Client Work: The Oaks Academy
Summer is winding down, and school is gearing up. Here’s an Indianapolis school Paul has worked with recently—The Oaks Academy. Oaks offers high quality classical education to a diverse population downtown. Paul enjoyed getting to photograph the classrooms and some of the students last school year. These young kids love posing for a camera, so there was a challenge to be as unobtrusive as possible. Once the kids could forget there was a photographer in the room, Paul could get photos that show what really goes on in the classroom!
Here’s what Nathan Hand, Director of Advancement at Oaks, said about their photography needs:
“We’re a growing organization that is looking to ramp up the quality of our marketing in the coming years. In preparation for a new website, marketing materials and an upcoming campaign, we asked Paul to spend a day capturing the life of our school. In a short visit, he understood and snapped pictures of our essence – giving us a full stock image catalog for our upcoming needs. Now we have hundreds of our own beautiful shots that we can be proud of and use in any medium. Paul’s the newest extension of our team – and a welcomed addition!”
We appreciate Nathan’s generous words, and encourage you to consider whether your business could benefit from a stock image catalog of its own.
In 2010, a gallery in downtown Indianapolis hosted Paul’s amazing series “Noticing”. To prepare for the show, Paul made more than 50 prints of likely candidates and then sifted through them carefully, choosing only a handful to frame for the show.
Three years later, on a de-cluttering binge, I came across the cheap prints in their Target envelope. What to do? I was recycling unnecessary papers and composting sensitive documents I should have shredded, but neither of those were options for photo prints. I do what I can to keep our messes out of landfills. And anyway, they were so pretty!
This was my solution—or partial solution. Thirty lucky prints got chosen and stuck to the bedroom wall. Yup, just Scotch-taped their butts right up there. I sorted them roughly into a spectrum, and eyeballed their level. It was all very low-tech, instant gratification. Yeah, it’s a little dorm room-y, but the wall was bare before.
Have you done something interesting to keep items out of the trash? Can you share an interesting way you’ve used a photograph? I’d love to hear about it, especially since that Target envelope is still sitting around with at least 20 more prints inside.
Guest Post: Nicole Ross
In 2013, she founded Creative Quarterback, collaborating with other talented freelancers to provide small businesses and nonprofits with solutions to their creative needs. Her expertise and generosity make Nicole a bright light in Indianapolis and the world.
Nicole loves her beagle Penny, horses, cupcakes, and doing interesting and beautiful things. This month, one of the many things she’s done is to write a blog post for Paul. Thank you, Nicole!
Living in the Moment…Forever
By Nicole Ross, Founder, Creative Quarterback LLC
Most adults agree, their memories aren’t as good as they used to be. It’s not just aging that’s to blame. We work longer hours, spend more time on screens, and juggle dozens (hundreds? thousands?) of personal and professional responsibilities 24/7/365. Our poor noggins simply can’t keep up.
Ask me what I did today, and I can probably recall a few highlights. Ask me what happened last week, last month, or last year on this date…and I have absolutely, positively no idea. The same is true about very formative periods in my life – like “growing up,” “high school,” or “college.” At the time, I thought every memory, every event, every person, and every lesson learned was deeply etched into my memory. Apparently not.
I spent the last decade working for ExactTarget – a fast-growing tech startup that was eventually acquired by Salesforce in 2013. To say I witnessed a lot of change would be an understatement. Time at “ET” was like dog years – more happened in 10 years than in 53 years at other companies. Unlike the blurry memories from my formative years, however, I have vivid, lasting memories of every major company milestone, program, and event. Why? Two words: Paul D’Andrea.
From our early years all the way through the acquisition, Paul essentially served as ExactTarget’s visual historian. We hired him to take pictures of every company meeting, user conference, volunteer outing, company picnic, holiday party, and new hire class. When I moved from Marketing to HR, I also recruited him to document everything from internal program materials to video shoots (yes, we took pictures of video shoots), our annual employee anniversary celebrations, and more.
If HR sneezed, I wanted a professional photo of it.
