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A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to photograph another artist in my Hand-Made series, featuring men and women who make their living with their hands. I visited Judith Schaechter, an incredible stained glass artist at her studio in South Philadelphia. Judith took the time to walk me through her process from the concepting of the design, the additive process of combining different pieces of colored glass to achieve the desired blend, the cutting of the raw materials, and the tedious steps of shaping and creating designs within each piece to create a finished mosaic. Like many artists in my series I was particularly impressed with Judith’s ability to imagine a design and bring that design to fruition over a period of weeks and often times even months of work. That kind of determination seems to be a running theme for the artists in this series. One of the notable differences between Judith and some of the other artists I’ve photographed for this series is that the tools Judith uses in her work are remarkably simple and low-tech. There’s something especially impressive about seeing the intricate final pieces she creates and knowing that, with few exceptions, much of the work was done using tiny unassuming hand-tools. Judith’s work has appeared all over the country and the world, but recently she commissioned a number of pieces for an installation at Philadelphia’s famous Eastern State Penitentiary. Much thanks to Judith for allowing me to photograph her and her work. Enjoy the pictures and when you’re finished shoot on over to my portfolio to view the rest of the artisans in the series.

  • Mark - Wonderful photographs. The directness and detail show the talent and dedication that both of you share. Glad I found your site.May 28, 2013 – 3:45 am

  • KellieAnn Reynolds - Fantastic portraits of Judith Schaechter, her work is mind-blowing. I really love the blue harpy piece, and the following photo of her in the bay window. Thank you for creating this series. Beautiful!October 29, 2013 – 7:32 pm

Aside from my Hand-Made project (which you can see by clicking here), I’ve been working on an ongoing series called “Along The Way” that features various local lifestyle scenes from around the U.S. and the world. A few months ago, I had a job that took me to beautiful Colorado. As my scheduled shoot wrapped in Loveland, CO, I took a side trip to the Larimer County Fair in Loveland Colorado. It was, both photographically and anecdotally an interesting experience. Though county fairs aren’t completely foreign to our neck of the woods in southeastern PA, there was something especially authentic about this county fair in the mid-west. There was an appreciation for animals and a level of seriousness, especially from the kids, that was neat to see. For my part, I couldn’t imagine the ten year-old version of myself having the faintest idea what to do with a sheep or how to tell an award-winning sheep from your regular ol’ run-of-the-mill sheep. Alas, I suppose everyone misses out on some important childhood experiences.

In addition to the county fair, I took a day trip westwards into Rocky Mountain National Park. After having achieved my goal of visiting all 50 states, the next traveling goal I’ve set is to see all 58 U.S. National Parks. I got up at 4am to make sure I could catch the sun as it rose in the valley just east of the Rockies and managed to capture one of my favorite landscapes pictured first below.

This year we have trips planned to the Florida Keys, Jackson Wyoming, and Maine that will, I’m sure, provide inspirational fodder for future “Along the Way” shoots. Enjoy the images!

rocky mountain national park photographer of a midwestern field at sunriserocky mountain national park riverrocky mountain national park photographyLarimer county fair photography near loveland colarimer county fair photoslady in waiting at the larimer county fairlarimer county fair woman on horse in the midwestwoman on a horse in the midwest at the larimer county fairwoman riding horse in the midwest at colorado county fairhorse standing outside of larimer county fairgoat at a county fair in the mid westsheeo at a county fair in the mid westcounty fair rides at larimer county fair in coloradocounty fair food vendorcounty fair vendors and rides in the midwest

There are two common challenges that all photographers face when we work primarily with people as our subjects. The first challenge is making our subject(s) feel comfortable in the inherently uncomfortable position of having a camera trained on them. The second is becoming familiar with what is often a new or unfamiliar space and isolating the best area or background in that space that helps tell the photographic story we are trying to tell.

In corporate photography, we are often presented with a third challenge, especially when dealing with high-level executives, in which our subject has very little time to make a picture. This means that we have to have the location, lighting, and any other elements to the picture completely worked out before he or she even arrives. Having every element squared away allows me to focus 100% of my energies on coaxing the best interaction with the camera out of the subject. Corporate photography demands an ability to work quickly and adapt to last-minute changes all while instilling our subjects with the confidence that we will make them and their company look their best. Executives after all, despite their high-level positions at their company, are just like every other photography subject: They want to look their best and are placing their trust in us to make them look that way. It’s a unique relationship and we were really excited to have the opportunity to work with so many corporate clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Delaware this year who continue to present us with new and exciting opportunities to help put their business in the best light.

