This Weeks Blog-What’s in the Bag for a Photo Shoot?

Hi all, Todays blog is a simple little informative read for those who may have wondered, “what all does the photographer bring with them to a shoot?” The answers will vary from one photographer to another and it will also depend on the type of photo shoot. From my end, I will say that I always bring my camera bag which contains 8 lenses, 2 camera bodies, 8 memory cards, 4 battery chargers, 4 batteries, lens cleaning supplies, a few lens filters, and the Holy Grail for photographers…the camera manual. I also carry an additional bag with 1 body and 2 lenses plus a few other things, but this almost always just stays in my truck. The lenses are 1 of the main ingredients in creating great images. From the photo below, I showed just 4 of the lenses I normally use. The 2 lenses with the red lines are considered Canon “L-lenses” and are pretty expensive higher end glass. For the life of me I still cannot figure out why some lenses are so costly. I mean, c’mon, they are mostly just glass and plastic! Either way, I regularly use 2-zoom lenses, 2-wide angles (1-ultra wide,) a prime portrait lens, and a prime macro lens, for those finer detailed close up shots. I’ll also bring a large Speedlite flash unit, a reflector (to kick back some light at my subject if needed,) and my tripod, which I never leave home without. If it is a corporate shoot things can get much more extensive. You may be required to bring additional soft box lighting systems and/or strobes, light stands,...

This Week-Portraits

Hi all, This week has been purely insane! So much is happening on multiple fronts, it’s hard to keep it all together. I’m doing my best though, and it’s better to be busy than to be sitting around twiddling my thumbs. I feel as if I’m working 24 hours/day…oh, wait, I kind of am! During this chaotic week, I managed to get in quite a few shoots. One of these shoots included last minute head shots that will be going directly to NBC, and perhaps the IMDB, for a newly found local actress. I’ll discuss more on that in the future. Also, I had an interesting senior portrait session that you can view below. Saturday will be another portrait session with returning clients, and there’s also a boat load of marketing work to get to as well with 77 Design Co. Occasionally, a few times a year, I’ll accept a couple senior portrait sessions. Although I focus mainly on commercial & marketing photography now, the occasional portrait session is fun to break up the monotony. This week I had the pleasure of photographing Christian, a young man who is a local volunteer fireman. Christian comes from a long lineage of firemen, and he loves what he does in order to help people. He said that he knew he wanted to be a fireman since he witnessed an accident at the age of 7. He was eager to show me around the station and explain some of the things he does. Christian also wants to join the military after high school but is undecided on which branch just yet. He is...

How Do Photographs Help Your Business?

Hi everyone, This week I’m turning the topic back to marketing, and commercial photography in particular. If you are a reader of the blog, then you know of my partner company, 77 Design Co. You also would have some semblance of how we help small and medium sized businesses find their visual personality, and how we create strategies and marketing plans for them get their message out to the world. Or, maybe you are thinking, “oh no, not another marketing/commercial blog,” to which I say…tough! Haha! Some of these marketing and commercial related blogs are written directly to provide valuable info for the busy business owner who has little or no idea of what to do to, or lacks the free time to market their brand properly. If you know someone like that send them the link to this blog, we can help. That’s what we are here to do…help them! While reading and researching (as usual for me,) I found an older yet relevant article from Ann Handley for Entrepreneur from 2012. You can, and should read it here:  https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224229 Ann touches on some very important ideas as to how strong photography and visuals impact a marketing campaign. She discusses a few companies that utilize the power of photography through social media to give customers a “behind-the-scenes peek” of their product or service, and how other companies find inspiration to share, through photography, their everyday business. The other sections of the article, “Show how your product lives in the world,” and “Embrace images as brand art” are also important reads. These are especially important to read over if you are looking...

