Articles about shooting portraits

Examples of Success

These are two totally different versions of success. What’s your definition of success?

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.

 

 

I owe you…

To all my readers and followers, I owe you. You see before May of 2014 I was posting on this blog pretty regularly. From May through December I was strangely quiet; as many of you know that in and of itself is very strange. I am rarely quiet. You read this blog to see images […]

2014 in Review

I know its been a long time since I posted. It’s been a very busy year! my first shoot of 2014 was doing my own portrait, then off to New York to work with Beate Chelette. That was just the beginning!

Rather than bore you with the details check out the video. It is just a few random shoots from this this great year. Enjoy!

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Motivation

What motivates us to do the things we do? Of course I can’t speak to what motivates you but I can think and write about what motivates me. I should have an idea at least!

As a photographer many things motivate me. I love the challenge of capturing images, especially capturing images that I have never tried to capture before. I very much enjoy that I know I will never know all that there is to know about the art. Photography is so vast that I just don’t have enough time to learn it all. Anyone that tells you that they do know it all doesn’t know how vast it truly is. But is this what actually motivates me to keep getting up in the morning?

There is a passion that I have for photography that I can’t explain. I know that the instant gratification of digital certainly helps keep me interested in trying a particular shot until I get it where I want it. That doesn’t explain what hooked me back in the 70s when I was thrust into a darkroom. I still remember the feeling I got when I watched that image appear on the paper.

That feeling is what motivates me. It is what makes me want to create every day and every day I do my best to create something. Some days it may not be an image, it may be an idea, it may even be helping someone else create something, but each and every day I need to create. At times I am not sure if it is motivation or obsession. I think my wife would say it’s probably both.

I hope that you are doing what you are motivated to do. Perhaps what you do for a living isn’t your passion, but hopefully you have the opportunity to feed that part of yourself. For a long time I worked at doing things I was very good at doing but I wasn’t motivated to do. Being the perfectionist that I am this left little or no time to do what I really wanted… no needed to do.

 

One day my sister was looking at an image I created and she said, “And you don’t do this for a living, why?” She was the first to say it but over the next few years she wasn’t the only one. Eventually I had to sit down and think, what was I afraid of? My father used to say I was afraid of success, my high school guidance counselor said I was afraid to fail, but when I thought of photography I wasn’t afraid of anything. I have to say here that this can be a bad thing but that is another story for another time. Suffice to say pay attention to what you are doing when trying to get the shot.

So if photography let me forget any fears I may (or may not) have, what was I waiting for? That is the day that Michael Albany Photography was born.

I specialize in shooting architecture and people. These two types of photography are far from each other. Where one is like herding cats, the other is like waiting for the sun to rise. Sometimes that is exactly what you need to do too, wait for the sun. The vast differences between them is what attracts me to both. They both feed different parts of me.

I see beauty in different places. I see it in the structure and lines in a building. I see it in the curves and subtle shadows of the human form. I see the life that once was in old abandoned buildings, and I see the life that has yet to come in a young face.

How can I not be motivated by that?

 

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Where does the time go?

So here it is the end of April and I am just starting my blog entry for January. Not too far behind, nah. Where does all the time go?

I hope you are wondering what I have been up to, what I have been shooting, what amazing projects have I begun (and finished at this point), what spectacular images have I created? I can say that some great images have come out of the last few months; I have photographed some wonderfully amazing people, some events that were exciting and fun, and so much more. It has been a very busy year so far!

In my last post I was celebrating my wonderful wife and our time together. She thinks it’s corny but hey, I kinda like her so call me corny. It turns out that so many people liked the images I took of her to say “Happy Anniversary Baby!” that I was asked time and time again to do something similar for friends and clients. Who am I to say no? Of course I would shoot these people and help bring out their wonderful personalities!

In fact there were so many requests to create this type of imagery for people I have had to start an entirely new website just for the boudoir images. You can see a few below, to see even more head out to BoudoirPhilly.com and see a lot more!

Photographing beautiful women isn’t all I have been doing (not that I am complaining at all). There have been events like the Mt. Airy Art Garage’s opening to celebrate their quilt show. Needless to say the quilts were stunning!

I have been to Manhattan to shoot a fantastic singer Randy Herman. We shot his new album cover throughout the snowstorm in January. Lucky for us Grand Central is a great place to create images that show him “Moving Through Time”. You can learn all about Randy on his website, therandyherman.com and check out the new album (as well as the cover art of course), I think you will love it!

While I was in NY I had the opportunity to spend time with one of my favorite people in the world, Beate Chelette. I can tell you right now, she is one of the smartest people I know. You should check out her book, “Happy Woman, Happy World”; it’s not just for women. I have it in both hard copy and the ebook. I never want to miss a word of it!

Beate-001

book cover

StanSmith-001When I got back from NY I continued working with one of my favorite clients, Stan Smith, a Philly guy that is constantly helping the local neighborhoods to grow and flourish. This is the kind of guy who everyone should try to grow up to be. He not only refurbishes aging properties, but keeps them affordable for local businesses so that they contribute to the growth and well-being of the community, and that is before he even starts doing his work for the neighborhood and all the nonprofits he is involved in! Check him out at StanSmith.me, I think you will be impressed, I am.

Then there are the architectural shoots, the marches to help victims of sexual violence, business events in downtown Philadelphia, and so much more. Now that I write all this I see where the time has gone. It has gone into doing a lot of great work for a lot of great people!

This is just the beginning of 2014! More to come and I promise I won’t wait 4 months to post again.

 

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