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Scandinavian Furniture & Design - Birmingham AL Commercial Photographer by Tommy Daspit

As I’ve mentioned before, referrals are the life blood of my business. I’m honored when a client is so thrilled with the results of my work that they recommend me to their own clients, friends, and family. This is an especially high honor when the referral is coming from a fellow photographer. That was the case with this shoot. Alanna Rose, a senior portrait and commercial head shot specialist, shares a building with Scandinavian Design Gallery a furniture store in Hoover. She recently expanded her senior portrait work (she is contracted by Hoover High School for all of their photos) and wanted to make here incoming clients feel more comfortable and find the studio more easily. So she had me do a Google virtual tour of the space. She was so happy with the results that she sent me over to see Theresa at Scandinavian Design! 

I will confess that there is an added level of pressure to make sure everything is perfect when you know another photographer will be scrutinizing the result. This was true when I did her studio and was true again when I photographed the furniture showroom. Not that I ever “slack off” when doing any shoot. I’m nothing if not a perfectionist and strive to always improve my work and do the best job for each and every client. There is just a little more anxiety when you know the results are going to be looked at that more closely!

So here are the end results. I created the Google tour and conventional commercial photos of the showroom. I did a little extra thing as well… You can see below a quick behind the scenes video. My process is a little unique in comparison to many other photographers. The conventional still photos are actually a composite of many individual photos. I will “light paint” the scene with a strobe. The end result is something that would be difficult to achieve in a single image. See for yourself by checking out the quick timelapse video of the process!

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Check out this quick YouTube video I created showing a little behind the scenes on how this shoot was done.

Children's Family Harbor - Commercial Photography - Birmingham, AL by Tommy Daspit

Tommy Daspit is a Birmingham AL based commercial, architectural, real estate, and Google StreetView Trusted photographer.

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They say word of mouth is the best form of advertising. However, before you can get good word of mouth, you must first do good work. For those giving you that recommendation have to trust that you will do a good job for their friend, client, or coworker. After all, it’s their reputation that is most on the line in this situation. That’s why I’m very proud of the fact that the overwhelming majority of my business comes from referrals. I actually do very little in the way of advertising and marketing. My former clients, and business parters are my marketing and sales force. It’s something that I a humbled by and always drives me to do even better so that trust might be kept.

This shoot is one that I’m doubly proud of. One, it was a referral from fellow Helena Business Association member Jason Oits, owner of Perk Brands. His company does search engine optimization, marketing, social media, websites, branding, and email marketing. Children’s Harbor Family life center is one of his clients. He’s creating a new website and marketing campaign for them. Their mission is to create a place where very sick children, ones living in Children’s Hospital long term, can go to get away from the daily hospital existence. There’s a game room, computers, basketball court, family kitchen, learning resource center, fitness center, salon, quiet spaces, library, and much more. There’s no cost to the families and the benefits to the children can’t really be measured.

Driven by private donations, Children’s Harbor is constantly needing to market to potential philanthropists, while also increasing awareness of families and children to its existence. Jason knew that I Google 360º virtual tour and my commercial still images would help accomplish both of those goals. Donors could walk through and see all of the facility and see how professional, beautiful, and comprehensive Children’s Harbor is. Parents and Children could see all the offerings and be all the more comfortable once there.

Having spent a lot of time at the Dallas Children’s Hospital with my sister many years ago I had a special appreciation for the mission of Children’s Harbor. I was honored that Jason would refer me to this important client, and that Children’s harbor would choose me to showcase their facility. I’m proud to show off the final results and I know it will serve them well in both goals!

To learn more about Children’s Harbor visit them on their website!

Click and drag to look around. Click arrows to go from one room to the next and click icons for additional information.

Pathway Pediatrics - Birmingham AL Commercial Photography by Tommy Daspit

Tommy Daspit is a commercial, architectural, real estate, and Google Trusted Photographer in Birmingham, AL

I recently created a Google 360º virtual tour for a newly opened pediatric clinic in Chelsea. They were working with Vehicle Media, a local web design company that I’ve partnered with on several projects in the past, to develop their website. They recommended that I create the Google tour and photos for the site design. I have always enjoyed working with Paul and Greg at Vehicle Media. They do great work and it’s nice to know that they trust me with their clients. I make it a point to only refer my clients to businesses that I know will take good care of them. After all it’s my reputation on the line as well!

I met with Megan, the practice manager and lactation nurse, before construction on the office was complete. Even in it’s unfinished state I knew it would be a great looking place and I was looking forward to photographing it!

