Commercial Photography in Natchez, MS

A Food Shot of the famous “Nettie Cake” at Natchez Coffee Company on Franklin Street in Natchez!

Commercial Photography in Natchez, MS

Call Us – We Are the Most Experienced in Our Area!

 

Providing Commercial photography in Natchez presents a wide array of interesting opportunities. For example, food, beverage, product, event, real estate and architectural, and even editorial photography (as well as videography) are but a few of these. Interestingly, they are among the many services we offer our clients and business customers. Furthermore, these and more are ways we help Natchez & Vidalia area businesses, corporations, industries and organizations with their imaging needs with the quality needed to help them expand and grow their market.

A core principle of ours is to offer truly unique images! Ultimately, this is done in order to help promote your business or organization more effectively. Finally, to accomplish this we focus on quality and creativity throughout the entire image-making process.

Additionally, by image making, we also mean videography and not just still photography. Truly, we are dedicated to offering Natchez area businesses outstanding quality and value!

Commercial photography ranges from headshot / staff portraits of owners and employees to images of products or services. Our unique talent is to capture product photos in a way that bring out the best of a particular product line. Similarly, our images of your products will capture the attention of your target market. Give us a call for a free consult!

An Image for Maker’s Mark Whiskey & Visit Natchez in an Ad Campaign they pitched in New York City to promote our area. They hired us at our day-rate and working together with an Art Director we produced this image, shot on the porch of antebellum Dunleith.

 

Event & Editorial Photography

Editorial Cover for the Vidalian Magazine. We also provided the Inside Story Cover and several other images for Mr. Huhn’s article.

Another common category of commercial (also known as corporate) photography is “Event” photography. To that end, we have covered many, many events too numerous to mention! These include Food & Wine Festivals for Visit Natchez, Balloon Races for the City of Vidalia, numerous Open Houses, Ribbon Cuttings, and anniversaries for area businesses, industries, corporations, and organizations… even the 50th Jubilee of a Catholic Priest! Just a small sampling of our Commercial clients include well-known area businesses such as Natchez, Inc; Visit Natchez; Makers Mark Whiskey; United Mississippi Bank; Waters Trucking; Vidalia Mills USA Denim & BASF; Delta Fuels; Natchez Railway; Bayou Fuels/Velocys; Crye-Leike Realty; Century 21; the City of Vidalia; the Adams County Sheriffs Office; Dozer, Inc; Miss-Lou Eye Care; Southern Designs; and many, many more! We have delivered services to Organizations and Churches, Non-Profits, Businesses, Corporations, Industries, and Government Entities. We’ve shot still photography and video for local small businesses such as The Natchez Ballet Academy… to multi-national corporations, such as Orlando Media, located in the U.K. We know what it takes to get “the shot in the moment,” fulfill strict file types, codecs, and compressions, and can catalog your event or deliver your photos and video in stunning fashion – the right way, the first time. No one is more experienced than Mike in our area for this type of photography!

Editorial photography is one of our favorite styles of photography. If you have a story you wish to have illustrated with images, we can deliver – whether for a print publication or an online one. We know what it means to shoot to a layout, aspect ratio, and leave whatever empty space you need for your text or masthead. We speak the language of Editors, Assistant Editors, and Art Directors. Have a cover that needs to be shot? No problem, we can make a stunning cover image for your story. We have shot for numerous online and print magazines for local, regional, and national publications such as The Vidalian Magazine, Good Grit Magazine, and Mercedes-Benz Magazine.

Our passion is to provide unique images and angles that others often overlook. To that end, one unique piece of image gear we have invested in is a professional level drone. Furthermore, this drone captures high definition images from elevated angles to give your image an edge that your competitors don’t have! Of course, it’s just one tool among many in our image making arsenal.

Ultimately, whenever you need a commercial photographer in Natchez MS, contact us and we will deliver!

Architectural Photographer in Natchez

Architectural & Real Estate Photography in Natchez

When it comes to photographing and videoing architecture, properties and structures, no one is more qualified than us!

 

The Cedars Plantation in Church Hill, MS. We provided both stills and video of the interior and exterior of the home and the property.

