101rt

I was recently contracted to create business head shots for select employees of the American Automobile Association (aka AAA). The job would require travel. Lots of travel (something they know quite a bit about). They wanted a consistent look among all bio photos, particularly with regards to background, lighting, cropping, and retouching. They had over a thousand employees in the southeast, spread out over 67 branches in three states. And, they had a deadline. “Can you do it?”

I had been selected as their photographer back in October, with a proposed deadline of February 28th. After photographing the first seven locations in Southwest Florida, they realized that my costs had not been budgeted for 2015, so I was put on hold until the first of the year where budgets for this project were now in place. The new deadline was May 1st.

I rekindled scheduling beginning in early February. There were 47 locations in Florida and 10 each in Georgia and Tennessee. Because of prior commitments and shoots with other clients, I selectively fit them into my already-busy schedule where I could, attempting to do two to three branches in a single day whenever possible.

The beauty of working all over the state of Florida, is that no matter where I went, I had friends to stay with. Jacksonville? Tammy Czigan; Tallahassee? Cindy Strickland; Miami? Marybeth Jackson; Sarasota/Bradenton? Manny Cruz. I could base myself just about anywhere to reach a cluster of offices over a one, two, or three day period, and even had an assistant at one time (THANK YOU TAMMY!).

Georgia and Tennessee would require a single road trip and a race to the finish. In fact, my road trip actually started with the Miami offices, beginning in Stuart and working my way south to cover eight branches over three days. From there, I crossed the state and spent the weekend with family in Ft Myers, before heading north to Savannah, Ga. I knocked out all twenty Georgia and Tennessee branches in seven days of shooting.

A bonus in Nashville, was running into my good friends (all Past Presidents of the FPP), Al Gordon, Dana Lunden, and Jackson Koontz III.

My final push to complete the assignment lasted 15 days (with weekends off), covered 28 offices, 328 head shots, and involved driving 3,421 miles.

I set up and tore down the same portable studio 67 times since this began. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve likely seen that setup accompanied with the hashtag #todayscameraroom more than enough times. Some offices were huge, some were tiny. I was set up in everything from boardrooms, to broom closets. The people I had the honor of working with were incredible! Friendly, kind, sweet, and cooperative. I couldn’t have asked for a better scenario or group of individuals to work with.

It’s nice to get out of the studio, even if I have to bring it with me. Road trips are like therapy. I can mentally check out – solve all the world’s problems – and see some great scenery along the way.

“Yes. I can do it.”

065rt

#todayscameraroom

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