Indermaur Media, inc.
Visual Narrative
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Indermaur Media - Visual Narrative Blog by Scott Indermaur

Informational blog about techniques, ideas,industry trends, clients and projects of Indermaur Media. Written by Scott Indermaur, professional corporate photographer.

Boston Biotech Photography and Video Project for Marketing
Boston Biotech photography and video in a Lab with life sciences technicians

As I mentioned in the past blog, Rhode Island Commercial Photographer For A Restaurant, I thoroughly enjoy multimedia projects of all magnitude from 100% photography or video to a mix of video and photography elements. These assignments may be smaller visual projects with only a crew consisting of myself to the large multimedia projects that include extensive travel and a team of a dozen people to accomplish successful photography and video project.

In a recent multimedia assignment, a Boston Biotech video production also included Biotech photography with a style of corporate photography. This company is actually not based in San Francisco, it is located in Watertown, MA (a suburb of Boston) in which there are several exciting biotechs, and Life Sciences are established. The visuals were to be used for their website, social media, blogs and public releases for articles. This project was spread over two days in which we captured b-roll video footage of their busy biotech lab, biotech lab photography, and more of a corporate photography style of their associates working throughout the offices. Also, the majority of this Watertown, MA biotech photography was of active employees to share the culture of their growing company.

We also photographed headshots and portraits of their primary team for the website's team bio page. The studio setup was created to be simple and easily duplicated as the organization grows. That way portraits will always have a consistent style and look as if they were taken on the same day. One of their conference rooms was used to create a studio for these portraits. We have since visited their location two more times to create additional biotech team portraits that are added to the website with the same consistency and style as the previous executive portraits. These portraits are also used for corporate headshots for public relations uses and on their social media Linkedin Company page.

The crew consisted of myself and my assistant to allow us to be nimble and at times work as if we are a fly on the wall. We captured Biotech lab video and photography for their marketing uses. Working with their creative director, we developed a list of office and lab locations to be photographed and placed in the video. This included making sure I shot specific team meetings. At times we set up individual scenes to look candid, and other times I would walk around and document what was actually happening.

The photography was edited down to a presentable number of images and shared with the client with an online photography gallery. Also, the video clips were packaged into one video and shared online for their review and to make comments for future video edits. Making comments directly on the video at specific time codes makes this process of editing video seamless and efficient.

I visit Massachusetts often, and as a Boston corporate photographer, I enjoy all the vibrant businesses in that area. I find my career beginning as a photojournalist working at newspapers and being efficient and creative has been very critical to my style and how I approach photography projects and New England video productions. My commercial photography experience has allowed me to understand light in the studio and as an on-location photographer, I have extensive experience in setting up studios in a corporate setting. It is always fun to travel nationally for visual projects, and that increases my experience with approaching local New England multimedia projects and making them success as I did for this Biotech photography and video project.

Indermaur Media wins Rhode Island 50 on Fire Innovation Award
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Indermaur Media is honored to be a 2019 Rhode Island Inno’s Second-Annual 50 on Fire Award Winner for creating Visual Thrive.

As a winner in the “New to the Ecosystem” category, Visual Thrive frees companies from spending lots of time, energy and money on their social media branding. By combining forces, Scott Indermaur and Lori Giuttari have partnered to bring decades of media and communications experience to small and medium businesses. This Visual Thrive partnership delivers a streamlined, cost effective way for businesses to maintain a steady flow of high-quality social media posts tightly aligned to the company’s brand. Each post tells an ongoing corporate narrative that their website never could.

Both Lori and Scott have more than 25 years of professional experience in the corporate world, and have created an offer that brings their deep knowledge of what works well onto any social media platform. Visual Thrive creates, targets, publishes, and analyzes each post; letting company’s do what they do best - run their businesses!

Visual Narrative Approach To Social Media

This award signifies a shift in the way businesses showcase their companies on social media. As one of the most important ways customers will find you, social media can no longer be treated as an arbitrary task, but has solidly arrived as a necessity for business branding and expansion.

  • Visual Thrive combines decades of professional experience to deliver a powerful visual narrative for your business’ social media presence in a simple format.

  • Visual Thrive takes photographs with professional photographers, writes engaging captions, and schedules consistent content to optimize social media engagement – hashtags included!

  • Visual Thrive provides monthly analytics to continue your company’s strategic discussions, while delivering plenty of photos for your business’ use.

On February 5th Visual thrive will proudly receive its Innovation Award, and the team looks forward to meeting the other Rhode Island companies included in the 50 on Fire Awards.

The qualities that make a company stand out as “on fire” are numerous; anything from incredible scale, to an official launch, to a new product or sustained leadership count make a company “on fire.” Visual Thrive is doing uniquely fabulous work to continue to set the ecosystem ablaze.

Developed during the Goldman Sach 10,000 Small Businesses class that I attending in 2018. It is being scaled at a national level.

Rhode Island Commercial Photographer for a Restaurant
Rhode Island Commercial  Photographer for a Restaurant with a video timelapse in RI

There are many types of commercial photography and advertising campaigns. A number of my advertising photography projects and corporate video assignments are for small and medium-sized businesses that I thoroughly enjoy. Having lots of experience with more significant projects allows me to create an even stronger plan for smaller marketing campaigns.

