Judicial Portraits

I continue to be called on to create paintings of judges for display in courtrooms. These are gifted to the counties by the local bar associations.

Since my last posting, I've been commissioned to produce about eight more paintings. I never set out to get this work, but just sort of fell into it. They are digital paintings on canvas that start out as a photograph. Each judge poses for about a 45-minute session in which I'll take about a hundred photographs. They then get to pick which image they'd like transformed into a painting. The image is transformed into a painting by painting brush strokes over the image with my Wacom Intuos Pro tablet and pen in Photoshop. After many iterations and days of work, the final image gets presented to the court for approval after which it gets printed on archival canvas, stretched and put in a gold frame. The finished paintings are then presented at an unveiling ceremony in the courtroom where the judges get to see the finished paintings for the first time.

The finished result gives the impression of an oil painting that was created by a Renaissance artist. This is not surprising, because it's recently been discovered that many of the great Renaissance painters used optical techniques to trace their subjects and get the lighting perfect, producing almost "photographic" oil paintings. Along with books on the subject, there is a very good documentary film called "Tim's Vermeer" which illustrates some of these techniques. I have developed my own techniques to get similar results.
judicial portrait, judges portrait, painting
Judicial Portrait of a Carbon County Judge

judicial portrait, judges portrait, painting
Judicial Portrait of a Carbon County Judge - detail

judicial portrait, judges portrait, painting
Judicial Portrait of a Carbon County Judge - detail

judicial portrait, judges portrait, painting
Judicial Portrait of a Carbon County Judge - detail

Click on the images to see them larger.

This is one of three environmental judicial portraits that I painted for the Carbon County Courthouse in Pennsylvania. Shown is both the complete painting and some detail views. The canvas is 30x40".

You can see more examples of this work on my website for these projects: JudgesPortraits.com

Handcrafted Furniture Photography

Even though my studio is small, I'm occasionally called upon to photograph objects that are larger than my studio can comfortably accommodate. In these instances, I take my show on the road and take my studio equipment and background to their warehouse or factory and shoot there. This makes it easier for my clients because they have equipment and staff on hand to move things around if needed. It also saves them the expense of loading a truck, transporting to a studio, and having a couple of people away from the business for the day while they supervise a photo shoot. I shoot with my camera tethered to a laptop to the images can be studied and adjusted as their shot. The clients are able to give feedback on the spot, and the whole photoshoot moves much more quickly and efficiently.

Great photos of their furniture are essential not only for their websites but also for sending images to retail furniture stores so people can see that they can provide for customers.

The images below were recently shot in western Pennsylvania for a family owned furniture manufacturer. They make beautiful handcrafted furniture that is sold at craft fairs along the eastern seaboard. They contacted me because they were dissatisfied with the photographers in their region. They were all portrait and wedding photographers that lacked the knowledge, experience, and equipment needed to create images of their furniture that adequately captured their beauty.

photograph of furniture for a manufacturer
Click on the image to see it larger

photograph of furniture by a professional photographer
Click on the image to see it larger

professional furniture photography by Philadelphia photographer Richard Quindry
Click on the image to see it larger

furniture photography by Philadelphia photographer Rich Quindry
Click on the image to see it larger
professional furniture photographer
Click on the image to see it larger

professional furniture photography
Click on the image to see it larger

Furniture photography by professional photographer Richard Quindry
Click on the image to see it larger

Medical device photography

Click on the image to see it larger
More and more I'm called upon when clients have medical products that require very specialized skills and equipment to photograph. Medical devices are among the most notable of these. They are often tiny and difficult to accurately move into position. They require additional equipment to move them around in front of the camera. The images must be of the highest standard and communicate quality and precision. 

At these magnifications, optical laws make conventional photographic techniques ineffective. Entirely different approaches are needed to get passable results, much less outstanding ones. Some medical device photos require compositing up to 200 images taken at different focus points to create one image that shows sharpness throughout the entire product. I must say though, that I love the challenge of capturing beautiful medical device images. Here are a few examples of medical products and devices. I've added insets in some of the medical device photos to show how tiny they are.

You can see more examples of my medical device photography at my site that show additional examples of my work in this specialty: MedicalDevicePhotography.com

medical device photo
Click on the image to see it larger
photo of medical device - embolization coil
Click on the image to see it larger.

medical product photo
Click on the image to see it larger
photo of medical device showing it's relative size
Click on the image to see it larger

The Intention of the Photographer

Click on the image to see it larger

Click on the image to see it larger

Click on the image to see it larger
In my opinion, when evaluating the work of photographers to decide who to hire, it's important to try to discern the intention of the photographer.

Now yes, technical aspects of the images are also essential. Photographs are only as good as the weakest link that created them. (Unless the photographer got lucky).

This includes the quality and consistency of the lighting in addition to the quality of the cameras and lenses. It also consists of the skills of the photographer: technical knowledge, mastery of light, attention to detail, compositional skills, problem solving abilities, creativity, their expertise and artistic ability with Photoshop and other post-production programs; and the interpersonal skills that are so necessary to evoke the desired expressions and body language when people are photographed.

Assuming the photographer has all of this down, there is still another problem. Many photographers see themselves as artists and try to create images that will draw attention to themselves so everyone will be impressed at how great they are. It's like a writer who wants to write the great American novel that will impress everyone with his or her writing skills. What makes a writer great though, is when the reader gets so involved with the story that they are unaware of the writing. It's the same way with photography.