Uniquely Qualified!

As someone involved in the building and remodeling trades for five decades, Mike is uniquely qualified. Growing up around uncles and a parent who was skilled at carpentry, he excelled in the trade. In high school, Mike won architectural drawing awards in his Junior and Senior years. After high school, he majored in architecture at LSU. Accordingly, his first major project was to design a Church sanctuary in Natchez. Mike completed the design, and also helped to build it. As a result, today it sits at the corner of Melrose-Montebello Parkway and Fatherland Road. He was nineteen years old at the time.

Since that time, he continued to build and remodel numerous homes and businesses in the Natchez area. Ultimately, Mike’s signature project was the total restoration of an antebellum plantation home in Jefferson County. Moreover, this restoration won the Heritage Award in 2010 for the State of Mississippi. Additionally, Laurietta Plantation was featured in Country Living magazine in 2010. Building upon that construction experience (pardon the pun!), and with his extensive understanding of structures and properties, he has photographed and provided video for numerous homes and properties over the years. He has worked with Real Estate Companies such as Century 21 and Crye Leike Realtors in photographing antebellum and high-end homes in the Natchez area. No one in our area has more experience than Mike in this kind of photography.

 

Professional Equipment Captures Architectural Photographs and Video

Our Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) delivers stunning resolution in RAW image format and 4K video. FAA Certified & Licensed.

Obviously someone with that amount of in-depth knowledge of buildings and structures knows how to photograph them. Furthermore, our equipment is tailor-made for optimized architectural images. We use state-of-the-art DSLR and mirrorless professional cameras with high-quality stabilization equipment and the best lenses in the field to get you stunning images that you will be proud of. Additionally, we added a professional level aerial drone to our camera inventory. This allows us to further expand our capability to provide awesome photos and video. Recently, we’ve completed numerous projects involving architectural images. These include Dozer Inc, who contracted us to take their images after they built the Bridge of Sighs over Roth’s Hill Road. Second, Natchez, Inc. hired us to record a property they are helping to develop. Third, United Mississippi Bank contracted with us to take images of all of their branch locations for their new website. We have a long list of corporate entities that we have worked with to provide these kinds of images.

 

Exterior image of the back porch at antebellum D’Evereux. This is an HDR (High Dynamic Range) merge of five photographs into 1 final image.

 

GOT SKILLS? WE DO!

HDR – HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE TECHNIQUE

The technique of using HDR in Architectural and Real Estate Photography is commonplace among photographers. Mike is a master of this technique, and uses it on all of his projects. Basically it’s a way of taking several photographs of each scene (for example a Parlour of a home) and these photos in a range of exposures in order to blend them all together and getting the perfect single image of that scene. This results in the shadow and dark areas being lit and the highlighted areas (such as sunlight lighting up a window) to not be overexposed. Together with years and years of experience, knowing all the techniques and approaches, as well as equipment that others don’t have, Mike is able to provide you with images that no one else can.

When St. Mary Basilica was damaged in a recent ice storm, their sanctuary was damaged and had to be remodeled. Afterwards, the Construction Firm and Parish hired me to take photos of the work.

 

If you are looking for a local photographer to take still photos or video of interiors, exteriors or properties, there is no one better than us! You can reach Mike at 601-597-3762 to schedule a consultation.

 

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A Wedding Story – Told In 25 Images

A Wedding Story – Told in 25 Photographs

Will Leibfritz and Stephanie Fradella’s beautiful wedding ceremony took place at St. Mary Basilica. Accordingly, husband and wife along with Will’s son Cody enjoyed an amazing time surrounded by family, friends and loved ones. We were blessed with the opportunity to meet them and to capture for all time their precious memories of that day.

 

This is their STORY told in images. Moreover, for this article it is limited to just 25 photographs selected for their variety rather than only traditional wedding shots.