Typically a smaller project involves myself and an assistant with different levels of collaboration and expectations with the client. In most cases the client wants me to create a majority of the art direction and production of images. We have conversations on their vision, goals, brand and the narrative they want to share. Also, I will research their presence and competitors in what they are sharing visually, creatively and with the written story. In other cases, I work closely with the client in creating visuals with their vision.

The smaller multimedia projects are wonderful because such a significant portion of the creative collaboration process is baked in without managing a large logistics crew to make it happen.

Successful Restaurant Photography Project - Cafe And Bakery

I recently completed a Rhode Island restaurant photography assignment and their 2nd location for the pantry. The client hired me to photograph their restaurant and bakery to capture the fresh, high quality food they prepare along with the fun personality of their staff. I also created their new websites for both the cafe and bakery; which allowed me to be a partner in their creative process from conception to publication.

We visited their Rhode Island locations a few times to capture candid style photography that portrays this vision for use on their new website and for their social media. At times I photographed people in action and other times asked the barista to hold up a delicious pastry towards the camera to create a social media style photograph.

The production crew was just myself as the Rhode Island commercial photographer and the owner, collaborating to create their impactful marketing photography visuals that tell their narrative and make a strong marketing presence. During the photography sessions, the restaurant owner was with me to point out potential strong visuals, and I shared my ideas with her. We made a terrific visual team as her small business narrative unfolded.

I kept the actual production simple with using ambient lighting and an occasional 1-2 Profoto A1 small battery flash units. This allowed me to work without an assistant and be nimble in a small, busy bakery and restaurant. Most restaurants have limited space so it’s easier when I am solo vs. working with an assistant. It brings me back to my newspaper photojournalist days of working creatively, but nimble and fast. This technique allowed me to stay out of the way during active business hours when they are serving their customers.

Also, I suggested we create a video for their home page of their website. I then created 2 videos from time-lapse photography to capture the busyness of their locations with a social media style video. This added action, movement and energy to their website’s opening page. It’s become a much watched, very popular video!

I enjoy working at all levels of production, as I move a project from pre to post production workflow. As a commercial photographer, every advertising or marketing photography project is a unique experience. From the planning of the types of a commercial advertising campaign, envisioning the visual narrative, to the coloration of the actual photography and video productions in my home state is very rewarding. Being creative with images or adding a social media video clip as a new style and asset for the client makes projects more exciting; but more importantly, it delivers what type of narrative the client wants, which can be challenging and very rewarding. While I travel nationally for video and commercial photography projects, I do enjoy the journey as a Rhode Island commercial photographer - Rhode island has so much to offer!

Creating Strategic Marketing For a New Startup

So, what is it in Kansas that will change the world? Indermaur Media has an exciting and unique opportunity to join a brilliant team about to change the AG industry. Our client has gathered top minds in the fields of technology, engineering, chemistry, agriculture, and environmental sciences too (as they have said) change the way the world farms, and eventually save our Earth. That's a big vision, but one we believe is possible.

I have known and worked with Rob Herrington over many years, often on the next successful start-up adventure. The latest startup, PrairieFood, has been in our discussions (and in the making) for years. It's been exciting to learn about and watch the new company move from an idea into the actual production of its product.

Marketing Strategy & Communications Plan
Indermaur Media is documenting all components of PrairieFood's narrative with photography and video for historical purposes, as well as produce their digital media, and written content. I decided to bring in Indermaur Media's Producer and Visual Thrive partner, Lori Giuttari, to manage the written content and strategic communication plans for Prairie Food. The entire team works closely with their strategy and communications, from developing their website, maintaining consistent branding within all the messaging, to their upcoming social media feed.

strategic marketing - communications - video and photography - social media project

This past November, we were excited to travel to Kansas and meet our team, and to photograph and video PrairieFood's first milestone: Completion of their commercial scale continuous flow reactor, fired up for the first time, was captured within meaningful video conversations and hundreds of photos that tell the story of PrairieFood.

Think cow manure. Ahhh! That fresh farm smell! What do we do with the extraordinary amount of manure we have on this Earth, as we continue to deplete our natural resources to produce more food? Well, the PrairieFood team is tackling this issue from every angle in one fell swoop.

Like any waste, it's essential that we, as humans, learn how to recycle and reuse as much as possible. In manure's case, it's even more critical. This nutrient-rich bio-waste is regulated by the US EPA and must be safely disposed of or it can cause lots of environmental problems. Manure continually emits methane gas and leaches nitrates and phosphorus into our water supplies - both a leading contributor to climate change and pollution. Mother Nature can only take so much, and I'm sure she expects us to know better and do better.

PrairieFood's award-winning, proprietary process takes the carbon-rich manure and deconstructs it using heat and water. This novel process swiftly recycles and binds the organic nutrients in manure to the carbon, kills bacteria and weed seeds, and deconstructs any antibiotics within it in less than 1 second! The outcome: PrairieFood - an organic, carbon-rich, nutrient dense material immediately available for organically farming safe food.

Because of decades of conventional farming, our land craves carbon, nutrients and the organic microbes PrairieFood delivers. This intensified process takes what Mother Nature gives us and returns it to the Earth to enrich our soil, and produce nourishing, safe, better food within the first crop cycle.

