Sunday, May 14, 2017

Commerical Photography

 When I was in photography school I had learned about Commercial Photography as one of the options that one could pursue. It was interesting because I had never realized everything that went into creating an ad. One of the projects I had to do was to recreate another ad. I had to show the original and mine. It took about five different sessions with Models to find the right one.

My instructor said that she preferred mine over the original. I can see why. It looked like the original on the bottom was shot in a studio whereas, mine was in public. Mine on the top seems to represent the everyday woman shopping. The one on the bottom seemed to be more towards the affluent shopper. Either way they both represent shopping.  Plus, I still had more learning.

Then I saw a spice company with Models trying to advertise the product. It really did not seem the images would be effective as the Model seemed to be more of the subject in the image then the product. I wanted to give it a try. I had some images in mind.

I knew that the product needed to be in the image. I work with a young lady to actually use the product in preparing food. We did get a few good images that day. I do hope the inserts to the images helped to define the product.

I know that people normally associate spices for grilling and are normally targeted to men since they normally grill. Although, I know that I would use a young lady preparing food in a kitchen would be acceptable since choosing spices as I believe is not just limited to men.

I was happy the way these images turned out and the young lady performed very well. I still need to do the grill image. My thoughts are that both this girl and her father could represent family cooking out. That will be my next adventure. I sure Breana will be ready to shoot.

In case you are wondering the spice was really good.

See my website at: Michael Tillack Photography

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Time for Marketing

As a person who is reestablishing my business in Alabama it has been a difficult journey.  I have been busy with a few teen Models who were great to work with along with their parents. I enjoy helping these young ladies to get started with their portfolios. I have shared some of the pictures that I have shot for these young ladies. Now that I am getting closer to June I realize that I have to redirect my energy towards my business. This means a lot of marketing since I am new to Alabama.

As I have read books and numerous articles and they all say about the same thing. Yet, I realized many are geared to towards family portrait photography. That is not my specialty. Don’t misunderstand. If someone wants to hire me for family portraits then by all means I will do the job. My focus is more around the art of boudoir and glamour as my primary focus. So where do I advertise?

My first look is FB at what options are available. I do have a business page but FB limits the reach unless I pay to boost the views. It is great that I am able to customize my search. But I am not seeking likes. However, I need a more targeted marketing campaign.

I think my best bet will be Google. I am signed up for business account with them along with Bing for Business. I should be able to target those who search for a boudoir photographer. Hopefully, this will help with searches to have my website seen. I will have to plan that I get closer to my new studio. But for now I will just concentrate on the no cost methods.

I notice that women are hosting beauty products home sales session. I though what I could do is to offer headshots at no cost. No sales pitch. Just a business card. I know when they see my work they will remember me. Now I just need to think of other ideas.

What ideas can you share with me?  

Sunday, March 12, 2017

2017 Had A Slow Start But Now

It is good to be able to write again. I have been busy with traveling, work and recovering from a heart attack in January. The medical care I received while in Germany was great. They saved my life. I seemed to be back to normal except I now get cold very easily. In the past month I had the opportunity to do some Boudoir shoots in the past month. This is what I have wrote about before in previous post.

As I reflect back on several of the women that I have worked with in the past month that I feel blessed that they have become part of my life. They are a treasure in my heart. I learned a lot from them and I know we will all be shooting again. One of the shoots I would like to do is an outside Boudoir shoot with these ladies. Right now I renting a house and just waiting for the new house to be built and hope to move in in June.

Since Winter weather is too cold to shoot outside set-up a studio in my rental home. Then when I move into my new house I will have more space for a new studio. It makes shooting easy since we have privacy and do not have to worry about the weather. Although, I am looking forward to the warm weather that is coming in the next several months. Meanwhile, I been busy planning for the move to a new home.

I had realized that I was going to have to acquire more equipment for my studio. I do have some simple backdrops but those are in storage. However, I need more to choose from depending on the shoot. I have ordered a nice back drop in which is a dark blue on one side and then a nickel grey on the other the back. It allows me to have a choice when shooting.

I am also considering getting a second strobe light. I have been using an Alien Bee which has been a great strobe light. I do have other lights and may just invest in a beauty dish for my strobe light.

Either way I am confident that 2017 will be a great year for Michael Tillack Photography.

Share your thoughts!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

A New Start in 2017

Now that we are in 2017 and it is a new start I have been thinking about my photography. Most of what I have shot in the past two months has been in Europe. I got to see some wonderful places and will be traveling back soon. I want to visit Switzerland and Austria. Maybe even work with a Model while I am traveling. But I have given thought about my photography in the U.S.

In 2016, I did a few Model Calls and met some great people that have come close to my heart. I know will be working with them in the New Year. I will still continue to shoot for Raw Talent and Swim Rags. However, my main focus will be on Boudoir and Swimwear. Additionally, I will shoot for more publications.

Now the real challenge for 2017 will be advertising. I will be doing more targeted advertising with Facebook. I am choosing this platform since I am new to Tuscaloosa and not known yet. My goal is to be one of the top Boudoir Photographers in Alabama.
I will also keep a lot of focus on Swimwear photography. As I written before as being an affiliate photographer for Swim Rags. This is a good opportunity for someone who is trying to pursue modeling. Many of these shoots that I will be doing will be submitted to different publications to be published. This looks really good in a Model’s portfolio.

I look forward to bringing you some beautiful images.

Share your thoughts!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Doing Simple Portraits Shots in Germany

I know that it has been some time since I wrote on my blog. I have recently relocated to Tuscaloosa, Al for a new job and have to travel back and forth to Europe. Which has been great for doing landscape photography. Since most of my work has been working with Models and doing Boudoir for several clients I wanted to do something just a little bit different.
While in Germany I met a young lady who had a very outgoing personality. You could see that she is a woman who is filled with a good spirit. I knew she would be great doing some simple portrait pictures. We did the shoot in Abensberg, Germany the day was overcast and chilly. As you can see in the picture below.

Steffi is not a Model but she did really well. We just went around town just taking shots at different locations. As I was taking her pictures she was talking about the town and her dreams. She is working as a server at a local restaurant and has her eyes set on a place to open a bar. I believe that Steffi will make her dream a reality. 

I will be traveling back and forth to Germany for the next five months. I hope to do more shooting with this lovely young lady. She is a natural in front of a camera. Too see more of this beautiful lady follow link to her gallery.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Photography Scams

Being a photographer and listed on both Facebook (fb) and on my business website, I encounter scams or see another photographer getting contacted by a scammer. Then this week I encountered a new twist on an old scam.  So I decided to research scams that are directed towards photographers.

I had first started with a Modeling network site where I am listed to see if they had any info. The site has a wealth of information on scams in which are directed toward a Model’s safety. Yet, I did not see any giving advice to photographers. There may be information that you may have to dig for on the site. Which I did not do as I found other sites. Unfortunately, there are bad photographers preying on these young women. It is about time to bring forward the scams the good photographers face.

The first scam I encountered was a family reunion. In the first email the client claimed to have had ear surgery and could not talk on the phone. Everyone I know has two ears. It was odd. It was a red flag. The client said that the reunion was being held at a local restaurant and asked if I took credit cards. One can see from my website  that I do accept credit cards. However, they wanted me to send money to the caterer. Really a catering business that does not take a credit card. Yes, I can just see a caterer bringing food to a steakhouse. I knew this was a scam. Here is a link with many examples of this type of scam.

Then this week I encountered an interesting scam which may catch a newbie photographer. I received a message request through fb about a paid shoot. It was a simple message but confusing. I thought this girl was a traveling Model. I told her I do not pay Models. Then the reply was to pay me. Some designer wanted a shoot done in this area but would not share info on fb and wanted to communicate through email. This was a big red flag.

So I asked for details. It was very clear this was a scam. The pay was $5000 dollars. Too funny. They informed me that the Model I found for this project did not need any experience. This was getting funnier. Later in the message they stated a Model would be furnished. Along with hair and makeup artist. One catch was the advance that they would be forwarding to me in which I had to send $500 to the designer so the designer could send the clothing. The red flags – Contacting me through fb not my website since my email is listed. Only wanted to do email with very poor grammar. Finally, to send money to the designer. Yet, I assume someone else may have fallen into this trap.

As I searched I learned about some others scams. It was interesting the lengths that people will do to rip off someone. What I saw the in the link below that I am sharing below makes me think that these scammers need a meeting with a baseball bat. My writing shows my anger but I had to deal with a tech service scam that targeted my 78 year old Mother in Law. I do love and care about her. The money was recouped but these folks have continued on with their business.

Please visit my website to see my work at
Michael Tillack Photography

Photographer Wilmington, NC

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Beach

As summertime had approach and living near the ocean I knew that I had to do some Model photography on the beach. Since I really did not know the Models in this area I decided to put out a Model Call since I wanted some pictures for my website. I know a bikini shoot on the beach resulted in several inquiries. One lady was local and the other was from South Carolina three hours away. After I saw their portfolios I knew the results would be great.

The first lady I had met was Melinda. She was local and I selected an area on the beach. As any professional photographer knows shooting in the middle of the day is not going to result in any good images in the sunlight unless you have assistants and the gear. I had the gear but no assistants. The best time to shoot with the sun is before sunset. Which is also known as the “Golden Hour.” Since we are on the East Coast I knew the sun was going to be opposite the ocean.

Melinda had brought a lot of fun energy and additional swimwear. I just knew the shoot would be good. However, I had new challenges shooting by the ocean. It was the incoming tide and the water rushing up and back from the waves. I had not prepared for my feet to get wet. We managed and got some great shots. Melinda was a mature adult and very easy to work with while shooting. One of my biggest concern was gear. Since we were out in the surf I could not use my tripod because it could easily tip over. Plus my wagon with gear that was on the beach which was out of my sight. It is different than being on a lake. Either you were in the water or out.

The next beach shoot was with Tiffany who drove three hours to shoot. This young lady was determined. As we prepared for shooting she was getting her make up touched up. Tiffany was ready. It was apparent she was natural to posing. We shot in the same location and time as I had done with Melinda. The sun seemed to be stronger, however, it was giving her skin a beautiful glow. I knew that the time was right. We also managed to shoot in the sand as well which was fun. Tiffany said the sand was so soft.

During the shoot Melinda joined us. She brought me water which I very much appreciated. Having two very beautiful ladies on the beach was great. They even took turns shooting. Hopefully, I will get to South Carolina and see Tiffany. She is an awesome Model. I sure I will shoot again soon with Melinda who is a beautiful lady.

Michael Tillack Photography