I just finished up the most complicated batch of product photography I’ve undertaken in quite some time, if ever. Dig in and freshen up with a behind-the-scenes look at some locally crafted aromas.
It’s the mid-winter reset!
OK so the New Year isn’t a clean-cut video game reset. The past still happened and the ramifications still exist, but that’s not what the whole “resolution” thing is all about anyway. The New Year isn’t for starting over, but for learning from last year and reinventing yourself.
Which is precisely how I’m getting down… now, where to start…
IT’S A WHOLE NEW CITY!
As of a week and a half ago, JonKPhoto is Royal Oak official! Royal Oak, Michigan is my new base of operations. You may not think 15 miles would make much of a difference when it comes to clientele, but it it’s surprising how many companies you notice in an area when you’re always there as opposed to just driving through.
There are a few details that need sorting. Paper work needs organizing. My desk still needs to be relocated – I’m currently coffee-tabling it up. But all things considered, I’m stoked for the new market. What with being a solid half-hour closer to downtown, I’m really looking forward to the new opportunities.
IT’S A WHOLE NEW COMPANY!
Well, yes and no. For about 2 years, I’ve been offering media services beyond just photography, but they were almost entirely by request. As of 3 weeks ago, this site and all my promotional whatnots are firmly rooted in multimedia.
To get a feel for what I’m talking about and to see why multimedia is so incredibly important for the success of a business, swing by my ABOUT page and take a gander at the breakdown.
IT’S A WHOLE NEW AUDIENCE!
In the last 3 months I’ve been regularly requested to critique portfolios, review projects, and speak to media students. Developing into my career I always knew the ability to communicate clearly was essential, but it never crossed my mind that I may actually enjoy public speaking.
Each and every one of my clients and projects requires a unique and completely customized solution. It’s the exact same with audiences. Whether you’re talking with a 45-year old hobbyist about to turn pro, a room full of undergrad students, or an auditorium jam-packed with high schoolers ready to start their education, you’ve GOT to connect with your audience. It’s just the kind of challenge I love.
So 2014 will see the next big evolution in JonKPhoto. Motivational seminars for current, upcoming, and future creative professionals are about to hit Metro Detroit like so much inspiration!
In the meantime, the JonKPhotoClasses site has been totally overhauled and is fully loaded with an array of personalized photo and career development courses, ready to shock-&-awe you right into your new career.
IT’S A WHOLE NEW BODY OF WORK!
If you’ve been anywhere near my site in the last few weeks, you’ve probably heard me mention the fully re-vamped fine art site. If you haven’t, then let me elaborate…
I began my photographic education as a fine art photographer. In the process, I got bits and pieces of experience with the skill sets and lighting techniques essential for commercial photography. The rest is history. But that’s not to say I ever stopped shooting the stuff I simply like to shoot.
Over the past years, my portfolio amassed a rather sizable selection of work. While organizing and reconstructing the site, I realized that while I refined and adjusted my techniques and styles, the subject matter never really changed (at least on a broad scale). It became apparent that nearly all of my imagery is of Michigan.
So the site was overhauled and is now the home to a body of work devoted to images of and inspired by Michigan – my home state and pretty much the most awesome place I’ve ever known. To get an eyeful of Great Lakes goodness, check it out at JonKArtography.com
EVEN SOME NEW PICTURES!
You know me – a conclusion isn’t a conclusion without a bit of shiny new eye candy.
In the recent holiday season, my parents gifted a lovely set of forged-steel Wusthof blades for my culinary endeavors. As with any sparkling new metal instrument, some pictures were in order. Drop me a comment and let me know what you think.
And have a glorious new year!!
A QUICK NOTE: THIS POST IS A BIT LENGTHY, SO I’VE CUT IT DOWN TO THE NITTY-GRITTY IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO READ THE WHOLE THING, THE STORY CONTINUES AFTER THE PICTURE. IT’S A FUN-FILLED BACK-STORY OF HOW I FOUND MYSELF WORKING MULTIMEDIA FOR INDEPENDENTLY OWNED BUSINESSES.
NOW ONTO THE POST!
I’ve decided to make an official upgrade in my business. Up until now, I have primarily offered photo services, with additional media upon request. JonKPhoto is now actively marketing a full selection of media services, from photo and video, to advertising and social media.
Basically, if you think your company could stand to have a classier look, market more effectively, and acquire more customers, give me a ring and we’ll chat.