Organic farmers prefer to feed their soil just like this but to do it right; it's a five-to-six year process that still needs to address dangerous bacteria like e-Coli and listeria, and disrupting weed seeds within the manure itself. The PrairieFood team believes their innovative process will change the way our world farms. As a very health-conscious society, PrairieFood delivers precisely what we need - safe, organic, nutritious food without further harm to our planet.

I captured the photography and video to share their story as the company grows. Their website -PrairieFood.com - is up and running as was also developed by Indermaur Media! And we will continue to share the development each step of the way. You can follow these updates on PrairieFood's LinkedIn Page too!

This adventure is just beginning, but how cool would it be if:

  • Organic farmers are immediately able to produce higher yields?

  • Conventional farmers could replace synthetic fertilizers and enhance their land?

  • Manure won't sit around emitting methane gases?

  • In three years all farms could become organic farms without loss of yields?

  • All our food was organic, safe, and nutrient-dense?

To be a part of PrairieFood’s team is exciting - they are a brilliant group - and to be able to manage and create consistent, reliable communication through photography, video, website design, written content, social media management, and strategic marketing is a fascinating opportunity employing all that Indermaur Media offers.

The story has just begun. Follow it unfold on PrairieFood LinkedIn page.  

#AirlineFeet Photography

I have traveled to all states but three, and about 13 countries. Mostly for photography and video projects for my client’s marketing uses. The only states I haven't visited are Alaska and Hawaii, and for some reason, I also skipped over Montana.

A few years ago I was working on a project in Washington DC that included video interviews of governors. One of my subjects was the Montana Governor Steve Bullock. After introducing myself, I told him I had never been to Montana, but that it was on my list to visit. We had a little chuckle, and he told me where I need to go on an extended weekend visit. I still look forward to visiting Montana someday.

Video Production - Location Research
I always enjoy traveling for my work. Photography and video production, allows me to really learn about a location. It’s the adventure of finalizing the creative, travel logistics, local insights, and a crew to create a strong visual narrative for the company’s project.

A few years ago while I was traveling on Southwest Airlines and was sitting in my favorite seat. It's an exit row seat, over the wing with no seat in front of it. I can stretch out my long legs and enjoy the extra space. One day, I took a photograph of my feet stretched out in front of me, happy that I had secured my favorite seat; and I posted it on Instagram. I’m sure the taller basketball players that board after I do give me the evil eye.

I am lucky to get this seat often, and I’m sure everyone is envious. :) Now, every time I sit on a plane, I photograph my feet, especially when I grab my winning seat!

I find other people now do the same thing and tag me: "Hey, @scottindermaur look, I got your favorite seat!"

Over the years, I have accumulated 55 photographs on Instagram of my feet on the plane. A fun little thing to share and you can check them out with hashtag #airlinefeet or at my account @scottindermaur. I can't wait for the day I'm flying to Montana so I can tag their governor!

Bostitch Office National Multimedia Campaign

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My client, Bostitch Office, wanted to develop a multimedia campaign to showcase their new product, creating videos for use in social media ads, point-of-purchase displays, and installation instructional videos, and photography for packaging and advertising, as well as for trade show collateral.

We began with meetings to outline concepts for their multiple visual needs. Shooting the video and photography during a three-day multimedia assignment allowed us consistency with the actors, location, and style. It streamlined the visual process to save on the client’s budget because we would be able to run photography and video concurrently. During this phase, we created a video storyboard, a photography shot list and produced a detailed schedule to capture the ideas for their photography and video needs efficiently.

In phase two, scouting for locations, we visited locations throughout Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. We found a perfect site in Boston for our video production and as a Boston advertising photographer. I also added it to our location library for future projects. The Boston location is a very modern looking office with lots of glass doors and large windows with new furniture, and we were able to have full access to it for our three-day multimedia assignment.

Timelapse of a messy desk to organized by Bostitch Office Konnect Workspace + Cable Management System.

The new product is a modern workspace and cable organization system. It includes spaces to organize and store desktop clutter, management of cables, among other ways to keep the desk area efficient and free from clutter.

Now that my team had the assignment tactics approved, and secured the office space, we contacted a few talent agencies for the casting of our three actors.

The client wanted people that would be comfortable in front of the camera, but we also included an employee who knew the product well and could easily set it up for the instructional video.

Moreover, before we began the assignment, the entire office needed to be propped with office supplies and accessories that made the office look as active and productive as a typical busy office. We wanted to be sure to use as many as the client’s office products as possible. A product manager focused explicitly on the setup on their new workspace system, which was still a prototype at the time.

Our Multimedia Production Crew
The Indermaur Media Boston multimedia production crew consisted of myself, as production director and photographer; a New England videographer, two multimedia assistants to set up and attend to anything that keeps the set running smoothly, a wardrobe stylist, a makeup artist, and a producer/prop stylist.

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Day one, of production, was primarily focused on product setup and photography. No models were needed. It also gave us the opportunity to watch the limited daylight time and adjust our video schedule for this winter assignment.

The remaining days were a mix of environmental photography and video. We’d set up a scene and video record it, then photograph product close-ups and office overviews for web, packaging and other print use. Then we’d setup and move on to the next scene.

Also on set were four people from the client’s marketing and product development team to manage art direction and set up of the product. They also acted as extras during the video scenes. We typically had 2-3 setups at any given time in different stages of setup to keep the photography and video production flowing.

