Now that William Morton has relocated Morton Visuals commercial photography to Dallas, he is updating his advertising portfolio with new images designed to make people stop and look twice! Always up for a challenge, William is looking for something different – something unique. Not just a professional headshot on a white background, but an interesting location and/or an unusual or exciting concept. Here’s a few examples:
Law enforcement (or security officer) by a patrol car with flashing lights at twilight
CEO or executive standing in the bucket of a front end loader
Concert pianist in tuxedo sitting at a grand piano on stage in a large theater
Bartender with colorful bottles in the background and colorful drinks lined up in front
Paramedics loading a patient in an ambulance at dusk (flashing emergency lights)
Scientist or doctor in a lab full of test tubes or electronics
Executive in/boarding/deplaning a private jet
Does your company have something exciting that you’d like to showcase? Email Morton Visuals and tell us what you have in mind. If your pitch sounds challenging enough and interesting enough, we may do it for you for free!*
*Fine print (yes, you know there must be some): Morton Visuals is offering up to three photo shoots, awarded to the most interesting ideas we receive. Sell us on your concept! Photography fees will be waived provided we collect appropriate releases to allow us to use the images in our portfolio and marketing as examples of our photography work. Expenses not included. Client receives unlimited usage of primary/first image; additional images may be licensed at a minimal rate. Photographer retains copyright and all other rights.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to work with Perlick at the NAFEM trade show in Anaheim. I haven’t shot there in a while, so I was quickly reminded of how large the Anaheim Convention Center is. Fortunately they have great staff, and the greeters helped me find my way with a friendly attitude.
Perlick manufactures a wide array of both commercial and residential bar equipment, and they had tons of it on display. The stainless steel was everywhere – just what a photographer looks forward to seeing. Particularly when the show is open and active, and you have lots of people browsing. I used my new Nikon D750 here, and it did a great job on the shiny, contrasty stainless steel in a massive fluorescent-lit room. (A color meter helped me verify the ambient light, so I could gel my fill-flash to closely match.)
One of their big attractions on this day was having the renowned Tobin Ellis, owner and principal of BarMagic, demonstrating how to work a (ideally configured) bar. I learned quite a bit about bar efficiency during this short demonstration – just one of the many reasons I love my job! “Perlick’s new Tobin Ellis Signature Cocktail Station is a breakthrough achievement in underbar design resulting from an ambitious collaboration between 6-time national bartending champion and celebrated bar designer, Tobin Ellis and the award-winning engineering team at Perlick.”
Tobin definitely “wowed” the crowd, demonstrating a couple of different signature drinks and how bartender efficiency can greatly improve a bar’s profits. A variety of images from many angles in a crowded event — one of the reasons Morton Visuals excels!
Having worked with the new Profoto B1 strobes for a short while, I’ve finally challenged myself to ask this question. The B1 brings a lot to the table – self-contained monolights, remote control, 500 watt-seconds of power, and TTL control. Not to mention the expansive Profoto lighting modification capabilities. But how well do they work in the real world?
Being somewhat “old school,” I still prefer to meter my lighting to place my light sources in desired ratios. I’ve been doing this with the B1 lights as well, but recently decided to test the TTL accuracy of the equipment in which I’ve invested. The below portrait of a patient and accommodating Nancy Grab is an example.
After placing my main light in a 45” white umbrella I added my hair light with a 20-degree grid. I set the Profoto Air Remote to TTL and fired my first test shot. To my amazement this is the result I saw. I was able to start working with my subject and concentrate on expressions and angles that would flatter her rather than fussing with lighting and interfering with her workday.
TIP: With the Air Remote and the B1 lights, you can take your first shot in TTL mode. Then when you switch the remote to Manual mode, the Profoto system remembers the power setting of the lights it just fired. So you can easily adjust individual groups up or down to tweak the balance to your liking from your initial TTL exposure. In the above example I didn’t make any further adjustments, and merely switched to MAN and left it there for the remainder of the shoot.
