Friday, February 25, 2011

A Ghost Town...

Recently, my friend, Megan, invited me to do a little location scouting for future photo shoots. This is something that I wanted to do more of since Atlanta is a big town with lots to see. I had tried scouting last year resulting in me bottoming out the car on a sandy car trap of a road. I was able to use a boulder and loose board to free the car before the tow truck arrived. Whew...saved $100.

I hate to admit that I do not fully take advantage of this beautiful city so we set off in search of some interesting vistas. We went to 2 parks which I could not name. Magically the GPS got us there. The first was a park with a Civil War era homestead. The second was literally a ghost town with many rustic shacks. It was a fun day.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's All About ME ME ME!

Usually, I am not one to sit around and take a bunch of photos of myself. Heck, I barely look in the mirror. I am much more used to being on the other side of the lens where it is safe. What in the world possessed me to take photos with the camera pointing in the wrong direction?

I did not have any photos of myself with shaggy hair and I knew I would probably not grow it out again any time soon. I have kept my hair short since the mid 90's and about 7 months ago, I just quit cutting it as an experiment. I was wondering how long I could hold out as the hair on the back of my neck started tickling me... and then annoying me. Windy rides in my convertible would make me look like a Japanese anime character. Old ladies would clutch their purses when I would approach, and knew I had to do something soon. I had a short window of opportunity since my wife graciously scheduled me to get a hair cut.

All the photos were taken within 2 hours of each other. I tried to make them all look different. As you can see, I don't worry about embarrassing myself... notice the bowl cut in the lower row.

I call this my punk rocker yowl!

I call this one the unicorn.

I originally did a similar project back in my B&W film days of college. Here are 2 of the series. And yes, that is technically a mullet I was sporting, but I swear that it was popular back then. I can't say the same thing about the enormous owl glasses. Somebody should have had a style intervention for me. It is interesting to see how much I have changed over the years, but so too has everyone else.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Camera Angles and Funny Faces

Just for fun I decided to see if I could make myself look different without any retouching, Photoshop filters or special lenses. I used an iphone and camera angle to alter my appearance. Of course I did scrunch up my face to exaggerate my chin... but the point is that it does not take much to change your face... for better or worse. In this case I made myself look like a salty old sailor.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Photos for the Humphreys Family

Lisa is mom raising to kids and running a boutique cake company in Atlanta. Needless to say, she has her hands full most of the time.

We had been trying to coordinate our schedules before all the fall leaves disappeared. Yes, I am a little late blogging about this portrait session from last year, but they got their photos within a week.

We decided to meet at a duck pond in the Buckhead section of Atlanta. I took several photos of her and the kids who were getting much taller than I remembered from past sessions. We had a grand time shot up until it was almost dark.

There were some great bridges to pose near and the fall colors were very vibrant.

This is a family with good genes in the looks department with blond hair, blue eyes and killer smiles.

No bridge was left uncrossed...

... and no tree was left unclimbed...

I will definitely remember this spot for the future. Launched

I built the basic structure of a while back, but it took many months to get the content added and approved by lawyers. In the theme of full disclosure, I am a client of Financial Connex and a friend of Mark Koppelmann who has been handling my finances and investments for several years.

Before him, I had been through a quite few advisers in my investment career, and I felt that they were lacking. Mark has been the best by far. In a nutshell, he is trustworthy and can explain the small print to me in a way that makes sense. I know in the past some of my advisers set me up with real dud investments that probably benefited them more than it did me. I never feel that way with Mark Koppelmann. I feel like I am in good hands and highly recommend Financial Connex.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Family Portraits With The Caponis

Several of my friends are in the process of expanding their families and I have become the "unofficial" family photographer taking portraits every few months. This keeps me involved as the honorary uncle and let's me spend time with the little munchkins that grow like kudzu in the summer.

 The Caponis wanted some 9 month photos of little Allessandra so I packed up the portable studio and went to their home. We made good use of our time taking photos of both parents, grandma, the dog and baby.

We took some photos of Mom and baby, Dad and baby and Grandma and baby.

Allesandra has Grandma's deep blue eyes and looks like a mini-me version of her.

Here are three generations together. Talk about a family resemblance.

Allessandra was dressed to the 9's with a flower headband and striped trousers. Cute!

Woman's Best Friend

Who says dogs are just "man's" best friend. Why can't the same special bond exist between women and canines? My wife calls our 2 Boston Terriers "furry babies" and they are truly part of our family. They are our kids... no if's, and's or but's.

During a recent family photo session, we decided to take some portraits of Amber and her dog, Roscoe, who was Amber's four-legged baby before her beautiful daughter came along.

