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.

Introducing Visual Thrive!
 
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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….

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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
photographer-videographer for commercial multimedia projects in Boston MA

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.
Timelapse of a painter in an industrial painting booth painting the finishing touches on a piece of machinery.
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

What Makes a Great Assistant for Your Photo or Video Production Assignment
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I am a firm believer in creating a crew that you work with often and are able to build a trusting business relationship. An assistant is a significant asset to any photography or video media production assignment. A team that works together often allows for smoother productivity, creates a great synergy on set for everyone else to follow and if the "shit" hits the fan, it is the assistant and myself that works right through it without any moments of panic.

Assistant Nonni Muller is invaluable on many levels. Together we created a list of what a good assistant brings to an assignment:

  • Provides relief by being the second pair of hands onset.
  • Allows the photographer or videographer to be free of the smaller details so they can focus on the creativity, subject, and client.
  • Anticipates the photographer's actions and is ready to spring into action when needed.
  • Listens and is mindful of the project’s objectives.
  • Provides insight with constructive feedback regarding creativity or logistics.
  • Works as an extra set of eyes to make sure the set and subjects look great.
  • Makes the day more comfortable for everyone on set.
  • Helps with moving quicker when needed.
  • Helps with smoothing out unexpected bumps in the road.
  • Keeps track of the gear and keep it organized.
  • Helps connect with the subject(s) when needed.

Nonni has been both assisting and shooting photo or video herself for eight years in the media industry and has worked with both keen and unappreciative lead photographers alike. The dynamic between the assistant and myself is essential for a smooth and successful project.

Assistants may take a back seat, but they are proud of the work that we do as a team. They are an essential part of the process regarding image making and vital to the success of the whole media production.

What is Visual Narrative?
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In recent years, many people express what they do as if they’re telling a story and one way to do it is through visual media or “visual narrative”. Visual narrative is a way to tell a story using visual media such as photos, videos, and even graphics. Wikipedia also defines it as "visual storytelling."

I started my career as a photojournalist for newspapers, wire services and magazines. Back then, I did not use the term “visual narrative” for my work though it is what I have been doing for my entire career. What I learned as a storytelling photojournalist has been of great significance and help to me on corporate and commercial photography, as well as video assignments. 

What is a suggested visual narrative for a corporate mission, you ask? As with any story, there are multiple ways on how to tell it. 

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I have one client in the banking industry. They help other financial institutions by providing a broad range of financial products. These products boost community banks to be more efficient and competitive, contributing to great changes in their respective communities. They give impact by helping those that are in need of their services, allowing communities to practice proactivity

The stories of the residents are important because they actually showcase how the local banks have been a part of their success. This adds up to the contributions of our client who helped make it all happen. We partner their financial product with a multimedia visual narrative of heartfelt stories from residents of the community. 

Some feature the lives of their employees. It can be either in the office or their work area. With video and photography, we can tell the company’s story through the eyes of its employees evoking a sense of belongingness and realness to the audience. 

Fort Morgan, Colorado community has a love of family and pride in the work they do every day. They share stories of how their local community bank, Morgan Federal Bank, stepped in and made things happen and what they mean to their families. Fort Morgan is located in Northern Colorado.
 
Why Having a Makeup Artist is Helpful
 New England Makeup Artist Maryelle O'Rourke applies makeup on an actor before a Boston video assignment.

New England Makeup Artist Maryelle O'Rourke applies makeup on an actor before a Boston video assignment.

I get often asked if we should hire a Makeup Artist (Makeup Stylist) for their corporate and commercial photography or video assignments.
Does it make a difference? 
I have worked with Maryelle Makeup & Hair Artistry for many years on Boston Photography assignments as well as video assignments and New Rhode Island projects. We recently discussed how it makes a difference and these are her insights.

  • An artist will create the right amount of color on the subject's face to allow the photo/natural lights to work with you rather than against you.

  • Save on retouching time and expenses as a result of a makeup artist. Retouching is always more natural and less has to be done when a makeup artist has evened out the skin tone, created a smooth, consistent, nonshiny skin texture.

  • Style, soften and eliminate frizzy and flyaway hair.

  • Makeup appears very different in photographs and on video, having an artist will ensure that you are “camera ready.” It is quite different from everyday makeup and having an artist to apply the makeup for this makes all the difference.

  • Having a makeup artist prep your subject will help them feel more confident and more at ease in front of the camera which creates a more comfortable environment and as a result helps you with natural/healthy body language and facial expressions in front of the camera.

  • Eliminate the bald head shine that is so distracting in images.

  • Wardrobe check: an artist will help with small adjustments to wardrobe (wrinkles in a shirt, adjust ties and gathered material) that make a significant difference in overall appearance and prevent retouching after.

  • Makeup artists have the experience needed to help you look your very best and add to your confidence level during a photo shoot or video production. They will choose and apply makeup for you that works in harmony with the lighting and as a result will create your best look for the photos. Your photo is the first impression people have of you, make it count!

