Senior Communities

Franciscan Communities/ Marian Village, Homer Glen

Last year, I photographed all eight senior communities for Franciscan Communities, from the northern suburbs of Chicago, to Lafayette, Indiana and all the way out to Cleveland, Ohio. The shooting took place over about a month.

I’ve photographed retirement communities several times in my career, and have always enjoyed the work. The residents are generally very relaxed and willing to be in pictures (usually… but not always!). It’s a different pace of life. We shot lots of different scenarios, from meal times (showing off the dining areas) to the residents’ apartments, going on walks, the gym, cinema and even residents hanging out in their new pub. The purpose of the pictures was to show the residents having a good time while showing off the amenities.

Franciscan Communities/ Victory Lakes, Lindenhurst

Franciscan Communities/ University Place, Lafayette, Indiana

Franciscan Communities/ St Anthony Home, Crown Point, Indiana

Franciscan Communities/ Mount Alverna Village, Parma (Cleveland), Ohio

Franciscan Communities/ Marian Village, Homer Glen

Franciscan Communities/ Marian Village, Homer Glen

Franciscan Communities/ Franciscan Village, Lemont

Franciscan Communities/ Addolorata Villa, Wheeling

Do You Do Video?

[Jennifer’s Story, for healthcare client, 2014]

I first got the video question about five years ago; I’d just gotten my first D-SLR camera that could shoot video, the Canon 5D Mark 2. This particular camera caused a revolution in the photo/ video world. Suddenly feature films and commercials were being shot using small, relatively inexpensive cameras and high quality video was finally made affordable to the masses.

But making high quality video isn’t as simple as just buying a good camera. The two places where most new videographers fall down is in lighting and sound. Good lighting is essential– something experienced photographers have to deal with all the time. But where a lot of ‘new videographers’ fall short is in recording quality sound. If the audio is muffled or hard to hear, even the best videos can still be hard to watch.

I’ve invested thousands of dollars over the last three years in quality video gear. I now work with three external microphones, two audio recorders, pro editing software, video lighting (completely different from lighting gear used in photography) and a specialized video tripod (again, totally different from a photography tripod).

[Brian’s Story, for healthcare client, 2014]

Today, video is a regular part of what I do. I’m currently working on a training video for Bank of America, as well as a short web video for one of my hospital clients. There are more in the works too. Last year I made several events videos for clients too- some for distribution to news outlets and others for web use or training purposes.

Do I do video? Definitely… I really love putting together stories.

Email me to talk over any ideas you have.

 

The Adventures of Mike’s Camera is the blog of freelance photographer, Mike Hudson. He is available for commercial photography assignments– marketing, corporate, editorial, annual reports, lifestyle, web page photography, and events. His clients have included many regional and national magazines and newspapers, several healthcare providers, colleges, hotels, architectural firms, small businesses and more. Visit MichaelHudsonPhotography.com to check out his portfolio or contact him via email.

 

 

Annual Reports- Healthcare

Provena St Joseph Medical Center Nurses' Annual ReportSince 2001, I’ve worked for about a half dozen healthcare providers, which includes more than a dozen hospitals as well as dozens of clinics, senior homes and other facilities. For someone who had only been to a hospital for the birth of my kids, it was an education at first, but I’ve grown used to working with brain surgeons, oncologists, nurses, patients and administrators on a regular basis. One of my favorite projects to work on is the annual report, which showcases the previous year’s successes. These are all from one of my clients in Joliet, south of Chicago, for their nursing annual reports.

Presence St Joseph Medical Center/ Nurses Annual Report

Presence St Joseph Medical Center, exterior views with new signage Presence St Joseph Medical Center, exterior views with new signage Presence St Joseph Medical Center, exterior views with new signage Provena St Joseph Medical Center Nurses' Annual Report Provena St Joseph Medical Center 2012 Nurses' Annual Report- Dr Farrell and Ortho Team Provena St Joseph Medical Center Nursing Annual Report Provena St Joseph Medical Center Nursing Annual Report Provena St Joseph Medical Center Nursing Annual Report Provena St Joseph Medical Center Nursing Annual Report Provena St Joseph Medical Center Nursing Annual Report- Pat Loverude in the new OR Provena St Joseph Medical Center Hospital, Joliet- Nurses Calend Presence St Joseph Medical Center/ Nurses Annual Report Presence St Joseph Medical Center/ Nurses Annual Report Presence St Joseph Medical Center/ Nurses Annual Report Presence St Joseph Medical Center/ Nurses Annual Report Presence St Joseph Medical Center/ Nurses Annual Report Presence St Joseph Medical Center/ Nurses Annual Report

 

The Adventures of Mike’s Camera is the blog of freelance photographer, Mike Hudson. He is available for commercial photography assignments– marketing, corporate, editorial, annual reports, lifestyle, web page photography, and events. His clients have included many regional and national magazines and newspapers, several healthcare providers, colleges, hotels, architectural firms, small businesses and more. Visit MichaelHudsonPhotography.com to check out his portfolio or contact him via email.

