What are you looking at? What’s got your attention? We are often told to “pay” attention (especially when we are kids). That must mean we own our attention and can “spend” it however it most benefits us, our growth and our development and those around us. It’s an investment.
What are you trying to get out of your career? Are you looking for happiness or do you want to be satisfied? Don’t answer. It’s a trick question. They are the same thing.
It was a good weekend in Frenchtown. Six businesses: a computer service business, three galleries, an artist and a photo studio, shared our spaces to celebrate and to enjoy just being here. It was collaboration on top of collaboration. Not only did we share our spaces with other artists and other photographers, we shared our individual events with each other, sending visitors back and forth and boosting each other on social media. To commemorate my event and to thank the […]
Locations matter when having events. People need to know where you are. Brokaw Photography Studio and five art galleries are having group shows in Frenchtown this weekend. We’ve all posted our events on Facebook but when we do that we simply create six separate silos of information. To bring us all together and to inform visitors of our locations I thought it would be great to create a live Google Maps and to locate all the galleries on Google Earth. […]
Chances are you looked at Frank’s bright blue eyes before you read any text (yes, they are real!). I know I look at pictures before I read and most of us do. That is why visual content is so important. Not only does it get our attention but we remember it better. Dr. John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist, research consultant and affiliate Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington School of Medicine has been study how the brain works […]
Have you taken your brain for a walk today? If you’ve ever had dogs you know how excited they can get when it’s time to go for walk. They know it will feel good. And it does. There is something about being outside and moving that makes the brain happy. It clears cobwebs. The data show … “yada, yada… blah, blah.” I don’t need no stinking data. My brain knows.
I admire people with vision. Over just a few days last week, Patricia Walsh Collins and Susan Joy Rosetty transformed an empty storefront into a thriving store called the “Art of Sprit Local.” I had just photographed the space to help market it, so am happy to see it rented. When I saw how quickly and creatively, Susan and Patricia decorated the store and arranged all the merchandise I was thoroughly impressed. I asked Patricia how they were able […]
The Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce celebrated business leaders in the county at its annual awards breakfast. Hearing about these businesses and individuals is always inspiring. These businesses are making a difference in the lives of many people from their employees to the people they serve and to the Hunterdon County community. It is always a pleasure to attend these events and photograph the recipients. Governmental Award winner Clinton Township Mayor John Higgins Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner Tom […]
“Steve” and I are part of a large photography exhibit that opened this weekend at the Allentown Art Museum. I had photographed Steve as part of a project on artists and am always eager to show him off. The exhibition hall was packed with photographers who are all displaying great images. It is a little daunting to see how good they all are and also encouraging to see the bar for photography rising higher and higher. Mediocre images just don’t […]
The Board of Directors for the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce Foundation gathered at the Large House in Flemington recently to “play.” They played “Outta This World,” a board game designed to awaken creativity and innovation, which was created by the Hudicka family based in Hunterdon County. It was an interesting evening photographing and video recording some of the county’s business leaders engaged and enjoying a free flow of energy. “Outta This World! is our patent pending brainstorm game, […]
Have you ever had one of those days when you pitch idea after idea to your boss and he just stares at you?
Life accelerates as we grow. The Hunterdon Harmonizers, who are launching yet another production with zest and zeal, asked if I could come an do some PR shots for them as they rehearse for their upcoming show. It was fun being with them and being bowled over by their enthusiasm. These are not the kind of guys who sit around at night vegging in front of their TVs but instead get out, get together and squeeze every moment out of life. […]
Ginko leaves in the November light. Gotta love it. Ginkos have been around for quite awhile, about 270 million years or so (give or take a few days). They are pretty unassuming until autumn when their leaves turn and they create carpets of yellow on the ground. Some folks enjoy it as a tea or a supplement. I just like to see it.
Johnny Haritos is a Frenchtown based artist, best know for his drawings of rock stars that are signed by the rockers. Johnny with an eye for light, color and shape also produces pleasing and interesting photographs. I photographed him on B&W film at his recent show at Freedom Art & Music. I really enjoyed seeing his work. Freedom Art & Music is like a lot of local galleries, offering a venue for local artists and serving as a draw for […]
Food, food, food, from soup to pie Archie Fagan, here with Sue Lang Saponara from Flemington Shop Rite, along with the rest of the Shop Rite crew were a big part of this year’s Hunterdon County Business & Home Expo & Restaurant Showcase. There were plenty of vendors and businesses to explore all day and topped off with delicious dishes and desserts from participating restaurants. More photos on Facebook at Brokaw Photography
While shooting some food photos for a local restaurant I was asked if I could get a headshot of the chef. (Of course I could!) From the moment I stepped into the kitchen I could tell who was in charge of it. She owned it. No arrogance, no belligerence, just warm, friendly, supreme confidence.
