I often get asked “Do you have a game plan when you go to site?” and my answer is yes I do, but it’s a refined rough plan. There are so many factors involved that influence my photography while I am on site. Is the weather accommodating for surface shots? Are the key people available for this time? Is the equipment operational and in the location you want it photographed and so forth. The majority of times my shooting schedule changes multiple times due to all these factors converging at once.
For some jobs it’s a “play it by ear” scenario. We have a rough outline of who what where when and so we get out there and see what’s going. I will capture what I can, when I can, how I can. Site images, people working, vehicles moving, processes, people pictures, environmental, community projects, drilling, open pit operations, hauling, exploration, maintenance, underground, surveying, field work, are things I try to capture while I am there. If it’s happening, I can capture it one way or another. Some images I can get creative with lighting and composition with my equipment while others it’s a shoot from the hip opportunity, but either way I try to create an image that is pleasing to the company and can be used within their marketing. After all, this is why they hired me.
No matter what the scenario is there is always challenges and problem solving in order to achieve the best possible image at that moment, even if it is just a “snapshot”. Where you position yourself, what direction the ambient light is coming from as well as the quality of it (yes, there are different qualities of sunlight), what lens to use to frame the image and what camera settings to apply to achieve a dynamic capture…………all decided within seconds.
If all goes well (and it usually does) my clients are left with a variety of images captured safely and professionally. “Professional” encompasses a lot more than just an image…………but that’s another post. 🙂
Experience is earned. Experience is created. Experience becomes who you are. My photography is just one part of my brand as #miningphotog and to be honest its the smallest part of my business. Another part of the #miningphotog brand is bringing value to my clients beyond the scope of photography which resides in the business spectrum of the industry. Some people like to call it “professionalism”. This is word I hold true to my name and business on and off the site. Professionalism – the competence or skill expected of a professional. If you strive for professionalism every time in anything you do, it will become who you are and how you are known as an employee, boss, co-worker, spouse, friend, human.
Are you a Jr. mining industrial company just coming on board to show the industry your companies potential? You have heard a variation of the saying “you only get 1 chance to make that first impression so make it count” and it still applies today, even more now with increased traffic to social media feeds. One of the fastest way to spread word of mouth is now at your fingertips with your keyboards and smartphones. Like any business the goal is to grow your brand, clientele and income and it’s important to showcase your standards from the beginning and this is especially true with your marketing materials and the photography you use. Of course there are hundreds of thousands of stock images you can choose from but I will be honest, as a Jr. company those stock images stick out immediately to everyone. Why? Because often the images used are not associated with the actual company. As a Jr. company, you want people to invest in your vision, your name, your product and most of all in you. For these reasons alone you should be showcasing your people, facilities and shops using custom photography. You might think it is expensive but I assure you the ROI will pay for itself over and over and the amount of high impact images you receive can be used throughout the year(s) on all your marketing materials across all social media platforms. If you want to get noticed and stand out, if you want people to look at your data and financial content then getting their attention is important. Think of it as curb appeal. You are more likely to open something for more information, walk through a door or click on a link if the curb appeal is there. Of course I am not stating that photography is more important than the copy/content but why wouldn’t you want that extra element to ensure you have done everything you can to get noticed?
It’s like fishing (hear me out on this lol). Anyone can fish, you simply get some bait and drop the line in the water and wait for a fish to bite. The more experienced anglers know that there are far more elements that can increase your chances of catching fish. You try to cover all the senses. The type of bait, the color, the action of the lure and even the scent/smell of the lure. When you provide all those elements your chances of catching fish are increased. Same applies to getting your content noticed in your marketing materials and social media feeds.
So what should you look for in photography? Here are a few things to cover:
Images for marketing are everywhere and are easily available for just about anything. This is nothing new. Years ago it was readily available stock images and now it’s easily available cellphone images but like the stock images, “cellsnaps” although quick and easy usually have no visual impact not to mention the perceived value in using cellphone images says that your company might not be at the level for Professional Photography.