 

A Grand Beginning

Leibfritz Wedding Photography in NatchezFirst, the day began at the Natchez Grand Hotel where the large wedding party had booked all their rooms. With nine bridesmaids and nine groomsmen, there were plenty of helping hands. As always, the ladies went one direction and the men another. No doubt each had their duties in getting ready for the big event. Meanwhile, the typical “getting ready” shot involves the makeup artist andLeibfritz Wedding Photography in Natchez bride.

However, moving to my right I was also able to capture a shot of Stephanie in silhouette. Going with the darker theme of a silhouette, I rendered the image in black and white during retouching. Just a simple way to give her options for her photo album.

 

The Dress

Leibfritz Wedding Photography in NatchezThen, there was the absolutely beautiful wedding dress on a personalized hanger. Shot from many angles, this particular photo shows a close-up. The ribbon was color coordinated with the ladies’ dresses.

As one might expect, the men got ready a bit Leibfritz Wedding Photography in Natchezmore quickly than the ladies. We captured them on the stairs as they left their rooms to head down toward the Basilica.

 

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

Next, the men left for the next stop along the journey, which was to take place at Memorial Park. Meanwhile, Leibfritz Wedding Photography in Natchezthe ladies took a brief detour at the hotel’s bar to have some fun! No doubt, this group was a blast and full of hilarious energy. Check out their sassy poses!

Then, there are the rings. Before we left the hotel I seized the opportunity to take a creative ring shot utilizing the bridal bouquet. I carry a number of lenses, one of which is a 105mm prime macro lens. Consequently, this lens may double for ring shots or asLeibfritz Wedding Photography in Natchez a great portrait lens. However, without a tripod it takes a steady hand to get tack sharp images. 

 

Memorial Park

The bountiful wedding party gathered at well-known Memorial Park behind the Basilica for several shots, including the first look and some group photos. It was very cold that Leibfritz Wedding Photography in Natchezday, but everyone held up very well and we were able to get some great images. Just after the first look, the couple embraced and the moment was captured. Some of the family and friends can be seen in the background giving them their space.

 

Next, Stephanie invited Will under the veil for a kiss! It was obvious they were having a great time and enjoying every moment of the rapidly moving events of the day.Leibfritz Wedding Photography in Natchez

 

 

Dad & Bride Plus Others

Leibfritz Wedding Photography in NatchezAt this point, several hundred photos were taken of various groups of the wedding party. One favorite of ours is a fun shot of Stephanie with her father. The photo tells a great story about their love and their enjoyment of this time!

 

How about this shot when Stephanie and Will caught Cody in a kiss sandwich! Leibfritz Wedding Photography in NatchezThis was a fun idea that we discussed long before the day when we were putting together a creative shot list. Many times shots are planned, but for various reasons do not work well. In my opinion, this one came off perfectly!

 

We then all moved inside the Basilica’s basement to warm up and make ready for the actual ceremony. One of my favorite photos of the entire day is a candid shot of one of Leibfritz Wedding Photography in Natchezthe bridesmaids with her daughter. The expression of the child’s face is simply priceless!

 

 

 

 

The Ceremony Begins!

 

 

Finally, it came time for the wedding itself. The huge doors swung open and all the friends and family were waiting inside. Leibfritz Wedding Photography in NatchezFather O’Connor presided over the ceremony, which in Roman Catholic tradition is a Sacrament. As the ushers hold open the literal doors, Stephanie walks through, entering a new stage of her life. Her father escorts her to the altar, arm in arm.

 

Leibfritz Wedding Photography in NatchezOne by one the bridesmaids also enter, until all nine of them are also at the altar. Here, Cody makes his walk along with another family relative.

 

At this point, the vows are being exchanged.Leibfritz Wedding Photography in Natchez I took an opportunity to capture this shot of the ladies watching intently.

 

 

At the Altar & After Shots

Inevitably, the moment came and Will & Stephanie became man and wife. All during the ceremony and throughout the day, my second shooter and I took over 5,000 images! That’s a lot to edit and select Leibfritz Wedding Photography in Natchezfrom. This photo was shot vertically rather than horizontally, as many angles were explored. St. Mary Basilica is stunningly beautiful, I think you will agree.

 

Directly after, the newly formed family posed Leibfritz Wedding Photography in Natchezfor a photograph with Father O’Connor.

