After several years with another company, I recently made the change to an HTML 5 site from Rob Haggart's APhotoFolio. I wanted a clean, customizable design that performed very fast, and APhotoFolio fit the bill. My blog will still remain here (with links of course on the new site), and my archive will remain with Photoshelter, and I hope to focus on making more stock available there in the near future.
The biggest change you'll notice, right away on the new Robert Seale Photography site, is the scalable HTML 5 design. You can literally grab the bottom right hand corner of the web browser window, and drag it to fill your screen on any device, from a laptop to a 30 inch monitor, and the photographs will scale to that size. This is an incredible improvement over the old site, and I'm very excited about it. It works well on Ipads and Iphones as well, but hopefully, you're viewing it on a big monitor!
Security is still a bit of a concern, as we're now uploading bigger and bigger photos onto photographer's websites these days. I'm happy to have people link to the actual articles, and I always appreciate those that ask for permission first, but sites that just screen grab stuff with no attribution – that's a no-no. None of the photos published on the site are in the public domain, by the way. Anyway, the photos are registered with the US Copyright office, so if anyone is stealing stuff or publishing my photos without permission, I'll chase them back to their caves in Afghanistan (or wherever it is that copyright infringing losers hang out these days…a dorm room in Baton Rouge?), and shoot them in their kneecaps before I sic the attorneys on them.
I've refined the categories somewhat and added a ton of new work. I kind of have my feet in two worlds: Sports Portrait photography that I do for both advertising clients and magazines (Sports Illustrated, etc.), and Corporate Annual Report Photography which I do for Fortune 500 corporations, design firms, and ad agencies. If you're a Houston photographer, a lot of the annual report and corporate photography is of course geared toward the oil and gas industry.
Here's how I've organized the portfolio section on the new site:
Under the Advertising and Editorial Photography category, we have several sub-category portfolios:
SPORTS ACTION PHOTOGRAPHY – This features not in-game, traditional long-lens sports action photography, which I used to do a lot of, but instead, sports portraits featuring athletes in action or motion, or photographs that emphasize movement. I find that 9 times out of 10, this type of photography involves me laying on the ground in goose poop or mud, destroying my clothes, and getting covered in chigger bites, but that's usually what it takes to make players look like they're levitating.
SPORTS PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY – This category features more traditional static portraits of athletes, including many high profile celebrity sports figures. I've been able to photograph many athletes over the years like LeBron James, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Alex Rodriguez, although considering the trouble he's in this week, it may be a while before Arod agrees to any photo shoots any time soon.
AVIATION AND SPACE PHOTOGRAPHY – As part of an ongoing personal project, I've been trying to make memorable portrait photographs of notable pilots, both civilians and famous military aviators. I've also had the awesome opportunity to expand this body of work into working for several aviation magazines and aviation photography clients. As a Houston photographer, I've also been fortunate enough to do several shoots with NASA astronauts including a series on the end of the Space Shuttle program.
REAL PEOPLE PHOTOGRAPHY – Although I tend to concentrate on annual report photographs and sports advertising , I don't just limit my work to those two categories. I often have opportunities to make environmental portraits of Texas musicians, Houston celebrities, sports celebrities, cowboys, barbeque pitmasters and just eccentric characters from all walks of life, and this category is a catch all for some of my other portraits that don't fit these other main categories.
Within the Corporate Annual Report Photography section, we have a few more portfolios:
OIL AND GAS-ENERGY PHOTOGRAPHY – Most photographers who live in Houston do their share of work in this area, and I enjoy this work very much. The first photographers I admired were guys like Pete Turner, Jay Maisel, and Arthur Meyerson, and in corporate annual report assignments you kind of get to indulge that colorful and graphic inspiration first brought forth by these masters of the medium. I also love challenges and problem solving, so for me, it's really fun to be sent to a fluorescent-lit lab full of lighting challenges, an industrial factory setting, chemical plant, or refinery, and be forced to make good, interesting, well-lit, and well designed photographs out of something that looks unattractive to most people. I'm fascinated by light/shadow, and good design, and man-made structures often have their own inherent beauty – you just to have to find it and make the proper composition in the right light. This category focuses on photographs of people working within the oil and gas industry, some at-work portraits, offshore oil and gas drilling and production platforms, and aerial photography, which are all part of the job of an annual report photographer.
INDUSTRIAL LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY – Over the years, I've been asked to do “beauty shots” or landscape photos – wide overall views of industrial refineries, chemical plants, oil wells, and other oil and gas facilities and details. With the right time of day and long exposures, these can often be interesting and beautiful. That, and I get to wear cool Nomex coveralls and safety glasses, too.
EXECUTIVE PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY – Dealing with athletes and sports celebrities for years has prepared me well for photographing busy CEO's and other executives. In most portraits of professional athletes, you have 5-15 minutes to get the job done, so preparation is key, and the same goes for corporate executive portraits. Like the annual report stuff, finding an interesting background or setting to photograph an executive within the confines of an office building is an interesting lighting and logistical challenge. We often scout ahead of time, show up super early, and have multiple lighting set ups ready to go and pre-tested in different locations throughout the building, so we can quickly walk from one setup to another and finish quickly to minimize the executive's time commitment on set.
There are also sections for Press, which feature links and other news about me from other photography sites and blogs, a link to my Blog (robertsealeblog.com), which features behind the scenes info, lighting diagrams, and problem solving stories behind the photographs, and of course, the all important Bio page, where you get to read boring stuff about me.
I'm excited about the new site and I hope you'll take a few minutes to check it out.