Photo Session-Civil War Documents

Hi all, I think this weeks blog will be interesting to those who enjoy learning about the Civil War, or U.S history in general. Just wanted to share a pretty neat little job I had last week for a client that found me on Yelp. I received a call from a woman that had been searching reviews online, and she came across mine (thanks everyone, for all the positive feedback for Drakulic Photography LLC on Yelp and Google) so we chatted a bit about her shoot. I’m glad she called! Although, I wouldn’t call myself a Civil War buff by any means, I’ve always been pretty captivated by American history, so this piqued my interest… Apparently, my clients friend found (2) 1860’s-ish Civil War documents that her great grandfather had in her attic from the Army of the Potomac. They selflessly decided to donate these documents to the Civil War Museum near Harrisburg, where they can be cared for properly and shared with the public. She contacted me to help her photograph and create prints of these historical documents as mementos. The documents were in pretty good shape considering they were over 150 years old. Nevertheless, we handled them with gloves and took care while photographing them. In addition to shooting the overall documents as a whole, I also suggested emphasizing some of the finer details of them through macro photography, which she agreed to. The images are below for you to see. Some of the names included on them were, George G. Meade (a commanding Union general,) W.S. Hancock (an officer & the Democratic Presidential nominee in 1880,)...

We’ve Seen It Too-Response to Ryan Shaffer, MBA Blog

Hi everyone, This weeks blog is adding to Ryan Shaffer’s LinkedIn blog from 2 weeks ago. Ryan laid out a wonderful read packed with his investigative statistics concerning how some larger marketing companies operate. Here is his blog to read first before going any further: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/agency-marketing-investigating-ins-outs-firm-ryan-shaffer-mba First off, thanks to Ryan for the mention of our sister company in the article, 77 Design Co. Greatly appreciated! We too have noticed an all too familiar trend of low grade social media posts, or posts that really don’t promote engagement altogether by some companies. As per Ryan’s research, he discussed 3 large scale marketing companies that have faltered in providing high quality social media service. Frankly, in my opinion, this is shameful. Their clients undoubtedly paid large sums of money for them to promote their business, yet these same marketing companies do not practice what they preach. Worse yet, when they do posts for their clients, these posts are the type that make your eyes roll back into your head. Ridiculous posts that have nothing or little to do with the product or service of their clients are not going to attract any special attention to them. Posting something JUST to post something is ineffective towards building a company’s reputation and brand. I say, research, research, research. Find out everything you can about the owners, staff, and their product/service, then provide the business with a thoroughly written blog or social media post that will really open eyes when read. 77 Design Co does this by creating a brands visual personality through design, photography, relevant content, and video. Adding solid relatable images/videos...

Happy Easter All

Hello everyone, Happy Rabbit Day, all. I hope that everyone is having a fine Easter. Just a quick blog this week. Yesterday was my birthday and it was pretty low key, just the way I like it. Thanks to all who sent me birthday messages through texts, on LinkedIn, and the Facebook! Appreciate the love, y’all. We had a fantastic shoot last week for a local gym. Thanks to Rob Hoffman and Ashley Klimek on the additional assistance for the shoot. Couldn’t have done it without you guys. I kept the theme of the images sharp, highly detailed, super contrasty, and crisp to give the models and the gym itself an intense and exhausted look. I mean, come on…it was a gym workout shoot, nothing comes easy in a gym! If it does, you aren’t working out properly. Our goal was to create a hard working visual personality for their business through our photography and design, and I believe we succeeded in just that. Super proud of how all the images turned out, and we hope to attract our clients many more members from it. This will be an extremely busy week coming up. Lots to do, lots of things on the horizon for both myself personally, and the businesses (Drakulic Photography LLC & 77 Design Co) professionally, and lots of work to get hopping on. More info to come about the business as soon as I can announce it. Have a great day with family and/or...

“What a Nice Camera, I’ll Bet It Takes Great Pictures…”

Hello all, This weeks blog will focus on the all too often misconceptions I hear regularly about photography. These phrases and questions sometimes pop up in conversations with clients, colleagues, and even friends or family. If you’ve felt this way, or have asked 1 of these questions please do not feel offended in any way by this blog, I’m simply attempting to clear up a few misperceived notions. First things first, it is my belief that it is NOT the camera that takes a great photograph, it is the photographer. Its how they view the world and each and every person sees things differently. I also do not put a huge emphasis on having the most expensive equipment, lighting, lenses, or other gear. With that being said I do have some great equipment in the bag, but not all of it is “top of the line” stuff others may have. I’m in business to create great images for my clients, ensure they feel happy about my services, feed my family, pay my bills and school loans, and generally enjoy life. There are certain instances that may require a faster more expensive lens or a specific type of expensive lighting set up but not that often, at least not in my experiences. Having a $5000 Canon EOS-1D X and a $44,000 Canon Cinema Zoom lens is not at the top of my list of priorities. If you have that…great, and congrats, but does that really make you better? If you believe so, I’d love to hear why. So back to statements I sometimes hear or am asked. “My what a...

