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.
In the photos you'll notice the original ceiling and brick walls, the amazing part is the front lobby floor is all original from decades ago, I can't imagine the care and precision it took to make sure that and the curved exterior glass windows stayed in tact. So much more was kept in place from the original too. Inside you'll see information about NW Arkansas, Rogers and the history of Rogers as well.
The exterior was a bit time consuming behind the computer, as you can see, being that it's January, it gives a lifeless look, not good for marketing. So I go in and meticulously add grass and trees in with the trick to make it realistic with lighting angles and shadows.
The sad thing is, they had already had photography from another 'photographer' and were very displeased with the results, his quote: "You get what you pay for". This cost them even more by having to have the photos done a second time. This reminded me of a quote by Red Adair "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional, wait till you hire an amateur". I've worked many years, and continue to, perfect, hone and improve the photography I offer my valued clients whether the commercial photography is architecture, product, food, headshots or corporate photography of any kind. I want the best for them to help them improve their marketing and profits.
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….
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 :)
This building, by Nabholz Construction for Admiral Movers, is in Tontitown Arkansas. The interior houses 50,000 soft of client storage, while photographing it, it reminded me of the end of the Indiana Jones movie where they show an interior of a huge government warehouse full of large wooden crates. The East & West exterior walls lean outwards slightly giving it a unique architectural design.
I was given the grand tour of the interior by Bill Locke who really informed me of how much they do, for example, the storing services for companies such has hotels until their construction is done and ready for furniture. It also features amenities for truck drivers while waiting for their trucks to be loaded or unloaded. Other storage areas are available in climate controlled spaces.
Nabholz has entrusted Branch to photograph this structure for an upcoming national construction competition. Nabholz Construction will also be entering the images we created of The New School structures as well.
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…
Fast forward a few months and in August that became reality. Nabholz Construction contacted me to photograph three recently completed constructions. One of them was this building, the University of Arkansas Don Tyson Agri Science Center. I went out late one afternoon to capture a series of images to compile to form the one above. My goal was to accentuate the facility in all it's architectural beauty, eliminating any distractions, large or small, to draw the eye to the main subject. You can see the normal view below, this is what 'most' photographers would see and provide, not me.
I must add, on a personal note, I was thinking of my father during this entire photo project. My father taught high school Agriculture for 35 years in Tennessee, I was imagining how impressed he would be at such an impressive facility dedicated to the agricultural sciences.
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.
I've tried to attend as many events as possible to be a part, as a result, I've been one of four selected as Diplomat of the Month for the past 3 months. If you want to be a part of the community, join your chamber and get involved, you'll be glad you did.
The Walmart Lobby entrance, on West St, showcases a lighting system that transitions to several colors, always giving the interior a different feel. They can program the lights to show colors based on the performance.
Just like all commercial photography I create, I take them personal. By personal I mean I put myself in my client’s shoes and take on the role of owner and look at it from my perspective as a potential client. First, how would I want my architectural photography to look or be perceived. Secondly, I look at it from a client’s point of view and what would it take to get my attention if I were to see it in advertising. According to my activity on my phone/watch, I walked about 5 miles photographing the interior. You may think, ‘how did you walk so much inside a building just taking pictures?’. To give you a brief idea, I’ve made “progression” photos that show a sampling of what goes into creating some of the interior photos, the Youtube link is below some of the photos below, please take a few seconds to watch, like and subscribe.
How this Interior photograph was created -
How this Interior photograph was created
How this Interior photograph was created -
How this Interior photograph was created -
Twilight photography is my favorite for architecture. It takes considerable more time but so worth it and rewarding with the results for the client and myself. The building pops and gives a surreal feel through transforming the reality of what is normally scene. The colors are more vivid the contrast of the interior against a dark sky gives for a very inviting feel. This accomplishes the goal of making the viewer want to visit the location and be a part.
Now for the technical side. This particular twilight photo of the exterior was one of my favorites but also the most time consuming. I have included below a “normal” view (what it looks like in normal view) compared to my finished image compiled of several photographs and eliminating distractions, how ever minor they may be. Remember those pictures in the paper that challenged you to find how man differences you could find? Just to name a few things, reflections on glass walls, proper color temperature of building and sidewalk, replacing bare trees and grass, images showing proper exposure of interior, cleaning shadows and marks on sidewalk and sky background properly exposed. To say those things in one sentence is easy, but many hours of dedication were put into the final image. I enjoyed the process because I knew what the final image would represent and be viewed and enjoyed by thousands of people across the country.
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.
This is a list of most of what was done:
- Added in sky
- Added grass to all parts where was brown, very difficult to add and make look real, especially in small areas.
- Put in Flag from different photo
- Added trees on left and right sides.
- Cleaned concrete in foreground
- Cleaned and darkened blacktop
- Cleaned all curbs
- Added building lights from other photos
- Added street lights from other photos
- Added light and shadows below street lights
- Added windows from other photos to show interior
- Added front of building from another photo that was brighter
- Lightened light siding on front of building to ad contrast to “CARDINALS”
- Brightened and added red to “CARDINALS” sign in front to make it stand out.
- Removed garbage cans from under awning on left
- Removed pipes at front
- Removed water pipes to right of image on ground
- Cleaned concrete at base of street light poles
If your business or company needs great quality images of your facility, inside or out, call me at 479-601-6480, you’ll be glad you did.
I am very thankful to the staff that helped coordinate all aspects of this day to insure everything was perfect.