In the meantime, I’ve been working on a brochure for the multimedia services. It’s a bit of a read, but there’s a pretty solid rundown of the primary forms of media that companies need and why they’re important.
… and now a little bit of back story.
When it rains, it pours. When it rains dogs… well, speaking in meteorological terms, that’s impossible, but the idea of it is straight awesome.
The last three posts were all about our fuzzy, drool-covered, blanket-hogging, best friends. So I see no need to stop while we’re on a roll. Here’s dog post numero 4.
Back in another life (it was something like 6ish years ago) I worked at a dog training company for about a year. Recently I got back into the whole Rescue League scene and organized a pet adoption fundraiser (That post down there has all the nitty gritty). Well, in the process of organizing the whole thing, I found myself in touch with that very same trainer.
You’ll never guess what happened.
OK, you probably will. I mean, why else would I be writing a post about this? So to answer the question that’s clearly been screaming from the dark recesses of your mind: YES! Yes I have taken even more pictures of dogs. Not only that, but I also re-branded his company. It looks pretty spiffy if I do say so myself.
Also – not sure how many of you fine folks have adopted or are about to adopt, but I would like to mention that Canine Resolution has my highest level of approval when it comes to learning how to make the best of your time with your best friend. Tell ’em Jon Kopacz sent ya.
Here’s some pretty stuff. Have a gander!
A question I get a lot is “What have you been up to?” or sometimes “What projects have you been working on?” There are assorted variations of this question, but they pretty much all mean the same thing.
I usually respond with… OK – no. There is no usual response, because it’s so rare that I have more than one current project sharing similarities that we can just pretend it doesn’t happen. Next week I may be working with an architectural-agricultural hybrid company, a local animal shelter, a community-based restaurant, and a national organization conducting a student competition. I mention these examples because there was a week last summer where those were the open projects I was working on. (It was a busy week).
So when I answer the first question and describe my current clients, I’m almost always greeted with the same follow up question, “Oh, wow. So you’re taking pictures for ALL those? What are the pictures of?”
This seems to be the general consensus about my company and I figured it was time to elaborate a bit on what I do.
Let me begin by saying this is a completely understandable thought process and if you glance up to the those giant words at the top of this page, you’ll agree with me. I began my company as a photographer and for all my dabbling and involvement in other forms of media, if I find myself going a week at a time without using my camera I get all shaky and my hair starts falling out… OK it’s not THAT bad, but I do find myself daydreaming about the next project in which I’ll actually get to create an image.
So, honest and true, when I’m face to face with a person and they mention that they’ve heard I’m a photographer, I don’t mine. In fact I actually get a bit of pride out of hearing that.
But when it comes to clients (we’re talking businesses, here) I regularly find that they’re trying to put out new media and have over half-a-dozen contractors assigned to as many different things… and none of them are even talking to each other.
It makes sense for each person to have their own style and that’s what gives a healthy dose of diversity to any good marketing campaign. But for the finished collaboration to come together in a clean fashion there has to be… well, collaboration.
That’s where I come in.
I may be a photographer, but I’m also a videographer, graphic designer, consultant, and advertising professional – and my client list is rather, shall we say, varied.
More than that, I work with a tight-knit group of media professionals that specializes in everything from web design, branding, and marketing to layout, copy-writing, and packaging. So when a project on a massive scale comes along or when six assignments come in at once, that are just too much fun to turn down, I can still guarantee success and some top-notch quality.
In the end, when I explain what I’m working on for a certain client, people aren’t usually expecting my answer.
So, I made this to help me explain things a bit more clearly.
On an occasional basis, I do some work with Third Estate Design, a graphic media company out of Tecumseh, Michigan.
In October, they forwarded me to a client who needed some imagery of their keynote speaker.
Vital Skills Intl. Is a unique and interesting company based in Rochester, Michigan. They essentially teach companies and employees how to achieve consistent results through an understanding of proper confrontation and conversation management. As an added bonus to the job, I’m picking up quite a few tips and tricks.
The job is 3 stages long and I’ve just finished up the first part – Candid Event Coverage.
Stay tuned for updates featuring portraits and video spots. And be sure to check out their site!
Hey! I made a book!
In fewer than 2 months, a handful of things will happen: Christmas pandemonium will be upon us, I will engage in my first “holiday break” in years without molecular bonding between myself and a Zelda game, and I will participate in a portfolio/career show – where I will be presented to prospective contract-ees much like a slab of cow-meat is waved at overweight Americans on the 4th of July.