Robert DeBarth has been repairing and rebuilding typewriters for over 70 years. Now you might think that business would be slow, but Robert has plenty of work. His skills are actually in high demand. People still love typewriters. If you’ve ever tried to fix one you know that they are like watches with hundreds of integrated parts. It takes a specialist and there are not too many typewriter factory repair centers anymore (probably none), so Robert is at a premium. […]
Sometimes. Yes? They say “work is work” and it is, of course, but if it brings us satisfaction then it’s more than work, it’s living life well. I’ve always loved my jobs, my work (except for that time in college I delivered telephone books…) and most of the time it was satisfying. That’s especially true at the end of a productive day. Boredom, fatigue and stress love to nudge their way in from time to time, but that’s normal. So […]
I photographed artist, Todd Stone as part of a photo project about the Artists of the Gallows Run. We talked about journals. Todd is a well known New York artist, www.toddstone.com. Todd witnessed, first hand, the destruction of the Twin Towers and rendered it in paintings. Over the past 16 years he has been witnessing and painting the resurrection. Todd journals. It settles his mind and evokes new thoughts and ideas. Journalling is right up there with mindful meditation as a […]
Marketing is all about engaging the viewer. The vast majority of what we encounter on line is simply viewed, read or heard. We read posts, look at photos, watch videos and listen to recordings. But there are always applications emerging that can engage us by allowing us to interact with what we see. We do more than just look or listen, we take action by zooming and panning and clicking. This engages our motor functions and stimulates our brains. One […]
Each year creatively created scarecrows suddenly appear in Frenchtown. Every night they wander the streets and change places before dawn. Hundreds of people have investigated this strange manifestation but no one yet has been able to explain it. We all …. we all know there is no explanation With the help of my trusty Scarecrow Wrangler we captured them briefly for a quick portrait before they animated and began wandering.
Trees Water Stone is a collaborative art event celebrating Solstice in Frenchtown. The intent is to bring artists and photographers together to display and sell their work and enjoy themselves. Brokaw Photography Studio, Freedom Art and Music Gallery and Joe Ressarts Strasser Art are hosting works by artists and photographers that have a Solstice theme. The event will happen Saturday and Sunday, December 2nd and 3rd with an artists/photographers reception Saturday evening. All three sites are within short walking distance […]
The world is full of color. But sometimes we may want to look at it in black and white. Does it work? The perennial favorite for color watching is fall foliage. It doesn’t last long. A couple of weeks. I wondered if I could create a black and white image of foliage with snap and interest. It didn’t work. Black and white leaves? (Am I nuts?)
Vince Papale “walked on” to the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1970s and made history. An unknown 30 year old guy from the neighborhood who never played football decided to try out and became an NFL legend. Disney even made a movie about him called Invincible. Vince’s football days are behind him and now he travels the country giving talks and motivating everyone from corporate executives to high school athletes. Vince’s story is impressive, for sure, but as I photographed him during […]
Like many companies, Promius Pharma annually convenes its people from around the country to bring them together as a team and enhance their focus on the company mission. And of course the first night is a time for settling in and getting off to a good start with a social event. This year Promius met at the Crown Plaza in Princeton and decided it would be fun to have food trucks cater the party. I’ve photographed a lot of corporate […]
Really cold brew at BioStorage, part of a facility at Rutgers University where they keep stuff on ice (not beer, though). I’ve photographed a number of sites specializing in cryogenic storage and it’s pretty amazing to see how technology enables us to seriously cool things down and essentially stop the aging process. Funny, though, when it gets really cold, I certainly don’t feel my aging process slowing down. www.BrokawPhotography.com
I don’t often think of the visual graphic appeal of sewage treatment plants. Actually, I don’t really think of sewage treatment very often, but recently, when on assignment photographing this facility I couldn’t help but notice its visual elegance. Everything at a treatment plant is designed for a purpose and within this design is a kind of graphic beauty. I always enjoy photographing engineered structures. Especially when the light is awesome. Ideally, it works as well as it looks. www.BrokawPhotography.com
