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.
The other day I found myself on the set of yet another movie being filmed here in Wilmington. This time I had the pleasure of watching Isaiah Washington, Michael Ironside and Lisa Anderson display their talents for the camera in the 2015 release of “The Sin Seer.” Lisa plays Rose Ricard, who uses her gift of reading minds to solve crime cases and bring closure. Even after all these years, it’s still fun seeing famous faces on both my camera’s LCD screen and the silver screen. Here are a few choice moments of the actors in their element. Director: Paul D. Hannah
No wonder their employees are so happy. The main office of Clayton Homes in Knoxville, Tennessee, is very impressive. Not only do they have their own workout facility (including a full-size basketball gym), but a “no walls” policy keeps the interactive aspect alive. Everyone can see and speak with anyone, anytime, even the boss. My assignment to capture happy workers engaged in collaboration went very well. Light-filled rooms and sincere smiles made for a great shoot. I love capturing the real faces of today’s corporate America. Why settle for cheesy stock photos when you can have authentic pictures of your company’s own people?
As part two of my assignment for newly acquired Lumina Station (see previous post), the client wanted to show a fresh, modern look for those who frequent this retail oasis. I suggested pairing two models I had worked with before, and the agency pulled the trigger. The challenge was telling the story without featuring a particular store since the materials were designed to market the entire property. Shop owners kindly provided the season’s latest looks and we scored a beautiful day. Special thanks to Melanie and Hannah for making this shoot one of summer’s best!
Since the Sotherly group owns hotels all over the Southeast, their agency Big River in Richmond also wanted to show a taste of life by the sea. It just keeps getting better, huh? So Matt (see previous post) and I hauled our gear out of on the sand late one cloudy afternoon. With his excellent casting, the perfect little family was created. And we pretty much let them interact and play in the salty air. The trust that both Matt and I had built with creative director Geoff Stone was still there, because Geoff wasn’t. His confidence in the professionals he hired could be an example to others. And his approval came through with words like “stunning” and “remarkable.” Let’s hope this leads to many more southern adventures!
Talented director and friend, Matt Batchelor, was hired by Richmond ad agency Big River to create a short film for a hotel group. He reached out to me because they also needed some stills. After a great pre-pro call and a thorough look through the brand book for Sotherly, I got really excited. They needed someone who could creatively capture their property along with some unique details of southern life in and around Atlanta. Can you say tailor-made assignment? When working with a new creative director, the pressure gets pretty revved up, especially when there’s a lot on the line. But after seeing my rough edit from Day 1, he graciously agreed to let me revisit some of my old stomping grounds all by myself. That’s called trust. And in my book it’s better than any advertising award. A sincere thank you Geoff, Rina and Cara at Big River, and to all the people who have put their trust in my eye for so many years.
One of our town’s hidden gems is a retail property called Lumina Station. Full of welcoming shade trees, cute shops and excellent eateries, this is truly a local’s spot. During a new property-owner transition, Lumina’s marketing agency, TGK, wanted to feature some of the characters who call Lumina Station home. Initially, the idea was to set up in an empty suite and have the various business owners come to us, but I believed we’d get better results capturing each person in their element. Not the easier option, but definitely worth it. Here are a few of the selects showing the personality and pride of these individuals. Big thanks to the agency for wrangling the schedules.