 

Next, several images of the various groups were taken until we arrived at the shot of everyone gathered together at the altar. This photograph illustrates this large and loving family.

 

 

Leibfritz Wedding Photography in Natchez

 

 

Cel-e-brate Good Times – C’Mon!

Another couple of fun shots came next, the first being one with Cody. Leibfritz Wedding Photography in NatchezIt seems there’s a whole lot of celebration about to go on!

 

 

Finally, as they left the Church on the way to the Reception, the massive party jumped for joy on Leibfritz Wedding Photography in Natchezthe steps outside! I have viewed this photograph many times. I can’t help but be amazed at the expression and gesture of each and every person. The little boy on the bottom right is almost flying! Also, I love the girl in the middle who has her hands outwardly expressed as if to say, “I can’t believe it!”

 

 

 

 

The couple load up in a horse-drawn carriage and head to The Natchez Community Center for the reception. Leibfritz Wedding Photography in Natchez

 

 

 

 

Let’s Get This Party Started!

 

 

 

Next, everyone hit the floors for a grand ole time! Saturday night dancing style!Leibfritz Wedding Photography in Natchez

 

 

 

 

The Final Photos

In the midst of taking all those thousands of shots, I came across Cody. He seemed tired, but very, very happy. I love this shot of a little Leibfritz Wedding Photography in Natchezboy just before becoming a teenager, seeing the adults he loves most join in Holy union with one another. He was just off to the side soaking it all in. How special a boy! We spoke a bit about his experience on this day, and he posed for this photo.

 

 

 

The ladies … remember how good a time they were having earlier? Well, it just continued. Here, they are gathered around one of the cakes having a blast.Leibfritz Wedding Photography in Natchez

 

 

 

 

 

Photograph Number 25 …

 

Last but not least I leave you with a photo of just the three, now united. Stephanie, Will and Cody Leibfritz. Their story continues!

Leibfritz Wedding Photography in Natchez

The End … or rather The Beginning!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corporate Drone Photography for Natchez, Inc.

CORPORATE DRONE PHOTOGRAPHY IN NATCHEZ

 

Michael Chapman Studios (MCS) recently completed a corporate drone photography project for Natchez, Inc, that involved utilizing our professional imaging drone.

 

Natchez, Inc. exists as a public-private partnership established in 2010. They take very seriously their mission as “the dynamic organization in the economic development of Natchez-Adams County.” Accordingly, part of what they do entices commercial enterprises to invest their business future in our region. Naturally, they promote and market sites and properties in order to do so. For this reason, they recently assigned Michael Chapman Studios to provide aerial photographs and video of the former John Mansfield site here in the County. Due to the professional level imaging drone that we have in our equipment kit, we were able to accomplish that quickly, efficiently, and at far less expense than hiring a helicopter or airplane.

Full-Range of Motion Control Devices

Aerial drones provide a powerful level of motion control, known as “mo-co” in photo lingo. It also provides an angle of view to photography, videography & cinematography simply unmatched through any other form. We are excited to have such a piece of equipment. This is due to the fact that the drone gives us the ability to offer a wider range of services to businesses and enterprises such as Natchez, Inc. This allows us to be a great value to those in need of these services that help them enhance the successful accomplishment of their mission and goals. There’s nothing like powerful images, whether stills or video, to inform people intellectually and move them emotionally.

In addition to our drone, we also have several other dynamic pieces of “mo-co” that we use. These can combine to make video scenes much more impactful and impressive. These include a jib crane, a slider, and steady cam stabilizers. Of course we have what every videographer carries as well, which are monopods and video tripods. This full equipment range of motion-control gear allows us to truly get you the shots you need that will make your video and stills stand out from your competition.