Geotagging is fairly easy and is required in order to embed a photo on Google Earth. Geotagging is the process of adding latitude/longitude coordinates to the metadata of a photo. Some cameras will geotag automatically when you take a photo. However, this is the location of the camera when the photo was taken, not the the location being photographed. For our project, FRENCHTOWN 150, we are adding custom coordinates to our digital files. This can be done a number of […]
“Digital Basics” Oct 21st 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM ($69) This workshop is for those getting starting in the world of digital photography. We will cover the basic concepts of the digital technology, camera settings and guidelines on how to create better photos. The course is taught at a nice, even step by step pace, covering topics thoroughly but without technical jargon. Call or email to register: 908-996-4440 Bill@BrokawPhoto.com TOPICS About your camera: Learn a little about just what a […]
It’s often harder than it looks to coordinate teams, even when everyone is doing the same thing. Watching a novice crew team row up the river is fun. It’s not an entirely graceful thing to see, but entertaining. The crew wants to do the right thing. The coxie sees what needs to be done and everyone strives to coordinate. We all have teams of one kind or another. Some are long lasting, others are fleeting but they all share a […]
These are the steps for processing your photos in Lightroom. See “GEOTAGGING ONLINE” post if you do not use Lightroom. You need to: CROP YOUR PHOTO SQUARE GEOTAG IT NAME IT “LOCATION – PHOTOGRAPHER.jpg” RESIZE IT TO 1200×1200 pixels LABEL “LOCATION – PHOTOGRAPHER.” SUBMIT IT The video at the bottom of this post illustrates the steps itemized below. Import the best, most representative photo of your location into Lightroom and then select it to make it active. Switch to the “DEVELOP” […]
Frenchtown 150 is underway. This collaborative photo project is a comprehensive visual and on-line spatial representation of Frenchtown, NJ. Here is a link to maps showing the photo locations. Click to view (if this link does not work for you I can email you the maps): FRENCHTOWN 150 PHOTO LOCATIONS The list of locations and photographers assigned to these location is below. Email me directly to select a location and get on the list. Participating photographers select specific locations to photograph […]
Everybody is somewhere. (Whether we know where we are is another question.) For many businesses, it is all about location, location, location. Where you are matters. When it comes to commercial photography, the images produce often are created to show the feel and character of a business’s location. This also is true for business communities, like Frenchtown, NJ, that rely on visitors. Digital photography allows us to tag our files with latitude/longitude coordinates and on-line tools, such as Google Earth […]
It was an interesting evening at the NJPAC with 2017 New Jersey gubernatorial candidates, Lieutenant Kim Guadagno and Phil Murphy. The house was packed. NJPAC is a great venue and was the perfect setting for this event. It was refreshing to see Kim and Phil interact with respect and dignity. After meeting them and hearing their views I’m not really sure who I would vote for. Being Governor of NJ is a tough job and both of them seem up […]
Steve Sears bends metal. The hard stuff, … iron. Iron doesn’t want to bend. It takes prep. It takes conditioning. It takes energy. Steve’s energy. Steve has been bending metal for decades. He knows what he wants and how to make it happen. Most people call Steve an artisan. He calls himself, “Steve.” Bending iron is what he does, and does well. He doesn’t worry about labels. We all do what we do, whatever that may be at any given […]
Dr. Dan Cohen, “Dental Care 4 Kids” understands his patients. They are less concerned with all the things that adults appreciate about him and are more concerned about how they feel when they visit. Knowing this, Dr. Dan has created a dental office environment that kids actually look forward to visiting. From cartoons and game-filled iPads in the waiting room to fun window displays in the hallway Dental Care 4 Kids has a relaxed, stress-free feel. While the concept […]
Road Spaghetti! Traveling to a North Jersey assignment in morning rush hour, with accidents all around certainly make one appreciate GPS. Thank you satellites and all those people who figured out where the heck I am going and how to get there. One wrong move and I would have ended up twirled and twisted and driving the wrong way looking for a U-turn. It feels good to appreciate.
It’s a bumper year for nuts (acorns and hickories, too.). The trees are fruitful (or maybe I should say nutfull) and there is an abundance on the forest floor. The squirrels and chipmunks will feast. Abundance is a funny thing. Sometimes it just comes to us, especially when we’re receptive. I hope you are feasting!
