I’ve been doing work for Raymond James, a global financial services company headquartered in St. Petersburg, for well over a dozen years. I’ve produced everything from head shots to annual reports to event work, usually working directly with their Marketing Department. Chris Bennett, Creative Director, and Grace Powers, Senior Account Executive, called me in to scout a project for imagery to populate a new website focusing on career opportunities within Raymond James.
Challenges: The main challenges here weren’t that unusual for us: we used employee models, so no professional modeling talent was used. This requires making them appear professional and comfortable even though none of the models had any prior photo shoot experience. Over a two day period, we were to shoot over 40 people at 6 different locations around RJ’s expansive campus, and in addition to the imagery for the website, we also produced environmental portraits of all employee models who participated in the shoot, so the number of images to produce meant we had to move fairly quickly, something else that isn’t very unusual!
Client: “Bob did a fantastic job handling six separate photo shoots over a period of two days. Working with people who are not professional models, he was great at making them feel comfortable and getting them to come to life – so much so that most of them looked like professional models by the end of it! We started this project with the intention of using the photos on one website, but because the quality and diversity of the photos were so great, we’ve used them on a number of other projects throughout the company.”
Grace Powers, Senior Account Executive
For this Marketing Photography Case Study, my assistant Stephen Zane, doubled as videographer, putting on display his array of serious talents while assisting in all aspects of the multi-location shoot. Here is the product of his creative efforts, and for the record, he shot, edited, put the music in – the whole enchilada.
I recently had the pleasure of photographing the son of a good friend who used to work for us at Thompson Studios back when we did hundreds of senior portraits each season. Stacy brought her son Calvin to us after having had the typical school senior portraits done, which, as they often do, fell short of expressing the real Calvin. For the record, he is one of the most well-dressed, and most fashion-conscious young men I’ve had the chance to photograph.
He was quick to express his preference of shooting down in Ybor City, one of my favorite areas to shoot, and the opportunities Ybor City’s diverse streets afford did not disappoint!
Here is a slideshow of some of our faves from this special session! Enjoy!
MacDonald Training Center – MTC is a not-for-profit organization that provides adults with special needs productive paying jobs and a work environment that promotes contribution to society in a friendly, supervised workspace. I was recently working an event for Bank of America at MTC when I got to know the Director Rita Hattab. I’d noticed the photos on the website could use a boost, then being a dad of a young man with special needs myself, this place hit me where I live, and I quickly offered up a pro-bono session so they could better brand their organization with well-lit photos of their joyful workforce in action.
Challenges: Given the nature of the work environment, I couldn’t use much equipment, and none with cables. I only had a little over an hour to get all of our shots. Last challenge was including everybody who wanted to be photographed! This crowd loves to be in photos! (unlike most other places I go!)
Solutions: Lit all photos with a single, wireless, off-camera strobe to keep cables from getting in anybody’s way. As far as time constraint, I worked very quickly! But these subjects put up no resistance, so getting the shots was a snap!
Client Comment: “Working with Bob at Thompson Brand Images for our organization’s marketing photos was a wonderful experience! He was very easy to work with and skillfully brought out the best in the individuals we serve and our team members. We are so excited to start using our new photos in our marketing materials; they really reflect how we want our brand to be perceived.”
Winters and Yonker is a highly prominent Law Firm located in downtown Tampa that specializes in personal injury cases, and which has enjoyed for many years robust success behind a very comprehensive marketing and ad campaign that presents this firm as “The Aggressive Attorneys.” This has served them very well, and you can’t travel far in Tampa without seeing their ads on billboards, bus stops, and many other outdoor display locations. This law firm is currently reworking its brand identity, although maintaining their ‘Aggressive Attorneys’ angle, and are soon to release a brand new website and identity. Winters and Yonker hired Thompson Studios (soon to become Thompson Brand Images! – Stay tuned!) to produce a series of portraits of the two partners in various modes and settings to align with their new brand.
Challenges: W&Y wanted portraits that said ‘aggressive’ but at the same time took a bit of the edge off of that stance, and presented them as compassionate, inviting and approachable. Due to
the demanding schedule of the partners and associates, we only had a half-day session to produce all photos.
Solution: A half-hour scout of their offices gave us a tight game plan that included a series of headshots and portraits of both individuals and partner, with studio and environmental backgrounds as well as a series of ‘action’ shots that showed how the partners work and interact. A spontaneous opportunity to photograph one of the partners with an actual client presented itself, which drove home the concept of ‘compassionate, caring and inviting’ in a real-life image.
Client Comment: “We were unsure of how we were going to get the images we needed given our new brand angle, but Bob came in and completely knocked it out quickly, efficiently, and got the best out of our partners. Very easy to work with and we love the results.” Anthony Raiano, Intake Coordinator, Winters and Yonker
As a photographer who has photographed literally thousands of high school seniors, there is one session that now stands out above the rest – my very own son’s session! Eric, affectionately known as Buddy, is about to graduate in June, so his girlfriend Lindsey, who’s also graduating this year, came over and we had the loveliest of sessions right here on our property. Now, as a Dad of a special needs boy, I’ve met and hung around dozens of kids and adults like this, but never, and I mean never, have I witnessed what Buddy and Lindsey share – a romance that, well, reminds of what romance really is. As for the resulting photos? I welcome any and all adjectives you’d like to share! Enjoy!
Hello! Regarding the first part of this post’s title – yes, we are re-branding and couldn’t be more excited about it. You will be the first to know when we release the full new identity and logo. AND, as if that weren’t enough, we will soon be announcing the grand opening of our new home studio in Lutz, which is 90% complete! Stay tuned!
This is also the first in what will be many posts entitled Marketing Photography Case Study, and in our first, we take a look at Cross Creek Ranch, a high-end, highly successful Wedding Venue located in Dover, Florida.
Challenge: Wanted staff portraits and group portraits congruent with the beauty of their property and venue.
Solution: I suggested they use their absolutely world-class, gorgeous outdoor grounds as a backdrop for their images, which they instantly resonated with. Owner Bonnie McSharry was so into the spirit of the idea, she had her staff dress to the nines and get makeovers!
Client Comment: “Awesome experience and we received incredible results. When you are marketing your brand and are including your team it’s always great to have photos of yourself that you really like. EVERYONE on our team loves their pictures!! Bob totally captured our style “brand” with his creativity. He nailed it!”
Bonnie McSharry, Co-Owner
Here are the resulting images from a robust day of shooting:
Michelle is a dear friend of our family. She stayed with us in our home while she finished her PhD awhile back, and she has become like a daughter to us. Her pregnancy has been as exciting for us as it has her own family, so I shot these images during a recent visit at our home. Marco, Michelle’s Mini-Schnauzer, is one of the great dog posers I’ve ever encountered. Did you catch the cameo appearance of our little Yorkie, Austin?
Many of you know that I am the proud father of what we like to call a Special Needs son. Not crazy about the label, or any label for that matter, but from time to time I get the honor and privilege of photographing special needs kids. Why is this a privilege? Because once you get past either the physical difference or the behavioral expression of a special needs child, what is right there is love. Maybe this isn’t much different than any other child, but there’s something about a project like this that hits me right in the heart. Here is a series of portraits I shot for The One Roof Initiative, a new special needs advocacy group that has made it its mission to find new ways to help the parents of special kids that will provide what’s next in a child’s life once school and other resources have run out. Sally DePalma, a dear friend who has already impacted my family’s life in huge ways, is the Founder and Executive Director of this exciting new non-profit organization, and I can’t wait to see where she takes us all!