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Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Meet Jim Giunta: Head of Technical Support

Thursday, September 13th, 2018

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According to Dictionary.com a Renaissance Man is “a present-day man who has acquired profound knowledge or proficiency in more than one field.”

That completely defines our own Jim Giunta, Head of Pounds Technical Support. He’s been there and done that. Whether it’s skydiving, scuba diving, flying single-engine planes, shooting competitively, or working on his Harley, he’s all action, all the time. He’s also been a professional magician, which may explain how he makes so much happen here at Pounds!

Jim’s background includes a wide skill set. He worked in photography, missile electronics, and computers during time spent in the military. Then he expanded his knowledge base into video and broadcast journalism. When he was on the East Coast, he was in on the cutting-edge development of green screen technology and capture software.

He’s really done it all.

POUNDS: Tell us a little bit about your background.

JIM: I grew up in Rochester, New York, with seven siblings, one of which is my identical twin. Two of my brothers are magicians. My oldest brother was an electrician, a photographer, and a magician. I got interested in magic and photography through him. That’s how I put myself through college the first time, working as a photographer for schools during the week, weddings on the weekends, and supplementing that with magician gigs.

POUNDS: How long have you been in the photography business?

JIM: I’ve been in the business since 1972 when I was a military photographer. My first hitch was in Frankfurt. I was sent all over Europe because I had a security clearance. The majority of the work I did was classified. When I got out of the service, in Rochester, I worked in still and video, went back to school, and got another degree in broadcast journalism. Then I went back to the military and worked in electronics and computers specifically on the Pershing II ballistic missile.

POUNDS: How did your military career help you in your present job?

JIM: When I got out in ‘90, I had both camera and computer backgrounds. Everything was turning to digital, so it was perfect timing.

POUNDS: How did Pounds find you?

JIM: When I got to my first lab job at PCA, a guy working for them was trying to develop a department for specialty school and events and using green screen on-site. He hired me for the digital division. I stayed, he left. When they got bought out, he was involved in Pounds with a franchise operation and told them about me. He recommended me, and I got hired ‘07.

POUNDS: Tell us a bit about what you do for customers.

JIM: Support for volume photographers is more of a one-on-one service. They have a personal relationship with our people. We’re on call 24/7. We provide a more specialized and customized workflow for their specific business. We find out what type of business model they have, and assess skills, equipment, and resources. If necessary, we suggest equipment, marketing, or business support. We support them when they are up and running or if they are just beginning their volume careers. I also provide the support for customers that want websites and teach them how to use and maintain them.

POUNDS: What’s new and coming up?

JIM: We are expanding the customer support team, and we’re doing a lot of technical development this year. We will be enhancing our customer order submission softwares to give studios more control of the process. We’ll have the full capability of the PhotoLynx suite of software, and the website is offering direct fulfillment now.

POUNDS: What do customers tell you about their experience with Pounds?

JIM: The two points that come up time and time again are the quality of the product and the level of our support because it is one-on-one.

Meet Carolyn Taylor: Supervisor School Division + Order Entry

Thursday, September 13th, 2018

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Once Pounds hired Carolyn Taylor, we just would not let her go. When we bought another lab, a lot of us will tell you it was so we could hang on to her! She has done almost every job at Pounds and now holds the title Supervisor School Division / Order Entry. She also oversees the retouching department and Xerox printing. In other words, she’s still doing it all. It’s primarily due to Carolyn that the Pounds ship sails so smoothly every day!

POUNDS: How did you get started in the industry?

CAROLYN: I started working in the photography industry at Gittings Studios in the early to mid-80s. I was in the production department, and my responsibilities included filing negatives, wedding album and frame assembly, and portrait packaging. This was an awesome experience. The portraits assembled and packaged for presentation to clients were simple, a work of art! In 1987 the company was acquired by Paul Skipworth and became Gittings-Skipworth. I continued working a few years, then decided to apply for employment at Pounds as this was the lab that produced the work for Gittings and Gittings-Skipworth.