As always, I want to create a fun, high energy environment as the team comes together for a multi-day assignment. We focus on what’s needed and get straight to work. On video recording days we work non-stop to meet the client’s vision, and having a fully engaged, professional team is the key to our success.

Please take a look at the video and photography outcomes from this exciting assignment, and let me know what you think!

Also, visit our new venture for your company’s social media marketing - Visual Thrive.

Introducing Visual Thrive!
 
iPhone photography
 

Some of the best ideas come to us when we aren’t focused on anything particular – like when we’re in the shower or running…

Indermaur Media is fortunate to be able to work with lots of businesses on their professional photography needs and video introductions. I watch many of them struggle to keep up with the fast-paced demands of maintaining a strong social media presence, often posting unplanned photos and quick captions just to stay top of mind with their customers.

Companies have also shared how employees can be distracted from their job responsibilities when they participate in the company’s social media posting. The lack of consistency in the style of each post lends itself to diminishing the company’s brand with no oversight. Companies also spend hundreds of dollars on social media advertising without a focused goal, and without much insight on their return on investment.

I’ve always been passionate about telling the stories of a business, and I’ve had great experiences producing a wide range of corporate media campaigns. How could I take that knowledge and translate it into a workable formula that would serve the smaller companies?

So one day, I was running in preparation of an upcoming 10K race and thinking about my business – as one does…

How could Indermaur Media provide a visual solution to a business’ social media dilemma at a reasonable price point?

If Indermaur Media could extend its production capabilities and expertise while capturing a visual narrative using the world’s most popular camera, an iPhone, we could maintain a simple and streamlined process aligned with what people are used to seeing on social media. The difference would be, using a professional photographer’s eye and editing experience will develop a strong narrative and deepen the customer’s brand.

Adding strategic research and writing to optimize the posts; and providing analytics each month would show the customer their return on the investment.

And then I came up with the name Visual Thrive.

Visual Thrive combines decades of professional experience to deliver a powerful narrative for your business’ social media presence in a simple format. Visual Thrive takes photographs with professional photographers, writes engaging captions, and schedules content to optimize social media engagement.

While attending a three-month business development class, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, my main objective was to work ON my business and not work IN my business – taking time out to plan for growth, and not spending 24/7 in the daily grind. As part of this objective we needed to create and present a Growth Plan. This was perfect because for over a year I held on to the Visual Thrive idea.

I was able to develop and refine this idea; and introduce Visual Thrive publicly. With a national network of photographers, Visual Thrive is available throughout the United States.

The exceptional combination of high-quality visuals, strategic consistent content, and sound analytics will allow you to focus on what your business needs, while it THRIVES!

 
 
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses
10K small business ALUMNI - goldman sacs

Owning a multi-media production company isn’t all about taking excellent photos and video, and working with great collaborative teams. There’s always something new to learn.

I recently graduated from the 6th cohort of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at CCRI. It’s a no-cost 12-week program that helps small businesses grow through practical business education, increased access to capital, and a support network of advisers and peers.

Initially, I felt both excited and apprehensive about exposing my life’s work and business to other businesses. This cohort consisted of 24 business owners throughout Rhode Island. The curriculum, designed by Babson College (the nation’s top-ranked entrepreneurship school), focuses on practical skills that can immediately be applied by business owners. Business owners also receive one-on-one mentoring from a dedicated business advisor and develop a growth plan specific to their business.

My challenge after acceptance into this program was to commit to carving time out of my weekly schedule. Most weeks, we met for a full day and often had shorter clinics. Class topics included: Action for Growth, Money and Metrics, Operations and Processes, and Marketing and Selling. In every class, I learned something new.

Photography For Social Media Marketing

The primary objective of the program was to work ON my business and not work IN my business – taking time out to plan for growth, and not spending 24/7 in the daily grind. As part of this objective, we needed to create and present a Growth Plan. This plan was perfect because for over a year I had an idea to expand my company by creating photography for small businesses for their social media use.

I was able to develop and refine this idea; introduce Visual Thrive publicly. Visual Thrive combines the power of photography & communication to drive a company’s social media marketing presence.

I met a wide range of business owners outside of the media industry, as we worked together to support each others’ growth plans. Having expanded my network and my breadth of business knowledge, I now have a great group of peers with which to bounce ideas off. The value of this group, combined with an educational refresher all focused on my business was well worth my time and attention.

If you are a Rhode Island (this is also offered in other states) small business owner with at least two employees (can include owner), have been in operation at least two years, and made at least $100,000 in gross revenue in 2017, you are eligible to apply. See full details and their online application here.

Photographic Portraits Showing Personality

Environmental Portraits Portfolio 

I recently updated my Environmental Portraits Portfolio, and it was a great reminder of the diversity of people I have photographed within their personal and work environments. This form of photography truly captures their personalities. I hope you enjoy the range of characters, professions, locations and art director expectations.

People always ask me what my favorite assignments are and I am still at a loss for words because there are so many that have touched me. Each assignment begins with a blank slate and is created differently.

In this new Environmental Portrait portfolio, I am sharing the projects that captured people in their environments all over Rhode Island, Greater Boston, Massachusetts, Connecticut and beyond.

The portrait of a beekeeper with her hives behind her. My assistant and I wore a beekeeper outfit during the portrait session, and the remaining crew stepped away. Unfortunately, one person did get stung.

I love the photo of a small business owner, casually sitting in front of his Providence Record store. It is an enjoyable moment in time.

