This Year’s Award Winner Is…

Didn’t even know there was a contest did you? Yeah, no one did. That is what makes it special! By not knowing, no one was able to cheat! There is a winner though and that winner is

Aimco Apartment Homes!

AIMCO

Aimco is the proud winner of the Michael Albany Photography Client of the Year Award. This award is given to the client that meets the following criteria.

  • Has an  annual spend of $1000 or more
  • Contracted for a minimum of 2 photoshoots in the calendar year
  • Has included diversity in their photography needs

Aimco Apartment Homes owns and operates some of the most stylish and comfortable apartment homes in the country, not just Philadelphia. The Sterling, Chestnut Hall, Riverloft and Park Towne are just a few of the apartment buildings they own and manage nationwide. Currently the opening image on this site is of the Riverloft at 23rd and Walnut St. Other images of their properties, events, portraits, street photography, and cityscapes that you see here were requested by Lauren Ware of the Interactive Marketing department.

Help me in congratulating Lauren and all of Aimco on their award. Take a look at the galleries on my site and see if you can pick out which ones are images I shot for Aimco.

Philadelphia, Photographer, Michael Albany, award,

 

Free Business Portraits for the Unemployed – Again!

A while back I did “Free Business Portraits for the Unemployed” (first one, second time). In fact the last time I did it I served over 175 people by creating new business portraits for them, the goal being to help them get work. At the time the country was in a spike of unemployment not seen since the 1930s. Today many think that the times are better because unemployment rates are much lower. Better, maybe. Good? Not by a long shot.Here is a video of our las Free Business Portraits session.

Unemployment has turned into Underemployment and many who can’t find a position because they are over qualified or under trained, have completely fallen off the radar. The US government only tracks unemployment based on how many people apply for benefits. Once your benefits run out you are no longer considered a part of the unemployment figures. In fact, the fastest drop in unemployment rates came after the federal government stopped subsidizing state unemployment benefits. Did all those people suddenly get jobs? Doubt it.

By speaking to my business contacts and some friends I find that there is still a need for well trained, eager employees. Through my LinkedIn group management activities I find that there are still many people that need a professional headshot. Even professional photographers need to look into the lens rather than through it sometimes.

Did you know there is a blog on tumblr that actually posts bad profile images found on LinkedIn. You can check that out at givingbadprofile.tumblr.com. I must say that some of them are hilarious! Perhaps some of them are not bad images but they certainly don’t seem like something business oriented, well unless you’re a lifeguard or pool boy.

So considering the need, I have decided to do another session of Free Business Portraits for the Unemployed on March 19th from 3pm – 8pm at Servcorp in Philadelphia!

This time appoints, though not required, are very strongly encouraged. Last time we ran out of time and had to turn over 90 people away. I don’t want to turn anyone away this time. Business attire will be encouraged as well. These portraits will be for your business profile rather than Facebook or twitter; think LinkedIn.

If you are interested in having your portrait done or know someone who is in need, contact me by clicking here or going to the contact page and we will get you schedule for your Free Business Portrait!

Below are some of the business portraits I have done in the past, some from the Free Business Portraits, some not. Let’s help get everyone properly employed! If you want to read the press release put together by Servecorp click here to download a copy.

 

 

“Aw Hell Naw!”

Last Friday I got a text message from a source saying that there was going to be a surprise rally held in the Tacony section of Philadelphia. OK, not a big deal, In Philadelphia rallies are almost a daily occurrence. So I wrote back, “And?”

“And it’s being held by the Klu Klux Klan.” Ok that got my attention!

It seems that there was some type of issue with a KKK member trying to get into the neighborhood watch program and he was rejected. This person thought it was strictly because he was a Klan member, which I couldn’t confirm, and he told his Klan friends. They decided that this warranted a little, un-promoted, not announced, little rally on the Tacony library steps.

What they didn’t quite understand is this particular neighborhood is very in touch and the word got out. Quickly. Tacony is one of the “live and let live” area’s of the city and they are proud of the fact that there is little or no racial issues in that area. “Sure we have issues,” one neighbor told me, “but there just issues. We work through them.”