Sound over the top? Looking back now, I can honestly say professional photography had the greatest return on investment of ANYTHING I did in Marketing and HR—combined. Here are 5 reasons why:
Milestone moments (and memories) are fleeting. Your company’s history gets longer every day (literally), and you’ll wish you had high-quality photos from every stage of its evolution. If you miss the moment, it’s gone forever.
What you see is what you get. Whether you’re trying to sell your software to a client, a new wellness program to your employees, or a new idea to your executives, professional photos set you apart and get you noticed. . You’ll be amazed how much more polished your programs, team, and events appear when you promote them with professional photos. Perception is reality.
Stock photos are hit and miss. You can’t shoot a custom photo for every scenario, but you can create a custom ‘stock’ library of your actual offices, employees, swag, and clients that you can reuse over and over. Avoid downloading generic photos online (or, God forbid, using clipart). Your audience will gravitate toward authentic images over staged ones every time.
Get people invested. Your company’s “old timers” shouldn’t be the only ones who understand and are proud of your history, culture, and programs. Photos allow you to share key milestones and important information with new employees and get them invested faster.
Tell me about it. Professional photos are like the gift that keeps on giving. Even after you leave a company, you’ll find countless uses for the images you gathered – from your LinkedIn profile to presentations to articles and beyond. Best of all, you’ll have them to look back on when you want to reminisce about the good times you had.
Now, as owner of my own ‘virtual creative agency,’ professional photos are one of the first things I recommend to my clients. Doing a website refresh? Creating marketing collateral? Launching a new program or product? Custom, professional photography is a must.
Bottom line: Do what it takes to create memories that last. You won’t be sorry.
Cover Shot: Rook Security
At the end of the winter (doesn’t that sound wonderful?), Paul made pictures for an Indianapolis company, Rook Security. Here, J.J. Thompson, Rook’s CEO (right) poses with CloudOne’s Jim Goldman for a magazine cover: InfoSecurity Professional. The bank vault door illustrates the sense of security they hope to convey to clients who entrust them with protecting their data.
Paul has already blogged about the challenges of working in this very office with its moody lighting (see that article here).
The amazing meeting room is sleek and industrial—actually the inside of the bank vault. The transparent dry-erase board is amped up with a blue glow of its own, and a combination of overhead cans and under-table lighting complete the work space.
However cool the environment, though, photographs of people in dark rooms are not always flattering or even clear. Paul needed to use his own lights to allow the people to show up nicely; but his lighting cancelled out the blue glow of the work board.
So then some Photoshop magic was necessary to combine two images—the people looking good in one image (above), and the moody blue room by itself in another (not pictured). The two get together for a striking final product.
Have a challenging work space that you’d like to have photographed? There are people out there who love to play with lights and solve puzzles. Get in touch!
Client Work: Careerable
These portraits of Katie Lindahl Smith were taken at the vibrant offices of Trendy Minds, downtown on Market Street. Katie is a career development coach, serving Indianapolis through her own business called Careerable. (Visit her blog for some truly inspired articles.)
The space is clean and bright, but at the same time, warm and full of little details of interest.
Katie is great to photograph, and is radiant with passion for her work and her interactions with people.
Getting the light in an office just right is sometimes a puzzle. Finding a solution is often the key to a great looking photo in your own space. Paul combines the existing office light with tricks of his own, drawing from his years of experience playing and working with lighting.
Indianapolis Client Work: Converge Street
There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who will take off their coats in the biting Polar Vortex, and those who make portraits of the coatless ones.
Paul met with Sean Sullivan, owner of Converge Street, a digital marketing company. They chilled out together on Indianapolis’ Monument Circle. Sean was cheerful and unfazed. Paul gritted his teeth and pretended to be cheerful and unfazed. The result was, in my opinion, some really cool pictures on the Circle. Paul had an enjoyable challenge to blend his own lighting with the ambient evening light.
Now that temperatures are rising, Paul’s schedule will be filling up with other unique outdoor photo shoots. Have a favorite public space, or an interesting place of business to use as a backdrop? You don’t have to be out in the cold.