Let’s look at it from a different scenario. Your company is now getting some recognition and opportunities for magazine articles (maybe even the cover) or news coverage are becoming more frequent. What type of photography do you want to send the publishers to showcase your company that you worked so hard to create? A cellphone image?
Below is one example of custom professional photography I created for Manroc Developement Inc www.manroc.com at one of their industrial shops recently. Although they are a well established company in just a few days we created hundreds of custom images for them to showcase their amazing people and products across all marketing platforms.
Start thinking long term and invest in professional photography so that you have an archive of images to be used throughout the year in your marketing materials. Message me if you would like a FREE assessment of your current photography used on your website and marketing materials. I wont’ BS you and I’ll make some recommendations if needed.
Getting up close and personal with my subjects is key to drawing the viewers attention to a specific part of your image. I will watch the motion of the machine, the angles of its components and how the shadows and highlights interact with the equipment as I walk around taking in the environment we have placed it in. A good image can make or break your marketing material and the copy and image have to be relevant to each other or both will lose your customers attention. The main focus of this image is the Hydraulic Breaker in the foreground which is up front in your face while the rest of the machine takes a bit of a backseat but still ads foundation to the image. This is the same formula you should be using for your copy and marketing material. The image is upfront and in your face grabbing the viewers attention and the accompanying text should support and be relevant to the image. It’s a dynamic duo.
When prospective clients are walking through the trade show floors, one dynamic image can grab their attention from across the room which means one more person at your booth for your sales people to interact with and make that client connection.
Install of Acid Flue Duct takes timing, precision and a non fear of heights. On site with Lopes LTD documenting the projects and employees during shutdown at the Vale Sudbury Complex this week. Genie lifts, Grove Cranes and other heavy equipment were used to drop the duct strategically into place hundreds of feet above the ground. #mining #vale #lopesltd #safety #shutdownmaintenance
If your company requires professional Mining Industrial Photography to archive your projects and people I do have a few openings left for new clients for the 2017 season.
Most of the time I find myself on sites above and below ground where the color white is very seldom clean, let alone clinic quality clean. Another part of my job is photographing my clients products big and small to be showcased on a neutral background for their website or product catalog. It’s a tedious task with multiple lighting scenarios, sometimes in cramped spaces or dark underground passes but the end result “especially on a high key white background” speaks volumes when the final image/product is finished. If you are showcasing your products, there is one of two ways of doing it. 1. you show the product in it’s element doing it’s job or 2. you isolate the product like the image below. Either way the final image needs to look PROFESSIONAL. If you are using your cell phone or employee DSLR to take a snap in your showroom or parking lot, you are doing yourself, your company, and your product a disservice. Consistency is what your clients want to see, not just in your product, but in your companies brand.
When I am on a job site the first thing on my mind is safety. I have to be just as safe as everyone else that works there. Not only do I have safety on my mind while creating the images (ensuring everyone has proper PPE for the location and job) but I also have to be safe as well. My wife is counting on my coming home, I like my health the way it is, and at the present moment I have s 100% safety record which I plan to uphold as long as my career will allow it. Also know your surrounds, who is in it, what obstacles there are and what safety precautions need to take place for a successful day on the job. I deal with a lot of moving vehicles on site, including the forklift. This thing can zip in and out of everywhere and turn on a dime. I have met some skilled operators in my time, and unfortunately I have witnessed some that are not so skilled. Here is a great blog post for “Tips On Operating A Forklift Safely”
Safety is not just about yourself, but involves everyone and everything in your working environment. Always take a moment to stop, look around and listen to what is immediately around you and inspect your surroundings top to bottom. For one shoot I had to capture a few images from a tower overlooking the facility at night. As I got to the top of the tower and was looking around I quickly noticed some movement at my feet. Trying to be as stealthy as possible and not causing any more stress to the occupants of the balcony I quickly and silently descended back to the ground to locate another vantage point to shoot from. Happily momma bird arrived back on scene shortly after I reached the bottom. By then it was time to go for the night, but I did manage to capture some images throughout the night and above (on the opposite tower). No matter how big or small be safe for all.