, I've had the honor to have a continuing relationship with Gary and Sharron Nelson at Pinnacle Counseling. When I first started creating their photos back in 2011, they were increasing their advertising and branding efforts, over time they have increase their staff and patient base. The first reason is because of who they are, they are very kind, receptive and understanding counselors, it's their work and helping of others that has built the service they offer. The other reason is they appreciate quality, not only in the services they provide but also in their marketing. The website is clean and informative with quality images that are consistent and blend together.
When I have photo projects with them, I always have time during set up to visit with Gary. He's an easy gentleman to talk to, genuinely interested and concerned for others, his wife is the same. If you have the need for a counselor for any reason, you'll be glad you contacted Pinnacle Counseling.
The difference is amazing! The goal is to create an image void of obstructions to completely focus on the building, the primary focus of the shoot.
See the progression of how this image took shape through MANY photos and photoshop talent -
I’m thrilled with the final image, all areas of the image are properly displayed with correct colors. I’m looking forward to seeing Tyson use this image world wide.
As impressive as it is, I wanted to photograph it as soon as possible. I went one night and it couldn’t have been a more perfect an evening (except for the one car I had to remove from the image, but that’s ok). After that night, I spent some considerable time making sure every element was taken care of with no distractions.
You can see below the cover for 2016 in construction vs the completed venue in 2017.
This particular shoot was a blessing for two reasons. First, these ladies, who all work for Walmart Home Office, have very busy schedules in addition to their travels. They were all able to make it at this time. Second, which adds to the first, it had been raining for 5 straight days leading up to this shoot, then this morning, the skies cleared making available perfect conditions for this portrait for the January 2016 cover. Check out the digital copy here!