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.
Every once in awhile a project comes along with way more facets than ordinary photo projects. This is one such project!
Client: Air Animal Pet Movers is a company that specializes in the arrangement of domestic and international travel for pets, to include at least dogs and cats. Their family-owned business was founded by Dr. Walter Woolf, a licensed veterinarian in 1977. I was brought in to this project by friend and client Karen Frashier of AdvocateMarketingPR, who had been hard at work helping Air Animal with their brand presence and marketing message. After several conversations it was determined (and driven by magazine articles Karen had pre-arranged in both Lufthansa Cargo and British Travel Magazine) that we needed to shoot 3 key images to get the magazine articles to snap: one at Tampa International Airport that showing an Air Animal Van entering the Airport, a pet examination shot for a dog that was actually traveling to Brussells in real life, and a shot of a ‘stand-in’ dog (looked the same!) being checked in at an counter inside the airport. We also produced studio portraits of all staff posing with their personal pets – a clever way of playfully shooting what would typically be head shots to give their website more personality.
Challenges: At the top of this list was the fact that all shots but one featured live animals, which automatically increased the ‘trickiness’ factor exponentially! We needed the assistance of the TIA marketing and security departments to help manage incoming airport traffic as we shot our images at sunrise at the main junction entrance of the airport, one of the busiest times for the airport. We had our newly wrapped Air Animal van drive very slowly in a pre-scouted lane during morning rush hour at the entrance to the airport for four or five laps.
Client Comments: “The planets aligned and offered Air Animal not one, but two international magazine features. Thompson Brand Images got the shots we needed in two very focused shoots inside and outside one of the world’s busiest airports. Bob talked with me about the brand and the article, and we built the shoot around Lufthansa’s story.
We ignored the old showbiz warnings and worked with two weimaraners, three people, a van, an airplane, airport traffic and airport police during Florida’s unpredictable rainy season. Then, we did it again two weeks later with studio shots of Air Animal staff with their pets. The pets and the people look great in every shot and mesh with the brand—not an easy task. But that’s what Bob does! Another successful project by Thompson Brand Images…”
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.”
Girl playing house with therapist
Girl Coloring, Waiting Room
Images I shot for Mary Lee’s House ,a child advocacy not-for-profit organization that provides medical and mental health services for victims of child abuse. Although in some of these images the children are happy, some are not, for obvious reasons. This was a hard hitting project that points to some pretty daunting realities for some children. Glad to be a part of this project and to help forward their important mission. www.MaryLeesHouse.org
PS Um, I don’t think I’ve cracked the code on WordPress image layout – stay tuned!