Category Archives: Commercial Photography

Commercial photography services by Jim Crotty Dayton Ohio including event, editorial, product, facility, location and studio photo services

I love what I do, I am good at what I do and I NEED to do what I do

It’s that simple. Take another look at my title for this blog entry. Especially the last part.

Got it?

Why hire a professional photographer versus the soccer-mom-with-a-good-camera?  Here are 10 reasons why:

  1. Quality of Work
  2. Dependability
  3. Fully Insured
  4. All client image files are carefully organized and back-up across multiple media
  5. Professional bearing and appearance while working at client’s location
  6. Actual, true corporate experience working on the “other side” of the desk
  7. Bringing more to the table than just great imagery
  8. Over-delivers and delivers on-time
  9. Listens to understand client goals and expectations before the camera and lights come out of the bag
  10. And his or her career and passion to create and capture photographs that best  represent the passion that each client has for his or her business and customer and their respective communities
Professional Photographer Jim Crotty and the first five to his top 10 reasons why you should hire a professional photographer
Professional Photographer Jim Crotty and the second five to his top 10 reasons why you should hire a professional photographer

Jim Crotty Introduces Consulting and Training Services for In-House Product Photography

Recently I have been providing onsite consulting services to firms interested in improving and enhancing – or even just starting – their own in-house product photography studios and capabilities. I thoroughly enjoy these opportunities to show companies how they can improve the online appearance of their product lines by not only recommending the right equipment but offering the right training for their staff to shoot exceptional product imagery, from capture to edit to posting. If your firm would like to break away from stock images or lackluster photographs of your products I can help! Additional information @ http://jimcrotty.zenfolio.com/consulting-services. I’d be happy to provide a free estimate over the phone or via email.

Knowing the Client’s Client | Photography for Company Web Sites and Social Media

When completing photographic assignments for a client’s marketing and web site, I strive to capture the light and setting that is best suited for the particular product or service being advertised. To do so requires more than just technical skill. It requires an understanding and appreciation of the client’s clientele and their customer service goals. This was my goal while photographing the newest additions to the accommodations at The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills, Ohio last week, the “yurts.” These structures are a beautiful and unique combination of both framed tent with all the comforts of a completely furnished cabin.

With this particular assignment I wanted to convey the atmosphere of the “glamping” experience – glamorous camping – but including in the imagery both the comforts of the yurts and the intimate connection to the natural surroundings. With The Inn being a client of my photography services since 2003, as well as the location for both my autumn and spring nature photography workshops, I was very familiar with the “guest experience” goals of such a special retreat location in this beautiful area of Ohio. Another goal of the assignment was to capture the natural light of the setting of the yurts throughout the progression of the day, from morning to afternoon to dusk to evening.

In today‘s world of so much of a company’s products and services being visually communicated via the web and social media it’s vital to invest in photography that will do just that – convey the essence of the experience through professional imagery that both reflects the uniqueness of what is offered and a commitment to the customer who will likely return. again and again.

Newly constructed yurt accommodations photographed at The Inn at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills Ohio. Photography for marketing and web site.

The Power of the Self-Portrait | Marketing the Photographer and Photography on the Web

I’ve always been more of the introverted, shy type. That’s a big reason why I became so involved with photography and nature at a very early age. I’ve never was known as gregarious and outgoing, preferring instead more “quiet” pursuits. The benefit is that I have an insight to my subject matter and a passion for the art of image making that provides just as much excitement today, at age 47, as it did when I was wandering the woods at age 12 with a Pentax Spotmatic F 35mm camera and a couple rolls of Kodak Tri-X film.

The downfall is that I didn’t develop what I would call “aggressive selling skills.” At least not initially. This is a big reason why most fine art photographers – nature, landscapes, wildlife – are rarely comfortable in the fine art of self-promotion. They put themselves through a bit of a beat-down and withdraw from what may appear to others as self-inflating behavior and bragging. But the truth of the matter is, in this age of the digital, independent artisan, there is still the need to compete in the open market. The photographic artist adapts, overcomes and pushes onward with the realization that half the process of selling art – whether it be prints, services or instruction – is the selling of self.

Human beings are visual and so much is determined within those few seconds of the first impression. With professional photography they want to see the photographer behind the photographs. They want to see the face of who will be teaching the photography workshop. They want to know more about who will be photographing their portrait. Although we go to great lengths to pretend that we don’t judge by appearances the cold, hard fact is that we do, all the time, whether it be through online connections at home or when out and about in our workplaces and neighborhoods.