I recommend we use a Makeup Artist because there is much more going on than just applying eye-liner. It starts with creating a relaxing environment for our subject and then applying the appropriate makeup and offering an extra pair of eyes to make sure their wardrobe is in check. Of course, we can also bring in a wardrobe stylist for an additional level of perfection. This extra team player allows us to create a more profession and better quality end portrait or video.

How to Look Great in a Portrait
 Portrait of Kate Jackson in her home

Most people (including myself and Personal Stylist, Jill) have some anxiety about getting their picture taken. What to wear, how to pose, among many other thoughts.

It can be tough to relax enough to capture a photo that looks like the real you. And yet most of us need a headshot for one reason or another, be it work, social media, public relations, creative projects, online dating, you name it.

So, how can we get that perfect portrait shot?  I sat down with my friend and Personal Stylists, Jill Marinelli to ask for some advice.

I feel the best way to cope with anxiety about being in front of the camera is to follow the photographer’s lead. A good photographer will help you feel strong, empowered and comfortable. These feelings may occur through conversation, humor, and guidance through different poses. Sometimes it is not the perfect pose that I am looking for, but the unguarded moment that happens afterward. These moments often result in images that look authentically YOU.

It is important to remember that a good portrait photographer will probably take 100 pictures of you. There will be bad ones! Just like taking a selfie, it takes few (or 10!) tries to capture a look you love. Try not to worry about the shots where you have closed eyes, or you have a weird facial expression. It is ok to be unguarded, silly, or laughing because even though those shots may not result in “the one,” the photo was taken moments after might just be your favorite.

What should you wear?

I recommend staying away from solid black or white, and Jill agrees.  Jill says that white can make you look washed out and black doesn’t “pop” against a neutral background. Jewel tones like emerald and sapphire are almost universally flattering.

Portrait photographer in RI

A simple, well-fitting top or dress with a bit of texture and a piece of jewelry is a great option.  Place color and pattern where you want to draw attention and try to incorporate pieces that make you feel powerful and confident. You will be far more relaxed in something you love.

Generally speaking, avoid wearing many patterns with a cluttered background. However, as you can see in the image below, rules are meant to be broken!

Environmental portrait example

Always bring an extra outfit to your shoot and men, a couple of extra ties.

Ladies, apply a little more makeup than usual, and if you are not skilled at this, I recommend using a professional makeup artist like MaryElle O'Rouke.  As well, if you need help with your hair, get it. A professional blowout may just rock your world 😉

Overall, keep it simple, wear a bright color, make sure your clothes fit perfectly and are wrinkle-free. Then, do your best to relax and trust the photographer to help you shine!

Personalized Portraits by RI photographer
A Diverse Onsite Video Production Crew
Video production project manager Boston

The crews I create for business photography, and video assignments are always cross trained in more than one specialty. The projects I manage are typically more fluid in nature, and I need a crew that is willing to take on unexpected tasks. For example, if an extra person is required to hold a reflector, my makeup artist may take up that task. If the crew needs help setting up some lights, I will jump in and assist. Moreover, when it is time to strike our set, we all jump in to pack it up with a smile.

Recently we had a Boston video assignment with the following production team:

On site video production crew Boston MA
  • Director of Photography - Scott
  • Camera Operator - Mike
  • Sound Engineer - Nonni
  • Grip - Isaac
  • Makeup Artist - MaryElle
  • One client and 8 actors

 

That is the traditional lineup. With a flexible crew our Camera Operator Mike was a big part of the creative discussions with myself and our client. Also, our Sound Engineer Nonni and Grip Isaac switch roles at times since they are both experienced with sound and being a grip.

During our second scene, we decided to add a 3rd camera, and Grip Isaac became the 3rd Camera Operator. Setting up a 3rd camera was a decision made at that time and gave us more diversity with what we wanted to accomplish. Having a crew that is flexible allowed us to shift his focus to being a camera operator.

This flexibility makes it possible to shift gears within an assignment if needed and to make it happen rather quickly. When you are creating your next business video project, keep in mind that a larger team may not always be necessary to create your corporate video. A smaller crew that is diverse in their experience and enjoys working as a team can create a successful video assignment.

210 Headshots in 30 Seconds

Photography assignments are a full gamut of what some will consider glamorous jobs. Moreover, other times routine, but still fun.

As a business portrait photographer in Rhode Island, I was awarded an assignment to photograph over 200 participant's headshots at an event located in Providence. The client liked the idea of setting up outside, only spending a few minutes on each subject and keeping it simple. We setup under a building overhang to protect ourselves from the rain that occurred throughout the day. Blurred out the background and created professional business portraits to be used for the associate's website and the individual's LinkedIn page.

As a corporate location photographer in New England, I have learned to deal with unpredictable weather, while using all the available tools. Including situations like using the building overhang, taking advantage of window light for inside portraits, given very short time span to work with a subject and creating an entire studio at someone's office.