Or the Hispanic couple with so much vibrancy that we decided to ask them to dance! It turned into a magical photographic moment. 

Corporate Photography Portraits In Boston MA

Then there are the Boston corporate photography portraits including executives in front of a well known Boston landmark, the Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge. This corporate portrait focuses on their personalities and their deep connection in the Boston area. 

Check out the candid portrait of the couple working on an iPad in the Boston's Rose Kennedy Greenwich. The concept of having a bridge and an arch was essential to the vision of the marketing materials. This photographic advertising project included many different scenes.

The picture of a man with his dog, playing frisbee in a Boston park for an advertising campaign. A company in the finance industry wanted to portray a fun and enjoyable connection of living life fully for their new financial product. 

Much of my photography work today expands throughout the United States as well. I embrace the diversity of so many portraits and personalities that I encounter through my photography assignments.

Like the couple who owns an animal hospital in Nebraska and were very open hearted people and gave us a wonderful tour of their facility. 

And look for the couple enjoying a round of croquet in Georgia for a lifestyle marketing piece.

Or the husband and wife dairy farmers hugging each other at their farm in Northern Colorado. These quick unguarded photojournalistic portraits captures the spirit of individuals and their community.

Photographic Visuals That Convey Feeling

I especially love the challenge of creating photographic visuals when a company calls on me to demonstrate their goods and services, and portay (and convey) a particular feeling. The portraits show the personality of the subjects and tell a story about their self and their community.

The Day I Realized I Was a Multi-Media Producer

Creating stories with vision….

Multimedia Producer.jpg

It finally hit me. 

About three years ago, I changed the name of my company to Indermaur Media. I had a thriving corporate photography business based in RI (with clients nationwide), that included commercial and editorial photography, but began branching out into other forms of media. By changing the name I wanted to set the course, and the intention, to operate in the fields of photography, video and full production to create even stronger visual narratives for my clients.

Recently, I sat back to take stock. I had created video productions for new clients, my photography work continued, and I had maintained my corporate work; but something was different. I was trying to find the best description of what I do now. New projects were incorporating photos and video, social media projects, and creating original content to deliver the best story possible. I found myself in a position of Directing and Producing more than before, and not even operating a camera.

Indermaur Media is now a Multimedia Production Company

So, I reached out to my daughter, Caitlin Indermaur, who is a Video Producer on the west coast. She has been a muse of mine, and in addition, my assistant before she even graduated from high school. We've collaborated on many projects through her college years and before she moved out west. For all those years, she always has excellent feedback and thoughtful insight. She immediately said, "Dad, You're a Multimedia Producer." 

For me, a Multimedia Producer is responsible for telling stories using video and still photography. I often manage the entire production process: generating and executing ideas, meeting budgets and deadlines, and expanding the team when necessary to accommodate a client's vision. On some projects, I am primarily a still photographer, on others a video camera operator. Then there are times I am simply the lead Producer, managing and directing the team to create a story. So, I had to agree - I am now a Multimedia Producer. 

For myself, and Indermaur Media, new modern "photography" delivers a much richer story when a tool box of skills and an excellent team can come together to execute and deliver the finest visual project possible. I continue to share the nuts and bolts of this transitional process in my Visual Creative Coach business. 

Creating a Foundation's Fund Drive Video

Multimedia assignments include capturing both video and photography in an effort to expose a customer’s story. I truly enjoy these projects because they are deeper versions of my roots in photojournalism. As a photojournalist, I learned to move quickly on my feet. Today my team continues to have that creative photojournalism spirit, capturing the client’s visual needs with photography and video to expose their vision for a multitude of uses.

Non- Profit Video Production
Recently, we had a 2-day video and photography assignment in Connecticut to create videos that tell the story of Actuarial Foundation’s Math Motivators program and drive their 2018 capital campaign. Working with a Chicago ad agency, our team of five included an Art Director, our client, Assistant, Makeup Artist, me as the Multimedia Producer.

The mission of the Math Motivators program is to help close the achievement gap by establishing a volunteer-driven math tutoring program that pairs low-income high school students with professional actuaries and college students majoring in actuarial science, mathematics, or math education.

We arrived at University of Connecticut and setup our video studio in a classroom. We prepared to interview program directors, students, volunteer tutors and the Founder of Math Motivators as they expressed their passion for this program. Each person began their interview with the same questions and it expanded based upon their responses. Those interactions allowed us to create an in-depth video that explains the impact that Math Motivators and Actuaries have on the students.

On the second day we setup our make-shift video production studio in a high school teacher’s lounge. We were able to video and take photographs of students in a Math Motivators tutoring class. I wanted to capture students being tutored and also the concentration and learning they experienced. These photographs and video will be used on their website, in brochures, and as part of their capital campaign.

non-profit video production

In post production, each individual interview was compiled into a video rough cut. The Art Director then selected what clips to use in the final video. The interviews were intertwined to create videos on specific subjects. We added b-roll video of the tutoring sessions to create action in the video and allow us to cut out the "ahs“ and "ums."

We then created the final 8 videos and delivered them.

A few things we learned, and will consider next time: 

1) One unexpected surprise was the our teacher lounge “studio” had a basketball court directly above. There were short periods of time when students were running and doing drills right above us. We did find enough periods of silence to record the interviews, but this was a reminder of the surprises that can come up when creating video on location.  - - There is always some unavoidable and unexpected twist in the road, that will challenge an onsite live production, but it’s one of the reasons why I have always loved on-location video and photography.

