Posts tagged: photographer

Looking for an Atlanta photographer…

“I ‘googled’ using terms like ‘Atlanta’, ‘Alpharetta’, ‘head shot’ and ‘photographer’ while looking for someone to create my image.  You came up in the search.  I looked at a couple of other websites prior to viewing yours and compared to those sites, I thought yours was very professional, well done and easy to navigate.  When I looked at your images, I knew you were the photographer I wanted to create mine.”  Steve said that when I was curious and asked how he had found me.  Because he’s a salesman at a technology company, I wasn’t surprised when he answered using search terms instead of just saying “Google”.

He’s been with his company for a while now and they’ve long asked him to get a professional head shot done for their website, marketing and sales collateral, and to have something to use for speaking engagements.

The images were created on a standard white background to make them as generic as possible.  Steve, being a bit more discerning, wanted his images to stand out more.  Working some Photoshop magic, I exchanged the standard white background with a mid-grey color and added a gradient to separate him from the background.

Backgrounds make a new image!

Both images are fantastic and although I’ve been doing this for a while now, it sometimes surprises me how a change like this creates a different feel to the image.  Steve decided to go with the image on the right.  What do you think?

As an Atlanta photographer I strive to separate myself from the pack and it’s always nice to hear when people notice.  I want to thank Steve for being so detailed in his answer to my query and for choosing me to create his executive portrait.

How can I use a virtual tour?

Lately, the people I’ve talked to have asked me this question when I mention virtual tours.  To provide one answer, I’d like to use the advertisement and the story of how a new client of mine, Garrett Backman owner of Rubicon, LLC, is using them on his upcoming new website as an example.

When I met Garrett, he told me that he was updating his company’s web site and wanted unique images of his Gainsville, GA office property.   Because  Gainsville is a pretty good hike from his corporate offices in Roswell, GA, he wanted the ability to show the property when potential tenants were interested, any time of the day or night.  He settled on virtual tours as the solution to his problem.

His building offers a fantastic view of Lake Lanier, and after shooting one of  the virtual tours, I captured a panorama image showing its proximity to the lake.  You can see in the ad below how Garrett is using that image in the Gainsville Times newspaper.

Rubicon - Gainsville Times Ad

Although his new website is not up at this time, I’ll show a couple of his virtual tours using the hosting service option that my clients have when I create a virtual tour for them.

As seen in the ad above, the patio area and the offices on the back of the building have a great view of the lake. Click on the image below to enjoy a popup virtual tour of that view. While viewing these tours, be sure to use the cursor to move back and forth or up and down to see a total view of the space.


This virtual tour is of the impressive two story atrium. Again, click on the image below to enjoy a popup of that virtual tour.

So how can a business owner use a virtual tour?  They can use them to:

  • Wow customers
  • Offer immersive viewing experiences of their properties
  • Expand their buyer universe
  • Help them sell more
  • Be available even when they aren’t – 24/7/365

Any business owner, property developer or architect, and hotels and resorts can use virtual tours to differentiate themselves from their competition and provide outstanding views of their locations to potential clients.

Visit the Virtual Tours page under the Services menu to find out more about di Sogno Photography’s virtual tours product.


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!

How was your 2010 Holiday Party?

Okay, we’re almost done with the first month of a new year and expect a few more months before there is another official day off.  That thought, had me thinking back to last month and all the fun involved with the holidays and I was wondering…How was your holiday party?

If you worked for MedAssets, “fantastic” would be your reply.  I had the opportunity to shoot this party held at the Country Club of the South.  Designed by Paul Brummer of Rooms in Bloom, the theme of the party was “Moulin Rouge”.  The guests didn’t have to dress in costume, but all of the service personel, myself included, had to wear a beret to help set the Parisian mood.  I’ve seen (and been to) some fancy parties before, but this one easily topped all of them.

The entire clubhouse was decorated, and there was food and h’orderves on all levels and in multiple rooms.  Entertainment consisted of a Monte Carlo room for Texas Hold’em, a Casino room for other Vegas style games, an open bar and two dining rooms.  A live band, two caricaturists, two mimes roaming around doing what mimes do, and Liz and Rebecca of Wild Horse Studio painting the panels in the entryway, and sometimes a guest or two!  (see the last image)  Additionally, there were two traveling musicians playing a guitar at various locations during the evening.  All in all, a fantastic party!