I had a great session with a psychotherapist, recently. A photo session, that is. Josh Kates (http://www.joshkates.com/) has been helping people regain their balance for over twenty-five years and is still active and eager to help people be who they truly want to be. It’s an art. Josh wanted to update his headshot and reached out to me to do this for him. For professionals like Josh, he ‘is’ his product and a good headshot is important. We talked about […]
Fall is definitely prime time for getting outdoor family photos. The air is crisp, people are feeling good and the colors are beautiful. My favorite locations for outdoor family photos are just short walks from my studio here in Frenchtown. Sometimes we head down to the river and other times we head over to the park where the photo above was taken. Sundays are perfect for family photo sessions. It’s when we can all relax, take our time and enjoy ourselves. […]
Are you selling features or an experience? I think we all know that our clients want a positive experience from what offer, whether it’s a product or a service. Dranoff Properties is building a high rise, luxury apartment complex just across from NJ Performing Arts Center in Newark with no shortage of features. It knows how important quality features are to people and it also knows that people want a quality living experience. It is a little early in the […]
Habitat for Humanity of Raritan Valley held a wonderful fundraising gala at Basking Ridge Country Club that was well attended and raised much needed funds for people in this area and around the country needing affordable housing. Senator Kip Bateman speaking on behalf of his firm, DiFrancesco, Bateman, Kunzman, Davis, Lehrer & Flaum, P.C., accepted an award its hours and hours of work benefiting the Raritan Valley branch. Habitat for Humanity of Raritan Valley is a great organization and well respected. […]
When Habitat for Humanity asked me to shoot its fundraising gala I was happy to learn they would be using a step and repeat banner. Step and repeats are always an excellent idea for big events. Not only are they great for branding yourself and getting sponsors they make it fun for guests to get their photos taken. When it comes to big event, especially fundraisers, it’s important to remember that its the guests who make it successful. I’ve photographed […]
I wanted to share this great website, called the Photographers Ephemeris. It easily shows you the position of the sun and moon any time of day for any day of the year. I discovered this site years ago when a client wanted to take a photo at a certain place on a certain day at a certain time and I wanted to know where the sun would be. I have it bookmarked and I use it all the time when […]
If you’ve ever been part of a corporate headshot shoot (either as a photographer or a “head”) then this probably looks familiar. Instant studio in a vacant meeting room. When people come by for their headshot, a lot of them tell me they hate having their picture taken. That’s entirely reasonable and understandable but it don’t bother me none. It’s actually a lot more fun that they expect. Plus I’m pretty efficient so it doesn’t hurt too long. Meetings and […]
Brokaw Photography is pleased to offer a series of thoroughly enjoyable Saturday morning beginner to advanced photo workshops at its studio in Frenchtown NJ, plus an exciting B&W street photography excursion to New York City. Scroll to bottom to register. October 21 – 9:00 to Noon – DIGITAL BASICS $69 Learn how your camera works and the simple techniques for getting the most out of it. Bring your camera for one-on-one instructions. Also includes best practices for managing your photos […]
Dr. Jody Serra, owner of the Center for Natural Wellness offers a range of chiropractic services from adjustments for children and adults to special concierge treatment for NFL athletes. Jody and his team provide different approaches to their various patients based on their individual needs. Like most business owners, Jody recognizes the need to frequently update and refresh his web presence and so scheduled an afternoon to get some new business portraits. We discussed standard, studio-based headshots (which are always a […]
Every year I enjoy photographing the newest class of the Leadership Hunterdon program. Leadership Hunterdon was launched back in 2011 with the vision to “transform people to become trustees of our communities, to become leadership resources and work for the betterment of Hunterdon County.” These people, already leaders, will spend the next nine months not only working in their full time jobs but also attending classes and workshops, visiting companies and organizations throughout the County and crafting a white paper […]
Happy Equinox. About equal day and night today as we continue to spiral and dance with the sun through the cosmos. (Maybe I’ll build a circle of stones to mark these events. I wonder if anyone ever thought of doing that.)
Newark, NJ continues to grow and expand with the help of Dranoff Properties (dranoffproperties.com) which is building a 22 story luxury apartment complex just across the street from the NJ Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). Dranoff and its PR firm, Evergreen Partners (evergreenpr.com), brought me on to photograph its Topping Off Event held to celebrate reaching the height of 22 stories with the men and women who did the construction and the VIPs who helped make it happen, including Newark Mayor Ras […]
What’s for sale here? On the surface, it’s a funky looking squash. Taken just a little deeper, it’s a decoration, a feeling of fall, a memory of Thanksgiving dinners, leaves blowing across the lawn, crisp cool air … A pretty good bargain for a few bits. What are you selling?