2) You may not always have enough b-roll. While we set time aside for photography and b-roll during the tutoring sessions, an additional 30+ minutes would have helped a lot! 

3) By having the Art Director ask the interview questions while my assistant and I handled the cameras and sound, it allowed him to remain focused on the answer, creating a more in-depth discussion, while the crew remained focused on the technical side.

4) A Makeup Artist will always help the subjects relax before being interviewed. They focus on make-up and hair so that the subject looks and feels special - prepared to shine for a great video presentation.

Making Compelling Visuals for Social Media Optimization

I had the pleasure of giving a talk recently as a guest for Newport Interactive Marketers. NIM collaborates to provide their clientele with helpful advice and useful tools to keep their businesses in top shape. The subject of my talk involved making compelling visuals and improving photos and video using social media sites like Instagram or Snapchat. Social media is the perfect bridge between your business and public identities, showing your potential clients recent developments as well as photos that are important to you or your company. Here are a few basic tips I discussed to get the most out of each post:

  • Use the Camera App on your phone rather than Instagram’s camera feature. The amount of data that’s kept by a photograph upload brings much more detail and fidelity to your photos, making them much more impressive than the direct upload from the Instagram app.
  • Take a few pictures per session, especially for group photos. Having a selection give you better odds of shooting a photo or video clip that everyone likes.
  • Have fun with the filters! Some can add a sense of light or can make the shadows deeper, enhancing your original photo exponentially.
  • Make good use of the framing options for photos that won’t normally fit into the square shape of Instagram.
  • Use the power of the timeline to your advantage. Tell an engaging narrative story through your arrangement of pictures through social media.

Telling your brand's narrative story should be simple and fun. Keep taking those photographs and videos and connect with your customers, while making sure you optimize your visuals for social media.

 

How A Producer Can Better Organize Your Shoot
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With all the aspects of a photography session in play, it may seem like the greater task at hand is hard to manage. My blog has represented various ways of improving the quality of a shoot, such as hiring a makeup artist or having a solid understanding of visual narrative, and increasing the likelihood of a satisfied client, like my helpful advice for a successful headshot.

When it comes down to it, a photographer and their client may find themselves with totally clear senses of their roles in the shoot, but outside forces conspire against the shoot itself. Changing weather, a multitude of crew members, and accounting for on-site necessities have an effect on everyone involved, and may introduce pressure into the situation. In conditions like these, we need all the help we can get.

I find a producer is critical in many photography and video projects; while some assignments may be as easy as scheduling a subject for the photography session, others are more in-depth and necessitate an experienced producer that allows the assignment to go very smoothly and blossom into a stronger finished product.

I have often collaborated with Stacey Koch in both small and large projects, and I have worked with her for many years. She knows how and when to get permits, negotiate fees, find the best talent, help the crew find parking, make sure we all have food on set to keep everyone from becoming “hangry,” and many other small yet critical tasks. Working on larger projects with Stacey has taught me the importance of a detail-oriented producer and what they offer to our team.

The aspects to a shoot’s success for myself as a photographer, are very much in-line with a producer’s idea of success. Here are some elements of an effective session that are improved with the presence of a photography - videography producer like Stacey:

  • Timeliness: Having a producer on-site to handle the small and big issues, as stated above, allows the photographer to remain focused on what their final product may look like.
  • Shared Vision: As someone who understands what must be done to ensure a good shoot, a producer also has a vision of how the shoot can be optimized, allowing for a photographer to do less guesswork and, by extension, do less unnecessary work.
  • Collaborative Strength: A producer and photographer that work together over several projects can often pinpoint what must be done, what angles work best and how to achieve them, how much equipment and supplies to bring, and what sort of timeframe a specific shoot may occupy. Most importantly, the learning experience is shared, so each shoot makes a photographer and the producer more knowledgeable and more aware of what to expect for their next potential video or photography production collaboration.

You can visit Stacey’s website. She has been a phenomenal help in all my Boston-based projects, and her presence can inspire a better, more efficient, more successful session.

Mobile Phone Photography & Its impact on brands
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I was a guest on 1540 AM WADK's Interactive Marketing Insights hosted by Suzanne McDonald. We spoke about mobile phone photography and how it impacts businesses and brands large and small in today's world. Here are a few highlights from the show

I find the biggest challenge of social media today is time, commitment and creativity. With the phone, it can be effortlessly, making an average photo excellent.

I am a big fan of the square image because on Instagram it feeds so nicely through the phone. I find the horizontal and vertical photographs a bit jarring when displayed on a format designed for square images.

Tighter shots are always better for viewing on the phone. For example, when a company promotes a fair booth with a large group of people that are taken head to toe, the image is not very dynamic. Instead, shoot a tighter photograph, possibly at a different angle instead of straight on. Experimenting with angles and getting in tighter may simplify the image, making it more exciting and creative to catch a viewer's eyes.

Consistency is necessary with the same type of filter and color pallet. There are 3-4 filters I prefer because the style ties closely to my brand and allow my photographs to be more aligned with my vision.

