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.
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.
Automotive parts are really important around Detroit. Statuesque is what I was going for. Big. Important. Grand. This part is cutaway so we can see inside. I like shooting industrial parts. You can see them for their functionality or you can see them as circles, rods or trapezoids; light and shadow giving them volume and shape. My job as a commercial photographer is to transform my client’s vision into a photograph, that is visually impressive and tells a story. As always let me know what you think.
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.
I've driven a few miles this year, primarily on three separate assignments to New York, including a side excursion to Philadelphia. These trips required a good deal of photographic equipment, forcing me to opt out of flying, and hitting the road. Its fortunate I enjoy driving, although admittedly, the days can get somewhat long.
This particular photograph was created at a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility that produces yogurt. I was hired by The Raymond Corporation to highlight their materials-handling equipment in action. I particularly like this photo due to the sterile and nearly monochromatic setting we were in. This shot was photographed using a mix of ambient light along with my well-travelled strobe equipment.
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.
As the current year ends and a new year begins it’s a good time for introspection. Personally, I have family, friends, and health to be thankful for. A wider global view reveals many people working hard to make a better world. This includes people designing medical devices that perform well and protect health care workers from dangerous toxins. I don’t imagine advertising photography is saving the world, but hopefully, it’s more pleasant to look at. Thanks to all of our clients and suppliers for a wonderful year. May 2015 be even better!
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.
Brand promotion and advertising is incomplete without photographs. The reason behind this is actually related to the psychology of humans. We are more attracted to the photographs printed in the newspapers and magazines than the written commercial messages. The colorful images help in establishing brand identity and give the customers a brief overview about the product or service which is advertised. In a nutshell it can be said that photography is a very important part of the advertising world and without it, attracting customers to read a print advertisement can be extremely difficult.
If you need to create an advertisement for publishing on an online portal, newspaper or magazine, then I would suggest you to hire a product photographer. A professional photographer will make sure that the product is captured in the photograph in such a way that all the positive aspects are highlighted and the overall view is attractive. The image that the amateur clicks with a digital camera may have flaws, but professional high resolution cameras can produce flawless images when handled by a commercial photography expert. To add the perfect photograph for the advertising of your products, you should hire a professional photographer.
In case you are dealing in industrial machines and spare parts, then nothing can be better then employing an industrial photographer for creating the images of the machines and spare parts which you offer. The photographers who specialize in industrial photography have a talent for the requirements of your industry, and can capture splendid images for increasing the aesthetic value of your advertisement. A professional photographer can add life to any ordinary advertisement by creating flawless images of your products.
Once again, my business partner Tom Kirby and I have teamed up for a commercial photo assignment. I handled the location photos and Tom shot in studio for an industrial protective gear client. This scenario has worked well for us in the past and this time was no exception.
Photographing heavy industry can often take place in less than sterile environments. Noise, dirt and occasionally foul odors can be part of the occupational hazards of industrial photography, but it can also be fascinating to see how America really works behind the scenes. Truth be told, I'm always glad to be on this side of the camera.
I’ve always loved photographing shiny things - doesn't really matter what it is. Reflective things like a car, jewelry, or in this case, an industrial tool, all fascinate me. Controlling reflections to reveal the shape as well as to make a compelling photograph, is my kind of challenge. Spiralock makes this tap for cutting threads that lock a bolt in place without a lock-washer. I just like the way it looks. As always, I’m interested in your thoughts.
I had a multi-day shoot on location recently, photographing employees both as traditional portraits as well as in team photos. Inergy, an automotive supplier located in Troy, Michigan, hired me for this project after seeing samples of my photography on our Blue Sky website.Relying on professional talent when shooting commercial photography can get you spoiled, but these two Inergy employees were terrific to work with. They took direction well and were very pleasant to work with. Lots of laughs during the shoot, and we came away with great results.
I was recently hired to do a photo shoot at Toyota Boshoku, an interior trim facility for the automotive industry. As in nearly all photographic assignments, there were challenges that awaited me. For this particular photography project, time was limited and decisions had to be made quickly once our scouting with the client had been completed.