 

Complete Control of Your Images & Video

The Nerdy Details: Our drone is capable of shooting still photography images in .dng file format (in addition to .jpeg). This simply means we are able to perform extensive image enhancement in Photoshop during retouching if we need to. One example of such enhancements includes bringing out shadows and details. This would not be available if we shot in jpeg images. As for video, the drone is capable of recording 4K at 30 frames per second, or 1080p (high resolution) at up to 120 fps. Both photography and videography can be done in full manual mode. This gives us flexibility in such things as shutter speed, ISO, aperture, white balance, picture control and so forth. All of which is controlled as needed while the drone is airborne! Therefore, we can provide stunning image quality and control exactly how they are shot!

 

If you have a need or desire for aerial images, contact us and we can make your needs a reality!

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United MS Bank: Upgrading Their Website Using a Drone

UNITED MISSISSIPPI BANK: UPGRADING THEIR WEBSITE’S IMAGES USING A DRONE

Drone Photography Enhances Business Image – What You’ll Uncover In This Article:

  • Michael Chapman Studios (MCS) used a drone to enhance the marketing efforts of United Mississippi Bank.

 

  • Natchez-Vidalia businesses utilizing a creative, well-equipped media services company likes ours can benefit. MCS can work together with you in innovative ways to help your business grow thru quality and professionalism.

 

  • Successful, growing businesses such as UMB Bank use their outstanding content value, relevant media, and a strong, clear message. This powerful package presents an image to local people of value, innovation, professionalism and quality.

Twin Measures of Success

The most successful Natchez businesses and corporations have a keen sensitivity to their brand’s image. Moreover, they wisely understand that they must portray their business as one of quality, professionalism, and value. Accordingly, they deliver on what they promise. On the other hand, equally important is how they present themselves in the public marketplace must also “deliver.”

 

Thus, a business’s presence to the larger community, indeed their “image,” must be both effective in cost value and attractive. Otherwise, people will opt for other choices. Commerce flows to the enterprise that has value and portrays that value effectively to area consumers. Ultimately, businesses that successfully match the content value of what they offer consumers with a presentation that attracts those same consumers are the ones that are going to be successful and grow.

 

The Mousetrap, the Media, and the Message

Using an old analogy, businesses in the marketplace must find ways to “build a better mousetrap” than their competition. Accordingly, the first factor of a successful business is having something of real value. Obviously, that’s the mousetrap: the product or service that consumers want and need. Next, what follows the building of the better mousetrap is to communicate effectively to those who want that mousetrap. No doubt this sounds elementary, but it’s often overlooked.

 

Arguably, a business or company may possess an outstanding service or product (a great mousetrap). However, if consumers never learn about it (or aren’t reminded often enough), then the business will fail. The effective communication of having something to offer can be broken down into two very important – but very different factors. Namely, utilizing the right Media, and conveying an effective and powerful Message. Let’s take a brief look at both.

 

The Media

For many hundreds of years mankind existed in the age of print media. Newspapers, circulars, and other forms of printed media were how we communicated news and events of the day, including use for commerce and business. In the last century especially, that changed dramatically with the advent of radio, television, movies and photography. Added to that, the last generation has seen the explosive growth of the Internet, cell phones, and mobile technology that is advancing at a rate that is dizzying.

 

Today, businesses and companies must carefully choose which media outlets and platforms to utilize to convey news of their better mousetrap, and how much to put into each. These include but are not limited to: print, radio, television, web and Internet, roadside and billboard, and social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, just to name a few. There are other platforms to deliver the message as well, including word-of-mouth, sponsoring teams and clubs, community outreach activities, volunteering, promotions, and so on.

 

The Message

In summary, Media can be seen as different ways to deliver the news that a company has a better Mousetrap. Additionally, Media reminds the community that it has something of value to offer. So, what is the actual message that is delivered? The style, quality, presentation and delivery of the Message is just as critical. The message itself has a profound effect on how a business is perceived by the target market. The message must match the image of the business and company that is delivering it. Furthermore, it must match in several important ways.

If a business sends a message that is poorly done, then the overall message of that business fails. Remember, “What I see you’re about is more important to me than what you say.” The businesses that are most successful understand all three important factors. They are: content value, media, and message. Successful businesses always present consistent quality, professionalism and excellence no matter what. This “culture of excellence” must extend to the kinds of media they choose to utilize. Furthermore, it extends to the actual message they are conveying. Messages and Media done with quality, effective content, and matching style are winners!