Keep your phone photography simple and focused on humanizing your brand. For example, a restaurant should take more than photographs of the food. Take pictures of your staff, or a chef cooking is a beautiful photograph that humanizes your restaurant and allows your customers to connect with the "behind the scenes" activities.

Anticipate taking lots of pictures, and you will still only use less than 10%. Don't hold yourself back. Shoot more than you need. Having an inventory of photographs and then choose the best images that allow you to be more creative and have fun with experimenting with your brand.

The Interactive Marketing Insights radio show includes several other tips from myself and Suzanne McDonald from Angles and Insights. A few days later I was a speaker at NIM (Newport Interactive Marketers) - Get Seen! Video and Visuals: Pro's tips at your fingertips.

I also want to mention this fantastic article, “Finding Your Inner Photographer: Making the Most of Your Camera.” The website, Groom + Style, created a fun and simple piece that is full of excellent tips to become a better photographer with your camera and your smartphone (iPhone or Android).

Using a Video Teleprompter to Deliver Your Message

Coming from a photojournalistic background I always enjoy creating heartfelt videos and photography with people speaking from the heart to develop humanistic stories.

I enjoy the approach of having a “conversation” with the subject vs. a formal “interview”. While the subject and I may share questions beforehand, we keep the questions and answers short and spoken in the moment. Typically the individual does not respond looking directly into the camera. I prefer this technique as speaking from the heart humanizes the subject vs written message they are reading. 

Recently I began working with the Executive Career Coach Lori Giuttari, to produce a video course for her clients. She needs to speak directly to her clients and be on topic for videos that last about 5-15 minutes. 

This is when a teleprompter comes in very handy. The teleprompter I use displays the written script from an iPad and reflects it onto a piece of glass. The camera is directly behind the glass. Therefore she is reading the text while looking into the camera in order to be connected with the viewer.

She was able to write out her lesson beforehand, and practice while recording herself with a voice recorder, in order to evaluate her messaging and timing. This allowed her to fine-tune her modules for the video course. 

Being able to use a teleprompter, speaking directly to clients, allowed me to focus on connecting with them, as opposed to worrying about every single point I touched upon.
— Lori Giuttari
Life Coach-Teleprompter

When we created the video she felt comfortable with her tightly prepared message and by seeing her text through the teleprompter, it allowed her to be sure she covered all essential parts or her lesson.

Both techniques of using or not using a teleprompter have their purpose in delivering your message and story. It’s important to decide what type of message you want to provide and who your audience will be. 

Expanding Your In-house Photography and Video Skillset
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Creatives in marketing departments wear many hats from being a designer, writer, to a social media asset creator with photography and video. With busy schedules, one may not always have time to grow their photography and video skills or learn about the latest technology in digital asset management. Many have visual projects that do not have the budgets for a professional photographer or videographer and need to create these visual assets in-house.

OUTSOURCED OR IN HOUSE?
For years I have trained corporations and organizations with creating better photography, video and managing their visual assets. I offer this training through my Visual Creative Coaching services for businesses, photographers, and videographers. This avoids the greater cost of outsourcing photography and marketing services, as it is much more affordable to have me train their internal staff. 

Recently I worked with a client that creates lovely social media imagery for their brand to promote their consumer products. They approached me because they needed improvements in lighting and photography techniques and wanted to make their small studio more efficient.

We began with a quick review of the equipment they used and the workflow they established around how they created their images.  I then created a list of new equipment that would work within their budget and needs in order to build the imagery they desired for Instagram and other social media outlets.

I visited their offices to redesign their studio space to be more efficient for the team to work in. We then discussed their photography and video challenges with lighting and other skills that needed improving. I suggested we focus on actual examples and asked them to create the next few projects they were planning so we could approach solutions within a real assignment. As they built their Instagram and social media visual setups, we played with different techniques and practices that allowed them to expand their photography and video studio skills.

Teaching them within actual projects allowed me to observe how they approach their visual setups and I could offer suggestions based on their style. These techniques included simple positioning of the camera, how many lights to use and their position, in addition to using tools like bounce cards.

SOCIAL MEDIA ASSET CREATION TRAINING
Another technique we discussed was creating multiple social media images from one setup by simply changing the camera angle and the lights. This way they are more efficient with creating more photography and video to be shared on social media outlets like Instagram.

It was a fun and an information-packed day for the marketing department. The in-house marketing designers are now creating professional level social media photography and video clips.

 

Why I Create Personal Photography Projects

When I was in college I listened to a professional photographer speak to our class and he mentioned how important it is to work on personal projects. At the time I didn’t understand that comment because everything I photographed felt like a personal project. It was all new to me.

As my career blossomed I deeply experienced a feeling that I needed to create a meaningful personal project. I came up with the project REVEALED. From there I realized how much growth, joy, and accomplishment I get from personal projects. It fires up my passion for photography.

Recently a friend asked me what my next personal project will be about and when I will be working on it. I responded that I had nothing in the works. She then proceeds to tell me she looks forward to my next project because when I dive into one I talk about it with such passion and share that. This was a wonderful reminder that I’m due for another personal project.

PERSONAL PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECTS HELP YOU DISCOVER THE REAL YOU
I typically create personal photography projects to learn more about myself. While it is a creative exercise it also allows me to grow my photography skills, and I learn more about myself within these projects. With REVEALED I was exploring my own spirituality and as my subjects explored their expression of spirituality, their process deepened my own work.