How important is this? In my world, I photograph executives and groups of business people and time is of the essence. I don’t want to keep a CEO or a $400/hour attorney waiting for me to get my lights right. So this system has helped me greatly reduce my setup time, and being able to adjust the lighting from the camera (while I’m shooting) helps me get the busy executive in and out so that they can get back to doing what they do best. Not having to look for electrical outlets (and then tape down extension cords and power cords) is another huge time saver.
On that note, and in the spirit of the season, this final image was a portrait of a man who is quite busy right now. I had the opportunity to photograph him with the employees of the Omni San Diego and a hundred very excited children. He definitely appreciates efficiency!
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and best wishes for a joyous holiday season!
I’ve recently had an opportunity to work with a client photographing a number of different companies for a magazine awards feature. As I met and interacted with the executives and their staff I noticed significant differences in their personalities. Of course the executives and the staff had different personas, but the collective “vibe” is what struck me in particular. Since the companies were all financial planners and wealth managers they all had a sense of seriousness and professionalism. But a few stood out, which led me to the question: does your image represent your company culture?
Below are two different companies and their group portraits. Aside from the differences in offices and demographics, each group definitely had its own style.
On the left is Jason Labrum of Labrum Wealth Management, a Carlsbad-based firm. His team exemplifies modern, hip, casual and comfortable. Their single-story open office space reinforces this progressive style, and they project a team environment. On the right is David Epstein and Bradley White’s La Jolla-based office of Epstein and White Retirement Income Solutions. Their individual offices are located in a high-rise opposite University Town Center, and they exude an independent, professional and traditional environment. Their more formal style is apparent in their boardroom portrait.
As you think about your own company’s culture, does your office image match the personalities of your staff? Do you have individual portraits that showcase each valuable member of your team? What’s your style? If you aren’t projecting the image that you want for your company, find out how Morton Visuals can help you! Comments are welcome.
I recently had an opportunity to photograph an event at the beautiful Hotel del Coronado for the Arizona Rock Products Association. This was my first time shooting in this historic Victorian venue, so I was interested in finding something with a different perspective.
The conference’s big dinner was held in the Crown Room. Built in 1888, the sugar pine wood ceilings contain nary a nail – formed entirely by tongue-and-groove, pegs and glue. A real tribute to the craftsmen of the day, it presents a real challenge to photographers. Namely how to light a massive 9300+ square foot room with over 30’ dark ceilings.
Images of the entire room were quite unevenly illuminated. However, by paying attention to some of the key features of the room, I was able to find some interesting angles on the speakers at the podium in the middle of the room.
It’s all about perspective. I think they’ll enjoy these images. Hopefully it won’t go to their heads. What do you think? FYI you can look up ARPA on their website or on Facebook. Check them out – they’re good people!
Yesterday was a very interesting day. I had an opportunity to work with the great people of Right Hand Events and Kaiser Permanente San Diego covering the groundbreaking of a new hospital here in San Diego. Aside from a terrific event with local business and political leaders, I was tasked with capturing a very challenging scene. The actual “shovels in the dirt ground breaking” happened a few minutes before noon – I know, every photographer’s favorite time of day to shoot outside – with backlit subjects and a highly reflective facade above and behind them.
Now in older days I would have brought out an Alien Bee and powered it with a Vagabond battery pack. Unfortunately this setting was the middle of a large parking lot, and I would be unable to ground the battery pack. And 640 watt-seconds was not going to match the harsh sunlight. So I brought out my trusty old Dynalite 800ws pack along with a Dynalite inverter (which doesn’t need to be grounded) and powered a single 4040 head with all 800ws blasting directly from the 7″ reflector. That’s a lot of power, but it was approximately 20′ from my subjects. And did I mention it was almost noon? Knowing the importance of these shots to Kaiser Permanente, I opted for photographic redundancy. I decided to photograph these key moments using two cameras and two lighting setups.
