Hot news: Picture tells way more words than previously thought!

We’ve all heard the old adage that “a picture tells a thousand words”. And of course it’s one that we photographers in particular love.

But it turns out that far from telling a measly 1,000 words, a picture tells nearly eighty thousand!

How do I know this?

Small Business Marketing blogger John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing told me so with his link to this picture of his book.

But seriously… It does go to show that the right photograph can make a big difference to your message! Contact me to discuss how we could work together to make yours more effective.

Sideways All India Radio James O'Loghlin

PR photography

PR shoots are fun. The challenge often is getting a newsworthy story out of something which doesn’t initially appear to be that exciting.

On Monday afternoon I did this shoot at an old house which has just been thoroughly renovated, with careful attention to energy and water saving features.

Solar panels Builder & Plumber
Builder & Plumber Pool

To add to the fun, construction was not finished, so we had to work around that.

Fortunately we had perfect weather (again), so that was one less thing to worry about.

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Welcome back; and building facade number 943

Oh – hello again!

You know… I’ve been meaning to ‘revive’ this blog from it’s dormant state for a long time now (like, 5 months), and I’ve been agonizing for the last little while about how I’m gonna start it up again and get you up to date with all the interesting shoots I’ve been doing.

But* you know what? Today I decided I was done with agonizing, and I would just continue blogging as if I had never stopped.

So today I’m going to tell you about the shoot I did this afternoon – and if I have some quiet patches coming up, then I can use them to tell you about some of the other shoots I’ve done going back a few months. So there.

Anyway, welcome back… I hope you find something here of use, whether you’re a commercial user of photography; professional or student photographer; or just arrived here by accident 🙂

*I’ll start my sentences with conjunctions if I feel like it – it’s ‘conversational’.

Building facade number 943

Sensient Technologies Australia

Well, I’m not sure if I’ve shot that many…. maybe it’s less, maybe it’s more! (who’s counting, anyway?)

The client phoned me yesterday afternoon. They had received an unexpected request from their head office in the US for a high-quality image of the front of their building, to go in a book about the company history.

– And they needed it, like, yesterday.

Fortunately Melbourne’s autumn weather was kind to us, and the site was fairly tidy. I shot a couple of dozen frames; set up my laptop in a spare office inside, and got to work on the shots. In the end I selected half a dozen, tidied up a few little things, and delivered them to the client on the spot.

That’s a wrap!

Plain, overcast skies can create quite a challenge when there are no other options about when the shot can be obtained. I’m sure I’ll have a story to tell you about that another time!

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Group photo – "Who Blinked?!"

Until digital cameras and Photoshop came along, ‘blinks’ were the scourge of the group photograph.

Nowadays, if you’ve taken a few captures of a group, it is possible to ‘fix’ blinks by playing plastic surgeon and replacing someone’s closed eyes in one picture with (the same person’s) open eyes from another.

The problem with this approach is that it takes a lot longer than just getting a blink-free shot in the first place.

Now, us pros know that more shots generally equal better insurance against problems of many kinds – hence the number one lie of photographers, “one more please”.

But what if you’re worried about annoying your group by parroting “one more” a few dozen times, and want to know the minimum number of shots needed to get a blink-free capture?

Well, fortunately science has come to the rescue. CSIRO physicist Dr Piers Barnes and writer Nic Svenson went to the trouble of mathematically working out how many captures you need for a given size group to get a 99% chance of a blink-free shot (and they even drew a pretty graph).

For their efforts, Barnes and Svenson were rewarded with a prestigous (?) Ig Nobel prize. Ig Nobels are awarded to scientists who do unusual research just like this.

Other recent award winners were Schwab & May for “why woodpeckers don’t get headaches“, and Halpern, Blake & Hildebrand for “why people dislike the sound of fingernails scraping on a blackboard“.

If you haven’t already checked them out, you should: Improbable Research.

So how many exposures do you need to make to get that perfect shot? Well of course that depends on the size of the group… but if you can’t be bothered reading the orginal article (please, what is with you?), the rule of thumb is:

for groups of less than 20: divide the number of people by three if there’s good light and two if the light’s bad

Good luck!

…at least I can laugh about it

To ‘celebrate’ the fact that this is the first post in five months, I added an entry for blogfade to Urban Dictionary (it may take a while to appear while it is being reviewed by humans).

So what’s news?

Well, the main news is that we have moved to new World Headquarters (mwuahahahaha).

For just over three years we were located in a Business Incubator – which served us well – but thanks to our wonderful family of clients, suppliers, and friends (that’s you), we outgrew it.

The new place is just 4km from the CBD and has a purpose-built studio with all the good stuff.

Here’s our reception area and client lounge (with a proper espresso machine!):

reception area

And our 400 square metre studio:

photography studio

How did we manage all of this? I’m glad you asked. We’ve joined forces with the lovely people at D&D Global Group, which also means we can now help you with your high quality offset printing, as well as digital print and design (want to know more? ask me!)

Well, I’d better get to it – got clients coming in for some corporate portraits!

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Lights, camera, FIRE!

In an unfortunate bit of PR, HP have recalled their Photosmart R707 Digital Camera because of a fire hazard.

According to the recall document,

“The digital camera can cause certain non-rechargeable batteries… to overheat when the camera is connected to an AC adapter or docking station, posing a fire hazard.”

I’m pleased to announce that here at Steven Pam Photography we use only “non-incendiary” camera equipment. Oh, and in the extremely unlikely event that something does catch fire, we have insurance for that 🙂


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Build muscle by osmosis?

Build muscles by osmosis? I wish.


Human Sculpture


On Saturday afternoon I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing fitness champs Monica Wright and Matt Thom, as well as Kerry, an instructor from their gym (Fitness Kick Flemington).

Competitive fitness is an interesting sport – and the effect on practitioners’ bodies is a lot more useful (and arguably a lot more attractive, too) than that of bodybuilding!

Just being in the room with these guys made me feel fitter… but unfortunately that was only in my mind 🙁

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Why I love being a corporate photographer

Corporate Photography

The Gulf Times reports that ten people were injured during an Israeli protest rally, including an AFP photographer who was shot in the hand with a rubber bullet.

Obvioulsy news/war photography would be extremely rewarding – or at least an incredible adrenalin rush at times, but I’ll stick to my corporate photography gig, thanks.

Photographing guys (and gals) in suits may sound boring, but it’s actually (surprisingly?) interesting. I get to meet people at all lelvels in all industries – and some of them even smile for the camera.

…And if I ever need an adrenalin rush I can always stand in front of a bus 🙂

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