SELF LOVE was another personal photography project where I had the same experience. It became an opportunity to not only explore Self Love personally but to gain a deeper understanding of my subjects.

I feel video and photography Personal Projects are necessary for creatives in this field. And I have already dove into my first 2018 photography personal project. I can’t wait to see what I learn from it creatively and personally.

 

6 Essential Things for a Strong Photography and Video Project
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Back in the "day" photographers were hired for photography and videographers for videos. Today you can find photographers that also create video and videographers that take photographs. The range of experience, style, and abilities are diverse.

Hiring an individual that has the experience as both a photographer and videographer is one way to create heartfelt and connected real life stories with video and photography. They can be used for a company's advertising campaign, in-house corporate uses, social media and online content.

In recent years I have enjoyed commercial multimedia assignments in Boston, RI and New England like this because they include "from the hip" style photography, and storytelling through video; while others are more sophisticated in creation. For example, I may take the portraits of an executive team and then engaged them in a conversation/interview on video for a simple, but more in-depth assignment.

Here are a few tips on what to look for when choosing your multimedia partner.

1. Find a photographer or videographer experienced with both photography and video. Shooting still photography and video are two different mind and skill sets. Approaching a subject for photography is different than with a video interview.

2. Find a multimedia (photographer-videographer) crew who can work quick on their feet and are creative in their approach to a setup.

3. A producer is an excellent asset for successful multimedia project management. They help with permits, finding professional actors or "real" people, scheduling, putting together a crew, making last minute requests happen, among other things. An individual within your company or the photographer-videographer may be able to produce as well.

4. Allow simple setups so photography and video can easily be captured. This keeps the team moving to get lots of good visuals in a day's work, and can be used for the long-term.

5. Have the day planned out - This sounds like a no-brainer, though it is critical and is sometimes overlooked. Keep the schedule tight, organized and if the crew is running ahead or behind schedule, let them know. I always like to pad some extra time for those setups that have unexpected delays. Remember to allow enough time for video and photography to be created.

6. Have a vision - you may only need one setup. Focus on making an excellent portrait and interview instead of creating multiple setups. This significantly streamlines the editing process. Keep it simple and narrow down your wants and needs before the shoot.

Save Money by Combining Multiple Projects
 
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I often get awarded corporate photography projects that are smaller productions. Then I discover the client has many other corporate video and photography needs that are not being addressed. For example, they may initially call me for a portrait of their CEO, then with some discussion find out they need headshots of executives, a video about one of their associates for their Youtube channel, and a group photograph of the Sales Team.

If you have lots of little visual needs and don't have a large budget, or the time, then combining the projects into one sizable project will allow you to get more photography and video projects completed and save you thousands. I created a quick estimate to illustrate the savings for a corporate photography in Boston project and figured it will save about $5,000 if we combined four half-day assignments into a 1-day project.

Create a full day (or more) jam-packed with 3-4 assignments you may typically complete on different days.

A few tips on combining corporate photography and video projects to save money on your yearly budget:

  1. Keep a project calendar
    1. This is very helpful with planning your current and future visual needs.
    2. When you have a visual need and a tight deadline, look at this project calendar and see what you can also get completed with your current assignment.
  2. Work a few months ahead to allow yourself enough time to combine projects into one more extensive project, find the appropriate photographer/videographer and schedule the projects.
  3. One crucial factor is to work with a multimedia vendor that creates excellent photography and video and most importantly enjoys this type of assignments.
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Multimedia Video for A Small Business in Rhode Island
Commercial multimedia videographer for small business in RI

I thoroughly enjoy projects where we mix still photography and video to create a multimedia video and imagery for a multitude of marketing pieces.  This approach allows us to fulfill the client's video and still photography needs for their website, social media and printed marketing pieces during one assignment. Depending on the vision and budget, I approach these projects with a single crew of 2 up to a team with dozens of people.
 
The Savory Grape is located in East Greenwich, Rhode Island where they have carved out a very successful local business based on their friendliness, knowledge and customer service. Most importantly, by creating a pleasurable shopping experience for their customers in their store, that also supports other local businesses.
 
I am a big fan of small businesses, and I was super excited when The Savory Grape approached me to create a video to showcase their local RI business. During the creative processes, we decided to create a video as a narrative story told by their customers, employees, another business owner, and The Savory Grape's Founder on why it is an experience and not just a store.
 
This multimedia approach project worked best with a crew of 2 to keep costs down and a “from the hip” type of approach to matching a more "real life" and “heartfelt” style of storytelling. We completed the shooting in one day with a mix of conversations from customers and employees at the store, another business, and in a home wine cellar.
 
I chose not to use scripts because I wanted all the people featured in this video to speak from the heart. We had a theme and questions to ask, and I approached it with me having a conversation with the subjects. As a commercial videographer, I find this approach makes it more natural and human to speak from the heart versus a formal interview.
 
The still images are in the video, published on their website and printed in their marketing materials. We used some photographs from their past winery travels to help tell the video story. Also, we created three shorter video stories for Instagram, Facebook, and other social media outlets.
 
This video project was a fantastic way to celebrate The Savory Grape's 10-year anniversary. This project is also an example of how Indermaur Media focuses on creating a team to work with budgets and visions to create a product to be used in a multitude of different marketing outlets.

Shorter Videos created for Social Media outlets