Longtime client and leading global research group PPD (Pharmaceutical Product Development) decided it was time to refresh their corporate image. Their marketing team wanted to move away from overused stock and create fresh photography that reflected a more personal side to their company. At first they were reluctant to photograph their own employees, but using models was counterintuitive to their goal. So I shared several samples of past shoots where companies around the country had brought me in to capture their own workers in their element. PPD loved the idea of getting great shots of folks who were the actual fabric of their organization, without a bunch of lights, staging or hassle. The results made them believers.
A quarter century. That’s how long I’ve been making a living with a camera. As I reflected on this milestone, I decided it was time to get back to my roots. To strip away some distractions and concentrate on “pure” shooting. What makes it pure?
Looking back, I found a thread that ran through my recent work. That thread was the ability to see differently. To find the art amid the chaos. Whether it be in a plain old office, at an event or in a visually stimulating factory with sparks flying. No fancy lighting, no crew, no hair and makeup artists. Just one backpack of gear and experienced eyes.
To celebrate this anniversary, I shelved my old website and started over from scratch. All images on my new site are composed entirely in camera, shot with available light and there is little to no retouching. So they’re pure.
I’m reaching out to small businesses and large corporations who need a little purity in their marketing mix. Authentic images from shoots that require very little effort from the client side.
If this sounds like something your business could use, email me — email@example.com.
Check out the NEW cdphoto.com!
“Hi honey, how was your colonoscopy?” isn’t something you hear very often, as people tend to put off those types of exams. Wilmington Gastroenterology decided to combat that procrastination by creating a new website featuring their beautiful offices and caring team of medical professionals. The idea was to show the friendly faces that make your visit there a better experience. That’s where I came in. Their new site lets you “meet” their staff in the privacy of your home and softens the stigma around the services they provide.
In the summer of 2016, I got the opportunity to tell a very powerful story. A local refuge for human trafficking victims called “A Safe Place” was having a large fundraising event and asked me to craft a video to encourage donations. Through my research I learned that trafficking of women and men isn’t just something that happens in larger cities. In fact, 25% of all trafficking victims who enter the U.S. end up here in the southeast. For our production, I was given unprecedented access to a safe house and spoke with a young lady (renamed “Natalie”) whose life trajectory had been altered due to the efforts of this organization. I bonded with Natalie over our love of soul food and her fictitious name came from her fondness of singer Natalie Cole. My approach was to tell Natalie’s story using her own unscripted words and pepper it with statistics to both inform and inspire those in attendance to open their wallets for this nonprofit. The video caused a haunting hush to come over the event’s room and now lives on the front page of their website.
Every once in a while we need a little reminder that most of us have it really, really good. New Hanover Regional Medical Center called and needed an environmental portrait it in a hurry, so I didn’t get a lot of background on my subject. All I had was a name, a time and an address. I like to go into my shoots a little more prepared than that, so I dug a little deeper. Come to find out my subject had a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Some women are very self conscious in front of a camera, but not her. I only spent an hour there, but her bubbly personality and positive outlook on life were nothing short of inspirational.
You might have seen those posts that show “What people think you do” vs. “What you really do.” Well, this is not what I typically shoot, but somebody has to do it, right? When a local entreprenuer needed promotional pics for his niche business Custom Woven Towels, he knew I would give it my best shot. These luxurious towels are customizable promotional products; your company or team logo can be weaved directly into the the fabric for added durability. The main challenge with this job was that the shoot took place in March. It’s pretty chilly here in early spring, and a sea breeze coming off the 55° ocean didn’t help much. Here’s to the ladies (including former Miss North Carolina – Jessica Halso) who made it look easy!
Every photographic assignment has its challenges. One product category that I’ve always considered especially challenging to shoot is window coverings. Not only are you dealing with the dynamic range of light inside versus outside, but the blinds or curtains have to be the star of the room. For more than 75 years, Strickland’s has been helping Wilmington homeowners “dress” their glass and needed a few updated images for new branding efforts. Careful lens selection, camera position and of course proper lighting came together to create this three-part series.
When I was a kid I was enthralled by trains. So when I got the chance to go see how a hopper car was built and create a series of images for Vertex, I was in heaven. Photographing in a factory is super challenging. When you combine constantly changing lighting conditions, huge pieces of machinery dangling overhead with dirt and noise galore — most shooters would call that hell. But to me, industrial locations are “target rich environments.” You get to find art amid the enterprise. Hopefully this is only my first trip to this railcar birth place. It’s also where great photos are born.
One of my many business trips last year took me to Cleveland, Ohio — the home city of KeyBank. My role there was two-fold: director of photography for corporate short films and still shooter. Since we had been filming for several days, I grew very familiar with the folks and the many floors in their multiple buildings. It definitely didn’t look like any bank I was familiar with. Corporate America seems to be striving for a more hip, contemporary vibe in their workplaces. Which begs for fresh marketing materials to match. If you’ve got a similar need, wherever you (or your client) are located, let’s talk about how I can help.
Clement Asante came from Ghana to build on the American dream, and to serve. In the latest installment of a video series for N2 Publishing, we see “Clem” describing his job with deep gratitude. It’s obvious he takes his work—and the trust N2 has in him—seriously. Clem’s responsibilities include quality control. He is the last person to touch the magazines before they are seen by readers. As you watch, I think you’ll be inspired by his humble and gentle spirit.