Google Earth is a powerful program. It provides a 3 dimensional view of the earth’s surface and is designed to allow users to embed their own data and share it with others on the Google Earth platform. And it’s free. You just need to know how to take advantage if it. I find it invaluable for enhancing my photography when there is a spatial component (i.e., when the location of the photos is important). By incorporating my images in Google […]
Recognize wisdom when you hear it. During the past couple months, I did video interviews of the inductees into the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce Foundation Business Hall of Fame. When you get to talk one-on-one with business leaders who have made a difference in their communities you certainly pick up a lot of wisdom. Nobody tried to give advice or promote themselves. Instead they just spoke from the heart about what they believe and what motivates them. It was […]
The inaugural event for the Hunterdon County Business Hall of Fame will be held by the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce Foundation at the Ryland Inn on Thursday, September 14, 2017, at 6:00pm. The Foundation’s mission is to advance the interests of the Hunterdon County business community through business resources, economic & workforce development, leadership development, tourism, philanthropy, and the promotion of civic, educational, cultural and economic interests of the region. The Hunterdon County Business Hall of Fame was established […]
Monkey see, monkey do? Maybe not such bad advice, depending on what the monkeys are doing.
I came across this guy during a walk this weekend and boy, did he look exhausted. After 17 years underground you get one big chance to party. That must be why they are always singing. Summertime is the right time if you are a cicada but there is no encore, no second chance. You hatch, you prep, you play and then … well, we try not to think about that, but at least you don’t have to worry about your […]
Harry starts every week with total focus. Of course, he has his krypton glasses to give him an advantage. It’s his super power (and for sale for only $9.95 at the Fireman’s Carnival). I don’t have a set of krypton glasses (yet) but I have a nice hot cup of coffee and am eager to dive into the week. I believe I can focus as well as Harry. I start with short bursts. I figure that if I put all […]
When you think about it, there are a lot of steps to just about everything. The most immediate task may be pretty straight forward, but chances are there are a lot of steps leading up to it. Candid photography seems simple enough. In many ways it is, just point and shoot. Sometimes that works just fine, but not often. Candids are uncontrolled, As a photographer you can’t pose your subject, because then it’s not candid. But you can control how […]
As part of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce Foundation Business Hall of Fame project I had the opportunity to video interview Adam Ambielli, one of the owners of Custom Alloy in High Bridge, NJ. Adam graciously took me on a tour of the plant and allowed me to take photos to go along with the video. This is truly a heavy industry but it isn’t a smoke stack factory. Custom Alloy shapes and refines metal products for industry, from […]
Frenchtown enjoyed two simultaneous events Labor Day Weekend that perfectly exemplified the envision-plan-implement process. A local art and performance venue, Art Yard, provided a street parade of colorfully dressed bird people, while the Frenchtown Business and Professional Association held its Riverfest event, celebrating the town, the arts and the river. Both were a vision of the organizers who planned and implemented their events flawlessly and with joy exhibiting the perfect model for any business. Think it, plan it, do […]
Often it’s the simplest images that can be the most memorable and most fun. Frequently though, it takes a higher level of skill, thought and imagination to create that simple image. Think Apple. Its advertisements are always clean, simple and effective. That doesn’t happen by accident. The image shown above by Michael Flood, is one of the 63 images that make up the Summer on the Delaware project on display in my studio this weekend. Michael is a craftsman, an […]
Revival Construction, a family run construction company based in Flemington, creates beautiful, new, yet rustic houses as well as renovations throughout the region. It is well known for its quality and people always speak glowingly of working with them. On a recent shoot we wanted to get a few exteriors and I noticed a small patch of wildflowers in a nearby field and thought about how they would make a great foreground for the shot. Positioning myself behind them way […]
I came across a group of young athletes early in the morning making their way up a five mile hill. Although near the top of the hill every one of them was still running, pushing their limit to the top. It occurred to me that climbing never really ends. Sometimes it levels off a bit and the type of climbing we do will vary but it’s always forward and upward. Can’t fight it, might as well embrace it. Every hill […]
When we collaborate, we grow. Naturally, there is collaboration between our businesses and our clients, as well as between ourselves and our suppliers. Collaboration between peers also has its rewards. We may not want to give our competition a boost or lose our edge but there are ways to collaborate where we all come out ahead. My schtick is organizing and producing photo projects with other photographers. My latest collaborative project, Summer on the Delaware, will be on display in […]
As part of a video for the Hunterdon County of Chamber Foundation I had the opportunity to do an interview with Joe Colalillo of Shop Rite, one of the inductees for the Foundation’s Hall of Fame. Joe is well known and loved throughout the county for all he does to support the community in many, many ways. I’m a regular shopper at Shop Rite and always knew how hard everyone works but I think I underestimated and maybe under appreciated […]
We’re only a frog’s hop from New York out here on the West Coast of New Jersey but we still got ourselves an annual country fair where eggs compete, Old Glory hangs over the exhaust pipes of farm tractors and girls take their cows for a walk. See you on the midway after I fill up on kettle corn and pick up a nice big bone for my dog.
