Posts tagged: business

An HDR Image for the Client

I’m in the middle of a project for Electro-Optic US, a die-cutting manufacturing company based in Alpharetta, GA.  One piece of this project is to create a exterior image of the US headquarters of the company.  Sounds easy right?  Not necessarily so.  Creating an exterior image of a building takes more work than you may think.

The entrance to Electro-Optic US is on the north elevation and because the sun is so far south at this time of year, there would be very dark shadows on that side of the building.  No matter what time of day the shot would be taken, if the sun was above the horizon, the dynamic range of the image (that’s the difference between the brightest part of the image compared to the darkest part of the image) would be too large to correct in post-processing.  And since Markus, the president of Electro-Optic US, wanted the focus to be on the building and not any cars that may be in the parking lot, I created the images below when they were closed and during that 20-30 minutes between dawn and sunrise when daylight first appears early on a Saturday morning.

Creating an Image

I captured the five small images on the right side of the image above just after dawn using five different exposures to capture the brights of the lights, the darks of the shadows and everything in between. You can see them better by clicking on the image to enlarge it in your browser.  I then merged them together in software to create the High Dynamic Range (HDR) image in the lower right of frame.

This created a very workable image but there were things that needed to be fixed before I would call it a finished image, ready for delivery to the client.  For instance the dull sky needed to be replaced and distractions like the signpost removed, the brown grass made to look greener, replacing missing pine straw around the bushes and straightening the crooked window shades all needed to be fixed.  There was even some foliage added to the three bushes at the front so they would look healthier.  That’s an image I’m proud to present to a client.

If you are or if you know a business owner who wants their building to be seen in the best light, even if the images were taken before the sun came up, tell then you know someone who can create that image, point them to this post and introduce us in an email or over coffee.  Thanks for visiting the blog, and remember, I don’t just take pictures, I create images.

More Executive Portraits

Over the past month or so I’ve had the pleasure of creating  executive portraits for friends who have now become my clients.

Debra Scott, a registered representative of Vining Financial Services, Inc., a financial investment firm located in Marietta, GA, needed to update her portrait.  Debra enjoys educating clients about investment planning when she’s not having a good time with her family.  She had been telling me that she was going to come see me and after a few weeks, and she finally did!  We had a fun time creating her portraits.


Another friend, W. Wright Dempsey Jr., is an attorney providing full legal services with emphasis on estate planning and probate, construction, personal injury, commercial, and cultural conservation matters in Dunwoody, GA.  A person with diverse interests, it isn’t everyone who can sport a bow tie and look great doing it!  He even taught me how to tie one,  yes, that is a real bow tie, not a clip-on.

I’ve known both of these folks for a couple of years now and I occasionally have a breakfast with them.  I’m happy that they chose me to update their portraits for both online and collateral usage.  If you happen to need their services or know of someone who does, Google them to find their contact information.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to shoot as  I love to create executive portraits!

Interdev Executives

I’m happy to announce another successful shoot of some local executives.  The folks over at Interdev, LLC, a Managed IT and Security company, needed portraits of their management team for their website.  It took some planning to get everyone together but as you can see from the images below, it happened and everyone is pleased with the results.  You can see the images here on their site and I really appreciate that they entrusted me to create their images.

An executive portrait is just one of my services I enjoy creating for my clients.  From products, to specialty images, I enjoy talking to my clients and getting to know them and their business.  That enables me to create the images that let them shine!

Peruvian Sweaters and Caps

During the last week in July, I again found myself  doing product shots for children’s clothing and/or accessories.  The company for which I was shooting this time, Chirimoya, is still in start-up mode, and Charlie, the owner, recognized the need for professional images when he couldn’t create images that matched the quality level the products he wants to sell.

The products, hand made sweaters and caps are imported from small villages in the mountains of Peru.  Hand knitted and embroidered with landscapes of flowers, lambs, and alpacas, ensures that each item is unique and I can tell you the quality of these items is exceptional.  During the shoot, I had to keep an eye on the samples because everyone who saw them tried to take a sample home with them.  Including me, because I have a new cousin being added to the family in a couple of months and one of these would make a great gift!

My other task, besides looking out for the samples, was to create images that could have the backgrounds in different colors sampled from the items themselves and then to have the backgrounds easily changed out if so desired.  I used a technique where I place the item on plexiglass and then lit the background and items separately so there are no shadows on the final image.  This makes it extremely easy to cut the item out of the background and place it on its own Photoshop layer.  The image below is composite of the results I achieved for Charlie and Chirimoya.