POUNDS: It sounds like you were destined to be with Pounds!

CAROLYN: I started working for Pounds in February of 1991. I was hired to work in the proofing department but was quickly moved to “cut neg” to operate the v7 and vp2 film printers. Printing on the v7 was my main job, but I filled in on the vp2 as needed. Back in those days, we kept a daily count of how many exposures the printer made. I hit the all-time high count on the v7. I don’t remember the count or the date that was, but it was a big deal then! In January of 1996, I was hired to work at Meisel.

That didn’t last long because Pounds acquired Meisel seven months later and I have worked here ever since, in almost every department except mounting and shipping. I was in on the ground floor when the transition from negatives to digital took place. My first thought was that we (Pounds) had lost our minds but look at us now!

POUNDS: Tell us a little bit about your family.

CAROLYN: I am a married mother of two children, a boy, and a girl and now grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren, two boys, and two girls. My oldest grandson lives with us and has brought much love and joy to our home. Our household has a huge heart for animals. We currently have two dogs and a cat, but we’ve had as many as five dogs at one time! My grandson enjoys school, school activities, and sports. If I leave work at a reasonable hour, it’s because I’m attending a basketball or football game! But don’t worry! I will always show up early the next day if necessary, to catch up on any of our customer’s work that may require my attention.

POUNDS: What’s new at Pounds?

CAROLYN: Our school division has grown by leaps and bounds since it first started. Today we have more than tripled our number of school customers and provide services to many studios across the United States. As always, we are looking to grow even more in this area. This year we have put into place new work-flows and processes to make the school experience here at Pounds more efficient, sustainable and pleasant for our customers.

POUNDS: What do you enjoy most about working with Pounds?

CAROLYN: I have always enjoyed the challenge of working at Pounds. Things are ever-changing, so there is no time to be bored. We are continuously improving and adding new processes and products to accommodate our customers’ needs. Each day is a new and different experience. There is always something to learn. If it can’t currently be done, our challenge is to figure out how it can be done and do it. We have moved many mountains over the years.

We are up to the challenge, so bring it on!

Seventy Six Years Ago

Friday, June 5th, 2015

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Guest blog by Missy Mwac
Seventy Six Years Ago

This is a photo of my dad in 2nd grade.

He is the one on the second row, far left, with a very serious middle part and mischief written all over his face.

It was taken in 1939.

I’m not good at math, but according to my calculations, this image is 76 years old.

76 years old.

There are very few items I possess that are this age or older. A couple pieces of furniture…some jewelry…handkerchiefs from my grandmother. My children never knew my dad; they only know him from photographs. And this photo has hung in our hallway for years.

I don’t know where technology will go; everything is changing and moving and phasing in and out at the blink of an eye. If you had told me five years ago that Apple laptops would no longer come with a CD drive, I would have laughed and asked what you were smoking.

And there’s a big part of me that loves that; a big part of me that is happy to ride the techno wave into the future. After all, I’m able to share this with you all because of technology.

But the only reason I have it to share in the first place is BECAUSE it was printed. And I think forward 50 years, when the most photographed generation on the planet is becoming grandparents themselves.

What will their grandchildren have to remember them by?

A paper photograph…or that digital file that was given to them by their photographer but is now lost in the back of a junk drawer somewhere because they never got around to printing it.

When this school photo was carried home in my dad’s excited little second grade hands, he had no way of knowing that 76 years later, his daughter and grandchildren would consider it one of their most prized possessions.

My dear photographer friends…I don’t believe creating and selling extraordinary prints for our clients to pass down from generation to generation is selfish or old-fashioned or out of date…I believe it’s our job.

xoxo
#‎pixelsareforsharingbutprintsareforpreserving
#‎printwhatyouwantopreserve

Gail Nogle Gets Around

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

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Fearless, curious, energetic and full of boundless enthusiasm, Gail Nogle has been there, done that and in a big way! Think of a place. Mongolia, Africa, Romania, she’s been there. Name a person. George Bush, Rudy Giuliani, Julia Child, she’s photographed them. Awards? Well of course there’s the highest award in the profession, a Fellowship from the American Society of Photographers. The list of accolades would fill a volume! At 8 she was presented with a Brownie Starlight camera and fell in love with photography. Gail has an extraordinary talent for capturing the ordinary and after over four decades behind the camera, she is still in love with photography and is still moving forward at the speed of light. She paused long enough to answer a few questions for us!