 

United Mississippi Bank

Drone Photography Enhances Business Image

A couple of years ago UMB licensed one of my images of the bridges between Natchez and Vidalia for use as the masthead in their online banking app.

Enter United Mississippi Bank and a recent assignment. In this contract, I worked to assist them in a small way with these very issues. UMB has been a core business presence in Natchez for many decades. Moreover, the bank has successfully grown their business model over the years. They’ve done this through excellent service, professional management, and financial products. These services, products and management offers value to the people of our region. I know because I’ve been one of their customers for many years.

 

Recently, they assigned me to photograph their eleven branch locations, The goal was to enhance their online presence through their website and online banking app. Consequently, I worked with two of their managers that handle their marketing and advertising. As a result, we crafted a plan to have the images of UMB’s eleven community bank branches match their branding. The images of their banks simply needed to match the brand image they’ve work so hard to build. These images would need to show quality, innovation, and professionalism. 

 

11 Branch Locations

UMB’s eleven branches are spread wide and far. They range from Natchez, west to Vidalia, north to Fayette, Bude and Meadville, and south to Gloster, Centerville and Woodville. On their existing website a few of those branches are currently not supplied with images. The other images that are present were deemed not satisfactory. They wanted them updated for the new website which will rollout in the near future.

 

When we had our meetings, I quickly became impressed with the UMB team. First, they are dedicated to quality and professionalism with how UMB’s image is portrayed. Second, they are not satisfied with anything less than excellence. Third, they are utilizing their own creative and innovative ideas to improve their company. These qualities shone in how they do things, what they offer, and the media and message they employ. They also allowed me creative freedom and input to create unique and high-quality photographs for them. That made for a very effective collaboration!

 

Strategy

After careful thought, research of their current site, and some scouting of local branches, my plan to match their need for images which would help present UMB in the way they wanted was twofold: 1) shoot the branch locations at an angle that was just a bit different than what most other photographers normally do. This would be a subtle, perhaps even subconscious reminder to viewers that UMB was different and innovative, that they have an “edge;” 2) put a lot of effort into cleaning up the images in post-production once they were taken, in order to make for the best final outcome. With this in mind, I supplied them with a test shot which they loved. With the green light to proceed given, pre-production planning was over and I swung into production.

 

Final Images

Over several days and traveling to all the locations I took many images from a height of around fourteen to sixteen feet, and most often from an oblique angle. This was one of the creative decisions that I was able to offer and effectively execute with relative ease due to my having a drone in my equipment kit. I knew coming in that all too often, photographers supplying architectural photographs – which is what this assignment consisted of – do little more than walk up outside the building and take shots from the “tourist” angle of view, which is to stand upright at eye-level and usually from straight in front of the structure.

 

This can certainly be an effective angle sometimes, but my thinking was that this point of view was a bit worn out. It was time for something fresh and new, which coincided with UMB’s ongoing “image.” Thus, I tried the more interesting angle of subtly raising the camera higher than one could reach on a ladder, but not an obvious aerial shot, and moving it quite a bit off center. My professional-level drone shoots in high definition 4K video and photo, and is almost as adjustable as my expensive DSLR camera in that I can shoot in RAW format (much better resolution than a .jpeg) and can shoot in full manual mode from the radio controller. This supplied me with ultra-high resolution photos which I could then take into post-production retouching and work effectively with. This effort was a successful compilation of creative vision, effective equipment, and proper execution.

 

Retouching the Photos: The Wires!

In post-production retouching, I was faced with dealing with what I had encountered on location after location. Massive wire and pole pollution surrounds us! Strangely enough we don’t notice it with our eyes because we are so used to seeing it. Paradoxically our eyes scan the scene and filter out many of the unpleasant things we see. Not so with a still image. Everything is locked-in and is right there in front of our noses when we view a photo. As a result, it took hours and hours in Photoshop to clean up the images. This included oil stains in the parking lot and undesired extraneous signage.

