For the past month, I’ve been working on a project multiple people have referred to as “a perfect fit.” It’s basically what I was made for.
An old farmhouse, goats with an abundance of personality, modern French decor, and a 7-course gourmet meal. Welcome to Zingerman’s Cornman Farms.
Didja know October is “Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month?” Did you also know I love animals?
… yeah, you probably knew that.
I got an email the other week from a media company in Ann Arbor. It was a request for environmental portrait photography for a client of theirs – a Metro Detroit shipping/trucking company. The dates lined up, details worked out fine, and I was on board with the project.
Who’s the client? Con-way Inc. Oh – cool.
So the project brief and shot list came… Hang on a second. Something’s not right. This isn’t Con-way’s address. This is the address for Menlo Intl. I know that because my father has worked there for years.
A number of years ago – maybe 3 or 4 – I did a class project, designed to make use of my major for someone’s benefit. My mother manages nursing education at Sanctuary at Faser Villa, a Metro Detroit senior care center, part of the Trinity Health System. This particular center hosts a number of yearly parties for their residents.
In other words, things lined up nicely.
Throughout the growth into my career, I got a boatload of experience shooting events and operating on-site photobooths. For a couple years my girlfriend and I brought a photobooth setup to the senior center; she ran the booth, I shot candids. Over time I began dabbling in video and eventually brought it into the mix. Now each time we attend an event, she shoots pictures, I shoot video.
It’s kind of interesting, working within a set group of people. When you shoot any given event, be it a wedding, or Mitzvah, or company picnic, you have to read the crowd and get a feel for the people. Pinpoint the couple guests who are super outgoing and seem to exude happiness into whatever group of people they happen to be near. You’ve gotta learn the venue and figure out where the best light is. You also have to try to anticipate the event schedule and be in position before things happen. In the end, you’ve gotta do the best you can and work with what you’re given.
But shooting the same event each year gives a different edge. It’s especially pronounced in a setting like a senior center. Activity schedules tend not to change much (it’s difficult for the residents if things change all the time). The setting is the same (it’s in the same building each time). Also, for the most part, the residents live there full time, meaning the attendees at the parties tend to remain fairly consistent.
So, instead of a reset each time, I get to work with the information about the event, guests, and venue I had from the previous party and build on it. It’s unique in comparison to my experiences shooting parties and events.
The most recent party we attended was the Annual Harvest Ball, an Autumn-themed event they host every October. Check out the video below!
Well hey there, folks!
Nope – I didn’t drop off the planet and I didn’t take a crew position on the H.M.S Galactica. In reality the answer’s a bit more boring. Life’s been busy, projects have been in flux, and work’s been less visual and more consultation-based.
Over the last 6 months I’ve acquired some new clients, started fresh projects with previous clients, and been on a number of adventures. Why, I even started teaching at an accredited institution and have been presenting a growing series of motivational presentations directed at upcoming professional creatives. (So, I can safely say you should be expecting some content that’s excited to jab at your cerebral cortex.)
To kick things off, I’d like to showcase a recent project. It took about a month to put together and ended up producing one of the best outtake reels I’ve ever shot. (That’s coming a bit later).
Going on a year and a half ago, I put out this post for a recently finished project. Canine Resolution contracted me for a branding package, photo series, and promo packets. It’s now 18 months later and video’s the name of the game.
I’ll give you a quick rundown.
Canine Resolution is the Metro Area’s best dog training institution. No – really. They just won 1st place in the 2014 Detroit A-list Competition for “Best Dog Trainer.” They work in all programs from puppy and the A.K.C Canine Good Citizen Program, to agility, scent training, and schutzhund (attack training). Their program shuns shock collars or negative reinforcement and promotes simultaneous training of owner and dog. All things considered, it’s pretty awesome.
So, let your eyeballs be entertained and soak in the official Canine Resolution Commercial.
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!!
Over the past couple years, my girlfriend (Ashley) and I have taken a few trips. They usually end up getting planned months in advance then going through so many itinerary changes, we just give up an pick somewhere at random 2 days before we leave.
True story – that’s how it was when we went to Chicago. We were planning a 6 day trip. 36 hours before departure we still had no idea what city we were going to. We’re very forward-thinking individuals.
Anywho… this time around we were actually pretty meticulous. It was mostly because we were camping the whole time and it would be super inconvenient to have to drive 40 miles to the convenience store to buy socks or something.
Every time we plan to go traveling, we usually just default to a trip somewhere in Michigan (we live in Michigan). It might not seem terribly adventurous, but after 30 years I’m still finding awesome stuff in the state I never knew about. There’s also the topography. We have forests, swamps, plains, mountains, dunes, cliffs, over-developed cities, and true wilderness. Not to mention that the entire state is pretty much surrounded by freshwater oceans. Oh – and we have, arguably, the best cider mills on the planet.
But back to the trip! Departing from Metro-Detroit, we hit up Mackinaw City, Mackinac Island, Tahquamenon Falls, Grand Marais, Munising, Pictured Rocks Lakeshore, St Ignace, Cross Village, The Tunnel of Trees, Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Traverse City, Glen Haven, Glen Arbor, and Sleeping Bear Dunes.
We were pretty busy.
It was also Ashley’s first time camping, so that was neat too.
Here are some of my favorite shots, as well as a brief Go-Pro video of our adventure. If anyone is interested in any prints, please be sure to let me know. I’ll be get these images posted to my fine-art site along with some other recent work and I’ll be sure to let you know when they’re up.
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.