Here are some images from that night.  Now don’t get jealous…

This is what greeted the more than 600 guests as they arrived at the clubhouse entrance.

A live band playing classic rock tunes, mimes, caricatures, and general fun throughout the venue.
(I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the ladies posing for a photo.  I was just too good!)

The facilities and food at the Country Club of the South are fantastic.  And so were the event decorations!

A good time was had by all involved!

So…How was YOUR holiday party?

Christmas 2010

It’s that great time of year when we all take some time to gather with friends and family.  And I’m looking forward to taking a bit of time off too.

With Christmas upon us, I thought you’d like an image that epioimizes the holiday.  Enjoy!

I want to wish the best to all of my friends, family and followers of this blog this holiday season.  I hope that you have a fantastic day and Santa brings you what you were hoping for.

P.S. In case you were wondering, this tree is not our’s.  It belongs to Paul Brummer of Rooms in Bloom.  Yes there are over 860 ornaments on that tree!

And for now…Ann and I wish y’all a

End of October

Hi all!  I said I’d be back in a couple of weeks to talk about a couple of enjoyable visits and a few shoots, so here I am!

Enjoyable Visits
If you didn’t already know, a few months back the High Museum in Atlanta had a very eclectic car exhibit that featured numerous one-of-a-kind cars. If you didn’t get downtown to view this show, you’ve really missed something special.
One of the best things about that exhibit was that they allowed photography! With the number of milling around the cars, it was difficult to capture images showing just the cars. But with a bit of patience, I was rewarded with a lot of great images. Equipment alert!…Having a large camera helped stop folks from walking in to my shot, so there are some benefits to carrying that heavy gear around with me!
With that being said, I was a gracious guest and made sure I didn’t cause a commotion and get myself kicked out of the museum.  Something I’ve seen done to other photographers for not following the museums photography regulations.
Another exhibit I visited was up in Cartersville at the Booth Western Art Museum. A total of 120 prints are currently on display there through February 20, 2011. These prints, created by Adams himself, were given to The Friends of Photography to represent his legacy. These are now in private hands and are displayed once or twice a year with a six month rest in total darkness between exhibits.
They allowed photography as long as you didn’t use flash, so I captured just a few images of the exhibit. It was great seeing images that I’d only seen online or in print and knowing that Adams actually printed them himself made it even more special. In addition, there was a lot of great western art. Enough that I’ll make a return visit to see more.
Across the summer, I’ve been involved in few large shoots. One was with a well known commercial photographer who at one time shot for Playboy. He held a workshop on lingerie photography and because I have a boudoir product called Curtain Call, I attended to continue honing my skills at this style of photography. It’s not as easy as you might think and there are many things to keep in mind during one of these sessions. The most important thing is to make sure you flatter the subject, no matter what their figure may be. Every woman has that inner sexy and if they’re doing a boudoir session, they want to see it!
I brought along some wardrobe and megan was generous enough to pose for me. I concentrated on learning technique at this workshop and these are just a few images that I feel met that requirement.
Next up was a portfolio shoot, not for just one model, but for 3, on the same day! These were shot around Marietta Square, early on a Sunday morning. The experience level you see here ranged from new to very experienced. Because traffic was so light at that time of day, we even had the opportunity to use the center line for some added interest!
We got some great shots for everyone before the skies opened up and forced us to wrap things up.
I had the opportunity to work with Rob Burgner and Maureen O’Rear of Bleeding Edge on a video shoot they were doing for the doctor’s at Premier Care for Women in Sandy Springs. The doctors were updating their web site and needed executive portraits in addition to the video services.  I know Rob and Maureen through Powercore, a networking group of which we are members, and I highly recommend their web services whenever I can.
I can say it was interesting being the only men in their office. Aside from the puzzled looks that Rob and I received as we moved around their office, the doctors rotated through our makeshift studio and the video and portrait captures were completed in just a couple of days.
That’s it for now. As always, I’m willing to talk a bit of technical stuff or just answer some questions.  If there is anything you’d like to ask or if you have suggestions for a future post, feel free to drop an email to Bye for now!


Busy, Busy, Busy

Hello all, I’ve been busy with a lot of things around here the past few months and it’s kept me away from my blogging duties. So much so that I’m not going to try and cover all of them in this post. Watch for a couple more of updates over the next couple of weeks. We’ll be talking about shoots, enjoyable visits and some big news.
One of the major things that have been keeping us busy is our studio move. Yes, we are no longer in that great space on Holcomb Bridge Road. Our lease ended at the end of June and we were unable to negotiate a new lease. So…we have moved to a studio space just off of Windward Parkway at Alderman Drive.  It’s a great space and we are looking forward to working from there for the foreseeable future. The phone number, email and web address are still the same, the only thing that’s changed is our address. Our new address is:
Photoplex Studios
1005 Alderman Drive
Suite 101
Alpharetta, GA 30005
No, we didn’t change the name of the business. We’re still di Sogno Photography but because the physical studio is shared with other photographers; think of an office with multiple doctors sharing the facilities, the name on the door is Photoplex Studios. As always, sessions are by appointment only. We look forward to seeing you there!
I often take side trips to places that can keep my creative juices flowing.  One of those trips this summer was returning to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens where they’ve recently finished their remodeling and have opened the new canopy walk, which is fantastic. They’ve totally changed the entrance and I must say that what they did is absolutely great. Thank goodness the rain came back this year, because it definitely showed in the gardens. The past few years during the drought, the gardeners were challenged to keep the place green.  Now, it’s so green and colorful and everything really looked fantastic. Take a look at some of plants and flowers on display there.


We’ll be going back often because this place has so many photo opportunities it just helps to rejuvenate life in general.

In the middle of the studio move, a new client called after finding me through an internet search. Her divisional VP was in town for a few days attending a family wedding and he had some free time, so he finally decided to get those executive portraits done his company’s been asking him to take.  We scheduled time in the new studio for the next day and he was in and out in just over 30 minutes. He didn’t want to view the images online but he did purchase 4 poses just by looking at them on the back of my camera!  After all of that, before he got to his car, he was on the phone to his operations director. She emailed me saying “Hi Tony, Bob called me and was pleased with the shoot earlier today – great job! Please call me; I would like to make arrangements for you to take some additional pictures for us. Perhaps next week?”.


As you can see in the image above, it turns out those pictures were executive portraits of 26 associates and were used during their Presidents Club presentation that took place the week after that shoot.  Six people in the image above were Presidents Club sales winners.  Can you find the ones who won?
And with that success story I’m going to end this blog update. If you’re on Facebook, be sure to follow us at our fan page, And be sure to get the RSS feed by clicking on the SUBSCRIBE button in the right column. Until the next time, keep snapping!


It’s June Already!

Hi all! I know, it’s been a while, but I must admit that I’ve been busy making images, getting some continuing education, shooting a couple of personal projects and taking some mini vacations.  So, where to start? How about with the continuing education…

Photoshop World Orlando, Florida
A few weeks after my last blog entry in late March, Ann and I took a week off from work and traveled to Orlando, FL to attend our first Photoshop World (PSW) presented by the National Association of Photoshop Professionals.  The number and scope of the educational courses presented by some very big names in the photography business was just overwhelming.  So much so, that Ann and I only duplicated one course and we still wish that we had been able to clone ourselves to attend additional courses.  Those however, will have to wait until next year. But we both came back energized and with our creative juices pumped.
We went down a few days early for one of those mini vacations, getting over to SeaWorld and Universal Studios amusement parks prior to attending PSW.   We enjoyed SeaWorld immensely, particularly the dolphin and sea lion/walrus shows.  Over at Universal we caught the Blues Brothers visit, listened to some great jazz and watched the street dancing.  Our lunch at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville restaurant was a definite parrot head experience.  Yes, we even made a stop at the Hard Rock Café for dinner prior to leaving the park.
Making Images
It seems as though something is happening with the economy and business is coming back a bit.  I’ve been very busy taking a lot of head shots, for everyone from real estate agents; to HVAC company owners, to PR/Marketing folks.  Here are just a few.
Now a shameless plug, if you or someone you know needs a new or updated shot, we have revamped our product and it now includes two poses in print and web resolution on CD for only $140.00.  That’s a deal folks, so call for an appointment!
Four Generation Shoot
We had a location shoot on Mother’s Day, it was a family of 20 that included four generations, ranging in age from two infants that weren’t quite there yet, to about 88 years.  They were a blast to work with and even fed us some great BBQ after we were done packing up.
Thanks to Joyce Forgoston-Bogrow for requesting the shoot and setting this up. According to Joyce, this was the first time in many years that a full family image was made.
Personal Projects
After returning from PSW with my creative juices flowing, I set up a couple of shoots in order to bring my vision to life.  My first idea was to put together a shoot with a body painter and model. It was to be artistic in nature and mimic some of the great masters of the cubist era of fine art. vOn a Saturday in April it all came together. vLynn Cole did the body painting and Sally Klein was the model who agreed to be painted.  In order to get some images to make composites, I shot Sally for around 30 minutes prior to letting Lynn take her.  It took Lynn about 3 hours to paint Sally in the cubist look that you see below.  People who have seen this image, tell me they like the juxtaposition of a work of art looking at a person as a work of art!  There was a lot of fun had that day by all and when Sally got home, in her body paint, her son couldn’t quite believe it was her and that it would come off. She told me he gingerly touched her cheek to see if it was permanent! How cute was that!

Another project involved working with chiaro-scuro to do some figure studies using just one light. Chiaro-scuro (Italian for light-dark) is a technique that has light areas next to dark areas in an image.  A model I shot a few years ago posed for this series of images and this is just one I really like.

Another Mini Vacation
The middle of May brought our anniversary and we took a long weekend and stayed at the Stonefort Inn in Chattanooga, TN.  This was recommended to us and let me tell you, it is well worth it. It’s an old hotel converted to a bed and breakfast with only 16 bedrooms.  A great place and the breakfasts are truly gourmet!
During our stay, we took a day trip from Chattanooga to Lynchburg, TN.  I bet some of you know what’s there.  It’s the home of the Jack Daniels distillery and it’s in a dry county.  Talk about a dichotomy!  The tour was interesting, particularly with our ‘good ‘ole boy’ guide.  I never knew that maple charcoal could add such a great taste to the whiskey.
We stopped by the White Rabbit Bottle Shop at the end of the tour and came home with a commemorative bottle of single barrel Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey.  We haven’t opened it yet, but we are thinking about having a few folks over for a taste testing with the other Jack Daniels products that can be found at your local bottle shop.



So as you can see, I’ve been busy lately and really enjoining it. Until the next time, take care and call if you’d like a portrait or need some images to update your web site.  I know, I know, another shameless plug!



Back at it!

Some of you may know that during the last part of 2009 I was out of touch for a while with total hip replacement surgery. Well I’m glad to say that all went well and I am back at making images. I want to give a shout out to Reagan Powell for helping me out at the studio during that time, great job Reagan! 

Prior to going out for the surgery, we had a great time shooting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s (JDRF) Walk-a-Thon in Alpharetta, GA. for AT&T as one of the participating businesses in the event.  Images from that event went to both AT&T and to the JDRF.

A few weeks later, a contact at JDRF gave my name to the Operations Manager of the Southeast Customer Service division of Ford Motor Company. They were hosting a golf tournament to raise funds for JDRF and needed a photographer to document the tournament.
The event was held at the Manor Golf & Country Club in Milton, GA. and dealers from all over the southeast as well as Ford corporate executives from Detroit, Mi. were there. All had an excellent time, played some great golf and raised more than $50,000.00 for the JDRF.  In addition they all went home with an image of their foursome with Ford’s General Sales Manager.
For the second year in a row, we were asked to shoot The Novel Exchange book exchange and fund raiser. Marc Fitten, author of ‘Valeria’s Last Stand’ was the guest speaker and the event was held at the Glenridge House in Sandy Springs, a small community just north of Atlanta, GA. At the event, organized by Dale Israel, more than 50 folks brought books to trade, socialized over hors d’oeuvres and enjoyed Marc’s talk about his book. It also raised more than $2000.00 for the Community Action Center.
With the start of the year, we are focusing our business more on commercial photography. We are still shooting portraits, so keep those families and seniors coming, but the main focus will be on business to business work this coming year. As the economy starts its long recovery, we are seeing small businesses wanting new and updated imagery for their web sites, marketing collateral and new product announcements. If you’re an owner of one of these businesses, or know someone who is, and are in need of photography, please contact me at the link above.


Unique cars, characters and restorations!

Cars and Characters…


This past holiday, we went to our old home town of Cincinnati, OH to catch up with some family.  Knowing that each 4th of July, the city of Aurora, IN (near Cincinnati) holds a judged car show, I made sure to bring my camera along.  (Like I ever go on a road trip without it!)  There were many different types and ages of cars there and I felt that two of them stood out from the rest.

The first was this 1957 Chevrolet Corvette.  It was finished in a beautiful red/white and of all of the ‘vettes there, my attention just kept coming back to this one.  Probably because it was almost as old as me!  The only nit was that the mechanical restoration wasn’t original.  Even with that, it still grabs me even in a vintage black and white image.

1957 Corvette

The second one, that I thought was the most unique car at the car show this year, is a 1929 Chevrolet 3-Door Woody. It is totally customized with a 327 cu. in. engine bored out to .060 over the standard cylinder size and has 3 two-barrel carburetors .  For those that don’t understand car-speak, that is a modern engine that has been made larger and more powerful to give better performance, not gas mileage.

1929 Chevy Woody

The owner of this vehicle seems to be honoring our military personnel, past and present.  The chalkboard dedication says “In honor of all our Military Hero’s, POW * MIA”.

Soldier's Cross

He displayed what is called a Soldier’s Cross.  It’s often placed at a spot of a fallen soldier and represents the final march of the last battle – items the soldier no longer needs.  It is also displayed as a memorial to those who didn’t make it home.

Dangerous fuel tank

The fuel tank seems very dangerous indeed…surrounded by .50 caliber rounds and fragmentation grenades!  And his passenger (below) has a very ominous stare.

Mortal Passenger

Since this was over the 4th of July holiday, I suppose the sentiment was well meant, but some of the imagery was fairly gruesome.  I guess the owner was trying to add a bit of reality.

Speaking of unique things, I captured this individual walking around at the car show and I thought he was the most unique person there.  After all,  how many people do you see walking down the street with a pet Boa Constrictor wrapped around their neck!  Unique INDEED!

Snake Man

All in all, it was a fun morning at the car show.

Saving Memories

A few months ago a friend of ours lost her mother to an illness.  While going through old photos, she realized that she didn’t have any photos of her mother other than snapshots taken at differing times in the past.  She asked if I could take a couple of the images and help her save some memories by creating a formal images from the snapshots.

Before-2  After-1

She wanted to use this image because of the great smile on her mother’s face.  The original 4×6 image was taken about 10 years ago and her mother and friend appeared very small in comparison to the whole image.  To separate her mother from her friend, and create a formal image, the crop needed to be very small.  After scanning the image to a digital file and cropping, a lot of the original film grain could still be seen.  This meant that it wouldn’t be a clean, sharp image, so I cleaned up the scratches and dust spots and softened it a bit to remove the graininess.  Printed on water color paper it looks more like a piece of hand drawn art rather than a photograph.

Before-1  After-2

This image of her mother was taken at their rehearsal dinner.  I cropped in a bit to help remove the background clutter and added a vignette.  That almost completed the work but her face was a bit washed out by the flash, so I hand colored it to make it look more natural.  And that finished the work on the images.
Our friend purchased both a desk size and wall size of each image.  I am glad I could help her save some memories.

Head Shots

We’re still doing a good business with corporate head shots.  Even with a slow economy, folks understand the need for a professional image and are coming in to have me create it.  Remember that the image you show on your website or collateral, IS the image people see of your business.  Make sure it conveys what you want it to!

That’s all for now.  Be sure to follow us on Twitter or become a fan of our Facebook page!  You can also follow all updates by subscribing to the RSS feed on this page.  Take care!


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