 

Delivery

In the end however, I was able to effectively deliver UMB the images of their bank branches that they are very pleased with, and that match their excellent mousetrap! If you’re wondering whether all of this fuss about eleven photos of bank branches on a company’s website really matters, trust me it does! This is the kind of attention to detail and commitment to excellence that successful businesses and companies practice as a matter of their culture, and unsuccessful ones do not. I was able to share this approach with UMB on this project, and it was a pleasure. I can bring the same attention and creativity to your image needs!

 

A big thanks to the management team of UMB that I worked with, and I enjoyed very much collaborating with people and a company who share a strong commitment to quality, hard work, creativity, innovation and professionalism in everything they do. Their motto is “Together We Grow!” I can attest that United Mississippi Bank and my own image service company are growing, and doing so together. Get on board the quality train and come grow along with us!

 

If you have a desire to improve the quality of your marketing and advertising visuals, whether it be photographs or video of your products … your employees or you in action with your services … have a consultation regarding your marketing and media needs including social media presence … or perhaps a fresh and new website, then connect with me and let’s talk about how we can work together to help your business grow!

 

BEFORE & AFTER of 3 Branches

Three Photos of three bank branches – EACH SET: Topmost photo: EXISTING branch photo / Middle photo: UNRETOUCHED new photo / Bottom Photo: RETOUCHED new photo.

Think about your own business’s images in your advertising & marketing: would you rather use the top photos in the sets below, or the bottom ones? Details and quality send a very powerful and crystal-clear message to your clients and customers about your company or business!

 

Drone Photography Enhances Business Image

Morgantown Bank Branch of UMB

 

Drone Photography Enhances Business Image

Main Headquarters Building – UMB

Drone Photography Enhances Business Image

Fayette Bank Branch of UMB

My Facebook Page

My Instagram Page

Drone Photography Enhances Business Image

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Musician & Artist Brandon McCranie

 

Creative Portrait – Brandon McCranie

Welcome to Brandon McCranie’s zany, creative, and talented world!

In my Characters of Natchez photo series, I wanted to photograph a limited number of local people. My goal was to portray or reveal something in the photograph that would be uniquely them. To do so, I used a photographic style, lighting technique, camera angle, and setting that fit them. What I try to avoid is using a “one size fits all” approach. I didn’t want to force them into a single box, rather the box changed with what best represented each. This presented a challenge, but was much more rewarding because it stretched me artistically and creatively. This is known as “subject-centric” photography. This was the way I went into Creative Portrait – Brandon McCranie, a session with this well-known Natchez talent.

 

Scouting & Vision

Brandon is a very talented person who literally and figuratively wears many hats. When I conducted my research of Brandon, I learned that in addition to his energy and gregarious nature was his amazing variety of hats and caps! He is lead vocalist and guitarist in his band Mojo-Mudd. He’s also an amazing bottle-cap artist, and a popular radio personality at a local station. However, these three outlets of how he expresses his creative nature is not all that I wanted to capture in his portrait. When you meet Brandon and experience his friendly and zany personality, you become an instant friend. An extravert, he has a way of expressing himself that is truly unique. I wanted to bring that out in the portrait as well. Creative Portrait – Brandon McCranie

With Environmental Portraiture the idea is to capture the person in their own environment. Contrasty, in Studio Portraiture, you photograph your subject in a studio with a backdrop. This can be very effective because it isolates the subject in the photograph and focuses only on them. Both have their own impact visually. For Brandon I chose to go on location and shoot him in his bottle-cap workshop or in his home environment. Of course, the down side to this approach are the logistics of lugging lighting and camera gear! At this time of year in Mississippi (early August) when the session is outside (as this one was), the heat, humidity and mosquitos make it a challenge.

 

Creative Portrait – Brandon McCranie

After scouting around, I found an awesome location that matched my vision for the portrait. It took me four hours to gather gear, set up, do test shots, and shoot the session. Even though I was going for one special shot, my session with Brandon consisted of just over three hundred photographs. Each one of the exposures were taken for a reason, and was a deliberate attempt at some nuance of angle, shift in pose, lighting or wardrobe change. Brandon and I worked hard at continually tweaked every little thing, including arranging the individual bottle caps on his table. In addition, Brandon’s wardrobe, hat, gesture, posture, my angle of view, framing, lighting, lens and so forth were all carefully chosen to bring out the goal of the image: to truly represent him authentically. That is shooting deliberately. While it is often a challenge, I love the adventure of exploring and working a shot creatively.

