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Bill’s Blog

17 Aug 2017
SHOWROOM

SHOWROOM

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 […]

16 Aug 2017
RAINBOW CATERPILLAR

Innovating

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!

15 Aug 2017
TEAM PHOTO

Value Your Team

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. […]

14 Aug 2017
Focus

Focus

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 […]

11 Aug 2017
Coffee time

It’s Friday

It’s Friday.  It’s August. It’s still summer. The boss is on vacation…. Have another mug of coffee.

09 Aug 2017
Zip Lining

Going to Camp

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 […]

09 Aug 2017
GEARS

In Gear

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 […]

08 Aug 2017
Hunterdon County Freeholders' Meeting Room Photo by Bill Brokaw

The Long Tail (revisited)

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 […]

07 Aug 2017
FOREST MUSHROOM

Is Your Business LIke a Mushroom?

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.

04 Aug 2017
Dating Site Photos

Dating Site Photos

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. […]

03 Aug 2017
Riverfest Vikings

BRANDING

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 […]

02 Aug 2017
Author Headshot

Window Light for Headshots

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 […]

01 Aug 2017
Group Photography

Cool Group Shots

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 […]

31 Jul 2017
Office Viking

I Love Mondays

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.

28 Jul 2017
Commercial Real Estate Photography

Commercial Real Estate

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 […]

27 Jul 2017
Minal Sampat, Growth Management Marketingg

Watch what you say!

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 […]

26 Jul 2017
Environmental Headshot

Interesting Headshots

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 […]

25 Jul 2017
Expectation

Expectation

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.

24 Jul 2017
Chanterelles photographed by Bill Brokaw

Wild Mushrooms

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.

22 Jul 2017
Dogfish

Size Limit

What is the size limit for Delaware dogfish?

22 Jul 2017

Street Photography

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.

21 Jul 2017
Summer Fun

Summer Swelter, Embrace It!

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 […]

20 Jul 2017

Shokunin

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 […]

19 Jul 2017

Exploring the Waters

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?

18 Jul 2017

Street Photography

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 […]

17 Jul 2017

The lesson of the white chicory

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. […]

14 Jul 2017

There is No Fun Like Work

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 […]

13 Jul 2017

Power Portraits

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.  

12 Jul 2017
Google Views Of Brokaw Photography Photos

Getting your business viewed

  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 […]

11 Jul 2017

Photo Ops For Business

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 […]

10 Jul 2017

Lifestyle photography

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, […]

09 Jul 2017
A real street photograph

Street Photography

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.

07 Jul 2017

Photo Exhibit

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 […]

05 Jul 2017

Coming up for Air

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.

04 Jul 2017

Joy of Photography

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 […]

19 Apr 2017

Workshop Information 2017

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 […]