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.
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.”
Florida Air Academy, soon to be Florida Preparatory School – Florida Air Academy is and has long been a prominent, historical boarding independent school in Melbourne, Florida that has a rich history of air cadet training alongside its highly international educational culture. Florida Air academy is in a transition to become Florida Preparatory School.
Challenges: There were several: First, where we typically capture live action, in this project a large group of student models was chosen and drawn upon for each shot, where each student was placed exactly and then coached in what to convey for each of the photos. The second challenge was to create a body of imagery for the school that took the attention off of the air cadet training and which put more attention on the international character of the student body, the curriculum and lastly their successful sports programs. Images needed to primarily concentrate on student interaction and closeups that conveyed intimacy in key spots around their picturesque campus.
Solution: For student classroom shots, we stayed very closeup to convey intimacy and emotional content, while when outdoors we opened the shots up to include the classic architecture and placed students where they would complement the surroundings. Although air cadets were still on campus, we shot ‘around’ them so as not to send that message that the school is an academy as it was in the past.
Client Comment: “For 2 days, Bob led a large group of international student models around key points of our campus, indoors and outdoors, literally putting together and lighting staged shots in dozens of environments. The results were amazing – the shots looked natural, the kids looked engaged and authentic, and he delivered a library of images that will help us powerfully launch our new brand through a robust print campaign and new website. We finally got the images we knew we needed but had no idea how to produce ourselves.”
James Dwight, Head of SchoolFlorida Preparatory School
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: