Which portraits do I like best? The ones that have meaning for me. Connection. A reason to exist.

B.Y. ©2012 Kirk Tuck, All rights reserved.

Twenty years in in which to grow more beautiful. A side by side comparison of two black and white images taken twenty years apart.



The earlier one taken on a Hasselblad with a 150mm lens. 

The later one taken with a Nikon using a Hasselblad 150mm lens with an adapter. 

The early one scanned from a print the later one a digital file.

My continuing opinions about the use of stock photography for corporate advertising.

Here is something I wrote a while back to run on LinkedIn. It's my honest appraisal of the use of stock photography for branding by major ad agencies. I get that mom and pop operations may be budget restricted but given the cost of doing "real" branding ads and ad placement......


An image from an annual report project last year.

In a hospital lobby. Talking about energy.

I love photographing annual report projects. We used to do a lot of them but many companies opt not to print the big, four color brochures that used to be more or less standard. Now they print the financials on plain paper with black ink and depend on their web content to fill in the emotional blanks. 

One of the projects I handled last year was for an electric utility company. They serve residential consumers but they also serve enterprise and corporate customers. One of the images the marketing department wanted was a discussion between a hospital engineering person and a representative from the utility. They wanted the image to say, "Hospital." 

We located a customer facility and got permission. While the image does not look lit we did use a 60 inch umbrella near camera position to create enough fill light so the faces "read" well.  The light came from a small, battery powered electronic flash, used at a low power. I feathered it as well as I could so that it didn't spill light all over the floor. I was helped by intentionally cropping out (in camera) the part of the ceiling effected by my fill light. 

I used a Nikon D810 and the 85mm f1.8 G lens, set to f2.8, to make the shot, which wound up being used as a spread in the finished report.

I was going to remove the exit sign in the top, middle of the frame because I have photographed for many architects and interior designers and they hate exit signs in their photographs. Hospital people like to make sure they are always seen to be in compliance and so having the sign show was not an issue.

Just another day out of the office with cameras...

Procrastination. I always want to work on stuff that promises nearly immediate gratification, not the mirage of riches down the road...

Rush Hour at Swim Practice.

I pretend to be pretty disciplined where work is involved but I have to admit that I have a weak spot. I hate writing long proposals for projects that won't be taking place for weeks or month from now. I'd rather go swimming, drink coffee, and discuss photography or video production with friends in the industry, or just go for a walk. 

Today is one of those dangerous days. I've been invited to create a proposal and budget for a high production value video by a Texas based utility. The video needs to be five to seven minutes long and, given the subject matter, it should be a fun and challenging project. But before I get the contract and the go-ahead I have to go through the process of concepting, discussing methodology, and budgeting. Yes, I have to write a proposal.

Most of the content for the piece needs to be shot outside and that carries with it a host of possible issues that can be tough to budget for and tough to schedule. We'll need to do interviews outside on remote locations (meaning, with no electrical power).  We may need to fight the sun with big diffusers, a portable generator and HMI lights. That means we need some crew. But then again the days may be overcast and perfect. We may be able (as I will optimistically propose) to schedule four interviews per day over the course of two days but, then again, people's schedules seem to be in constant flux these days. 

We'll need to schedule a segment with the CEO. Those sessions are always subject to change; both in content and schedule, right up until the very final edit.

Then we'll need some stock footage and some music, along with a narrator. I can plug in prices very approximately but I always fear that some committee, lurking behind the curtains, will scuttle all our first choices for various highly subjective reasons and send me back to look for more. Again and again. 

So much easier to get up and go into the house for another cup of coffee. So much more fun to sit here and write this blog. Even more fun to head to the pool for some spirited swimming, but it's Monday and the pool is closed. 

The simplest cure for work procrastination? Run out of money. That's always an effective whip to motivate even a jaded procrastinator like myself....

The sooner we start the sooner we're done....