Headshots for Dixon Hughes Goodman

As tax season approaches, what better way to liven up an accountant’s day than to schedule head-shots one morning, right?!?

Our photo sessions are always fun and entertaining. A good business portrait should look professional. But a GREAT business portrait should also have a sense of genuine humanity. I like to banter with my subjects to get a feel for their personality, drawing out the essence of who they really are underneath. That way their portrait isn’t just an empty “likeness” of them…but a true portrayal of who they are!  Their smiles aren’t fake.  They look natural and relaxed.  They look confident, kind, and approachable.

Yesterday we had our annual portrait day at the Dixon Hughes Goodman accounting firm to photographing new team members. Here are a few favorites, including my silly selfie to test the lights at the beginning of the shoot.  Plus I threw in some of the funny “out-takes” while we were goofing off!  🙂

If your company is looking for new head-shots, but you don’t want a boring, stuffy photo session that makes the experience a drudgery, give us a call!

Workshops at Howard Heights

Yesterday I had the pleasure of capturing Bill & Julie’s vision for Workshops at Howard Heights as part of an Annual Report for the SC Community Loan Fund.  From their profile at http://sccommunityloanfund.org/blog/2017/06/06/loan-closing-workshops-at-howard-heights/ we read:

Bill Hussey is a custom woodworker. Bill and his wife, Julie, wanted to serve Charleston’s craftspeople by creating a shared workspace where custom makers could gather and practice their craft. The Husseys had already purchased land in the Howard Heights neighborhood and were ready to get started on construction when they approached SCCLF.

Workshops at Howard Heights is situated in a neighborhood that is experiencing a rebirth, and the Husseys are committed to creating a physical space that celebrates the neighborhood’s history. SCCLF saw an opportunity to partner with a borrower who understands the role community businesses play in community development and worked closely with Workshops to finance their construction.

Workshops at Howard Heights is committed to honoring their neighborhood’s history while being part of it’s revitalization. Local artisans, often microbusiness owners themselves, will have a place to practice their trades. By joining the ranks of other light industrial businesses in what they call the Craftsmanship Zone, Workshops at Howard Heights is part of a movement to renew their community while fostering economic development.

Many thanks to Victoria for all her hard work in coordinating schedules, writing profiles, and making the magic happen!

Select Health Annual Report

“First Choice serves more than 355,0001 members in all 46 counties of the state and is the top-rated Medicaid health plan in South Carolina, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s (NCQA’s) Medicaid Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2016 – 2017. The plan has held this distinguished position since 2010. First Choice is the first health plan in South Carolina to earn NCQA’s Multicultural Health Care Distinction, which recognizes our commitment to delivering culturally competent health care, and Select Health is the only managed Medicaid plan in the state with a five-star rating for overall customer satisfaction per the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®).”

I’m thrilled to have been able to provide most of the photography for this year’s Annual Report.  I’m particularly excited that the publication is up for an Aster Award…which is kind of like The Oscars when it comes to marketing material in the the world of health care.  But above all, I’m honored to call Select Health one of our favorite clients to partner with!!!

CresCom Bank

Photographing great aerial images with a quad-copter is tough. Photographing great aerial images with a quad-copter AT DUSK is nearly impossible!!!

With calm winds at my back, and clear skies ahead, I was able to keep the stick steady enough for the drone to capture several beautiful images of CresCom’s West Ashley location. The glowing windows and doors are representative of the banks warm customer service attitude and welcoming personality!  So the timing was critical.  And I’m very pleased with how it turned out!

CresCom Bank, a leader in community banking, is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service and quality products to the communities it calls home, and prides itself on its strong knowledge of local business and economic trends. Currently, CresCom Bank has 62 branch locations throughout the Carolinas and also owns Crescent Mortgage Company.  You should check them out!

Tim Waters for SCCLF

Earlier this week I had the distinct honor of photographing visionary (and a persistent one at that I might ad) Tim Waters at the future site of his healthy food retail store. I was truly blessed to spend time with this humble hero!

Check out the excellent article at http://sccommunityloanfund.org/blog/2017/10/25/loan-closing-elijah-craig/. Here are a few excerpts to give you some context:

The North Dargan Street and Darlington Street corridor, a neighborhood in Florence, SC, is deemed “blighted” by city officials. It is also located in a food desert, meaning residents lack access to fresh and nutritious foods. Tim Waters, owner of Elijah Craig, LLC and a lifelong resident of the neighborhood, wanted to help his community by bringing a full-service grocery store to the area. However, Tim struggled to secure financing and lacked the specialized experience grocery store operators need to secure a franchise deal.