For this lifestyle photograph, one of several created that day, we temporarily employed one of the staff seamstresses to assist us. We set up quickly using just a key and a rim light, mixing with the ambient light of the facility. Our client was pleased with the results as we were able to help tell their story of quality automotive finishing.
I was recently hired to photograph at a multinational automotive paint laboratory in suburban Detroit. Although I've worked with this company a number of times before, it was my first gig with this particular client who flew in from Chicago for the two-day shoot. There were no layouts which gave us the flexibility to shoot anything that we felt would tell a good story. I enjoyed having to think "on-the-fly", as it differs substantially from many shoots which are much more disciplined. This particular photo opportunity forced us to change directions, move our gear and operations to a satellite building to take advantage of the work in progress. Without the flexibility our shoot strategy allowed, we couldn't have captured this paint booth image.
I was recently on a photography shoot in Atlanta at a brand new 800,000 square foot distribution center. I was photographing material handling trucks for my client Raymond. They chose this particular facility due to its "VNA" designation (very narrow aisle), three words most photographers probably don't want to hear. We tend to like space, lots of space for our lighting needs. But of course, we're always up to new challenges.
These trucks are pretty amazing and so in an attempt to capture their remarkable capabilities, I spent about fourteen hours out of a two-day photo shoot perched on top of a scissors-lift. This particular photograph was accomplished by shooting from approximately three stories high, giving an unusual perspective to the truck, the operator and the warehouse itself.
Corporate portraits can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Most often it seems executives need head-shots photographed against a simple seamless or traditional portraiture backdrop. I photograph many executives each year this way, both in my Troy, Michigan studio and also at the subject's business headquarters. But environmental portraits, or more specifically as in the photo below, an industrial portrait, brings with it more challenges and often times a more enticing photograph.
This particular portrait was photographed inside a forging plant, which was hot, dirty and noisy. It was nearly impossible to communicate with either my photo assistant or my corporate clients by speaking, so hand signals became my primary source to convey directions. As with any corporate portrait, the subject is the star, but an environmental portrait can also help tell the client's story.
It may look like this was shot in a gritty, dimly lit industrial warehouse, but in fact, it was shot in the relative comfort of our studio. I found a floor to shoot at a factory nearby, and stripped that in under the lift truck. I love that photography can portray an alternate reality. In fact, that’s the core of our business, to make things look better than they actually do. In this case, few industrial warehouses with this lift truck would be quite so gritty. These are high-end lift trucks and more likely to be found in a modern commercial warehouse that is clean and well lit. I like the tough gritty feel though, as it does communicate that it’s a durable, well built machine. As always, I’m interested in your thoughts.
As a commercial photographer in Detroit, the next assignment can be incredibly different from the previous one. One day I may receive a request to photograph a jet, and the next I'll be quoting a studio or location car shoot. Industrial facilities are a common request as well as executive portraits or product shooting in our Troy based studio. It is a diverse mixture of needs in the photographic world, and as the saying goes, "variety is the spice of life".
I was able to experience some of that variety during the last two weeks as I was assigned to shoot an architectural commercial building in downtown Detroit, followed up by a luxurious homesite on Lake St. Clair, for a brick and stone company. I photographed the home from several angles, including detail photos as requested by the client. It was an enjoyable shoot, once more adding a little spice to the business of photography in Michigan.
One of the really great things about being a commercial photographer is the glimpse we get into processes or industries that normally go unnoticed. We did a shoot for a company that makes, among other things, speaker grills for cars. As we shot, our client explained why his product is superior to his competitors’. This is not only interesting, but helps us highlight or emphasize the important features or manufacturing processes. This is another job that Dave and I used a tag team approach to execute. As usual, I completed the studio portion of the project, while Dave did the location shooting.
I suppose you could call this industrial photography. It is for business to business communication. It is as likely to be used in a powerpoint presentation as in a trade show, trade ad, brochure or web site. The key point is that our images help clients communicate their story more effectively and help enhance their overall image.