I added a PocketWizard to my new Nikon Df to trigger my Dynalite pack. A PocketWizard TT5n fired my Nikon D3 mounted on a tripod at a slightly lower angle. Atop the D3 was the Profoto Air Remote, which fired a pair of new Profoto B1s. Their combined 1000 watt-seconds was almost enough to match the sun, even at that distance. With a little adjusting in Lightroom I was able to produce a pretty good image – in the middle of a parking lot in midday sun, with no wires. The example below is from the D3, showing the hard-working ladies of Right Hand Events after successfully executing the groundbreaking. (The key images of the Kaiser Permanente team will need to be approved by their Public Affairs office before they can be shared.)
The B1s are impressive. Two lights with remotes and chargers fit neatly in a backpack. Their batteries are mounted “in to” the head, so nothing is left dangling and there are truly no cords whatsoever. These units are able to work in TTL mode – although currently only with Canon DSLRs. The Nikon version of their remote won’t be available until late this year. (Note that the strobes themselves are identical, only the remote differs. So even though you can’t purchase a Nikon version of the remote now, you can purchase the B1 strobes – and they will work with the Nikon remote as soon as that is available.) The TTL was impressively accurate in a studio demo with Canon cameras last week. The B1 also has an incredible recycle rate, able to keep up with the Canon shooting at high fps in the studio. Granted that wasn’t full power, but it was impressive nonetheless – and should be of tremendous benefit for anyone shooting action. If you have used these units please feel free to share your experience in the comments below.
If you’re interested, these are now on my birthday list and my Christmas list… ;-)
One of the things that I really enjoy is celebrating. Pretty much any occasion. But the holiday season is particularly fun, as it’s far more decorative and pretty universally enjoyed. This is one reason I love doing photography at holiday parties, and meeting so many happy people. Once again this year I joined the employees at the beautiful Omni San Diego Hotel to celebrate the holidays with them, photographing singles, couples and groups and printing 5×7 portraits on the spot. It’s reassuring to be able to view the image seconds after capture and ensure that no one blinked and everyone likes their smile, hair, and so on. It’s also rewarding to see their excitement as they hold a print in a folder and “ooh and ahh” at the results, just a minute or two after we shot the image. Fellow photographer Tammela Loy captured a “behind the scenes” shot of me at work.
Below are a couple of images captured at this event — I think the fun is apparent!
Morton Visuals had the opportunity to photograph the staff of Camera Ready Cosmetics recently. We very quickly realized that these would not be (and should not be) typical business portraits. These aren’t lawyers or realtors — these are people that live and breathe the beauty industry, and they are accustomed to having everything look “just right.” So owner/photographer William Morton decided to break out the ring flash for a markedly different look.
Over the span of two half-days William worked with each manager and employee to bring out their personality and beauty, producing a cohesive wall of portraits that are similar yet still unique per individual. Each subject got to review his or her images immediately after shooting, and if they weren’t 100% satisfied with their smile, expression, or anything, we continued shooting until they felt they had an image that represented them they way they wanted to be represented. After a little basic post-production — no one wanted the overdone magazine look, but opted for “real” — the images below emerged. It’s hard to go wrong with great subjects!
Morton Visuals was selected recently to photograph investment advisors in their downtown San Diego offices. Tasked with matching a look created by an east coast photographer, Morton Visuals gelled a muslin background and matched the lighting to replicate the prior portraits.
In the photo above left, Photo Assistant Andy Wilhelm mugs for the camera as we were setting up lighting and the camera. The Photo Vision Video Digital Calibration Target verified focus, exposure, and color balance. (Of course we used a Sekonic 558 light meter and an X-rite Color Checker Passport for the initial metering and calibration target.)
Being prepared well before the scheduled shoot time allowed us to get each executive in and out with minimal of infringement of their tight schedule. In the image at right you can see me shooting one of the executives (photo courtesy of Andy Wilhelm’s iPhone). All in all a great day photographing busy executives in San Diego!
William Morton had the opportunity to shoot with J.T. MacMillan yesterday, covering the CAI 40th Anniversary conference. Terry Watson delivered an energetic (and highly entertaining) keynote speech to the Community Associations Institute members at the beautiful San Diego Hilton Bayfront hotel. The man has the smile and enthusiasm of a little boy, but the perspective and perception of a wise sage. Having an opportunity to listen to great speakers is just one reason I really love this job!