I recently had the pleasure of photographing the son of a good friend who used to work for us at Thompson Studios back when we did hundreds of senior portraits each season. Stacy brought her son Calvin to us after having had the typical school senior portraits done, which, as they often do, fell short of expressing the real Calvin. For the record, he is one of the most well-dressed, and most fashion-conscious young men I’ve had the chance to photograph.
He was quick to express his preference of shooting down in Ybor City, one of my favorite areas to shoot, and the opportunities Ybor City’s diverse streets afford did not disappoint!
Here is a slideshow of some of our faves from this special session! Enjoy!
MacDonald Training Center – MTC is a not-for-profit organization that provides adults with special needs productive paying jobs and a work environment that promotes contribution to society in a friendly, supervised workspace. I was recently working an event for Bank of America at MTC when I got to know the Director Rita Hattab. I’d noticed the photos on the website could use a boost, then being a dad of a young man with special needs myself, this place hit me where I live, and I quickly offered up a pro-bono session so they could better brand their organization with well-lit photos of their joyful workforce in action.
Challenges: Given the nature of the work environment, I couldn’t use much equipment, and none with cables. I only had a little over an hour to get all of our shots. Last challenge was including everybody who wanted to be photographed! This crowd loves to be in photos! (unlike most other places I go!)
Solutions: Lit all photos with a single, wireless, off-camera strobe to keep cables from getting in anybody’s way. As far as time constraint, I worked very quickly! But these subjects put up no resistance, so getting the shots was a snap!
Client Comment: “Working with Bob at Thompson Brand Images for our organization’s marketing photos was a wonderful experience! He was very easy to work with and skillfully brought out the best in the individuals we serve and our team members. We are so excited to start using our new photos in our marketing materials; they really reflect how we want our brand to be perceived.”
Florida Air Academy, soon to be Florida Preparatory School – Florida Air Academy is and has long been a prominent, historical boarding independent school in Melbourne, Florida that has a rich history of air cadet training alongside its highly international educational culture. Florida Air academy is in a transition to become Florida Preparatory School.
Challenges: There were several: First, where we typically capture live action, in this project a large group of student models was chosen and drawn upon for each shot, where each student was placed exactly and then coached in what to convey for each of the photos. The second challenge was to create a body of imagery for the school that took the attention off of the air cadet training and which put more attention on the international character of the student body, the curriculum and lastly their successful sports programs. Images needed to primarily concentrate on student interaction and closeups that conveyed intimacy in key spots around their picturesque campus.
Solution: For student classroom shots, we stayed very closeup to convey intimacy and emotional content, while when outdoors we opened the shots up to include the classic architecture and placed students where they would complement the surroundings. Although air cadets were still on campus, we shot ‘around’ them so as not to send that message that the school is an academy as it was in the past.
Client Comment: “For 2 days, Bob led a large group of international student models around key points of our campus, indoors and outdoors, literally putting together and lighting staged shots in dozens of environments. The results were amazing – the shots looked natural, the kids looked engaged and authentic, and he delivered a library of images that will help us powerfully launch our new brand through a robust print campaign and new website. We finally got the images we knew we needed but had no idea how to produce ourselves.”
James Dwight, Head of SchoolFlorida Preparatory School
Today I am featured on the Conscious Millionaire Podcast with J V Crum III discussing entrepreneurs, opportunity maximization and of course my philosophies on people and corporate photography. Click to listen now: http://bit.ly/1xscjCy
Winters and Yonker is a highly prominent Law Firm located in downtown Tampa that specializes in personal injury cases, and which has enjoyed for many years robust success behind a very comprehensive marketing and ad campaign that presents this firm as “The Aggressive Attorneys.” This has served them very well, and you can’t travel far in Tampa without seeing their ads on billboards, bus stops, and many other outdoor display locations. This law firm is currently reworking its brand identity, although maintaining their ‘Aggressive Attorneys’ angle, and are soon to release a brand new website and identity. Winters and Yonker hired Thompson Studios (soon to become Thompson Brand Images! – Stay tuned!) to produce a series of portraits of the two partners in various modes and settings to align with their new brand.
Challenges: W&Y wanted portraits that said ‘aggressive’ but at the same time took a bit of the edge off of that stance, and presented them as compassionate, inviting and approachable. Due to the demanding schedule of the partners and associates, we only had a half-day session to produce all photos.
Solution: A half-hour scout of their offices gave us a tight game plan that included a series of headshots and portraits of both individuals and partner, with studio and environmental backgrounds as well as a series of ‘action’ shots that showed how the partners work and interact. A spontaneous opportunity to photograph one of the partners with an actual client presented itself, which drove home the concept of ‘compassionate, caring and inviting’ in a real-life image.
Client Comment: “We were unsure of how we were going to get the images we needed given our new brand angle, but Bob came in and completely knocked it out quickly, efficiently, and got the best out of our partners. Very easy to work with and we love the results.” Anthony Raiano, Intake Coordinator, Winters and Yonker
As a photographer who has photographed literally thousands of high school seniors, there is one session that now stands out above the rest – my very own son’s session! Eric, affectionately known as Buddy, is about to graduate in June, so his girlfriend Lindsey, who’s also graduating this year, came over and we had the loveliest of sessions right here on our property. Now, as a Dad of a special needs boy, I’ve met and hung around dozens of kids and adults like this, but never, and I mean never, have I witnessed what Buddy and Lindsey share – a romance that, well, reminds of what romance really is. As for the resulting photos? I welcome any and all adjectives you’d like to share! Enjoy!
Hello! Regarding the first part of this post’s title – yes, we are re-branding and couldn’t be more excited about it. You will be the first to know when we release the full new identity and logo. AND, as if that weren’t enough, we will soon be announcing the grand opening of our new home studio in Lutz, which is 90% complete! Stay tuned!
This is also the first in what will be many posts entitled Marketing Photography Case Study, and in our first, we take a look at Cross Creek Ranch, a high-end, highly successful Wedding Venue located in Dover, Florida.
Challenge: Wanted staff portraits and group portraits congruent with the beauty of their property and venue.
Solution: I suggested they use their absolutely world-class, gorgeous outdoor grounds as a backdrop for their images, which they instantly resonated with. Owner Bonnie McSharry was so into the spirit of the idea, she had her staff dress to the nines and get makeovers!
Client Comment: “Awesome experience and we received incredible results. When you are marketing your brand and are including your team it’s always great to have photos of yourself that you really like. EVERYONE on our team loves their pictures!! Bob totally captured our style “brand” with his creativity. He nailed it!”
Bonnie McSharry, Co-Owner
Here are the resulting images from a robust day of shooting: