Archive for category Kudos

On-location Executive Portraits

On-location Executive Portraits

“The photographs look wonderful. Carroll made the entire process easy for us, and quickly provided us the final retouched portraits. Next time we need photographs for our firm, we will call Carroll Morgan.”

Maggie Heim, partner at Schklar & Heim, LLC

Maggie Heim

Photographing executive portraits on-location presents several challenges. Primarily, few business people like having their picture taken. The photographer is expected to capture a pleasing expression, and everyone has one!

These are some of the logistical challenges that must be resolved.

  1. Is the room large enough to accommodate all my equipment? What about that unplanned group photo?
  2. Is the ceiling tall enough to properly position a hair light or to raise a light high enough to eliminate reflections in eyeglasses?
  3. What about simply accessing their office (parking, service elevators, time of day access, security)?
  4. Do they wear glasses? (See 2 above)
  5. What are the hair colors (blonds require a lower hair light intensity than brunettes)? And what about that person with no hair?
  6. The time of day and season matter, too. Try shooting a portrait late in the day during the summer; without makeup you will have shiny skin to retouch.

I need answers to these questions (and more!) in order to have an effortless shoot.

Edwin Schklar, partner at Schklar & Heim, LLC

Edwin Schklar

Maggie Heim contacted me to photograph portraits for their new website. I had not been in Resurgens Plaza before, and based on our phone conversation, I felt that it would be unwise to “show up” and shoot. We scheduled a site survey, and I’m glad! Though the unoccupied offices were large, every one contained massive desks and credenzas which ate up floor space and disallowed proper placement of the background, 5 light stands, and camera/tripod. Unfortunately, I could not shoot in their offices.

Fortunately, the property manager allowed us to use the training room. (Recently, I photographed another attorney in that building. There is a new property management company, and they now want to charge $100 to use the classroom. Note to self:  assume nothing!)

On shoot day, because of my preparation, nothing was a surprise. I was on-site before the building opened. I knew where to park, the best way to move 2 dollies of equipment using the service elevator, and I had security’s phone number for access to the freight elevator.

The shoot went well, and I learned something about them I didn’t know. They both have beautiful skin!

Technical:

  1. I shoot a full 5-light portable setup with Balcar strobes (octa key, fill, rim, hair, and background). I really like to provide great lighting for my clients. You can’t do that with 2 or 3 lights.
  2. If the ceiling is a neutral color I will bounce off of it for the hair light. I find this provides a more gradual highlight on the hair than a small softbox. I adjust the power to hair color.
  3. I try to shoot around f/4.0 – 5.6 with a focal length between 100 and 135mm on a 70-200/f2.8 lens. I focus on the near eye and find that gives a depth of field sufficient to hold the tip of the nose to the eyes in sharp focus. The ears are out of focus, as is the background. Who wants to look at your ear!?
  4. I do an in-camera manual white balance and shoot a ColorChecker card which I use to create a custom profile in Lightroom.
  5. I shoot tethered to a Lenovo W520 laptop (which has a gorgeous matte screen!), running Portrait Professional Studio 64 (which leaves the images on the card as a backup). The RAW images appear on the computer in about 1.5 seconds.
  6. The captured images are processed in Lightroom and uploaded using The Turning Gate TTG Highslide Gallery Pro (which is outdated… I need to upgrade to TTG CE2 Pages).
  7. I will convert to black & white using Silver Efex Pro, if the client wishes.

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U.S. Army SAY Leadership Meeting in Atlanta

U.S. Army SAY Leadership Meeting in Atlanta

SAY what?

I had the privilege of photographing the Strengthening America’s Youth (SAY) leadership meeting in Atlanta for Weber Shandwick Public Relations and Communications.

One of SAY’s initiatives is Project Partnership for All Students’ Success (PASS), which offers elective Junior Leadership Corps (JLC) courses, after-school activities and a JROTC program to develop character and leadership with the goal of keeping students in school and improving their chances for a successful life. Project PASS was established through a partnership between the U.S. Army and National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), which represents America’s state and territorial boards of education.

In addition to networking and brainstorming, the attendees visited Norcross High School, where they had an opportunity to observe first hand the singular objective of PASS; changed lives. JROTC students shared how just a couple of months of participation in PASS changed their attitude, actions and attention to excellence both in the classroom and at home.

One cynical concern I had about the Army’s involvement was adamantly answered by Lt. Gen. Benjamin Freakley:  “PASS is not a recruiting tool.”

After being with him and Brenda Welburn, Executive Director, NASBE, I believe him. PASS and SAY, its advisory board, are doing a great job.

Of our past three events in this last year, Carroll was the best photographer we used. The photos have great color, composition and he easily captured the expression and essences of our students and meeting attendees – even with low light environments and continued movement. He took so many great shots that it was difficult to narrow down to our top picks. Absolutely excellent and would highly recommend him for any event.”
Helen Tso – Weber Shandwick

Technical:

  1. 985 Nikon D3s images captured, 580 delivered, none below 1,ooo ISO
  2. Group photo captured with (2) Nikon SB-800s (tungsten balanced) and shoot-through umbrellas plus one background light, all triggered by RadioPoppers
  3. Processed in Lightroom 3.3

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Great Expressions Dental Centers – Fast and Good Interior Panoramic Photography

Great Expressions Dental Centers – Fast and Good Interior Panoramic Photography

Great Expressions Dental Centers hired me to shoot several of their locations in the Greater Atlanta area. They considered several other less expensive photographers but selected me because I could capture interior panoramic photography of their offices.

We’ve all heard it said, “You can have it fast or you can have it good. Which one do you want?” Well for Great Expressions, they needed both. Fortunately, we were able to meet their demands.

“Mr. Morgan recently photographed several of our offices in Georgia. We were extremely impressed with his work. The shots were absolutely stunning. We look forward to working with Carroll Morgan and Buckhead On-site Photography in the future.”
Jennifer Carpenter/Great Expressions Dental Centers

Partial results:

Timeline:

  • Spoke with the client mid-afternoon on Monday, May 16
  • Submitted estimate and got approval Tuesday
  • First location shot and images submitted that Tuesday evening
  • Due to prior bookings, I was only able to photograph the remaining locations, which were very spread out around greater Atlanta,  on Saturday and Sunday
  • Edited and retouched out old Nanston logos very late Saturday and Sunday evenings
  • Final images delivered Monday morning… deadline met

Complications:

  • I received the new Nodal Ninja Ultimate M1-L (which works great!), but the EZ Leveler II was backordered
  • Dental centers could only be photographed after hours
  • Client needed 20 – 25 shots per location, including at least one interior panorama
  • Most locations needed to be visited twice; once for the exterior building shot and once for the interior photography
  • After the second location I learned that the old Nanston logo should not be included in any of the photography (we decided to retouch rather than reshoot)

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