From executive portraits of major corporations to staged interactions at tech start-ups whose images were featured in corporate reports, magazines, and marketing campaigns, we shot just about every type of corporate and business photography you can imagine this year and then some. Here is a small sample of a few of our favorite corporate photography images from 2012.

executive photography of Chris Young of Async against the Philadelphia skyline

corporate photography of employees interacting at jp morgan in New York CityEnvironmental Portrait of Dr. Christopher Haines outside Philadelphiacorporate photography of employees at a pharmaceutical company in New JerseyExecutive photography of Avery Amaya of WebLinc at the WebLinc office in PhiladelphiaExecutive portrait of Reed Cordish, owner of Xfinity Live in Philadelphiastaged Interaction between a patient and employee at SanofiExecutive portrait of Dean George Tsetsekos at Drexel UniversityCorporate photography ofCorporate Photography of Bennett Lebow at Drexel UniversityEnvironmental Portrait of Jenness Parker for New York law firm Skaddencorporate image from a town hall at New Jersey Pharmaceutical company Sanofi

corporate photography of employees at jp morgan in New York City

  • Chris Renton - Very nice images Ben. Love the bar and theatre portraits in particular – great lighting and composition!March 25, 2013 – 4:03 am

Over the past year, I’ve been working on a personal project that features artists and craftsmen who work with their hands for a living. This project, called Hand-Made, recently took me westwards to San Diego where I had the opportunity to add two amazing shoots to the project. Images from one of the shoots, was featured in a recent issue of the Los Angeles-based Show Pony Magazine, a magazine created by a super-talented photographer, Becky Hill. I met Becky a few years ago when she lived in Chicago and have always loved her photography so when she told me she was putting together a magazine and explained her vision, I was more than happy to have my work included. Show Pony describes themselves as “an online community that features extraordinary individuals, artisans and independent business owners. We encourage the creative community, provide education, support small business and aspire to connect with like-minded individuals.” Be sure to check out the awesome work they are doing at Show Pony Magazine, read the article on Koehler Kraft, and take a look at the tear sheets of the feature below. Also in case you haven’t seen it, shoot on over to my portfolio site to take a look at my Hand-Made project and the images I’ve added so far.

Show Pony Magazine feature on Koehler Kraft by Philadelphia Portrait Photographer Ben Weldonboat and boat maker photographer Ben Weldonhand tool and wood work photographer ben weldonartistic boat imagery by ben weldon

We’re coming to the end of an incredibly busy summer here and we have a lot of work that we just haven’t had time to post. In May, I began working with a very talented digital artist, Alexa Miller, who among other tasks, helped orchestrate a series of shoots to scale up our new advertising portfolio. Alexa helped with the conceptualizing stages of the shoot and then added some magic touches to the final images.

One of the shoots we started with was based around a simple portrait idea I had in which six different models would each be showcasing a different piece of fruit. Sounded easy enough, but as with most conceptual shots, there was quite a bit to consider. The first step was determining our talent. We pored over hundreds of pictures from a few casting calls and ended up with six models who had the right vibe and a fun energy. Once we secured the talent, we moved on to wardrobe. We wanted each model to be wearing something neutral as a base with a single color that was going to match the fruit that we’d shoot them with. This required some careful consideration; we had to determine which colors would work best with each model’s look and what accessories or piece of clothing would match both the fruit and model. I wanted the colors to be subtle and not overpowering — to be more of an accent so the focus could be on the model and their action in the shot. Once we had our talent, fruit, and wardrobe selected and assembled, the final step was to wrap our shooting space in endless sheets of plastic tarp so our models could throw, smash, and squash fruit to their heart’s content (This guy would have been in heaven). Thanks also to Alyssa Nemeth for her excellent makeup styling.

The final images turned out great with some excellent selects and of course, many hilarious outtakes. I had more fruit thrown at me than I care to write about, but it was all worth it to get some great pictures. Alexa then took the final images and after some retouching and adjustments to make sure that the colors matched, we developed a styled filter that we applied to all of the photos to give the whole shoot a cohesive look. All-in-all it was a great experience and a nice addition to our portfolio. I’m posting the fruits of our labor (always excited when I can sneak in a bad pun) in the form of our selects as well as few delicious outtakes. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

advertising image of a model with fruit on white backdrop by Ben Weldonadvertising shot of a model with fruit on white backdrop by Ben Weldonadvertising image of a model throwing fruit on white backdrop by Ben Weldonadvertising image of a model with strawberries on white backdrop by Ben Weldonadvertising image of a model tossing an orange on white backdrop by Ben Weldonadvertising image of a model with bananas on white backdrop by Ben Weldoncompilation of advertising images of various models with fruit on white background