Every Single Photo… yours.

For quite some time, I have provided everyone I shoot, every single photo I take. All of them. The ones that are amazing, right next to the ones that aren’t. You get the blinks, you get the ones where i was testing lights or changing something with the exposure. Many studios do not do this. They choose what they share with you. They choose what photos they edit for you. I wish I knew how they can do it, not pick and edit for you, I’ll choose too if you want me too, no trouble. But what I mean is, I don’t know how they can predict what you’d love most from your session.  Time and time again I am shown how differently people see themselves compared to how I do. This past weekend this was confirmed again. We did a number of sessions at this amazing location near Reading PA and one of the models we worked with reviewed her photos and got me her edit selections right away . A shot she chose as one of her favorites was actually one that was a mistake on my part. Now don’t get me wrong, I actually LOVE this photo too, but I know I would not have selected it as an edit for her.  The photo was taken near the end of a train car with a wonderfully ornate wheel. It was just after noon, bright, but I wanted something very moody and dark to match the makeup and hair that Carmen asked Nicole to do for her. Here’s another shot of pretty much how it looked just then: bann2519e2But after this we wanted to work near that wheel. We got into a position and I worked with her on the pose a bit. I moved some lights and began adjusting them. To make the scene seem dark I needed to overpower the sun. I then began to compose the shot and fired a test. Upon a quick review the screen showed me that I apparently ended up standing directly in front of one of the lights casting a shadow across the side of her face. I showed this to Carmen and though it wasn’t as planned she was excited about it as was I. (Click for a larger version)bann2603eThis became one of the photos she selected as a favorite. Unplanned, not one I’d have chosen, one many studios would not have shared with their clients. It is why I will always share every photo with everyone I shoot. How many favorites are kept from people by studios who presume to know what their customers would love most? Isn’t the customer the one who’s right?

This isn’t the first time I’ve had proof of this. Some time ago I shot Nicole Zedonek of Making Faces Pro in the mid-century room of the old studio. The overall look was a classic ambient style. If you see this photo you may think she’s simply in a room with some lights on.227eIn reality there were several studio stones strategically placed to yield this look. During the shoot there was one image where the lights did not trigger properly and all that was captured was by way of the lights that were turned on in the set. The lamp to the right and some small accent floods from the ceiling that were mainly aimed at the shadow box on the wall. This is what resulted:186e

Late upon review it proved to be a favorite of Nicole’s. She went on to share the image and it became one of the most popular she’d ever had.  Do I love it? Absolutely, but again I would probably gravitate towards images where the subject is clearly visible as in the first image. Me trying to predict what a client would most want. Would they be unhappy with my selections? Hard to say. I do know I have had people tell me they’ve gotten edits from studios where they did not like how they looked. Not to say it was a bad photo, or a bad edit, but the client wasn’t happy about something in their pose, their angle, the look.

Bottom line, I’ll choose and edit photos for you if you want me to, just like every other studio. But you also get to see them all and choose for yourself, like so very few studios permit you to.

Fall Cemetery Sessions – Jim Thorpe PA

It’s that time of year. Autumn. Nature prepares to sleep in the Northern Hemisphere. Several cultural traditions evoke certain thoughts and memories. Halloween. Ghosts. Goblins. The macabre.

While we have several themed sessions ideal for this time of year I have decided to offer another session which is a departure from the norm. I am offering private sessions to take place in a marvelous cemetery in Jim Thorpe PA. A few short years ago my good friend Claire Marie asked to do just such a session and the location was agreed upon for the picturesque landscaping.  Take a look at the samples and I think you’ll agree it’s truly wonderful. Now the photos you see here are a logistical disaster for most full time professional studios. Why? The most magical light for such a session is dusk. Not very flexible for multiple clients is it? Quite frankly they need to be one-offs since the perfect time to capture this lighting is a narrow window. Only enough time for one or two sessions per day. You’re also at the mercy of the weather with this very shoot being a day that was raining… the skies were overcast upon arrival and it was just by sheer luck that the clouds parted displaying the palette of colors shown here. Then there is staging. Where do you change into your wardrobe? Where do you do makeup and hair?  Fortunately for me, a very dear friend of mine lives just a few blocks from this location. Walking distance. SO…. in spite of all these obstacles I am still going to offer sessions here the week of October 24th through the 28th. Pricing will be tiered based on several factors. For example. on the 24th, 26th, 27th and 28th I can offer a session here for $275 for the photography, 6 edits, and a place to change and stage during the twilight hour (lighting as in these examples) If you were good with the hour before this then the session would be $225. It is important to note the sessions at these prices DO NOT include makeup and hair styling… you’d have to do that yourself or possibly have someone else assist you prior to arrival. Or bring someone yourself. If a place to change isn’t needed deduct another $25.

For the date of October 25th Makeup and Hair Styling will be available by Claire Marie herself. The cost of the Twilight Hour session with full Makeup and Hair would be $400 but also would include 10 edits total ($150 value). Take the hour before this and the total is $350 with 8 edits

All prices before 6% PA Sales Tax.

Notes: Should the weather be un-cooperative a repost refund will be provided. Determination of cancelling due to weather will be made before all parties begin to travel to the location. I will also not take art in any imagery involving specific burial sites. I insist on treating graves with respect and will not photograph people on tombstones or monuments. Anywhere around them as a visitor would be positioned to visit, yes. On them, no. Similarly attire for the session must be considerate of the public who  may also be visiting. 

When your session finishes there’s several great places in Jim Thorpe to drink or dine afterwards. If you’ve never been there you simply MUST get there regardless.

Questions? e-mail me directly at michaelbann@me.com

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Old Time Hot Rod and Customs Calendar Shoot

Late breaking!

We’ve just finished up details for another Car Calendar Shoot for 2017. We are excited to announce this session at Old Time For Rod and Customs in Morrisville PA. Just over the River from Trenton New Jersey, Morrisville is under an hour from just about anywhere in Philadelphia and an hour an a half from New York City.

We are limiting this shoot to 8 sessions only.  Price is $365 plus tax includes full Makeup and Hair styling, all photos handed to you on an SD data card the moment the shoot finishes plus 8 edited images of your choice plus one copy of the finished calendar. Due to the time sensitivity of this session we are not able to offer our payment plan with it.

One spot is taken as of 9:30 Tuesday October 11. DO NOT WAIT if this is of interest to you. This session is on our deposit form here. We are asking a $100 deposit as this is not something we can easily reschedule.

Session is Saturday November 26th.

Below are sample images of the garage and other Hot Rod samples shot by Devilbliss Studios.

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