Many dogs get relegated to the garage or back yard when a human infant comes along, but Roscoe has remained an important part of the pack.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Portrait of a Good Father

Sometimes my favorite portraits happen when I am not exactly ready for them. I call these instances "happy accidents". For example, I was using Jason as a stand in while I got my lights dialed in for a series portraits of his family. This first photo was taken with a single diffused flash and no fill which gives it a dramatic look.

It is the times when the subjects are not expecting you to click the shutter that they are the most relaxed, and you see their true personality. I was able to capture this quiet moment between a new dad and a baby who is his favorite little girl. You can't fake moments like this.

Promo Video for a World Class Glove Corporation

Creating promotional videos for clients is a creative process that we really enjoy at Graphic Works because it uses every artistic skill that we possess. This particular video was built for Showa Best Glove's annual sales meeting, and for later use on their web site.

This project was a true team effort involving several people. I wrote the basic script and storyboard with some tweaks from my boss and the client. Then we sent the script to a professional voice talent to record. He nailed it on the first take.

From there, custom graphics were created for different scenes, and other audio and video assets were gathered, including some last minute footage shot by the client in their manufacturing facility and other scenes recorded with the Canon 5D Mark 2 DSLR.

The last stop was in the hands of our in-house video editor, David Struve, who pushed the concepts from the storyboard even further making the final video better than I had envisioned it. We all added small details to improve the final product.

Like Hannibal from the "A-Team" used to say...
"I love it when a plan comes together!"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Photoshoot for New Cut Level 5 Gloves

Being in the advertising business gives me a first hand look at incredible products before they become well known on the market. At Graphic Works I regularly work for a large global glove manufacturer who has over 1800 different varieties of gloves and sleeves for hand protection. They have a glove for every occasion and for every segment of the market including chemical resistant, cut resistant, hi-tech, disposable and general purpose. I have personally tested many of them and they are tough!

This photo was taken with a split diffuser to get hard light on the glove and soft light on the background.

For Showa Best's latest offering, we needed to photograph 3 of their new high-level cut-resistant gloves. These products have some of the highest ANSI cut level protection ratings available. We often take 2 types of photographs of the gloves... beauty shots and application shots. Both of these photos can be used in advertising, catalogs and web sites.

The top layer of metal on this photo was white foam core which was later digitally replaced by metal textures.

The photographs often start with a rough concept and we then build a small set in studio to bring the sketch to life. Sometimes we have to have the elements positioned exactly like the sketch to fit the photo into a specific layout. Other times we can use the sketch as inspiration.

Here are the three photos all shot in studio. After each image is carefully retouched, hopefully they look like they were taken on a dirty construction site.

My boss had fun smashing these wood pieces! What a racket!

One of My Web Sites Goes To Lithuania

You never know where your work will end up on the world wide web. A web site called that I built for local photographer, Justinas Bartkevicius, was expanded from the Atlanta market to include the European market. We just added a directory here:

It turns out that Justinas's father is also a photographer who needed a web site to advertise his photo and video services in Alytyus, Lithuania. It's kinda cool to think that something I made here is being used thousands of miles away. So if you are going to get married in the old country, give Jonas Bartkevicius a call.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

New Web Site for Honey Do Done!

Anyone with a "significant other" understands the importance of a "Honey-Do" list. This is the one that hangs on the refrigerator or next to a calendar of short and long-term projects that need to be completed. The more one get's done on the list, the more honey one gets... or at least that is what is implied.

That might have been the inspiration for Honey Do-Done, a handyman business in Atlanta that can handle practically any job from small to large. Shane, the owner of the business, has a lot of experience doing many different types of odd jobs. I personally think this company provides a way for local husbands to get out of the doghouse... which coincidentally he can build for you too.

I built a basic web site for Honey Do-Done, and we will be adding to the site in coming months when he gets more project photos taken.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Holiday Cards

I always get a kick out of getting holiday cards from my clients during the Christmas / Hanukkah / Kwanza season. Here are 2 from last year.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Social Media Portraits of an Old Friend

My old coworker, Jason, asked me to take some portraits of him to be used in social media. Since it was cold, bleary and pitch black outside, we decided to work in the studio.

It seems that Jason has discovered nice clothes at Macy's because he brought a couple of different shirts to change into. I had to get used to this "new" Jason because the old one was 40 lbs. plumper.

I was proud that he could be this diligent and it made me think... "I had better hit the treadmill myself". Kinda hard to do around the holidays, but the thought sounded like a great 2011 New Year's Resolution.

Anyway, I decided to try a few different approaches to the portrait session from artsy black and white to silly as seen in this superman pose. Jason is quite a ham and we had fun.