Busy, Busy February

With February coming to a close I’m astonished as to how busy I’ve been.  A total of 16 real estate shoots and 5 hotel shoots.  Not too shabby.  Now it’s time to work on getting some marketing done to snag some of the Seniors.  This year I’m offering packages ranging from simple shoots to full blown Senior Extravaganzas with full hair and make-up to make it a real experience for the graduating Senior.  I’m also going to re-work my website and get some wedding pictures up there.  I’ve had a couple of dozen requests for pricing but haven’t been able to seal the deal because I don’t have any examples of wedding stuff up on my website.  It’s now become imperative.  So off to put on my marketing hat on in between all of the architecture work.

Here’s a couple of shots from the Embassy Suites Center City.  These were part of a shoot I did for Hotel Tonight last week.

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State of the Photography Profession (or Lack thereof)

In this post I’m going to try and not get on my soapbox,  but I had a very interesting situation happen the other day.  As many of you who follow my blog on a regular basis know I do a lot of shoots for a company called HotelTonight.  This story begins when one of the hotels that I had been assigned to shoot contacted me.  They inquired if there was a way that they could purchase the rights to the images I was shooting for HotelTonight.  I had to inform them that HotelTonight was my client and that I could not fulfill their request but I would gladly put together a quote for them.  I prepared a quote for them that included licensing for 20 images for web use and sent it off.  Now keep in mind that this is a MAJOR, Multi-billion dollar hotel chain that will remain anonymous.  The day for the HotelTonight shoot came.  I was greeted by the marketing manager and was introduced to the GM of the facility.  After the pleasantries we agreed to meet after I was done to discuss my proposal.  So I set about doing my job and got some great shots of the facility. (Froze my butt off getting the exterior shot)  As I was packing up the marketing manager mentioned that the GM was dealing with a VIP that was coming in and wouldn’t be able to meet with me directly but we could go ahead and discuss the proposal.  Great!  He told me that the proposal looked really good and he and the GM were very pleased and it was passed all the way to corporate.  WOW!  AWESOME!  Or so I thought.  He proceeded to inform that corporate had nixed the proposal and wanted him to find a college student who would be willing to do it for free.  FOR FREE!!!!  My heart sank.  He said that they really needed new images of the facility and that he was going to see if they could squeeze their general operations budget for some funds to be able to hire me but they couldn’t do it at the price I had quoted them.  I told him to let me know what kind of number they could come up with and I would come up with a proposal that would fit their budget.  At this point you’re probably wondering what kind of wild, extravagant number I came up with.  Mid 5 figures? Nope not even close.  It was a mere $3200 including licensing of the images.  

This kind of corporate mentality kills me.  A multi-billion dollar company and they want free pictures.  This is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard.  Putting no value on the very thing would draw people to your hotel and generate millions of dollars of income.  The more I thought about it the angrier I got.  These people are looking for some who would do an adequate job and be willing to give up their rights to the images so that the corporation could use them as they wanted and not worry about rights and licensing.  What BS!!!  Commercial photography should never be free.  If your company is going to use it for advertising and generating revenue, be prepared to pay.

Sonesta Hotel-Philly

Well I’ve finished and delivered another group of images to Hotel Tonight.  This time it was the Sonesta Hotel in downtown Philly.  It’s a really nice hotel.  Very contemporary in design and furnishings.  It has a great pool located on the 8th floor with a nice view of some of the older buildings in downtown.  The staff was great and got me everything I needed to make the shoot go smoothly.  A special thanks to Jason and all of his hard work.  The only problem was shooting the restaurant and bar.  They were absolutely packed due to the big Made in America concert that was going on over Labor Day weekend.  So I had to make a second trip to get the shots of the bar and restaurant.  The bar and restaurant are a copy of an upscale British pub and is called The Elephant and Castle.  A nice place to stay if you find yourself in Philly.

Ramada

It’s been a few days since my last blog so I thought I’d catch up.  On Thursday I did another shoot for Hotel Tonight.  It was the Ramada at the Philly airport.  They were in the middle of remodeling so I couldn’t shoot everything but the folks at Hotel Tonight were hot to trot on getting them on-line.  So that means I’m going back in about a month and shoot the areas that we were unable to get.  The folks there were really nice and it might have lead to another job.  They need photography for their own website and brochure after the remodel is complete.  If everything goes right I’ll be getting the gig.  Keep your fingers crossed.  I want to say thanks specifically to Donald Jester over there.  A great guy and fun on top of that.  Though they really seem to keep him jumping with all of this remodeling going on.

Finally Some Sun

It seems like it has been a month of dreary, rainy, overcast days here.  Well this morning I finally woke to sunshine and blue skies. (Not mention the sound of lawnmowers).  All in all not a bad way to start your day and a big improvement on the past couple.  Sunshine is often underrated as a mood altering substance.  It sure makes everything seem that much more enjoyable.

Recently I’ve been really busy shooting houses for real estate agents and hotels for Hotel Tonight that I haven’t really done anything artistic.  So yesterday after I finished tweaking my website (www.fullframefotography.com) I decided to grab my camera and my macro lens and head outside between rain showers and see what I could find.  Well I didn’t have to go far.  I walked out onto my front porch and found raindrops still sitting on the leaves of the tulips in the garden.  Even though the flowers were gone I thought that the raindrops were interesting.  Especially the way they were just sitting atop of the leaves.  Here they are.  Enjoy.

Atlantic City

During my self-induced, blogging hiatus I finished up the work for Hotel Tonight thanks to my good friend Reid Mason of Mason Photographics.  (He’s an awesome photographer and Photoshop guy in West Virginia.  Not to mention one of my best friends.)  He helped me with post processing on the majority of these images.  Without his assistance I never would have met the deadline.  Because, as we all know, nobody wants their material until everybody else wants theirs.  So here’s a couple of shots from my Atlantic City trip.

A Long Day

Yesterday I did my first set of shoots for Hotel Tonight.  We shot the Palace Suites, Courtyard by Marriott, and Resorts AC.  It ended up being a really long day.  We shot 3 hotels in about 7 and a half hours.  Not my ideal situation but…….  I guess you can’t always have the time you would like.  I still think that in general the clients got some awesome images.  All of the hotels have asked to license some or all of the images in addition to Hotel Tonight using them.  I’m really excited about that.  I am starting the selection and post processing today.  I should have them done within the week.  I’m thinking that there’s probably going to be between 25 and 30 finished images when it’s all said and done.  Stay tuned.