When I was contacted by ISG (In Sixth Gear) to photograph a black 2008 Lexus IS F, my third favorite car in the world, it was rather easy to say yes to that job! In fact it would be harder to have a more fun commercial car photography job in Tampa. A few days earlier I went to Ybor City to scout locations (photos without car) and found the above brick road by rail road tracks spot, which was what the client had requested.
This was the client's own daily driver car. He had a number of customizations added to it including a very low profile front carbon fiber spoiler, special 20" black wheels and perhaps most noticeable was the throaty prototype exhaust system. The V8's could be heard rumbling loudly even at idle. When revved you can hear it two blocks away.
All the locations I found in Ybor City were within a few blocks of each other in the same old brick warehouse district. The client mainly wanted shots composed in a way so they could be used on his website, which meant leaving space on the left side for a vertical menu and space on the bottom of the image for text overlay, as can be seen in the above shot.
While waiting for the sun to go down a bit more, I took a few tight shots of the IS F for the client's own personal use, as well as to use as wallpaper on my own desktops! The IS F has a unique, angled quad-exhaust system that is at an even sharper angle with this prototype exhaust system than the stock tailpipes.
The client's customized IS F looked especially menacing from the front. The car overall was lowered with an even lower profile front carbon fiber spoiler. Needless to say one has to be quite careful going over speedbumps!
The client is actually selling this car and replacing it with a BMW M3. I hope the photographs help him remember his time with his IS F.
For Spring 2011 I am launching the "Why is this bride smiling?" promotional campaign for St. Petersburg, Tampa and Clearwater wedding photography. The ads themselves are more colorful using the same tone of blue found in my logo and feature a floating circles design theme.
"Why is this bride smiling?" -- The intention behind this question is to promote the emotional aspect of my wedding photography for Florida brides-to-be (and grooms too!). Instead of initially focusing on specific package details, pricing, etc., I first want the engaged couple to think of the emotion they want from their wedding photography, what they want the experience to be and how to capture those emotions and experiences. If the engaged couple feels connected to the emotions of my wedding photogrpahs and wishes to experience and preserve what I have done for others on their wedding day also, then the time for discussing package details & pricing can follow.
I realize price is a strong factor in purchasing decisions, but wedding photography is not like buying a refrigerator.
For all of the above reasons I offer a free, in-person wedding photography consultation to determine if my wedding photography philosophy matches with a specific couple's wishes. Even if someone looks through my full online portfolio, downloads and reads my Wedding FAQ, reads all the raves and reviews, I will always highly encourage meeting in person before the couple decides on myself or another photographer for their wedding so I can in my own words answer the question, "Why is this bride smiling?"
Thank you . . .
American Momentum Bank is located at a great corner location in downtown St. Petersburg. I photographed the ribbon cutting ceremony sponsored by the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce. It was a very well attended Thursday evening event. The marketing team did their jobs well. It was one of the liveliest crowds I have seen at a networking event too.
I am normally quite shy at these networking events, but even I talked to at least five people at length. It helped that I met the manager of the bank a few weeks earlier at another networking event and he took a liking to me. He was very generous with introducing me to people at the event trying to help me get new photography clients. It was greatly appreciated.
The crowd was a mix of the regulars you see attending Chamber networking events, bank employees and their guests, as well as clients of the bank (pictured above). It was a very fun, productive, and tasty (sweet dates) event to photograph!
I became more serious about photography in August 2008. I already had plans to leave Japan in February 2009. In that six month period I had a goal of getting a photograph published in the "Photo of the Week" section of Metropolis, the #1 English magazine in Japan. To my great surprise I reached that goal on October the 24th. Though no money was involved, for a few minutes it felt like I had won the lottery.
Then almost two years out of Japan, Metropolis contacted me for permission to have one of my photographs considered for their 2011 calendar. I had originally submitted it in January 2009. I said, "sure." I was then told it was selected for the month of January and the copies they mailed to me across the sea arrived this afternoon. I was also happy to find out I was sharing space with two other old Japan photographer friends, Vladimir and Alfie. I was with Vladimir when I made the above photograph, and really only went out shooting that day because of his invitation. So I guess I have him to thank most! The photograph is in fact, one of my own top five all-time personal favorites, and a shot I am rather proud of.
Getting a photograph published in Metropolis I feel is still a sort of right of passage for a photographer in Japan, and perhaps Tokyo especially. It results in a sort of Who's Who of photographers. A small, but nice honor.
This got me to thinking this afternoon about where my photographer career would be if I had stayed in Japan. Alfie is a true professional photographer with many connections and he was starting to appreciate my work. Could I have gone on to be more of a photojournalist like he is? Would I still have pursued lifestyle photography in Tokyo as well? I can imagine wedding shots with Mt. Fuji as the background, or family portraits taken under the cherry blossom trees in full bloom. Who knows . . .
I ventured out of St. Petersburg this morning for a DSLR Photography Lesson with new student Carie and her Canon 50D on the University of Tampa campus. I had not had a lesson there in almost a year. The campus was much busier than I expected for an early Saturday morning, but I was lucky and got the last parking space in front of the Plant Building.
Carie has had her 50D for some time and has done some studying of photography terms and techniques on her own. What my 1-on-1 in the field lessons offer is instruction on how to actually make photos in common situations with situation specific settings. One thing Carie wanted to be able to photograph better are her very active children who plays sports. The variable cloudiness allowed us to use sunny actions settings, and higher ISO settings for when the sky clouded over and available light dropped significantly. One important thing I told Carie to keep an eye on was shutter speed. For action the shutter speed should (usually) be at least 1/500th of a second and faster. When the clouds came and the shutter speed dipped below 1/500th, increasing to ISO 400 got shutter speeds up to an adequate 1/640th. Of course, the faster the subject is moving, the faster the shutter speed needed to freeze that action is.
For the final part of the lesson we went down by the Hillsborough River to practice using fill flash for portraits. I had Carie first take a shot (of yours truly) with no flash then the exact same shot with her external flash on. It was easy to see the better results having the flash on produced.