Is it the camera or the operator?

Great shots take great gear…and a lot more. 3-27-2017

More often than not, while on assignment, someone will comment on my cameras and lenses. It typically sounds like this. Wow!… look at that shot… I need to get a camera like that….what is it?

So what is the thought process behind the question? Usually, the person making the comment only sees the hardware. Specialized lenses, carbon fiber tripods, several pro camera bodies, etc. Their assumption is that if they had that gear they could capture creative, magazine quality professional images.

This is hard to admit but when I started out, long before the internet and cell phones arrived, I had great gear. The problem was, looking back, that I couldn’t take a great marketing / advertising photo to save my life. I could take a good picture but not a great one. As you grow older the bar gets higher along with the expectations you have for yourself. The little voice inside your head grows over time that asks, how does this stand up against the top-notch photographers coming out of Chicago or New York?

Professional industrial and advertising photographers are so much more than gear. They’ve done their research and generally understand your industry and target audience. If they don’t, you’ve chosen the wrong photographer. They bring more to the table than a $3,000 lens. They bring experience in creating an image that catches attention and builds your brand. They bring experience in lighting, depth-of-field, angle of view, image processing and the use of color and texture that create a composition that makes your product and services look good.

Every year NASCAR runs the Daytona 500. Do you really think that if you had one of those multi-million dollar cars you’d have a chance to win? Absolutely not. Wouldn’t think of it. So what’s the difference here? Absolutely none. It’s not the gear, it’s the photographer….guaranteed.

True Story: With a BA in studio Art, I jumped on Photoshop shortly after its birth. One day I completed a graphic for a client when another client saw the work at which point she asked “how did you do that”, I said, “with Photoshop”, then she questioned how much Photoshop costs. After giving her the answer she said “if I get Photoshop, I’ll be able to do that” to which I immediately replied, “if I buy surgeons scalpels will you allow me to open your head?”. Not sure she understood what I was getting at but needless to say that after attempting to work in PS for months she gave up.

Hire the right professional photographer. One who brings more to the shoot than gear.

©2017 Wayne Dion / Dion & Company

Want Your Trade Publication Cover?

You’ve got a great story now you need a great image to make the cover.

Getting the cover of a trade magazine is never a guarantee but without a great image to provide to the publisher, you’ll never even get close.
So how do you increase your chances of getting the cover? Hire a pro. A pro with the vision to see what you do, how you do it and what the magazine editors are looking for on the cover of their next publication.
A seasoned professional industrial / commercial photographer will have done their due diligence before designing the image. Yes, images need to be designed. Some of us will actually sketch up a drawing but others will write up a detailed description. Either way, this ensures everyone is on the same page.

The photographer will have researched your industry and the specific targeted magazine prior to submitting their concept. They will have looked back over the past year or so of magazine covers so they have a complete understanding of what appeals to the magazine editors. Although you’re marketing your company, this one needs to target the editor first. If they don’t like it, it will never be on their cover.

Besides the image, there is usually a story inside. Make this as good as you can. The combination of the two will either put you on the cover or be one of the top contenders. There may be a point in time when the magazine will actually solicit your company for the cover story and you’d better be ready. Know who needs to be called and be confident in their abilities.

Prior to each of these cover shoots, I did all of the above to ensure the image had the best possible chance of making the cover. Looks like it worked!
©2017 Wayne Dion / Dion & Company

Promoting your Med-tech products and services

From R&D Labs & clean rooms to the marketplace.

As you walk around your company you see everything going on. Who is in the QC department, who is at work in the clean room and who is boxing up the products and shipping them out to the customers.

The problem is that day after day you see the same thing from the same perspective. After a while, what you see is only what’s out of order. A work table has been moved, a box of supplies is missing, etc. Not an ideal perspective for promoting your company, its capabilities and its brand.

So how are you supposed to impress potential customers with your operation and facility when you’re not even seeing it for what it can be?

Get a set of creative eyes to take a look and show you something you’ve never seen before inside your own house. It’s your place and you’ve never seen the angles, the light, the textures and colors as well as the overall process the way a professional industrial / commercial photographer will see it.

Every time you add a new process or capability the approach is that this has to happen like this and that has to be done in that order for the process to be correct.

When it comes to creating a visual to promote your med-tech company you need something different. You need a perspective brought on by a creative individual and not a scientific technician. Their perspective almost never happens at eye level. It never happens with the available artificial light that illuminates the entire company. Doesn’t matter if it’s state-of-the-art LED lighting, HMI, incandescent or fluorescent light. Whatever it is, it’s not shining the best light on your people, products and processes for marketing and building your brand.

The right industrial photographer comes fully prepared with lights, gels, lenses, backdrops and an understanding of your industry.

