Search Results for : commercial

43 results

Creative Light Sculpture III – A Commercial Assignment

A couple years ago, a client engaged me to do a really fun and exciting project. It was a road widening in Kitchener. On the face, that doesn’t seem too exciting. What is fun is that the design included many elements that evoked the industrial and manufacturing history of the city.

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The Beauty of Motion – A Commercial Assignment

A client did design and consulting work on a new outdoor recreation complex in Toronto. The complex is in a gentrifying neighbourhood that, for many years, had a reputation as unsafe. The client wanted pictures of the new facility. They wanted people using the facility. They also wanted both day and night shots. Continue reading

Research and Preparedness – A Commercial Assignment

A few years ago, an engineering firm engaged me to shoot one of their projects. It was a major bridge redesign/construction project in cottage country in Ontario. Two requests were made by the client: They wanted the entire span of the bridge in a single shot; and they wanted a boat going under the bridge, if possible. Continue reading

Creative Light Sculpture II – A Commercial Assignment

A client engaged me to photograph an urban park/trail design and construction project they did for a community in the northern Greater Toronto Area.

A highlight of the project is the metal sculpture at the trail head. It’s a skeleton of a boat, invoking the maritime heritage of the town.  Continue reading

Creative Light Sculpture – A Commercial Assignment

I was engaged by a client that had done a redesign at a radio station – all of the office areas, public spaces and broadcast studios.

If you have ever been in a radio broadcast studio, these are not large spaces. The lighting is typically not great because it doesn’t need to be. This can present a challenge to photograph. Continue reading

Being Environmentally Sensitive – A Commercial Assignment

A client engaged me to do an interesting outdoor project. It was a large infrastructure project that entailed the design and building of a new bridge as well as the re-routing of a creek bed.

My client is known for being good environmental stewards and does a lot of work related to environmental cleanup. In this particular case, the project was being submitted by the city for design awards. Continue reading

Creative Multiple Exposures – A Commercial Assignment

I was engaged by a builder of custom homes to shoot some of their projects. The details in these homes were spectacular.

In one home, the range hood would move up, or down at the touch of a button. A very cool feature to be sure. I wanted to figure out a way to capture the movement of the range hood to highlight the feature for the client. Continue reading

When Perfect Isn’t – A Commercial Assignment

An architectural firm hired me to shoot one of their projects which entailed some redesign work in part of the library at a local university.  I prepped the images, which included some stitched panoramics.  The architect had told me they wanted me to have some fun with the shoot.  So in stitching the panos I purposely left curvature distortion where there would normally be straight lines.  As I always do, I posted the proof images onto a non-public, password protected area of my site for the client to view.  After doing so, the client came back and asked if they could get one specific image at full size before I delivered everything on CD.  The image they wanted was one of the panoramics with the curved lines.

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Old Buildings – A Commercial Assignment

A lot of the commercial work I do is architectural.  Recently, I was hired by an architectural firm to shoot several of their projects.  One of those projects was a nearly 200 year old building.  As you might expect with a building that old, there had been modifications done, there had been additions, there had been repairs and there had been settling over time.  The work my client had done was converting the structure from industrial to mixed use commercial/residential.  This included work on the exterior, cleaning up the brickwork, adding new –  but period looking – detail and the design work on the interior.

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The Puzzle – A Commercial Assignment

I was hired by an architectural firm to photograph four mural panels at a local college.  The architects had been engaged to do some redesign work at the school.  Part of the redesign included covering up the murals.  The murals are mixed media pieces and include some relief elements on two of the panels.

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Client FAQ

How long have you been a photographer?

My journey in photography began nearly 25 years ago (around 1997/98). I felt I could start using the term ‘photographer’ about 10 years after that.

How long have you been an architectural photographer?

I’ve been doing work for clients photographing architecture & infrastructure since 2009.

Do you use HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography?

Depending on the project I will use various methods of image compositing, including HDR.

How do you avoid the ‘HDR look’?

HDR has received a bad reputation over the years for a look that is popular with some, but unpopular with most in the photography world. The hyper-saturated, grungy look that many associate with HDR is a result of the editing choices made using HDR software. It is very important to understand this look is not a necessity. In fact, it is absolutely possible to use HDR blending and generate very natural, photorealistic pictures. The author of a book on photorealistic HDR titled The Anti-HDR HDR Photography Book, I understand how to use HDR techniques to properly photograph a scene.

Do you use a Tilt/Shift Lens?