But I suppose I’m clinging too strongly to my personal feelings about the whole thing. In the end, I could wind up in a contract with Diesel Jeans or something… I guess we’ll see.
The super-awesome-fantastic-great-plus side of the whole ordeal is that it has forced me to finally make the portfolio book I’ve been avoiding for quite some time (years). Of course the benefit of me waiting this long is that the thing is rather up-to-date.
I could explain the finer aspects of the ProLine Paper, the beautiful image-wrapped cover, or even the hours of nervous twitching as I meticulously determined which image to place next to which. But, in the end, you probably don’t care and may not ever touch, caress, stroke, or in other words fondle this glorious, printed, eye-seducer.
So, I’ll just show you an Issuu render of the thing.
(OH- and in you’re interested in a superb coffee table book, shoot me an email and we’ll make some magic happen!)
Much like birds and whatnot on National Geographic, people do things to attract attention or show off. For the most part these things can be summed up in a word:
Sometimes it’s clothing style, cosmetic style, artistic style, or personality style. Many times, these days, it’s hairstyle.
Recently I did a photoshoot for a long time friend of mine, who happens to be a top-notch stylist. By “top-notch,” I mean Redken Certified. If you know what that means, you know how prestigious it is.
Anywho – she has had her styling fingers in many heads of hair and, as such, has developed her own unique style of cutting, feathering, trimming, coloring and other verbs that I don’t actually know. The point is that she’s good and has something to show off.
That’s where the actual photography comes in.
Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Check it out.
However, the whole point about trends in style all filter down to the point of the whole post.
Much like with wolves, if you don’t keep up, you fall behind to get eaten by crows and such… OK, maybe not to that extent, but still – there are ramifications. Really what I’m trying to say is “beauty is determined by the determiner.” I know that sounds convoluted, but its just the case. This model is beautiful. She’s beautiful with the retouching and she’s beautiful without the retouching. In fact, she’s flat-out hilarious (one of the most fun people I’ve worked with in quite some time.) Just to drill home my point – she busted out the robot in the parking lot for the sake of a funny portrait. Awesome.
However, people that look to style mags demand a more “commercial” level of beauty, and so the process of retouching begins.
Now, I know what you’re saying (or at least should be): “Jon! Didn’t you write a post a few months back about not doing this exact thing if at all possible?”
Well, yes. Yes I did. But in the same breath as condemnation, I will always stand straight up and say I will break my own rules to help my friends succeed. Also, I like paying my bills… well not… I… YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!
So yes. I am conflicted and my brain doesn’t quite know which side of the fence to come down on… So I sure wouldn’t mind some opinions. There’s a comment box down there somewhere…
But, because I know you’re looking for it, here’s the before and after:
A week can make quite a difference.
2 posts ago I mentioned some food photos that were getting printed for a company I’ve re-branded and helped relaunch.
Well, yesterday at 4pm our doors officially opened and The Mad Hatter Pub took its first step as an actual business. Let’s recap:
About 8 months ago, I began the re-branding and “marketing” overhaul of the Wonderland Lanes (the attached bowling center). since then, I’ve been gradually mixed in more and more into The Mad Hatter Pub as kind of a full service ad agent.
To date some of my tasks have been:
- Logo redesign
- Full branding (fonts, color schemes, layout standards, etc.)
- Advertisement photography
- Food photography
- Event photography/coverage
- Promotional design (fliers, event calendars, specialty items/services…)
- Graphic unit production (menu, vinyl decals, back-lit display boards, digital promo presentations…)
Then things got a bit more involved and…:
- Menu item prep instructional (consistency, people!)
- Kitchen co-management
To say the least: It’s been quite a run.
Yesterday was only our soft opening. The kinks get worked out this month in time for our grand opening Super Bash at the start of September.
If you’re in the Commerce, MI area or close by be sure to swing over to the Mad Hatter Pub and grab some food and drink. (A little side note: We handed out comment cards yesterday. Our food and menu got a 4.7 average out of 5).
I’d suggest a Roadhouse and be sure to tell ’em Jon Kopacz sent you.
Oh look! Promo stuff!
I’ve been doing some photo, branding, design, organization – basically I’ve been acting as a marketing/ad agent for a local company. These guys —–> Wonderland Lanes.
It’s a bowling center in Commerce, Michigan that’s about to relaunch their grille as a no-holds-barred rockin’ restaurant.
Maybe a couple months back, I dropped a sneek preview at some of the food photos. Now, we’re in the midst of full-on advertisements.
Don’t drool on your keyboard – it’s bad for it.