Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe

This was a fun job and a little out of the norm for me. A web design firm asked me to go to Warwick NY (not too far from the studio) to shoot images for a new web site. You never know what you'll get on a job like this but I drove there with the Taurus full of equipment, arrived early, and waited for the owner Tom. Well, Tom was wonderful and the book store was charming. I shot all of the interior shots with a 20mm lens without lights and only brought out a Quantum to shoot through a white umbrella for the portraits. While I did work, it never really seemed like work so I got paid to play around with some great people. What could be better than that? 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Sure, I am a food shooter (as my other blog shows) but when you work for corporations, you shoot whatever they need because hey- you get paid for using a camera which is always great. 
This time it was portrait shooting for a big web developing company named GeekHive. I shot and retouched fairly normal 3/4 portraits of all of the geeks but for most we added portraits that really brought out their true geekiness. Lot's of comic-con stuff was brought out. This guy seemed to love his 1960's chemistry set. 
The conference room where we shot was a second floor but I had help from the geeks so even though it was hot outside, we kept cool and had a great time.
Geeks rule!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

One of the best things I bought for my studio

I am mainly known as a food photographer but I shoot almost anything my clients ask. I have one beloved client Frank who's company makes curtains, tablecloths and placemats that can be found in most department stores. When I landed this client, I knew that I would need a steamer but I didn't know how much work this client would bring so I didn't want to spend $300.00 on a Jiffy steamer. I went to Home Depot and found a Conair steamer for (back then) $30.00!
That was 3 or 4 years ago and I still use it and it works perfectly! Only 10% of the cost and it's perfect. So never forget to check out the big box stores for great deals. By the way, this steamer also works great for pizza too!

Monday, June 30, 2014


321? Yes, this image explains why 321 is so important. 
A client at Nestle called me and asked if I had an image that I had retouched for them over three years ago (Top, their original. Bottom, my version). Without even looking, the answer was yes! I knew I had it because all of my work is saved to three different places on two different kinds of media and one is kept off site. That's dpbestflo's advice and it helps me to keep my clients happy. In this digital age we need to take equal but different care to assure that our images are archival. 321 is the best way that I have found so far. Oh - for me 123 means 2 huge hard-drives and DVD's.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How else are you going to learn?

I left RIT with a 4 year degree in photography and headed down to NYC. My great friend (to this day) Mark K. told me that he would get me work when I got there and he did! I began working as a 3rd (4th?) assistant. College was not a great help in NYC studios and I began to get my true schooling at the hands of photographers like Joe Toto. That's Joe sitting in as model on one of his own Ragu shoots. See the beautiful Rembrandt lighting? That was Joe all the way. 
I currently teach studio photography at WPUNJ. One of the lighting styles that I teach is Joe Toto's Rembrandt portrait lighting. I also teach Jimmy Moore's beautiful Umbrella Beauty lighting (although I miss his Huge Ascor strobe and Sun Gun head). 
The fact is that even now in 2014, I still teach my students not to become photographers (though some do) but to become photo assistants. That's where the real learning comes from. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

It's all about the light

This image is from a shoot for Wolves VS Lions clothing company. You have to love a company like this because so much of their profit goes to charity. The owner is top left and the old man in the middle is the photographer, me. The client request was to have the black clothing almost disappear so I moved the models away from black seamless lit them with a beauty dish and hit them with a head from the back right to edge light the clothing and models to help cut them from the background. Everything worked out perfectly and the client was happy. That's the way you want to leave your clients each and every time.