Yes, I do. It is an invaluable tool for architecture photography. I personally don’t know of any serious, working architectural photographer who doesn’t have at least one tilt/shift lens.

What is your photographic style?

My approach, or style, is to represent your projects the way you want them. I adapt to what you need, I don’t force you into a look I am known for. I endeavour to create rich, detailed, immersive and compelling imagery that tells the story of your projects and your business.

This link to some previous blog articles outlines how I’ve approached some interesting client projects in the past.

Why do you call yourself an architecture and infrastructure photographer?

Infrastructure can be thought of as a sub-genre of architecture. There are specific aspects of infrastructure that can make photographing it different from regular architecture, particularly where there are environmental issues to address. Through my work with, primarily, Stantec, I have developed a sub-specialty of photographing infrastructure projects in addition to architecture.

How does the process work?

It all starts with an email, or phone call. Send a message through the Contact form, a direct email to fisher(at)rf-photography(dot) ca, or call me on 289-240-0949. We can also have a teleconference via Zoom.

After initial discussions and once you have decided to trust me with your project(s), my clients typically send a description of the project(s) which includes basic information about where and what the project is. If there are specific photos, setups, angles the client wants, that can be included in the project brief as well. The more information, the better. This allows me to prepare a more accurate estimate. It also helps me ensure I give you the marketing assets you want and need.

Once I have the project brief, I will put together an estimate of time and cost. If I have any questions about the project for clarification, I’ll come back to you with those before completing the estimate. The estimate will include a low to high time & cost range. Very important to note that unless there are extenuating circumstances I cannot exceed the top of the range without your approval. Also important to note: I have never had to go back to a client to ask for approval to exceed the estimate.

The SEO Shell Game

SEO – Search Engine Optimization. Or, perhaps Search Engine Oblivion.

Grab some snacks, put on your comfy pants, we’re gonna be here for a while.

The idea of having our websites at the top of search results is a good one. We want to be seen. Particularly for photographers offering commercial services, the ability to be found by prospective clients is important.

What follows is one photographer’s experience navigating the random, nonsensical, frustrating, comical, bleep-show that is SEO. As in many things, the old saying applies: Your mileage may vary.

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Here you’ll find answers to some commonly asked questions. These answers are not intended to be exhaustive, so please get in touch via the Contact page, fisher(at)rf-photography(dot)ca, or on 289-240-0949 to discuss in more detail.


Workshops & Speaking

How long have you been a photographer?

My journey in photography began nearly 25 years ago (around 1997/98). I felt I could start using the term ‘photographer’ about 10 years after that.

What topics are you able to speak on?

I have given talks on street photography, architecture photography and on my cross-Canada trek. I can also talk on astrophotography, HDR photography, mobile phone photography, or develop a presentation specific to your group. I’ve covered a variety of topics in my books and can develop a talk on any of those.

What do you charge for speaking engagements?

I don’t have a set fee. I work with each group to determine a fee based on the group’s size and budget. Larger groups, with more resources, will pay a slightly higher fee. How much I may need to travel, whether a hotel stay would be necessary, are also considerations in pricing.

How are your workshops structured?

My workshops are full-, or half-day. Full day workshops include a break for lunch, which is included. Space is limited to 4 people. I do this so I can spend as much time with each person as possible. Evening/night options are also available for Blue Hour and/or astrophotography.

I structure my workshops to what you want to learn. The Workshops page, linked above, has some examples. If there are other things you’d like to learn, or improve on, I can develop a session specifically on that.

We learn best when we’re learning what we need, that’s why I tailor my workshops to what you want.

Do I need a big, fancy camera for your workshops?

No! Phone cameras today can take fantastic pictures. The more advanced phones can even capture in RAW formats, giving you more quality and control. I led a week-long phone photography workshop at Sunbury Shores Arts & Nature Centre in the summer of 2020 and have a self-published book on phone photography. The first 5 pictures in my Impressionistic gallery were all done with a phone. My image that juried into RMG Exposed in 2020 was made with a phone.

Phone cameras are great!

What else do I need for your workshops except a camera?

Enthusiasm, comfortable, supportive footwear. And good socks!

Wreck & Renewal – A City. Detroit.

The city of Detroit has a long and varied, but still proud history. Once the spiritual, if not physical, epicentre of American manufacturing, Detroit has, more recently, become the postcard for the ‘Rust Belt’. Perhaps the latter 20th and early 21st century analogue to the ‘Dust Bowl’. That collection of contiguous, once economically strong, states in the northeast and midwest of the U.S. that has come to epitomise the decline of the ‘middle class’.