When I arrived at the library there were a few people in the area and a few young men were about to go into the corner store. When they saw us arrive with our press badges and such they asked, “What’s going on?”

When we told him about the rally his reply was, “In Tacony? Aw hell naw!”

The young man know as “Twin” promptly got on his cell phone and shortly there were quite a few neighbors there to counter any numbers the KKK were sending. You see the KKK was importing people from surrounding states to boost their numbers. They had people from New York, Maryland and Virginia but we think when their scout reported back that some decided against coming as they didn’t have a whole lot of people at the rally once it actually got started.

This neighborhood grouped together within minutes and stood together to push a known racist group out of their area. They refused to stand idly by and let them have their say without saying something back; and they certainly gave it back with gusto. This is the type of Philadelphia I am proud of.

Yo Tacony, thanks for making me proud!

 

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You’ve created your Masterpiece! Now what?

I will be teaching a class at the Mt. Airy Art Garage this February 8th from 1 – 5pm on what to do once you have created that perfect work of art. It’s time to get it out to the world, but how?  This is going to be a ton of information all in one afternoon so bring your notebooks!

Topics covered will include:

  • Showing your art electronically
  • The importance of quality presentation of the art (such as quality photos of the art)
  • Websites, free, cheep, easy and advanced
  • Networking, where and with whom
  • Organizational alignments with community organizations like, oh the Mt. Art Garage for example?

Click the image below to sign up!

So you’re going to be there right?

Globus-Albany-class-flyer_site

Class Flyer

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Equality Matters

If you follow this blog with any type of regularity you may have noticed at the bottom of each post is a short list of the most popular posts on the site. Consistently for almost 4 years the #2 post has been Equal Marriage Rights and Photography. I have been and always will be a strong advocate for equality at all levels and that starts with all of us treating everyone with respect and dignity. In the area of marriage it has been the tradition to not treat everyone equally. The tides are changing, finally.

In Pennsylvania it is technically illegal for two people of the same gender to marry and have equal rights under the law. In fact, a person can still be fired for being gay. I’m sorry but I don’t see sexual orientation as being something to fire someone over.

This prejudiced thinking has spilled over into marriage rights and many rights of those considered to not live a “conventional” lifestyle. In short Pennsylvania is as conservative as it ever has been. The repression of rights to any person or group of persons is just wrong.

Since the Supreme Court’s ruling on the unconstitutionality of DOMA and the PA State Attorney’s statement of choosing to not pursue prosecution of same sex marriages stating that it is in conflict with the commonwealth’s own constitution, a local Register of Wills, Bruce Hanes, has begun issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples.

It is my belief that Mr. Hanes and his colleagues in Montgomery County are politely pushing this issue to the forefront and it is one of the few things I can be proud about in Pennsylvania. It is about time someone in this state stood up for what is right and just.

Yesterday there was a rally held on the Montgomery County Courthouse steps to show support for Bruce Hanes and his supporters in local government.  I was asked by Tom Cavanaugh, Executive Administrator of the Independence Business Alliance and Jen Colletta, Editor at PGN (Philadelphia Gay News) to photograph the story for them. Below are some of the images I captured (proudly) of the rally.

 

I look forward to this post becoming as popular as the one I wrote in November of 2009 but more importantly I want universal equality to not just be popular but to be the norm.

 

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Moving Forward

Needless to say that if you read my last post that the month of June sucked. Dealing with the death of a parent is not an easy task. If you have lost a parent then I feel your pain and if you still have your parents then tell them you love them even if you are arguing with them. You never know when the last conversation is going to be.

Our parents always want the best for us and that was true of my mother as well. When I first told her that I was leaving the corporate world to take my photography business full time she outright said, “Are you crazy!? You have a good job and are making good money.” I explained to her that money isn’t everything and that it would mean nothing if the stress of doing something that though I was very good at it, made me miserable.

In time she came to accept that I was a pretty good photographer and a good businessman as well; perhaps this wasn’t such a bad idea. After all the creative gene came from her. My mother was a painter and poet and she was more popular than she even knew. When we went to empty her apartment almost everyone that knew her asked if they could have a painting of hers. I on the other hand can’t draw a stick figure and make it represent anything I intend it to. Although I love all kinds of art, my father’s photographer gene joined with my mother’s creative one and I am the result.