In the beginning when we first begin learning to shoot straight, there were those in the background keeping a watchful eye and making sure we weren’t aiming at our foot. Ideally, mentoring and guiding never really end in the business world, whether we are the eager student or the wise observer in the background.
“OMG. So happy thanks so much.” When you finish a job and read these words, you can feel satisfied you’ve served your client well. Having recently received such an email, I’m happy as a peach and also well aware one should never rest on one’s laurels. Satisfying a client is more than the final product. It is the whole process that leads you there, from the first phone call to the deliverable and everything in between. It is an ongoing […]
Here comes the moon. Standing in front of the sun and casting us into darkness in the middle of the day. OK, so maybe it won’t get this dark, but it will be the biggest shortest show of the year.
I talk to a lot of business people and I know how much everyone cares about the services and products they provide. This is their vision. Their clients and customers also have a vision. They want products and services that satisfy them. When we share our visions with other people’s visions, that’s when magic happens. We all have visions for ourselves and for our businesses. Visions are what we want to see happen. We want to grow, we want to […]
Is it “showroom,” “show room,” or “show showroom?” In this case I think I’ll settle on “show showroom.” Photography of interiors is all about showing rooms. In this case, it’s a showroom for a contractor. Showrooms always make for great photos as they are designed to be seen. Of course, interior photos are not by any means limited to showrooms. Good photos are excellent anytime you want to express what it feels like to be in a space. It may […]
You never know what you will see when on assignment. At first I thought I discovered a new species, a rainbow caterpillar. After consulting numerous taxonomic books realized that what I had actually found was Girlscoutis innovatum (common name, “clever Girl Scouts”) What do you do when you get rained on? Innovate!
A company is a team of people working together. The question is, “What are they working for?” Every business owner would love knowing his or her team is working for the growth and enhancement of the company. Everyone has a position and a strategic role to play, whether it’s the bat boy or the captain. Sometimes owners get caught up in the demands of running the business and aren’t able to express their gratitude as much as they would like. […]
Each August the pilgrims pass through Frenchtown on their way to the American Czestochowa in Doylestown, PA. They start in Great Meadows, make their way across NJ and into PA. They cross the Delaware via the Frenchtown/Uhlerstown bridge, a narrow, steel truss bridge maintained by the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission (DRJTBC). The DRJTBC loves images of its bridges being used and often give me the heads up when events like this are happening so I can get some […]
It’s Friday. It’s August. It’s still summer. The boss is on vacation…. Have another mug of coffee.
For some reason it always seem like I’m climbing ladders (or trees or fences or buildings) to get a little higher perspective on a shot. This was the perfect angle to get some zip-line photos for the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey (GSHNJ) at Camp DeWitt. We didn’t have any trouble getting volunteers for this activity, one the kids’ favorites. Shooting the camp activities for GSHNJ was fun and almost made me wish I was at camp myself. There […]
While on assignment shooting footage and stills at the Historic Red Mill in Clinton, NJ, I couldn’t help but marvel at the quality of craftsmanship and durability of the old iron gears. They operated for decades, endlessly turning in sync and enduring year after year. They was made right good! It got me thinking about the word “gear” and how it can have such a positive connotation. There is nothing like having good gear, gearing up, getting into gear and […]
Stuff we do today will reverberate in our future. Back in 2004 Chris Anderson coined the phrase, The Long Tail, to describe how some products sell in small quantities over a long, long time outdoing big sellers that come and go. Like many business concepts, this one entered my brain, fermented, digested and morphed into a completely different interpretation from what it really means. (That’s OK, it’s my brain.) I like to think of the long tail as a long term […]
Mushrooms are funny organisms. Most of the time they are invisible to us growing networks of mycelium below the ground, out of site. It’s these networks that collect the nutrients and are the foundation of the plant. Mycelium are often symbiotic meaning they may both benefit their environments as well as derive benefits. When conditions are ripe, they can suddenly burst forth in full fruit. But the fruiting is temporary. It’s the foundation that persist to fruit another day.