Detroit’s nadir came during the economic collapse of 2008 and 2009. But the city had been in decline for many years before that as the engine of the local economy, the automotive sector, downsized and decamped to cheaper locales.

Some have documented the decline of the city. Sites such as Forgotten Detroit, Historic Detroit, and DetroitUrbEx have chronicled well the physical decline of the bones of the city. Others have taken advantage of Detroit through production of so-called ‘Abandon Porn’.

I feel a bit of a kinship to Detroit and its people. My home town, Oshawa, ON, was once the physical and spiritual centre of Canadian manufacturing. As the Canadian head office location for General Motors, and home of much of GM’s Canadian manufacturing operations Oshawa, too, has seen a marked decline in its fortunes commensurate with the decline and gradual exodus of the company from the city. Not as steep a decline as Detroit, but evident nonetheless.

Oshawa; however, is not experiencing what Detroit is today. There is a renewal and revival going on in Detroit. Detroiters are very proud of their city and protective of it. Talk to them and they will expound at length about how Detroit is coming back. Public art installations like the Heidelberg Project and the wonderful farmers’ market in the Eastern Market district are evidence of this. The Brush Park area is seeing tremendous revitalisation among the wreck. A new hockey arena is being built in the central core of the city next to the baseball and football stadia. And a new light rail transit line is being installed.

In February 2016, I made my first sojourn to my sister-city to begin, what will likely be, a multi-year project to document the spirit of survival and the renewal of this once great city. My second trip will be later this spring. After that, perhaps a once a year trek to continue to document the rebirth of the city.

A 19th century police station has been bought and repurposed as commercial/office space.  I was fortunate to get a look inside during the construction phase.  On the top floor, there had been a basketball court.

The project of documenting the wreck and renewal in Detroit continues.

Groups and residents have begun to develop urban farms in the city. They are buying or taking over empty lots and blocks and turning the land into mini farms to bring fresh food to areas otherwise called “food deserts”. A food desert is an area with no grocery store and no way for residents to get fresh food.

The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative has a large area of land on Brush Street and makes its food available free of charge. The Oakland Avenue urban farm, run by Jerry Hebron and her husband, has a Saturday market during the season where people can come and buy fresh food. Volunteers who work on the farm are allowed to take as much food as they would like. The farm also makes available compost and wood mulch chips to residents at no charge.

Street Photography VIII

Some will say that a picture should need no caption, that it should stand on its own. It is true, in some cases, that a photograph can stand on its own and need no caption, or description. In many, I would suggest most, instances; however, some complementary text can be very important. Our own personal experiences play a large part in how we perceive visual imagery. A photo of Birkenau has a very different meaning to someone who is Jewish than to a Christian or an Atheist. A different meaning still to those who are older vs. those who are younger. We are informed by our own history. I understand the particular areas of Toronto I shoot in. I know the neighbourhoods and some of the people. Others who know the areas have a similar understanding of the pictures as I do because they have that history. What’s that old saying about walking a mile in someone’s shoes? We do not all see the same things, nor should we. What is appreciated by one person may not be by another. And there is nothing wrong with that. Continue reading

Of Ethics & Ethics – Photographic & Journalistic

The old saying is true. Opinions are like [insert specific anatomical reference], everybody has one. Witness the number of opinion columnists employed by newspapers and the number of pundits who appear regularly on other media outlets to expound at length about this, that, and any other thing. Like most any other endeavour, there are good and bad providers of opinion. What separates the two? Continue reading

Street Photography IV

Every picture tells a story don’t it…

Rod Stewart

In that classic song, which you are unlikely to hear much today given it’s racist lyrics, the protagonist is painting a picture with words and telling his story through song.

In street portraiture, your subject is telling their story through your picture with their words. Continue reading

Street Photography III

The camera is a shield. Even though you see everything through the viewfinder, you’re putting something between you and what’s happening.

John Hoagland

Being able to capture candid photos of people is key to successful street photography. As was discussed in the prologue and will be covered more in another essay, not all street images have to be candid but candids are a staple of the art form.

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Street Photography II

The decisive moment is several things. It is the name of a book containing the photos of Henri Cartier-Bresson. It is the phrase Bresson came up with to describe his approach to his photography. It is the mantra that many have used to talk about street photography in the years since Bresson. Continue reading