So if you know of someone who has children in the 0-4 year old range and you could use a very unique gift for the holidays, check back here every so often.  I’ll post a link to the website when it goes active you can see more and maybe order a few items.

OyToy Products

Last month I had the opportunity to shoot products for  This website sells clothing items, toys and puzzles to a very large and specific market.

When RuthE, the owner of the site, accepted my bid, she said she was bringing not only the items for the shoot, but  the models also.  After the models in the images below arrived at the studio with their mothers, I was able to sit back and enjoy taking photos because their mom’s corralled the little ones, and got them dressed in the different items that RuthE wanted to shoot.  I also used RuthE as a designer for the accessories on the ‘modelettes’ so they looked the way she wanted them shot.

Reagan is wearing a bib embroidered in Yiddish.  Originally, she was to model a baby blanket but she didn’t like being wrapped up in it.  When we put her in this bib her face brightened.  Can you imagine, having an attitude at that age?!  🙂  The bib was obviously something she enjoyed modeling!

Eliana, pictured below, was having a great time in front of the camera, so much so that it was difficult to show the embroidery on the blanket.  But, she was so cute that I just had to shoot images of her with the blanket wrapped around her even though you can’t see the embroidery.  Yes, we did get images with the embroidery showing, so we were successful.

This is one of many puzzle products that sells.  Our oldest model, Daniel, no more that 4 years old, enjoyed solving this puzzle.  He also like mugging for the camera!

A fun shoot with little models full of personality, we just had to find what worked for them.

Till the next time!

The Power of an Image

Believe it or not, images speak.  They can say many things and be very powerful.  An image can say “I want you!”, “I’m in charge here!” or “Come on in, we’re glad to see you!”  It takes a collaboration between the subject and the photographer to create an image that says the right things.

When Pierre came in to the studio for his executive portraits, he had a challenge for me.  He wanted images that were friendly and casual but conveyed a tone that said “I’m the expert.”  As a successful franchiser, they had to convey his friendliness, approachability and confidence; images that could be used in magazines and newspapers or in corporate communications.

By finding a pose that fit the criteria and having him change only his expression we captured images that expressed those messages.


Successful people like Pierre come to me for their images because they want them to say many things and I can help them create the images that express exactly what they want say.

Large Product Shoot

A corporate client of mine, Metcam, Inc. a metal fabricating company, has started fabricating pedestals for Steelcase tables and chairs and Bruce Hagenau, Metcam’s president, wanted to distribute press releases and newsletters announcing their new contract with Steelcase.  Remembering that I shot his Tyco Supplier Excellence award a couple of years ago, see below, he contacted me to create the images of the new office furniture.

With the deadline to get information to the printer just a week away, he asked if I could do the shoot in the next day or two.  Luckily I was able to fit that in to my schedule and when I arrived onsite, I spent a few hours straightening up the desks prior to creating the images.  After all, you don’t want to have a messy desk when you’re showing off the furniture!

Here are a few of the 12 fully edited images I delivered two days later so he could beat his deadline and get the information to the printer for release.

Steelcase Pedestal Table and Chairs

The image above shows the table and chair pedestals that Metcam is now fabricating for Steelcase Furniture.

Steelcase Cubicle Desks

These cubicle desks allow the employee to stand and work.  The desk section elevates and Steelcase has supplied soft foam mats for the employees to stand on to prevent foot and leg fatigue.

Steelcase Standard Cubicle Desk

I enjoy working with manufacturers like Bruce who are excited about their company and want show the world what they produce.  They’ll want to talk to me because I’ll work closely with them to create the images they’re visualizing and deliver them in time to beat a deadline.

Spotlight Video Interview

An interesting thing happened to me at a meetup…a video was produced!

Last week, in the sponsor spotlight section of the meetup “It’s a Great Day for Business Atlanta”, I was interviewed by a group panel consisting of Louis Agudo, Lorrie Todd, Todd Wilson and Eric Romero.

This meetup group supports small businesses by showcasing established and emerging small business owners to reveal their secrets of success.  One of the ways they do this is by creating videos, shot by Randall Philips of PDB Group Ventures, to add to their blog, website or just leaving it posted on YouTube to increase their internet presence.

In this linked video, you’ll discover a few interesting bits about me, my approach to commercial photography, why I created di Sogno Photography and started teaching a course on photography.