In addition to the 360º tour and conventional commercial photos, I also created an interactive version of the tour with HotSpots. This is a new thing I’m offering on the Google tours (see this page to learn more). For the version of the tour embedded on the client’s website and Facebook pages, I can make it interactive. It can be customized with a navigation menu, automatic information when specific areas are viewed, and icons placed throughout that viewers can click on for more information. For example I can embed photo galleries, videos, links to websites or files, more details, etc. It helps a business engage more with the client, keeps them there longer, and helps them feel more connected to the business. It really takes the Google tour to a whole new level!

I’ve embedded the interactive tour below so give it a spin! Let me know what you think in the comments below or send me a message if you'd like to learn more about how this can benefit your company!

Click and drag to look around. Click arrows to go from one room to the next and click icons for additional information.

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Learn more about what the Google Street View Trusted Program can do for your business.

Ridge Crossings - Birmingham AL Google Maps Business View Photography by Tommy Daspit

Recently I created a Google Virtual tour and commercial photos for Ridge Crossings, an amazing luxury apartment complex in Hoover. This was easily the largest complex I’ve ever seen and had the most amenities that I’ve ever seen. There’s a nature trail, a huge exercise facility, movie theatre, racket ball court, playground, tennis courts, grill pavilion with three grills, a huge clubhouse with free coffee, a dog park, a carwash facility, and two swimming pools! I’ve never even heard of such an apartment community, let alone photograph one!

Needless to say I had a lot of fun with this one. The Google tour covers the clubhouse and pool area, while the conventional still images cover the other areas, including a couple of model units. Out of all the features I will say that the movie theatre was my favorite. It was a special challenge to photograph. The black ceilings and windowless walls meant that it would be difficult to light in a way that wouldn't be harsh. I also wanted to convey the feeling that a movie theatre should provide. You don’t want a bright room for movie watching but I still needed to show what it was. The solution was to combine many exposures into one. I did an existing light image of the room as the base image. It was dark of course and you couldn’t really see much detail. That was ok, the next part of the process would fix that. I attached a speedlight (small flash unit) to a stick. It had a grid mounted to the front. This kept the beam of light from the flash narrow and only on the parts of the scene I wanted to light. I then lit each chair and each photo on the wall with individual flash bursts. All total it was about 20 photographs combined into one final image. The result is a photo that lets you see what the room is without compromising the mood of the space!

This is just one of the things that I do to create unique images to help my clients separate themselves from their competition. It’s a more time consuming process, both during the initial creation of the image, and in the computer post processing. I feel that the results speak for themselves!

Learn more about Ridge Crossings on their Google + page where you can see more photos and the virtual tour!

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Bromberg's & Co at The Summit - Birmingham AL Commercial Photography by Tommy Daspit

I returned near sunset to create this "blue hour" image. It's actually a composite of 11 s eparate   exposures. Overall it took about two hours (in the  freezing  cold) to get this one shot. I really like the blurred people inside. This helps show that the business is vibrant and not just a building. 

I returned near sunset to create this "blue hour" image. It's actually a composite of 11 separate  exposures. Overall it took about two hours (in the freezing cold) to get this one shot. I really like the blurred people inside. This helps show that the business is vibrant and not just a building. 

Last week I had the great fun and challenge of creating a Google Maps Business View 360º virtual tour of Bromberg & Co at the Summit here in Birmingham. 

I say it was a challenge for a couple of reasons. First, there’s glass and mirrors EVERYWHERE. This makes it fun making sure that the camera and myself are positioned so we don’t appear in any of the photos. This is where the wireless triggering of my camera with an iPad is so valuable. There are many times where I’m hiding around a corner. Very often this is the only way to keep me out of the image. Then there are my lights. For the conventional still images there are multiple light sources involved. Making sure reflections from the lights don’t come up in the mirrors and glass takes a lot of geometry (thought I was done with that in High School), understanding how light interacts with various surfaces, and a lot of trial and error.

Second, we wanted to create a “blue hour” exterior of the store (check out this post to learn more). I love doing these. There is simply no better way to make a building look beautiful and really capture the viewers attention than with a blue hour image. These are actually multiple photos taken at different times (just before and after sunset), and with multiple strobe exposures. They take patience, time, and skill to pull off. One blue hour photo can take two hours to complete. That’s just the in camera part. Once back at the office it’s time to composite all those photos. Using photoshop, and a graphics tablet, it can take several hours at the computer to get it all right. The results can be truly spectacular and I think worth the effort!

I’m also very excited because these photos and virtual tour are going into the new website being created for Bromberg’s by Vehicle Media. I’ve worked with Vehicle Media on several projects before Just this last week they won an ADDY for our joint project for the Sonnet House! I know that they will do an amazing job incorporating the tour and photos into the site design.

Take a look at the virtual tour and photos below. To learn more about Bromberg & Co check out their Google + Local page.

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Learn more about the Google Maps Business View Program here. Have a business that could benefit from a Google tour or high quality commercial photography? Contact me today to see how I can help you stand out from your competition.