Another thing my mother insisted upon was never sitting still; don’t wait for things to happen, make them happen. Also known as get off your butt and do it!  I can still hear her telling me that being bored was “a sign of an empty mind” and that I had to pursue things not be pursued by them. Of course that is why I was a bit surprised when she thought I should stay in the corporate world.

Although I would love to strictly do fine art photography, photography of any kind is my passion. When my mother learned that I would be showing my work at a library near her home in Delaware County Pennsylvania she was excited and was looking very much forward to seeing her son’s work displayed to the public, especially the public she knew personally.

webposterWhen my mother died unexpectedly on the 30th of May I wasn’t even thinking of the upcoming show. All I could think about was how much it hurt to lose her. After the funeral and the packing up of her belongings I remembered about the show and was considering politely backing out. About then is when I heard her in my head saying, “Are you crazy!?” She wouldn’t have let me feel pity for myself, she would have insisted that I move forward and not stop just because she went and died. Sure I can feel my sorrow and sure it hurts but keep moving while you do so, never stop pursuing the goal.

Starting yesterday some examples of my work are now hanging in the Newtown Public Library, Newtown Square, PA and on July 10th I will be the guest of honor at “An Evening with the Artist” at 7pm. The details are on Facebook.

I wanted to take a moment to invite all my readers to join me on the 10th or at least to stop by the library to visit and see my work. Help me to continue moving forward and let’s pack the house.

Details and to RSVP (not required) are here: An Evening with the Photographer, Michael Albany! And do me a favor, invite your friends!

 

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Auctioning Off My Work

As you may or may not know I am involved with the Mt. Airy Art Garage in Philadelphia; it is one of my pet causes. The Mt. Airy Art Garage, or MAAG for short, is a community based artist space where artist can meet and collaborate. This fall I will be teaching a photography course there called People Places and Things and you can sign up for that on the MAAG website here: Fall Art Classes. But before that happens they are hosting their 3rd Annual Silent Auction to help raise funds for the build out of artist studios in the garage.

All the events and shows are jurried including the auction. I submitted a canvas wrap of the lead image on this site of the dancer Deneane Richburg at the Philadelphia Museum of Art titled “Leaping Van Gogh”. The MAAG silent auction is going to be the best place to purchase all types of art and very well may be your best opportunity to get this piece at a discount! Who doesn’t like to save money especially when it is for a good cause!

Leaping Van Gogh

This is the piece I submitted and was accepted into the auction.

If you’re not doing anything this weekend, come out to the silent auction and make a bid or two on some of the best and most original artwork in Philadelphia!  I’ll be there so swing by and say hello! If you can make it out you can get your tickets on the MAAG website by clicking Here.

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Back to School Time!

It’s not just the kids that are heading back to the classroom, I will be too. In fact the class I have wanted to teach for some time just got approved! The Mt. Airy Art Garage in NW Philadelphia has accepted my proposal for me to teach “Photography – How to shoot People Places and Things” this October. It will be three classes, two hours in length covering how to improve your portraits, how to photograph architecture or places in general, and things such as still life, you know, things! In the class you will learn how to improve your final images and you will have the opportunity to make your own table top light box.

The scheduling was literally just approved in the last day or so and you can’t even sign up yet but I wanted all my readers to be the first to know about the classes. I am keeping it super affordable too. More details to come in the next days and weeks ahead. For now, keep a few hours available on October 25th, 27th and November 1st. If you want more information, just shoot me an email at michael@michaelalbany.com and I will get you the details as they come.

That isn’t all the back to school news I have though. I am offering special Senior Portrait packages this year too! Most seniors have to have their portraits ready by December or January so they can be in the yearbook. It’s time to schedule your senior’s portrait-whether you want to catch the last days of summer or be ready when the tress start to change, now is the time to get ready.

I know that in many households the younger (and older) siblings can be bothered by all the attention that the senior is getting when portraits are being done for their last yearbook. You can get some great images of them too. Just let me know what you want or need.

Share this article with friends, spread the word about the “Photography – People Places & Things” course! Tweet it! Pin it! Share it! Like it!