POUNDS: You’ve been in business for some time and photographed just about every sort of subject matter. What is your absolute favorite thing to photograph and why?
GAIL: My first love and forte is to photograph children, especially 3-year-old children because they are still animated and take direction well and they are ready to play!

POUNDS: What is your best asset when it comes to photographing a subject?
GAIL: My best asset is that I can read people, make them feel comfortable in a very short time, and get down to the business of making wonderful, exciting, and exceptional portraits of them!

POUNDS: You have been at the forefront of the industry, one of the first women to be taken seriously and you’ve remained competitive. How do you do it?
GAIL: Lots of effort, hard work and attention to detail. I never settle for just good enough and I’ve been entering competitions most of the 40 years I have been in business. I was always, and still am, in competition with myself to become a better photographer. I am driven!

POUNDS: What is the next challenge you are looking forward to?
GAIL: Writing my first book, lecturing, and traveling using the world as my studio.

POUNDS: What are a couple of great photo memories you love to share?
GAIL: Some memorable moments for me have been photographing Princess Diana’s funeral, riding on the back of a motorcycle while taking photographs in the Harley Davidson 100th anniversary parade, and attending the 2013 Kumbh Mela in India (the largest religious, spiritual gathering in the world which happens every 12 years).

POUNDS: When did you start speaking about photography at trade shows and conventions?
GAIL: I first started speaking at the TPPA Convention in Dallas, TX in 1977 with my associate and mentor, Yvonne Bluberg.

POUNDS: What do you enjoy most about speaking on the business of photography?
GAIL: The art of photography and the connection I have with my subjects, seeing beyond what is happening at the moment and making something happen out of nothing. I like to share what I have learned in my 40-year career to inspire other photographers to realize their dreams.

POUNDS: How has Pounds factored in your business?
GAIL: Wow! That’s a great question. Where do I start? Pounds has always been there for me no matter what I needed. They provide great customer service. If I need something made over, no questions asked! They always produce quality prints and offer quality service that I can depend on, which is one less thing for me to worry about. Alleviating worry about my prints, that’s what they do best, so I can focus my time and energy on what I do best!

Check out Gail’s work at www.gailnoglephoto.com

Shoot to Thrill

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Shoot to Thrill with Lynn Michelle

Boudoir photography is booming. Brides may have been integral in launching boudoir photography but women in general have embraced this empowering form of self-expression. They’re requesting these sensual candid shots for Valentine’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries and celebrations of change in their lives. It’s the biggest growth area in the photography field. Is it right for you? We talked with one of the best boudoir photographers in the country, Dallas based Lynn Michelle, to give you a little insight into this burgeoning part of the industry.

Pounds: What prompted you to become a photographer?
Lynn Michelle: I was getting a computer science degree at the University of Texas at Dallas when they highly suggested that the students get involved in campus activities. I guess I’m always one for following the rules so I decided to join the school newspaper. I was interested in being a writer, but the editor was looking for a photographer. From there, my friends got married, and then their friends got married!

Pounds: How did the boudoir photography come about?
Lynn Michelle: A client that was already married contacted me. She was interested in having a special gift made for her first wedding anniversary. I was familiar with studio photography, so I thought boudoir would be easy, I was so wrong. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do as a photographer. I had to really focus on my lighting, my people skills and especially posing!

Pounds: What percentage of your clients opts for a boudoir session?
Lynn Michelle: About 20% of my own clients request boudoir as part of their wedding photography package. Some of my clients are having wedding photography done by another photographer who doesn’t do boudoir photography.  Others have found me by word of mouth and want a session as a one-year anniversary or 25th anniversary gift for their spouse.

