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 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.
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.
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.
One of the great benefits of being a photographer, especially a "location" photographer, is the opportunity to make a living and be outdoors at the same time. Granted, many location shoots can be in corporate offices or noisy factories, but sometimes the weather gods are with you. That would be the case for a recent photo shoot I did on the west side of Michigan for a synthetic lumber distributor (marina decking). It was a perfect temperature day with sunshine and beautiful cumulus clouds for our marina backdrop.
This photograph was accomplished using the sun as our key source of light, obviously, but with a simple strobe chimera for fill, just out of camera view, we were able to avoid too much shadow on our talent's face. Not all location shoots have as ideal weather conditions as this one, but that great unknown makes on-site photography all that more interesting!
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.
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.
Photographs have been an important part of the advertising industry for a long time. You can see them almost everywhere, from billboards to newspapers. The reason behind the massive use of photography in advertising is that they increase the aesthetic value of the commercial message and attract more potential customers. You may have noticed that nowadays newspapers and magazines dedicate a lot of space for advertisements that have large photographs and images. These advertisements are very expensive and companies spend a massive amount in designing, development, as well as the printing process. These ads are highlights of the newspaper and magazine industry and grab a lot of attention from readers, which of course is necessary for the promotion of brands, products or services that are advertised.
The importance of photographs for advertising products and for brand promotion has been proven. To do an effective advertising campaign for brand promotion or marketing goods and services, add some professionally created photographs to the commercials which appear in print media and billboards. In case you are designing a promotion campaign for products like automobiles, then photographs can make a great difference. Attractive photographs of cars will create an interest with potential customers and will compel them to read the commercial message.
Professionally created photographs of cars will have a quality finished look and will be more attractive than the ones amateurs take with consumer digital cameras. Experienced and qualified car photographers have a creative talent for commercial photography and they know how to highlight the splendor of the car in their photographs. They make sure that the photographs they are capturing are fulfilling the purpose of the advertiser, creating an end result of the customer being enticed by the stunning imagery and ultimately reading the commercial message. Therefore if you are in need of an effective advertising campaign, you should strongly consider hiring a proven commercial photographer who has experience in automotive and car photography. Hiring a professional photographer will help in assuring that the images that are added to the published advertisement are in accordance with industrial standards and are capable of attracting the attention of readers.
If your company is located in Detroit or any nearby city, then I would suggest you hire one of many Metro Detroit Photographers for getting the most attractive photographs created for your advertisement. The talented photographers of Detroit are known for the quality of the photographs they create and for their many years of experience in commercial automotive photography.
metro Detroit photographers
I was recently asked to bid on an extensive truck project for Shell Oil. It involved photographing Super Rigs out of state. Shooting on-highway semi trailer trucks is not much different than photographing cars on location, other than their enormous size which can cause logistics issues.
This particular image is a new Peterbilt semi truck I photographed and retouched recently. More to come in future blogs.
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 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 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.
Detroit seems to revolve around cars. Almost everything is related to the auto industry in one way or another. Aftermarket parts and original equipment parts make up a large segment of the Detroit economy. Shooting exhaust systems and the mechanics who work on them is just another part of the automotive universe. As always I am interested in your thoughts.
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.
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.
I used to think of corporate photography as annual report photography or any “corporate communication”, from PR to capability brochures. There was a time when annual reports were thick, glossy, well designed, and had lots of photography. Now, many annual reports are mostly on newsprint; an expression of our current economic times. Corporate Photography now seems to mean a business portrait or headshot. There is no question of the value of an excellent executive portrait. It may be the first impression that one gets before actually meeting someone in person. It also represents the company’s image as well as yours. It can illustrate your corporate culture: casual, aggressive, or buttoned up.
Is it cheap? No. Professional photography is a business. We have years of experience making people, products and places look good. It’s how we make our living, and like all businesses there is overhead that we contend with too. It’s true we don’t use film anymore, and that was an expensive part of photography; but now we have computers, printers, networks, and digital cameras. In addition, there is all of the basic overhead, like rent, insurance, advertising, utilities, transportation.
Is it worth it? Well of course I think it is, but objectively, it depends on your individual situation and how important your image is to you.