At this point, a total of seven lights were employed, including studio strobes, a 53″ octabank (a large softbox), and various other high-tech lighting gear. We even plugged-in a $10 work light for some of the background lighting, so low-tech works perfectly well sometimes. The magic happened in this session when, following a hunch, I tried a very unorthodox lens for taking a portrait photo. A 16mm fisheye lens is normally used in special effects landscape kinds of shots. In fact, I knew if I kept him in the center of the frame the distortion on him would be minimized, but the rest of the scene around him would seem surreal. No doubt it was a risk creatively, by it was worth a try. Having him to lean in a bit made the shot work even more effectively.

 

The Unintended Other Portrait

After using a couple of lenses, I asked Brandon if he had time for me to play around with a new lens. I had just received a Lens Baby Composer Pro. This lens, an Edge 80 optic, allows me to have “slice” of focus area in my shot. Additionally, I can also widen or narrow that slice of focus, and move it around in my composition. 

 

 

Creative Portrait - Brandon McCranie

Portrait taken using the Lensbaby Edge 80 Optic.

The image I captured of Brandon using the Lens Baby is shown at left. In my opinion it captured another very important aspect of Brandon. The main shot (above) captured Brandon’s public persona. He is energetic, full of life, creativity, and talent. All of which are contributors to his wild world of color, music, art, and fun that make him larger than life. I chose a 16mm fisheye lens in the above photo, because it “warps” (in a good way) what we experience when we encounter Brandon. We enter his world when we view that photo (at least I hope it conveys that). But, in this second photo, a very different Brandon is seen … a quiet, reflective, thoughtful man who has hopes, goals, and a faith of his own. 

I can say that because I got to talk with Brandon awhile during this long shoot about his life and the direction he finds himself on. As a matter of fact, we spoke candidly about our lives and aspirations, both as “creatives” but also simply as men who want to be better human beings tomorrow than we are today. 

 

Summary

In conclusion, Brandon is a complex person, as most of us are. He is a deep thinker, a thoughtful, reflective, philosophical man. Like many of us, he has chosen to make a better life for himself and lift others around him in the process. No doubt that while the first shot best portrayed what I originally set out to do, the second shot portrayed another authentic aspect of Brandon. This is what is amazing about photography: how photos can tell very different stories, even if they are of the same subject just minutes apart.

So, welcome to Brandon’s world … both of them!

– Michael Chapman 

Creative Portrait – Brandon McCranie

Creative Portrait – Brandon McCranie

I hope you enjoyed the images and the peek behind the process of what I do, and how I got these shots. If you would like a “once-in-a-lifetime” portrait that captures some aspect of who you really are, then CONTACT ME to discuss your portrait. And remember, there’s always more going on around you – and inside of people – than what meets the eye.

 
 
 
 
Shoot Details and Camera MetaData:

Shot 1 (Top): Nikon D810; 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye Lens; ISO 64; f/2.8; 1/250s; tripod.

Shot 2 (Bottom): Nikon D810; Lens Baby Composer Pro with Edge 80 Optic (80mm); ISO 400; f/11; 1/5s; tripod.

Lighting: Elinchrom mono strobes (x3) with 53″ Octabox as key light (all others accents and kickers); gridded 8.5″ reflector; and one with a snoot to light anvil & front work table; Paul C. Buff Einstein mono strobe (x1) with shoot through umbrella; Nikon SB910 speedlites (3) with magmod modifiers; a $10 shop light with silver reflector to help light the background. The lights were triggered with Pocket Wizard radio controllers (x6) – Flex TT5’s, TT1 Mini, and AC3 Zone Controller. Flags were used to block unwanted light sources from nearby lights.

Post-Processing: Adobe Lightroom CC 2015 & Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.

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