Even though today’s advanced digital cameras can capture an image with little or no light, there are trade-offs. Increasing the sensitivity of the camera increases noise. Sensor noise is unacceptable for professional marketing or display images. Photos that represent you and used for everything from magazine ads to web sites, brochures or trade booths.

At Dion & Company, we never use a film speed above 320 ISO. Our fleet of Nikon cameras can record up to 64,000 ISO but that comes with a price we are not willing to pay. We bring 3 different lighting kits with us on every project. LED, tungsten and electronic flash systems are all with us when we arrive. Add to that an array of diffusers, gels and light modifiers and we’ve got you covered. The image posted here required 6 lights to achieve and it made the cover of a medical device trade publication.  Definitely not photographed from eye level with available light on a cell phone.

Call Dion & Company when it’s time for a different perspective.

©2017 Wayne Dion / Dion & Company

The Look of Manufacturing in America.

What images you have and what images you need.

manufacturingEven if you have a sales force, marketing manager, social media expert or even an event coordinator they all need collateral materials to back them up. Your investment in machinery, technology and expertise will fail without the right visual images.

I have experienced first-hand, and often heard the quote “it’s only directed to engineers”. With this mind-set, customers have settled for cell phone snapshots. No light, no depth of field, no interesting angle and no visual impact. They say it as if the “engineers” don’t have eyes or emotions. For some reason, some of my clients think that the engineer is only interested in the materials, tolerances and reliability of a product or part being manufactured at their factory. To this they are correct but they also are drawn to things that catch their eye. They are human and are attracted to cool, visually stimulating things like the rest of us.

Another common approach to manufacturing images is that the customer wants to showcase the new $300,000 machine that just went online at the factory. So proud to have a new member of their high tech line-up. They usually never consider the fact that someone has to pay for this machine and it’s going to be the viewer. It’s part of the overhead expenses which are passed along to customers. Anyone can buy the machine and plug it in with enough capital. Working it to its potential is another story.

After years and years of experience in manufacturing photography I know and can easily convince the client that the machine is only part of the solution for their customers. By adding a technician and/or a manufactured part into the image, the viewer sees the operation as much more than just an expensive machine. They see it as the solution to their problem and the expertise behind the machine.

Manufacturing photography, plays a crucial role in attracting new customers or impressing old ones. Some factories are on the dirty side due to the processes they perform and some are clean.
An industrial photographer sees the overall factory differently than the machine technician, sales or management team. We see the art inside the machine.

The 3- dimensional alignment of shapes, textures and colors, highlights and shadows. When we look, we envision what can be done before it’s done. I will always take a walk-though prior to starting the day or even add a site survey to the project days before the shoot. Adding a key light, a colored gel, getting the right angle and choosing the right lens and depth of field will tell the story that the factory personnel never thought about telling.

Fresh eyes and a creative perspective from a professional industrial photographer usually surprises the client. It’s not form over function it’s the harmony between the two like a fine Swiss watch. Both are needed to create a dynamic image.

No matter how dirty or how clean your factory is, a professional industrial photographer can breathe new life into your visuals. Choosing the right one is important. Carefully navigate their online portfolios to find the one that’s right for your needs, has researched your industry and can create images that will not only grab more attention but build your brand while doing so.

©2017 Wayne Dion / Dion & Company

Promoting your CNC Machining Capabilities

A visual look at what happens when the doors close.

Close the doors, program the machine, hit START and wait. So what are we waiting for? The part? Coffee break? The weekend? No, we’re waiting for the latest custom CNC part to emerge from your machine that adds profit to your bottom line and solves the problem your customer had before they placed the order.

Deep inside the machine where milling oil, lit by fluorescent light, sprays around in a finely tuned choreographed dance, making your vision and technical expertise come to life. At times, the process is obscured by the endless procession of lubricant keeping the part and the tool cool and protected.

This is the business end of your business. It’s what makes you who you are. It’s why you opened the doors in the first place.

How do you extract a visual for your site, marketing materials and social media that will tell a story and impact the viewer so that they pick up the phone and call your sales rep who can close the deal?

One solution is to hire a professional industrial photographer who understands what you do, how you do it and for whom you do it for. Not a high end amateur or wedding photographer but someone who comes with the knowledge and appreciation of what is actually going on within the CNC machine, your company and industry.

A true industrial photographer will be ready to insert weather sealed cameras into the abyss that can be controlled wirelessly. They are not afraid to spend 2 hours cleaning the waterproof housing after the shoot. A photographer who is ready to create in any environment, under any conditions with the ability to deliver images that will add to your perception in the marketplace and help build your brand.

Contact Us

Wayne Dion
Dion & Company
Boston Aerial

Visit us on LinkedIn and Twitter

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.