The Elijah Craig, LLC Save-A-Lot will initially create 20 new jobs for community members, 12 of which will be full time and the number of employees will increase to 30 as the store grows. Families in the North Dargan Street community will finally have the ability to purchase fresh, healthy food in their neighborhood. Further, a neighborhood currently defined by the city as blighted will have a revitalization effort led in part by a lifelong resident with a vision of community change. “I see the store as building up the community in a healthy way,” says Tim. “I want it to be a beacon for healthy change.”

Many thanks to the SC Community Loan Fund for this amazing opportunity!

Pete’s Mobile Auto and Truck Repairs

I had the honor of photographing Pet’s Mobile Auto and Truck Repairs as part of a project for the SC Community Loan Fund. Their story will be featured in the SCCLF Annual Report.

“An older repair shop in Columbia’s Percival Road community has remained an eyesore to residents after falling into disrepair and shuttering its doors over a year ago. The closing of this facility left the community without a full-service automotive repair shop. Meanwhile, Pete’s Auto & Truck Repairs, LLC, a South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) was leasing a building in the Columbia area but the owners had a dream of purchasing their own shop. Once Pete’s owners Melvin & Sandra Wells discovered the Percival Road site, they sought to leverage Mr. Wells’ 40 years of experience in the automotive repair industry to attract the financing to purchase and renovate the shop.”

Congratulations to Sandra, Melvin, and their boys, who plan to one day carry on their father’s legacy as they continue to run the family business.

Portrait Studio on a Motorcycle

“How do you fit all your gear on THAT?!?”  This is a question I get a lot.

Most of my friends know that I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was about 15 years old. Aside from being a joy to ride, there are many practical reasons for using a motorcycle as a means of transportation. Not the least of these is the fact that my current bike, a Honda CB500X, gets 60-70 miles per gallon. That’s THREE TIMES what I get out of my SUV!!!

According to Honda: “Our objective when developing the engine for the CB500 series was to produce a global, kind-to-the-environment parallel twin-cylinder engine that looks ahead to the next generation and, by being both sporty and easy to handle, transcends regions to appeal equally to those in both developed and emerging countries.”  In other words, this bike produces plenty of power, while putting out very low emissions into the environment.

It feels good to know that I’m doing my part to save the planet.  🙂

Aside from being fun, economical and environmentally friendly, motorcycles are more maneuverable in tight traffic. While driving to photo shoots downtown with its narrow streets, it’s not uncommon to have a delivery truck stopped in the middle of the road blocking most of the traffic. Plus parking spaces are hard to find and tight to get into. Such issues are more easily managed when on a small vehicle like my CB500X, which has been affectionately named Trinity.

As an adventure-style motorcycle, Trinity has been accessorized with Givi locking panniers and top boxes made out of aircraft grade aluminum. I use ThinkTank camera bags, with excellent padding, and professional grade material, that slip perfectly into each box. This allows me to carry my valuable equipment securely and safely.

Adjusting my luggage system into any number of configurations according to the job requirements is literally a snap!  The Italian-made boxes clip on or clip off with the turn of a key.  Sometimes I just need a top box with a single camera bag that holds 2 bodies, 4 lenses, and a couple of flashes. Switching to two panniers works better if I need a little more lighting gear. For really complex assignments, I can mount all three boxes.

In this assignment at the Center for Birds of Prey, I was photographing head-shots of the staff using the natural wooded environment of their beautiful facility in Awendaw. For the first day of photography, I took my SUV. For the follow-up date, I took Trinity (see picture below). One pannier carried a Nikon D5, Nikon D500, Nikkor 24-70 f2.8, Nikkor 70-200 VRII, Nikkor 300mm PF, and 2 SB-500 flashes. The other pannier held 2 SB-800 flashes, a MeFoto carbon fiber tripod, a 24″ softbox, 2 sand bags, and various other accessories. A 48″ softbox and 2 9-ft Manfrotto light-stands were strapped to the top plate where the top box would normally be.

I didn’t use all the gear I brought, of course. But I like to be over-repared! I ended up using the Nikon D5, the 70-200, and both SB-5000 flashes. One flash was fired through the 48″ softbox on a light-stand to my right. The other was given a 1/2 CTO gel and placed on a stand behind the subject to my left as a warm rim light or kicker light.