Those were some great questions and I want to say thanks to Louis, Lorrie, Todd, Eric and Randall for creating this video.  If you’re interested to know more about the meetup, check it out at  In the meantime, it’s back to creating images for my business clients for me!

New Site-New Blog-Great Development Team-Gratitude

New Web Site and Blog

As you can see,  I had the site converted to a format that is much easier to modify, post and add as many image galleries as I want.  It’s based on WordPress and I am extremely pleased with the usability of this format.  Why I didn’t move to this format earlier, I don’t know, but I’m glad I did and I won’t be moving back to a standard HTML site any time soon.

Look for more frequent updates to the blog and the site itself.

Great Development Team

I want to put in a good word about the development team that put this together.  I met Joel Quinn of Quinn Companies a few months ago when he came in for an executive portrait and convinced me to go with his team of companies to create this new site.  He has roughly ten different companies under his direction, all of which work in some area of the web, IT resource management, backup services, data warehousing, SEO optimization and even cell phone and printer repair.

Joel Quinn

Joel introduced me to Derek Dirks of SEO Blink.  Derek, is doing my SEO optimization and was my point of contact between the developers and this WordPress rookie.  He is very knowledgeable, easy to work with and, at times, had the patience of Job with some of the questions I was throwing his way.  For me, he directed a team of people to not only answer all of my questions, but they were able to handle a very difficult conversion issue along the way.

We ran in to an issue converting the original blog to a compatible format.  The original blog was built on a propietary system and even though I was able to supply the team a database of my blog entries, it wasn’t an easy task to perform the conversion because it was a custom database.  I’m not sure of the database programmers name, but he did a fantastic job of converting it so that I wouldn’t have to do it the hard way…copy from the old, and paste to the new.  Essentially manually recreating 3 years worth of blog posts or losing them.  This saved me about 8 hours of work.  Many cudo’s to the team on that one!

I’m happy to say that without Derek and the rest of the team, this site would not be up and running in it’s current form and I’d still be flopping around like a fish out of water trying to do the conversion.  Derek, thanks for all you did during this process.

And thanks to everyone who was invovled with converting this site and educating me in how to keep it updated.  I look forward to a long relationship with this group of people!  Joel, you were right, your people can do just about anything!

Starting the year running!

I’m happy to say that 2011 has had a very good start with two shoots submitted for publication in trade magazines and numerous executive portrait sessions being done! Well enough about us.

Early in January, the franchise owner of Fresh 2 Order (F2O) contacted me because Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine wanted to do a story about him and F2O. We spent an afternoon capturing images at one of his locations and then sent them off to the art department of the publication for inclusion in the next issue.

I took home a couple of the dishes you see in this picture for dinner and I’ll say they were delicious. I highly recommend you stopping by for lunch or dinner to check them out sometime.
Shortly after completing that assignment, I received a call to create a set of images for Southern Waste & Recycling a turnkey solution provider and management firm specializing in waste and recycling services. They announced in a press release that they had recently won an exclusive contract with Fieldale Farms in Baldwin, GA to recycle all of their office and paper waste at all of their processing plants and HQ. In case you were wondering, Fieldale Farms supplies chicken under numerous private labels as well as their own label. They control the process from egg to freezer. Waste Age Magazine saw the press release and was doing a story about them both.
Although I was not permitted to take photos in the processing plants, it was interesting moving through the different areas and seeing the processing lines as we were heading to the various offices to capture the images for submittal.

I did get one image of a chicken…okay, technically it’s a rooster. Although it’s not as big as the Big Chicken in Marietta, it’s definitely the 2nd largest one I’ve come across…and it makes a pretty good prop for pictures!
I’m happy I could help both companies complete their magazine articles with the images we made.
Among the executive portraits I’ve shot so far this year, Hank was very interesting. After saying to me at the start of his portrait session that he NEVER took a good photo, Hank looked over the table at me during his sales session and said “You don’t play fair. I can’t decide on JUST two, there are too many images that I like!” I just smiled back because I like hearing it. It means I did my job well!
He was so pleased that he asked me for a contact sheet of all his images in order to show his wife, so she could make choices for additional images for herself!
That wraps up this post. I hope the run continues, as the year progresses. Remember, I shoot more than just business and commercial work. I photograph anything from fire and ice, artistic or fun, to sultry and seductive. If it gets added to a portfolio, hung on a wall or put in a little black book, be assured, they’re all unique images you’ll treasure. See you next time!

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