How photography can influence business perception. An in depth look at how good and bad photography can influence a businesses public perception through examples and analasis.
I had the opportunity to attend the Schmooza Palooza this year. It was a networking event held by the Chamber of Commerce Huntsville and Madison County where...
businesses of all kinds set up tables. I went there to get a feel for how businesses in my area felt about their social media, if they hire anyone to do their social media, and what social media platforms they use.
A surprising number used twitter. Most of the larger businesses had someone at a corporate or local level doing their social media. However, a quite a few of the exclusively local businesses seemed to be flying blind.
I really enjoyed just getting to know other businesses and finding out about services that I didn’t know about before.
For example, Fly Quest has a motion simulator which is used for Advanced Aviation Training,
The Healing Arts Center uses various methods of therapy like photography and essential oils,
University Pickers has all kinds of things for rustic house decor,
306 BBQ has oh-my-goodness-the-juiciest-sweetest-ribs-I’ve-ever-had,
and Luciano has delicious Italian food.
I'm really glad that I decided to go, I definitely enjoyed myself, met so many wonderful people, and I won a $20 gift card to The Pants Store.
I’ve always admired Mark and Kristie Stevens and the Anytime Fitness Franchise because of their dedication to hard work, health, and quality. The Anytime Fitness motto is “Work hard, play hard” as they strive to help people achieve a healthy and strong lifestyle rather than just make money. I was recently commissioned by Mark (aka Dad) to photograph all seven of their gyms. Yes, they did pay me like a professional photographer, and no they did not get a family discount.
So I spent a few days traveling around North Alabama and Mississippi. The photographs that I was commissioned to take were straightforward - location, club culture (environment), classes, personal training, and staff. Since half of these were about people, the staff’s assistance was vital. Acually, they were more like collaborators because they knew the members, had their trust, and were responsible for making the gym an encouraging and fun environment.
Staying true to each gym's specific community spirit meant working with the staff for to figure out what kinds of things they do to create that environment.
Ultimately, the gym itself and the amenities provided there also were very important. Anytime goes beyond just having equipment to also having personal trainers, instructor-led classes, and classes on demand.
Enough blurbing about how great Anytime Fitness is, this blog is about how I am growing as a photographer.
The hardest thing to balance was resecting people’s privacy, and asking them to be models. I did not want to interrupt their workout, but I did want to have the people shots and make them feel good about being a model. I found that while I dreaded it, people were much more enthusiastic to have their photograph taken than I had guessed. Lesson learned!
People like having their photograph taken. While they are helping me out, I’m giving them something to brag about to their friends and I'm making them feel good about themselves.
The location and equipment shots were easy and fun as long as I did the following.
The best way to take location shots is to walk around and find different interesting angles. In this situation it is important to always review the photos to make sure that there’s nothing awkwardly cropped out and that there are no distracting trash cans.
As photography is becoming more important in social media, photographers have to work hard to make sure that we are making attractive, interesting, and fun images so that people want to know more. Mediocre representations are no longer an option in today's world.
I really do enjoy the challenge of walking into a “new” environment and photographing it to show it off, but the best thing about working for a business is working with people and making new connections.
Maybe now you can understand my excitement when I looked through the magnifying glass at the tiny film strip. The first thing that I saw that I could recognize was a bike, then a few outlines that looked kind of like people, and then a landscape or two. I didn’t know exactly was on the prints until I actually printed them on paper...
This series was inspired by empathetic curiosity. I’ve been noticing these lonely crosses for about a year now. As I thought about the crosses, I realized their call to regard life as precious and fleeting but also to drive carefully. My documentary class with Jose Betancourt allowed me to investigate.
Below is a map of crosses in the Huntsville/Madison area. I found, photographed, and researched each cross to discover what happened. Below are my photographs and the article with the most information. However, with several of these crosses there was only one article, and no further information was released.
Deborah was so much fun to work with! On top of that, she is an inspiration. She is working to raise and support her four sons on her own - and she is doing that by helping others to have stronger, healthier bodies.
As an artist, art appreciator, and generally a person, life is better when you can enjoy simple things. One simple thing that I’ve noticed and begun to enjoy is the combination of trees and streetlights at night.
The design qualities of a dark background, light foreground, prominent diagonal lines, repetition, dramatic light and shadows with a simple color palate.
The symbolic qualities are also fun to contemplate. The trees represent nature, and stability. The streetlights represent technology, electricity, light, and city life. The tree and streetlight together seem to represent a harmony between nature and city life.
So in addition to the design elements, I enjoy how they resemble a harmony between my enjoyment of an active city life and the solitude of nature. However, different things can be read into this combination. How do these images reside with you? What do they remind you of and how do you appreciate the design or symbolism? Or do you dislike how the images or objects come together and why?
Oh, and many thanks to my husband/bodyguard who went out with me on this could-be romantic walk that I interrupted with the camera. Daniel has played the very important role of making me feel safe so that I can concentrate, knowing that he won't let me stand in the middle of the street if a car is coming... Thanks Dan!
In my most recent experimental photography project, I printed cyanotypes of who I get my looks from on an old pair of jeans, so the genes that gave me my looks are on a pair of jeans that I wear as part of my looks.
This is a rather fun and sentimental project, but there’s more to the story.
It began when, while visiting my grandparents, they showed me a slide of my grandmother which happens to be the ONLY photograph in the world that Mamaw likes of herself. As it is a photograph of her in her 20’s and I’m in my 20’s, I knew that I had to print them side by side. The opportunity finally arose in the experimental photo class where we could re-purpose photographs for cyanotypes. I scanned in the color positive slide and made a print with it. Chelsey Ray took the replica photograph of me (thanks again Chelsea!).
In the meantime, my grandfather who has cancer was admitted to the hospital with some kind of infection. Finally living close to my grandparents and not being able to help was difficult for me, so by working on this project I could bring some uplifting news when I went to visit.
In class, I realized that it’s possible to print cyanotypes on cotton. Jeans are make out of cotton. A lightbulb went off, I finally had the chance to illustrate one of the discovered phuns of my childhood, Genes Jeans.
Printing on the jeans, which is something that you can’t re-do, went surprisingly well. The biggest variable was the density of my negatives which caused some of the portraits to be slightly over or under-exposed. Since I made cyanotypes with the negatives on paper, I assumed that the prints require 6 to 7 minutes under the UV light. The fun part was rinsing out the genes to get the yellow unexposed chemicals out to see the portraits come to life.
What you see on the jeans is me and my grandmother in our 20’s and recent photographs of my dad and my grandmother (taken by my fantastic wedding photographer Stepanie Rhea). Moving forward, I’d mile to include my dad in his 20’s, my dad as a child, me as a child, and possibly a portrait of my mother in her 20’s as well.
Working with Jenny Freeman has been delightful. As a photographer, it’s great to have a client who knows what she wants but also is open to some artistic freedoms. It also helps that her work is unique and fun. She uses a more traditional technique with modern design. It’s difficult for me to explain, but here are some examples!
Dangerous rocks, muddy floors, no official tour guide, and the dark: I couldn’t help but bring my camera. The risk of destroying the camera was well worth the experience. I realized how much I enjoy night photography, the study of light, and the study of movement.