Sometimes, I get to do personal photos for people to use for their dating site profiles. Having these photos done well is certainly not a bad idea. I love creating images that express people in a positive light. I’ve browsed dating sites myself (just researching, of course) and many of the photos I’ve seen are pretty awful (and some are just plain scary). I’ve been tempted to send a message with photo tips, but figure that would just be insulting. […]
Branding an event is as important as branding your business. What’s it all about? How do you get people to attend? By having fun. Every year, Frenchtown NJ, a Delaware River town and my home base, has an end of summer event call Riverfest. It is fun but was never especially distinctive. Two years ago some guys started dressing up like Vikings and created an event within the event called the Paper Boat Races. Kids make paper boats, drift them […]
I love light. Soft light, natural light, bright light, dim light, light bulb light, strobe light, lightning bug light, moon light, moon shine, light beer, lightning light, and on and on …. It’s either because I’m a photographer or I’m a photographer because I love light. Window light is one of my favorite types of light and a great simple option for anyone who needs to create a headshot of someone, whether it’s an employee, a personal relationship or a […]
Shooting groups is an art in itself. Imagine corralling 5, 10, 20 or more people, balancing the arrangement, getting the light just right and having everyone look like they are happy. Ya gotta love it. It’s also fun to try to tweak things a little and reach for a more relaxed shot. The team at Princeton Wealth Advisors, Raymond James were wonderfully accommodating and patient as we work on shots for its national magazine. After a bunch of great traditional […]
Mondays are always invigorating, especially after a great weekend. But I confess, I don’t mind not working in an office and having to face a supervisor inspired to motivate me.
Large open interior areas can be tricky to photograph. In fact, any interior area with large windows can be difficult. No matter what time of day or night there are very, very few moments when the outside light matches in the inside light. In some cases this can be solved by adding light (e.g. big flash units). But sometimes, especially when it is a large open area, like the commercial space pictured above, there is no place to put the […]
Headshots can be fun. All it takes is some imagination and a willingness to experiment and be playful. Minal Sampat, founder and CEO of Growth Management Marketing is a master at this. We spent an afternoon in the studio creating a wonderful collection of headshots with a wide range of applications for her business including this shot to promote her podcast. We had a great time and got great shots. This one is my favorite. You can see more the photos […]
Headshots are, of course, a staple of business. People expect to see a current version and get a sense of who you are. Headshots are typically done in a studio, which certainly works well, but may sometimes be a little less original than the person being photographed. Your headshot should do you justice! Studio style headshots are great when large teams of people need to be photographed and consistency is important. They can be done more quickly and efficiently when […]
There are many times when we have a full plate in front of us and yet know there is even more to come. Expectations keep us motivated.
April showers bring May flowers and July showers bring “chanterelles” a delectable, edible wild mushroom. These lovely specimens were found growing happily deep in the woods in eastern PA. It was a rainy weekend in the northeast and likely put a damp damper on many outdoor summer activities, but the forests love it. Rain brings growth. The next time my parade gets rained on I’ll have to remind myself to be on the lookout for growth.
Sometimes you just have to take the plunge and get your feet wet (up to your armpits). Summer is a great time to be on the Delaware. No tubes or canoes required. Just jump in.
It’s the peak of summer and time for many to hibernate inside in the AC and literally “chill.” Not really a bad ideal, staying comfortable, but what the heck, it’s summer, might as well embrace it. I can’t claim to be happy and cheerful in all temperatures but I’m a North American mammal so I’m adaptable by nature. (At least that’s what I keep telling myself.) I love documenting what is, when it is, and I’m likely to be out […]
A few years ago I was lucky to discover the documentary, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” and have since watched it over and over. It is masterfully done. Jiro (now 92) is the world’s finest sushi chef. His restaurant (Sukiyabashi Jiro) only has 10 counter seats and a meal is priced at 30,000 yen ($300), no appetizers, no drinks (except tea), just 20 pieces of sushi, hand-prepared by Jiro. You need to make reservations about a year in advance. Jiro’s sushi is […]
The Delaware River is not exactly known for its coral reefs and sunken treasure ships, but if you don’t look how can you be sure?