Shaping Up For a Busy Spring & Summer

Happy Friday to all, Although its an ugly, rainy, typical spring Pittsburgh Friday, great things are on the horizon! Tons of stuff happening very soon, and down the road. I’ll have a pretty huge announcement in the coming weeks. I can’t say much until we get the legalities straightened out, but I will drop a clue and say it has to do largely with marketing, my partner Rob Hoffman of 77 Design Co, and photography. These are all topics I’ve been discussing in the blog in recent months. Stay tuned. Last week (and another huge announcement) I booked my first island wedding for my cousin and her fiancee! This is set to take place in Jamaica in 2018 and I couldn’t be more excited for them, our family trip, and the opportunity to create some stunning destination photos for them. I’m honored to be the photographer for this fantastic event. I’m also going to be so mentally focused on creating superb images for them that my head will probably pop off at the end of the night from creatively concentrating so much. It will be worth it though. You can bet your bottom dollar there will be photographs to accompany this trip on the blog during and after the wedding. Although I’ve traveled extensively throughout North America (having been to all 48 lower states, Canada, and Mexico,) I’ve never had the chance to leave the mainland…and its going to be AWESOME! The rooms booked and I’m super pumped for it. Jamaica, here we come! Enjoy the weekend everyone! As always comments, questions, suggestions, and critiques are...

A Sold Home in 3 Hours!

Hi everyone, Happy Tuesday to all. Great weather today in the “Burgh” area! We are experiencing some sun and temps are floating in the 50’s, which is getting a lot of people excited about the approaching warm weather and springtime. Optimism abounds! Lots going on in the last few weeks, and for the upcoming weeks, but I wanted to focus on a review I just received. Last week I had a couple of real estate shoots. One in particular I’d like to mention. We did the photographs for an agent on Friday, I turned the edits around in less than 24 hours and delivered the final images on Saturday. I’ve done work for this particular real estate agent before. He is new to the Pittsburgh market, having moved here from Florida not long ago and was badly in need of his first sale in the area. Needless to say both he and the sellers were very motivated to get the home on the market and sold. Sunday evening I received a text from the agent praising the photographs and saying that he listed the home at 3:00 PM and “had a fully executed offer signed by all parties by 6PM, good pics man!!!!!!!” THIS IS WHAT I LOVE TO HEAR! Not many things in the business world motivate me more to work harder and get more creative than to be able to help out another small business owner in their time of need. I do not like to toot my own horn so I’ll simply say that I am humbled my work helped create this agent his 1st Pittsburgh...

Response to Ryan Shaffer’s Article

Hi all, Last week I happened to be cruising about the Interweb on LinkedIn and came across an interesting article, which by the way you should read now if you are to understand any more about this blog.  Ryan Shaffer is Director of Marketing at Worksite Medical and I might add…a fellow Point Park University alum. I’ve met Ryan in the past and I’ll start off by saying he’s a GREAT guy and very knowledgable in his field, which is marketing/business. I’ll also concede that mine is not, at least that is not what my degree is in. I am a self taught business owner/marketer. Most of my educated marketing info has come from a few business classes I’ve taken, from my own research and experiences, and also from my partner, Rob Hoffman of 77 Design Co. I’ll admit that I am a photographer first and foremost. I’ll also say that I respect Ryan’s opinion and thoughts on the subject but would like to interject our own ideas from a little different perspective. Hopefully this will create a friendly debate. Ryan’s article DOES promote the use of freelance, but I wanted to add a few more ideas on how an outside marketing group can be just as good or better for a business than an internal marketing team. Here are a few reasons why hiring an outside team, as opposed to hiring an in house marketing team or a larger company, could work for your business: Budget. It is much less expensive for a company to hire a team of people marketing them for, let’s just say $1000/month (this is an...
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