Case in point – what page on a photographer’s web site or blog is visited the most following the home page and gallery of images ? The “about” or “bio” page. Always. We’re naturally nosy and we want to see the face behind the work.

Recently I had a profile article published in a local tourism magazine here on Hilton Head Island (note – print version included more images). They published almost all of the sample images from my portfolio that I sent to them except one – my own head shot. Even though it was well-written and the sample images looked impressive, the number one response I received from those who saw the article was “where was your picture?” When I kept hearing that question and comment it finally solidified what I had long suspected about how people react to my marketing efforts – for prints, workshops and commercial photography services. A well captured and presented self-portrait can make a big difference.

So, rather than react negatively I saw the omission as an opportunity to reconsider the appearance of the quarter page ad that I had been running in that same publication. I made some adjustments and decided yes, time to stick my neck out and be a bit more “aggressive.” Below is the result –

And then I thought “well, while I’m at it might as well update my Twitter background too –

The photographs. The photographer. What at first looks like a mistake becomes an opportunity – to learn, adapt and move forward. The age of digital is almost entirely visual-based. Welcome to the new “social hour” of business networking and self-promotion. Does this make me look “conceited, self-centered ?” No. For one thing I never considered myself exactly model material (although losing 50+ lbs in 2009 made me more comfortable with my self-portraits). The reality is that in order to successfully market online – whether static site, blog or social media – some confidence is required to “put yourself out there.” This is my work. This is me. I’m happy with my work. I’m happy with me. Sure there’s always going to be a negative judgement or two from the peanut gallery but nine out ten impressions are going to be positive. Those positive impressions may not result in an immediate sale of a print or workshop registration, but if people like what they initially see, they return.

And here’s more good news for professional photographers. The power of a well-captured and presented head shot extends far beyond the online marketing of photographs and photography services. It applies to just about everyone else presenting a business, profession or art online as well. The camera phone capture may be okay for Facebook but  . . . there’s just something about a professionally photographed portrait.

Food Photography | Tough on an Empty Stomach

Two things I’ve learned when it comes to assignments for food photography – 1) photographs best immediately out of the kitchen, and 2) can be challenging when the stomach is empty, which for me is pretty much all the time. That’s a little secret about Weight Watchers. You never finish. To make it work you have to stay on it, and on and on.

Last week I had the opportunity to photograph the very tasty and healthy offerings of Delisheee Yo Original Tart Frozen Yogurt and Superfood Snack Shop, my neighbor next door here at my studio/gallery location on Hilton Head. All-organic ingredients, Chef Catherine performs her culinary magic proving over and over again that healthy and natural can be just as good tasting (I argue more so) than anything fried, loaded with butter and packed with way too many fat grams and calories. I very much appreciate the opportunity to capture photographically the delectable goodness that is Delisheee Yo.

DSLR Camera Workshop Announced | Recently Published Images

UPDATE 12-23-10: The January 15 workshop is currently full, however, those interested can be added to my waiting list. Also, I will be repeating this workshop at least twice this spring, most likely Saturdays in April and May.

I’m happy to announce the addition of a second photography workshop for January 2011. On Saturday, January 15th, I will be presenting a five hour introductory program on the basics of digital photography and the DSLR camera, at Cox Arboretum MetroPark.

This is an introductory level photography workshop for anyone who has just bought their first DSLR camera. Basic settings and features for more creative control that goes beyond “auto” mode and the limits of point-n-shoot digital cameras. Classroom instruction with field demonstrations, both outside and inside, at Cox Arboretum. Refreshments and snacks will be provided.

$65 per person. $20 Deposit required for reservation. Class limited to first 25 people who register. Deposit payment by check to Picture Ohio, LLC, 7164 Hartcrest Lane, Centerville, Ohio 45459, or PayPal to “james@picturesqueohio.com.” Call 937-432-6711 or email jim@ohiophoto.org to register.

Also, the most recent issue of Housetrends Magazine includes a feature spread titled “Old Fashioned Colonial Christmas.” This was an editorial assignment that was a joy to photograph. Beautiful home in Washington Township (near Dayton) that was full of decorative details that conveyed the warmth and character of Christmas past.