Local events like festivals, parades, fairs etc. are especially great for practicing street photography. There is a lot going, people are having fun and no one seems to mind being photographed. It is all part of the day. Most street photography I see seems to be in cities, where there are a lot of people, but my studio is in a small town. I am in Frenchtown, on the west coast of NJ nestled on the banks of the mighty […]
Creating macro botanical images for scientific stock is one of my specialites. I have a background as an ecologist and enjoy being out photographing wild species for textbooks and scientific publications. Last week I came across a rare white chicory specimen growing along the roadside. I immediately made plans to return with my gear to document it. Chicory is a lazy flower. Like a teenager it doesn’t get up until way past sunrise and if it’s cloudy or rainy, forget it. […]
If you’ve followed your gut when choosing your career path then the joy really is in the doing. I’ve heard critiques about people describing themselves by what they do. “Nay, nay” they say, “You aren’t your job.” Well, I say maybe I am! I’m proud and delighted to say “Je suis photographe!” I didn’t stumble accidentally into being a photographer and I’ll bet you didn’t wander aimlessly into your career, either. When we’ve consciously chosen our paths and pursued them, then […]
Executive portraits can be more than a nice PR photo showing great dental work. They can be an expression of what it means to run a company. Sometimes this takes a little extra time and creative vision but the extra effort can deliver a more compelling image. Being an executive ain’t easy (just ask one). It takes focus, knowledge, skill and the ability to direct and coordinate people. There is more to it than sitting at a desk.
One of my business segments is being a certified Google Trusted photographer, trained and authorized to create virtual tours and publish them on the Google platform. As part of this program I also create and publish standard images of businesses, primarily architectural and product-oriented photos. Periodically, Google gives me an update on how well my photos of my clients’ businesses are doing. I am always delighted to learn how many times they are viewed. The number of views per business range, of […]
There are photo opportunities all around us, every day, unlimited ways we can market ourselves visually. This is the heart of social media marketing. The challenge is that we are used to seeing our world as we see it. The normal is the norm, nothing special. If it feels and looks normal to us it is hard to make it interesting to others. That is why we enjoy taking photos when we travel. It’s new and exciting and fun to […]
We all love candids, good candids of our friends and family having fun, being engrossed in what they are doing. These kinds of candids have a natural, energetic feel, especially if the subject is feeling natural and energetic. They make us feel good. Good business photos can evoke this energetic feeling too, but it is more of a challenge to create these images, to create images that have a natural candid feel, but it is entirely doable. After all, […]
Street photography is very popular, pretty much always has been since folks like Henri Cartier-Bresson started snapping at people with 35 mm cameras. It takes an eye, timing and some courage to photograph people you don’t know. But is it really street photography? Pavement pictures? Also when is it road photography or highway photography? I think we have a boatload of new genre to explore.
Photography is about vision. The stronger the vision, the better the photo. I often open my studio to be used as a gallery for other photographers. We all have different visions and it is gratifying to collaborate. During July 15th & 16th 2017 I am hosting an exhibition featuring 12 photographers (myself included!). I’ve given the show a French flavor to coincide with Frenchtown’s Bastille day celebration. The poster is French but the photographers are American. Businesses throughout the town […]
A refreshing swim is, well, refreshing. A vigorous swim is invigorating. Diving in headfirst is exciting and sometimes courageous and it is always a relief to come up for air. Being a commercial photographer is exhilarating and sometimes demanding, so it is fun to get out sometimes for a little photojournalism style photos of people enjoying themselves.
The world population is now at about 7.5 billion and I’m guessing about 7.4 billion of us like to take pictures. It’s just a rough guess but rarely have I met anyone who doesn’t take at least a little pleasure in snapping a photo of something interesting and then seeing how it comes out. Subjects range from pets & family to surreal settings but the feeling is universal (it’s kinda fun). My hunch is that it’s neurological. Taking a photo […]
BROKAW PHOTOGRAPHY SUMMER WORKSHOPS 2017 Bill Brokaw brings over 40 years of photography experience and love of teaching to his workshops with are taught in his airy, spacious studio in Frenchtown, NJ. Course material is thorough and students are encouraged to bring their questions, issues and examples of their work for review and kind, honest, constructive criticism. “How to Start and Run a Home Photography Business” August 19 – 9:00 – 3:00 PM Photography can be a self-funded hobby as well […]