In the commercial photography world, schedules and deadlines are paramount. We are usually awarded photography projects a few days or a couple of weeks in advance, but for this project for WABCO, we were requested to shoot with less than four hours advance notice! Fortunately I had no other photography bookings for the day so I was able to pack my gear and rush off to location. The directives for this shoot were to photograph a WABCO truck in an empty lot in the correct perspective to strip into this stock photo background the client had purchased the rights to that very same day. After some late night retouching, I was able to deliver the finished project the next day in order for the client to meet their deadline.
Ordinarily, my job is to grease the wheels of commerce. Not a bad thing, but not quite like Mother Teresa. My studio neighbor is The Bottomless Toy Chest. They take toys to kids with cancer in hospitals. When Micky came by and asked me if I could take a picture of trolls, I was all in. When I found out that the designer / art director was Cindy Sikorski, I was truly excited. On the shoot day Micky and Cindy did the styling, it’s tough to get those tiny clothes to look good on those inflexible little bodies. They did the hair too! It was loads of fun, and profoundly worth while.
I was recently awarded a project to photograph professional models for a medical device maker in Michigan. Stryker is a Fortune 500 company whom I’ve worked with numerous times. This particular shoot was done in studio with an emphasis on building a library of images the client could use for future marketing needs. It was an enjoyable photography session, as our talent pool was exceptionally good. Likewise, I had great art direction and a knowledgeable staff that knew the medical nuances of surgical wear. All in all, it was a great team effort.
I photograph executive portraits frequently, in studio at Blue Sky Photography in Troy, along with shooting on location at client’s facilities. Although I enjoy both studio and location portraits, shooting against environmental backgrounds can often be a bigger challenge. There is more involved than just a simple portrait lighting set-up against a seamless backdrop.
In the photograph above, the client desired a very shallow depth of field which required shooting through nearly three stops of neutral density, even with the strobe lights set to their lowest settings. And to complicate matters even further, I had to deal with reflections from the conference room glass walls. But that’s why I like shooting environmentally; bigger challenge, bigger reward.
I was awarded an assignment recently to photograph semi trailer trucks. Shooting big rigs isn’t that much different than photographing cars on location, except that they’re BIG! Whether its cleaning and detailing them, or scouting for a location, one has to keep in mind their enormous size. They are far less maneuverable than your typical car and require space; lots of space.
This project was for Point Dedicated, with an emphasis on their dedicated team of drivers. I did several different photos with their team members, including interior cab portraits, using a mix of ambient light and auxiliary strobe lighting.
Living and working in metropolitan Detroit, its hard to get much distance from the automotive industry. There are not many degrees of separation. Although I’m acutely aware of this phenomena, it was brought home to me once again when I was awarded a multi-day photography shoot for Pentastar Aviation. Upon entering the terminal lobby, one cannot but notice the numerous photo enlargements depicting the historical connection between the Ford Motor Company and the aviation industry. And its no wonder that they’re on display, as Edsel Ford, the great-grandson of Henry Ford, is the chairman and sole owner of Pentastar Aviation.
I created the photograph shown above, a Falcon aircraft interior, showing the quality of custom work Pentastar’s Interior Design division can do. Whether its automotive interiors or aircraft interiors, Blue Sky Photography is up to the task. Thanks for viewing.
Finding the best angle for a particular car is an impossibility. Best angle for what? Best to display what the designer was thinking? Or best at telling the story that it’s a zoomy exciting car, or a practical safe family car? You get the Idea. Where you stand and where you point has a huge impact on what a photograph says. It’s one of the best lessons I learned from Walter Farynk when I was in school. As always, I’m interested in hearing your thoughts and comments.
As a commercial photographer, I’m often awarded a location assignment without the opportunity to do a preliminary scout prior to shoot day. In these instances we really don’t know what perils may await us. We hope for spotless factories with pristine machinery and well groomed operators. However, those hopes are usually dashed moments after arrival.
The facility photographed above , EPIC in suburban Detroit, was an exception to the norm. We were welcomed into an almost sterile-like environment, showcasing a meticulously clean assembly line. Not all industrial photography projects will be as clean as this one, but we can always hope.
Since Chicago is one of my favorite cities, I was delighted to be awarded a photography assignment there earlier this month. I was hired to photograph a new Maserati / Fiat automotive dealership just weeks after they completed final construction. The dealership was unusual as it had two distinct showrooms; one for the value conscious Fiat customer, and one for the Maserati shopper, where money doesn’t seem to be an issue.
It was an interesting dichotomy as I watched the Fiat shoppers inevitably make their way over to the Maserati side, just for a glimpse of what money could buy! Either way, they came for an Italian built automobile.
A mysterious or fascinating quality. That’s how the dictionary defines the word “intrigue”. I can still readily remember how I felt working in my college photography darkroom, waiting for an image to appear on my photo paper as I gingerly sloshed developer back and forth. It was magical and suspenseful at the same time. That same feeling of intrigue kept with me over the years as I waited for my film to come back from the lab, never truly knowing the results of my photographic efforts until I held them in my hands. It added mystery to the process of photography.
Now with everything photographic being digital, we’ve lost some of that mystery and suspense within our chosen profession, and exchanged it for the immediacy of pixels on our computer monitors. To be fair, we did have Polaroids that removed a portion of the intrigue from our shoots. These days there is still an element of suspense in our work that keeps me engaged. In the photograph shown above, all the elements to create a quality image for my client came together, proving to me once more that photography can still carry with it a little bit of intrigue.