What types of customers have you worked with?
Promo, portraiture and headshots, business, portfolios and personal.
Weddings and events. Families and kids/seniors photography.
Real estate photography. Both of real estate for sale, and shots of neighborhood, skyline views etc.
Sport and fitness photography.
Restoration of old images and retouching. Please note, if you order retouching of any image that is less than 20 years old I would need permission of photographer who took it to accept retouching job.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
I had client who wanted me to shoot Lincoln Center fountain in NYC at night as a wedding present for her best friend because it was time and place where she met her future husband.
I took job without knowing they don't allow using tripods (that I will absolutely need to use for shot I initially had in mind) at Lincoln Center Plaza. I spent month going forth and back between different people at LC trying to obtain permission - all without result.
I had to shoot from across the street where both pedestrian traffic and cars were constantly in my pictures. And I needed more than just one clean shot - because I was doing HDR panorama stitch. So I needed 15 frames with 9 different exposures each, which already 135 shots by itself. But I needed 135 shots without people or cars in it!
I start shooting 5 versions of each exposure of each frame, preparing to shoot all night, because each shot exposure time was few minutes... just to find out they turn off fountain and lights on Lincoln Center at about 11:30pm when I was just quarter way in shooting what I needed.
I marked spots where my tripod legs were standing, and carry camera mounted on tripod all the way home, so next night I could continue. I shoot 4 evenings, about 4 hours each night.
I end up with about 800 shots. I layered them many-many times in Photoshop to remove cars and moving people. It took me about 40-50 hours to complete everything and stitch my panorama! And when I was done ... I was NOT impressed with result. Too much dark sky in the center of frame made all picture look kind of dim and sad.
I had extensive library of fireworks I shoot over the years, so I decided to add some fireworks to brighten up the mood. But none of fireworks I had matched angle or focal length of my shot. No matter what I was doing - it wasn't look real.
Client still had few months to spare, so I decided to shoot fireworks during upcoming July 4 from exact angle and with focal length I needed for my compositing. And I did it.
I was happy with results, and client was very happy. I did few composites with different fireworks, client pick her favorite, and I was ready to print.
Quote I gave client was including 24x72 inch print on aluminum plate. Which at that time was on sale. When I was ordering it 2 month later it went up in price by $250. Since I couldn't tell client "Pay me $250 more because I delivering final result 2 month later" I had to take it out of my profit.
Well, with all extra time and expenses, I end up working for less than $5/h ... but I still very proud of job I did! Money is not everything, and just seeing that beautiful print made me happy. It was looking stunning printed on aluminum. Since it reflects light off its surface it almost look like it is back lit. And without frame it looks like it just floating in the room 2 in off the wall.
Client friend absolutely loved her wedding present. As a matter of fact, she emptied one wall and painted entire room in different color for my picture.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
For your wedding or large corporate event always hire photographer who will have 2nd (or even 3rd for really large events) shooter. In today world when every attendee will try to snap some shots with his/her phone camera it is much higher probability that many of them will be on the way of your photographer, resulting in missing some "must have" shots no matter how good or intuitive your photographer is. Shooting from 2-3 different vantage points ensures you will have every moment captured, no matter what.