When someone engages my services for a project, unless specifically instructed otherwise, I intend to create images that will improve their image and increase their sales.

It's not my goal for people to say "that's a great photo." My goal is for the viewer to see a product and feel it's beautifully made and desirable to buy. For the viewer of a room to think, what a beautiful space. For the viewer of a person to think: they look attractive, professional, intelligent, and trustworthy. I trust them enough to do business with them.

Without a doubt, the intention of the photographer matters. Remember, it's only creative if it sells.

Indeed, we "buy with our eyes." 

Judicial Portraits

This summer I was commissioned by the Montgomery County Bar Association to create a series of judges portraits for the Montgomery County Courthouse. I was honored to be approached and chosen by them for this important project.

Each judge was first photographed by me and then chose their favorite proof for me to create their portrait from. Then using Photoshop, I created a 24" x 30" archival digital painting on canvas of each judge. This project was something totally different for me. These are my first digital paintings. They took several days to create.

They were just recently unveiled, so I'm able to share them now. Here's a link to one of the newspaper accounts of the last unveiling ceremony: Portraits inspire Montgomery County judges to raise the bar

Click on the images to see them larger.

Photography of a Diner

Finished image

Primary Source Image - (Click on the images to make them larger.)

I was recently commissioned to shoot this restored diner for use in their ads and on their website. They requested a sunset shot which meant that the sunlight on the diner would also light up the hotel immediately behind it, causing them to blend together in a photograph. This caused a major visual problem that could only be solved during post-production. The job had to be done quickly as it was to have it's grand opening in 10 days and the trees were about to lose their leaves. After 5 days of rain we had our chance.

Two images were blended together with additional Photoshop work to create the final image. The primary image was a shot of the building at sunset as requested. The other image was taken about a half hour later after dark to record the lights inside the diner.

Some of the additional Photoshop work was darkening down the hotel, repaving the parking lot, removing the telephone pole and wires, removing the truck, the post on the right side and the light pole on the right which was forming a tangent with the edge of the diner. Anything that was not part of the main subject was removed or subdued in order to simplify the image as much as possible and to direct the viewer's attention to the diner.

Great photos are usually not taken; they're made. 

I'm usually more subtle in my color palette but the building is pretty unconventional looking and I decided to play it up and give it a bit of a painterly quality. It's always fun transforming the ordinary into something extraordinary.

See more examples of my work as a Philadelphia architectural photographer.

See more examples of my work as a Photoshop expert. 

Photography for an Interior Designer

(click on an image to see it larger)

This is a sampling from 15 interiors that I photographed the other day for Dana Neeld of Staging Spaces, an exceptionally talented interior designer in the Philadelphia region. We were tight for time, so I shot with minimal lighting, averaging about 15 minutes to set up the equipment and shoot each view. I prefer this approach because the photos "feel more real" to me.

The images don't come out of the camera looking anything like this. Cameras don't render scenes the way we perceive them. Extensive post-production is required to make the most of the data captured by the camera and create an image that has depth and looks real. Up to a dozen, images are combined to create each image. The post-production time averaged about 45 minutes for each image.

I show these to illustrate that excellent interior images are possible without going in with a crew and doing extensive lighting.

These images, especially when combined with her "before" photos are invaluable for her marketing as they show potential clients what she brings to the table. Since we buy with our eyes, photographs are by far the most effective way to demonstrate what she does.

Remember, if you're providing a service, you're selling trust. You can't show a buyer in advance what you're going to deliver, but you can show what you've done for others. Perception is everything, so you can't afford to use images that are less than the best.  

Great images aren't an expense, they're an investment.

Environmental Headshots

Click on an image to make it larger

These are from a series of location headshots of employees that I created for a company's website. They were shot on location at the company's headquarter's in NJ. The goal was to make everyone look likable and approachable. The man with his head centered is the company president.

Click on the link to see more examples of my headshot photography.

Jewelry Photography

Jewelry photography by Philadelphia product photographer Rich Quindry
Click on the image to make it larger.

This is from a series of images I created for a jewelry designer. The company is Dylanex. Their cool designs are both challenging and fun to shoot. Just the perfect look for wearing around the house. :) 

Some additional examples of jewelry photography are in my portfolio.

Most Photographers Just Don't Get It

The purpose of your images should always be to increase sales. They should be eye-catching, convey quality and create desire. 

Unfortunately, many professional photographers, graphic designers, creative directors and ad agencies just don't get it. They get so caught up in their desire to "be creative", win an award or copy the latest fad that they totally miss the point. They forget that the whole reason they're hired is to increase sales.

Buyers are bombarded with information, overworked and more than a little busy. They'll search for a particular product or service and they'll compare your website or brochure with your competitors. Most will quickly scan your materials and look at the photos to get a feel for the quality of your company and what you're selling. 

Because we think in pictures (think of your car - does an image come into thought or do words?), images influence perceptions. You'd better have images that convey quality, create desire and build trust. Images that are at least as good as your major competitors and preferably better.

The photos you use create powerful perceptions of your products or service. High quality professional photos provide a great return on your investment through increased sales.

Images that aren't high quality create the perception of an second rate company and cheap products. The money you think you're saving is small compared to the sales you'll lose.

Images that increase sales will return profits that far exceed their modest cost. Cheap shots  will cause you to lose sales without you even knowing it.