I truly love working with the Center for Birds of Prey! They are a wonderful organization, staffed by people of integrity, who are doing good work for our planet and the beautiful creatures we share it with! I HIGHLY recommend visiting their world class facility just 30 minutes from Charleston. It’s a great place to take a date, bring the family, or enjoy a peaceful outing on your own. Learn something new on the walking tour, be fascinated by the huge variety of species on display, marvel at the aerial acrobatics during the flight demonstration, and enjoy the great outdoors. You won’t regret it!!!

Student Transportation Inc

It was an honor and a pleasure to work with Student Transportation Inc (STI) on their Annual Report again this year!

South Atlantic Bank Corporate Shoot

Just to prove that our photo shoots don’t hurt a bit…here are a few “outtakes” from a recent corporate assignment for South Atlantic Bank!

Yes we get the job done. Yes we get professional results. Yes we deliver a quality product. Yes we have a fast turn-around time. Yes our customer service is top-notch. But most importantly, YES we know how to have fun!!! 🙂

All images were shot in the bank lobby with our portable wireless photo studio, which included:  Nikon D5, Nikkor 70-200 f2.8, tethered to Lenovo Yoga 900, lit by 6 SB-800 flashes, held by Manfrotto light stands, triggered by an SB-5000 using the RadioPopper Px system, modified with Westcott shoot-through umbrellas, staged on a Savage seamless white backdrop.

Professional Selfie

Each week I find myself setting up for corporate head-shots at various businesses around the lowcountry. This requires a lot of flexibility, a lot of ingenuity, and a lot of problem-solving!

Every office has different physical characteristics. From the amount of window light streaming in, to the color temperature of the bulbs they use…from the size of the room they’ve given me, to the height of the ceiling…from the color of the walls to the angle of the mirror on one wall…every little detail affects the outcome of the photo. As a professional, I have to bring all these variables in line, and create a controlled “studio” with whatever I’m given.

The best part is, I get to shoot a LOT of professional “Selfies” to make sure everything is perfect before my clients arrive for their session!  🙂

Portable Head-shot Studio

Today was yet another fun-filled photo shoot at the South Carolina Federal Credit Union! I always enjoy working with this great company.

A photographer friend of mine asked about my setup. So here’s a behind-the-scenes look at my portable wireless head-shot studio, along with a few selects from today:

– Nikon D5 + Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 VRII
– Nikon SB-5000 on camera as Master with RadioPopper PX transmitter
– 2 Nikon SB-800 flashes in Group A with white shoot-through umbrella as main light
– 2 Nikon SB-800 flashes in Group B with white shoot-through umbrella as fill light
– 2 Nikon SB-800 flashes in Group C as background lights for a high-key white background
– Radio Popper PX receivers on each remote flash
– Lenovo Yoga 900 Laptop set up for wired or wireless tethered shooting
– Twist flex photo background
– Manfrotto 055CXPro4 Carbon Fiber tripod
– 5 Manfrotto 1004 BAC Collapsible light-stands
– ThinkTank Airport TakeOff for all photo gear
– Manfrotto large tripod bag for all lighting gear

There are many variations on this theme that one could adapt. For example, I often swap out the umbrellas for Westcott soft-boxes. The number of flashes I use will often vary depending on the background or the subject. But I’ve tried a TON of different options and there are many reasons why these particular items have become a part of my go-to kit when it comes to portability, flexibility, and quality.

We Come to YOU!!!

Photographing professional head-shots and busines portraits is a big part of what we do. You never get a second chance to make a first impression!!!

The good news is, you don’t have to take a lot of time out of your busy schedule to drive across town to find a studio, get your suit all rumpled in the car, hunt for a parking spot, and finally arrive with perspiration dripping off your brow from the August heat, or hair all messed up from a gust of wind in the parking lot. Instead, let us come to you! Would you believe these executive portraits were photographed in their living room?!?

With our amazing wireless portable studio, we can set up in your office, a spare conference room, the lobby, or even your home! Then all you do is step out of your office and into our “studio”. Within minutes you’re back on that conference call, or answering the next email.

We use high-end cameras and high-tech lighting for truly professional results. Plus your images will pop up on our laptop as we shoot so that you can see them immediately after the session. Everyone LOVES the instant gratification of seeing how great they look!!!

Whether you’re a sole proprietor, an entrepreneur, run a small business, or work for a large company…professional images will set you apart from the competition. Give us a call! We can help you make that GREAT first impression for you.