Pounds: Boudoir photography seems to be gaining popularity, what is your take on that?
Lynn Michelle: I believe that more women are familiar with it and think it’s a really sexy thing to do for their significant other. They see the images that are produced and know they are sensual, not “dirty”.

Pounds: Can it be tricky getting your subjects to relax?
Lynn Michelle: I think the secret is to talk a lot and really connect with your client. I also share many of the images from the back of the camera throughout the session. This allows the client to see what I’m getting and understand what the final images will look like.

Pounds: What’s your advice for photographers thinking about expanding their services into boudoir photography?
Lynn Michelle: Boudoir is definitely more difficult than it seems. I think that a photographer should be comfortable in their posing, directing and lighting before tackling boudoir – all of which come from many years of experience. I don’t believe it’s an area to jump into quickly and hope to succeed.

Pounds: Talk us through a session from the moment a client walks in.
Lynn Michelle: Once the client arrives, we talk about package options and go over the contract together. We also take care of the payment and discuss where and how the images will be shared on the blog. From there, we go over the wardrobe changes and how much nudity the client is comfortable with. Makeup and hair (if added) are next. We talk about everything from her excitement about the session to her fears. The first outfit is the most covered one and we spend time talking about posing and smiling. I pose every inch of her body and talk through the whole session. Sometimes I make jokes to get her to smile and some times I say provocative things to make her blush.

Pounds: Are there wardrobe changes?
Lynn Michelle: Yes. My starting package includes two wardrobe changes. I suggest that my clients bring as many outfits as they would like and we go through them together to choose the best ones. An average session has 5 options as well as some nudity, if the client desires.

Pounds: Do you have professional hair and makeup available?
Lynn Michelle: Makeup is included as part of every package because it’s so integral to how the images turn out. Hair is an option and can be added to any package. I have an amazing girl who does the hair & makeup and she brings the Va Va Va Voom to every woman!

Pounds: Do you suggest clients bring along a bottle of wine or champagne to relax?
Lynn Michelle: I provide one glass of champagne because I want them to be comfortable and not too tipsy. Some clients turn red after alcohol consumption so we have to be very careful.

Pounds: Do you draw a line at nude photographs or are they considered a standard part of the session?
Lynn Michelle: I have no problem with nudity or implied nudity, but I make it clear that I do not shoot pornographic images.

Pounds: Do you see the business for boudoir photography on a steady increase?
Lynn Michelle: More and more people are seeing what boudoir photography is and sharing it with their friends, the market is definitely increasing steadily.

Pounds: Do you generally shoot these sessions in the studio or at a client’s home?
Lynn Michelle: I have shot only one session in the client’s home – it was a special body painting session that she wanted shot at her ranch. All of the other sessions have been in studio.

Pounds: You have a great pre-shoot prep list on your site. Do people come to you with tear sheets of looks they’d like to achieve?
Lynn Michelle: I generally do not get tear sheets. Most of the time they reference images on my blog. I feel like in general my clients feel comfortable with me providing a variety of looks and poses for them but I do not discourage tear sheets, I just tell them that we will take them as ideas and go from there.

Pounds: This seems like a really fun and exciting genre of photography. What do you like most about it?
Lynn Michelle: I love the swagger that a woman gets after a session. She feels empowered and amazing and I was a part of that! However, my favorite part is getting the email after they see their images! Boudoir is such an amazing experience. I did my own set of images a few years ago and it was more empowering than I could have ever hoped. The right photographer will help you feel comfortable in your own skin and walk you through posing so that you never awkwardly looking at the camera wondering what to do next. I highly encourage every woman to consider a boudoir portrait session, or even a glamour session where they can wear their favorite dress. This type of photography really brings out your inner goddess and every woman should remember that sassiness that is deep inside from time to time!

Lynn Michelle Photography: We Shoot Fabulous People

www.lynnmichelle.com | 972.824.5519