 

Lighting is Everything

[This post was originally written about five years ago for my first photo blog]

I was asked by a new commercial client today if it’ll be necessary to set up lights for a shoot we’re doing. I know the location will be bright enough to shoot without any additional lights, but I responded that we may use them anyway. Here’s why…

IMG_6981b

Photography literally means ‘drawing with light’. Think about it– without light, whatever you’re taking a picture of won’t be visible. As a photographer, I’m always faced with decisions about how to photograph a particular subject. Should I use available light, or light with my portable strobes (variable power flashes)? How will the light fall on my subject? Will they be backlit? How will I light up the background so it doesn’t go dark? If I’m using available light, will the color be weird due to mixed sources (all lighting emits different colors- tungsten light bulbs are yellow, fluorescents can be green or light yellow, and halogens defy normal colors)? Will the available light complement my subject, or should I use supplemental lighting to define my subject?

A while ago I did a shoot for a client that went on the cover of a magazine. This was an important shot, probably seen by 100,000- 150,000 people, and the cover sets the tone of the magazine. Put a bland picture on the cover and people may not even open the magazine. Put a quality picture on the front and readers will associate that quality with the organization producing the magazine. I wanted it to look really sharp and draw attention to the woman who was the cover model. Bland lighting wasn’t going to cut it. In the end I used three lights– two on the woman and one bounced off the ceiling, lighting up the colorful background. It took more time to set up and shoot the picture, but the effort was justified by the final result.

Morris Hospital HealthSource Magazine Cover Shoot- Dawn Dike (Stroke Patient), Lisbon, Illinois

And that brings me to my point. The magazine client and I have been working together for many years and we almost always use additional lighting. Another client of mine has a tight budget (ok, all my clients do…) and wants to squeeze the most out of my time while we’re shooting together. We rarely use my lights, often moving quickly from shot to shot without time to think about making things look any better. Basically, we’re shooting snapshots with little thought about lighting. There are times this works ok, but most times, unfortunately, the pictures don’t look like anything special. Image is everything, and for better or worse, people will judge your business by the image you portray. If the images of your business are classy, well executed and eye catching, your customers will look at your business that way too. There are times when I won’t want to use additional lighting and natural light can sometimes be perfect for the job, but for the best quality, take the time to create your images, don’t just let them appear.

The first picture was used for placement, to see where the subject would stand and how the background would appear; the second shows the effects of additional lighting. BTW, extra space above her head and around the edges was purposefully planned for the magazine masthead and additional copy.

© Michael Hudson, All Rights Reserved

The final magazine cover

 

The Adventures of Mike’s Camera is the blog of freelance photographer, Mike Hudson. He is available for commercial photography assignments– marketing, corporate, editorial, annual reports, lifestyle, web page photography, and events. His clients have included many regional and national magazines and newspapers, several healthcare providers, colleges, hotels, architectural firms, small businesses and more. Visit MichaelHudsonPhotography.com to check out his portfolio or contact him via email.

 

 

Adrenaline Rush

The Assignment:

One of my top hospital clients was looking for an image to go on a billboard. They were promoting their Emergency Department and wanted a good shot of an ambulance speeding down the road.

the finished picture

the finished picture

How I Made it Work:

Right away, we had this image of an ambulance driving right towards the camera, lights flashing, cars pulled over to the side of the road. To accomplish this, I would need to be in a lead car, shooting back at the ambulance. My client brought along her car, which had a sun roof that opened all the way. We chose a fairly busy street to drive down, and met up with the ambulance drivers in a parking lot off the main road to go over the details.

After briefing the drivers and making sure we were all on the same page, I got in the client’s car, stood on her front passenger seat and poked my head and arms out of the open sun roof. I turned around and leaned on the back of her roof, facing toward the back of the car. I admit to feeling a bit nervous as we pulled into the road, with me poking out of the car… and an ambulance driving a few yards behind us. Since we would need all the lights flashing and cars to pull over, they had the sirens on full blast too. It was surreal being in front of an ambulance, which was chasing me down the road. It felt wrong not to pull over.

We did several runs back and forth down the street, as well as shooting the ambulance from the side of the road, passing by the camera. In the end, the picture they ran on the billboard was one of the side views. But I really liked the head-on view, so I re-worked the picture to give it more action and drama.

Initially, I had in my mind a picture of a sharp ambulance, with the road blurring past, like you see above. But because I was shooting from a moving vehicle, I couldn’t slow my shutter speed down enough to get the blur I wanted (see the original unedited picture below). Instead, I shot with a fast shutter speed to freeze the action, and added the motion blur later in post production.

Uncropped, unedited version of the same image

Uncropped, unedited version of the same image

There aren’t many people who can say they’ve been ‘chased’ by an ambulance, but it was a real rush, and one of my more memorable shoots from the last few years.

 

The Adventures of Mike’s Camera is the blog of freelance photographer, Mike Hudson. He is available for commercial photography assignments– marketing, corporate, editorial, annual reports, lifestyle, web page photography, and events. His clients have included many regional and national magazines and newspapers, several healthcare providers, colleges, hotels, architectural firms, small businesses and more. Visit MichaelHudsonPhotography.com to check out his portfolio or contact him via email.