Alex Thorne Photography: Blog en-us (C) Alex Thorne Photography (Alex Thorne Photography) Tue, 24 Mar 2015 23:30:00 GMT Tue, 24 Mar 2015 23:30:00 GMT Alex Thorne Photography: Blog 81 120 Alex Thorne Photography Testimonials To read more of my reviews on Thumbtack, click here-->>

We had a need for portraits of our Leadership Team, and selected Alex after reviewing the portfolio of several area photographers. Because our team is located in various cities throughout the country, we provided Alex with the added challenge of being able to shoot the entire group within a very tight window while they were at a meeting in Sonoma. He went to the location days before the shoot to identify a suitable outdoor spot and to understand the lighting at the precise time he would be shooting. The day of the shoot, he was able to efficiently photograph the group as well as each individual well within the compressed schedule. The resulting photos were outstanding! Alex is highly recommended for his talent and professionalism.

Greg Calton, Director of Marketing, All Systems Broadband


We needed headshots for my corporate team, and we were all delighted with the work that Alex Thorne Photography did in meeting our needs. Apart from the considerable diplomacy—and agility—he showed in dealing with all the various requirements of our team, Alex did a terrific job with our photos.

Erik R. Peterson, Managing Director, Global Business Policy Council, A.T. Kearney


Working with Alex was wonderful – he was especially efficient, considering the large number of people we needed headshots for. In addition to his patience and professionalism, we were pleased with the quality of his work, his quick turnaround time, and the final pictures we received.

Amanda Wilkinson, Director of Marketing, CADD Microsystems, Inc.


I began seeking a photographer for a headshot for my new corporate business.  Although I wanted a professional look, I was seeking something a bit ‘out of the box’; not just a white or blue background.

I found Alex Thorne Photography through a Google search and I sure hit the jackpot!  Not only was Alex very accommodating and flexible, he was open and excited to work with me to create an image that had more personality than a standard studio headshot.

We met on New Year’s Eve and headed out to several outdoor locations…Despite the brisk air, Alex managed to capture images that masked how cold I was!!  We had a lot of fun talking, collaborating and finding spots that would make interesting backdrops.

After a fun session with Alex (he was quite generous with his time, by the way) he promised me I would have images to look at within 24 hours. And true to his word I was reviewing a series of photos less than 24 hours after the shoot.

It was hard to narrow it down to just two.  The lighting, background, posing, etc. was so lovely I had to go through a process of elimination.  Alex captured the essence of what I was trying to communicate through the photos so well. I am thrilled!

Next step was having touchups done on the final selections.  He worked with me patiently as I pointed out every flaw I possess and reminded me that I wanted to still look ‘real’! Within hours of going through the editing, I had the images ready for my website. 

I am so pleased, so satisfied and so appreciative of Alex’s time and talent.  Without hesitation I would highly recommend Alex for his professionalism, expertise, patience, generosity and creativity.  He is professional, pleasant and efficient!

Karen Schwarzbach Founder,

]]> (Alex Thorne Photography) Photographer Photographers Photography headshots photography portraits Mon, 16 Feb 2015 23:23:18 GMT
Photography Tip: Setting the Aperture for Creative Effect Photo by Alex Thorne I wanted to draw your attention to an in-depth article by Todd Vorenkamp at B&H on aperture.  It’s part of a three-part series covering exposure.  In this post, I’ll touch briefly on how I think about using aperture in my photography, but I encourage you read Vorenkamp’s detailed article on how aperture is used to adjust exposure, depth of field and image quality.

There are three ways the camera can control light to obtain a proper exposure: aperture, shutter speed, and digital ISO (or film speed).   When thinking about how I’m going to expose an image, ISO has become less of a concern for me because of the fantastic high ISO performance and auto-ISO settings of today’s DSLRs.  Except for extreme lighting conditions or long exposure shots, it really comes down to just thinking about aperture and shutter speed for me.

The subject matter dictates whether to focus on shutter speed or aperture when thinking about how to capture the image I want to create.  In my previous blog post of the images I shot at Cornerstone Gardens, considering what aperture to use was my primary focus.  In this case, isolating individual elements in the image was important to the composition.  To do this, I needed a prime lens with a large aperture to isolate the subjects in the image.  You can see the affect setting the aperture wide open has on the image below. Photo by Alex Thorne

When considering how to set the aperture, you need to ask yourself, “what do I want to be in-focus in this image?” For example, if the shot is a landscape where everything needs to be in clear sharp focus, then I need to shoot with a small aperture to create a very wide depth of field.  Maybe I just want to focus on a single subject like a flower and needing to blur out the background.  To create a shallow depth of field, I’ll need to open up the aperture.  However, you need to be careful not to set too large an aperture or else some of you subject may be out of focus.

Photo by Alex Thorne





I run into this issue sometimes with my outdoor or natural light photo shoots where I’m only using available light.  I’m also trying to make the background very blurry by setting a large aperture.  I do most of my natural light headshots with an 85mm lens and set the aperture to f/2.0, which, depending on how the subject’s head is turned, can cause one of the eyes to be slightly out of focus.  You can see in the headshot image on the left how a large aperture only keeps the eyes and face in focus, blurring out everything else.  The large aperture comes in handy but I need to make sure the eyes parallel to the digital sensor to ensure that they are both in sharp focus. 








Large aperture prime lenses are also extremely handy when capturing images in low light situations such as parties, weddings and family snapshots.  You can see how useful this can be in the following image.  We were doing some shopping in downtown Sonoma and I found a backroom in one if the stores where I quickly posed my daughter for quick portrait on an antique tricycle.  The lighting was terrible, but I was able to get the shot because I had a large aperture prime lens.

Photo by Alex Thorne

]]> (Alex Thorne Photography) Arts and Entertainment Cornerstone Sonoma Photography Sonoma aperture headshots photography portraits Wed, 10 Dec 2014 19:49:36 GMT
Photographing Cornerstone in Sonoma CA with the Canon 5D and 50mm f/1.2L


Cornerstone is fun collection of wine tasting venues, home and garden shops, and café located in Sonoma just off of Highway 121.  The gardens at Cornerstone are created and installed by world renowned designers and have been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other leading publications.  It’s also a great place to snap a few photos as well.

Not intending to do a lot of shooting on this trip, I just grabbed my Canon 5D Mark II and 50mm f/1.2L lens for some snapshots.  I should have also thrown the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 lens into the bag as well, because that would have been a great complement to the 50mm for capturing the beauty of these gardens.  

Sometimes limiting your lens choice to only one focal length can actually force you to think more creatively about the images you want to capture. Only bring the 50mm was nice because I could concentrate on isolating subjects. And that 1.2 aperture was great for blurring out the background.   

The images contained in the slideshow are basically straight out of the camera with some minor tweaking in Lightroom. At some point I may go back and use Exposure, by Alien Skins to give the images a more film-like look.  I love the look of film but hate the hassle of developing and scanning the negatives.  However, I still shoot film on occasion when I really want that nostalgic look and have the time to scan and process the negatives.

]]> (Alex Thorne Photography) Canon 50mm Cornerstone Gardens Cornerstone Sonoma CA Sonoma photography Wed, 03 Dec 2014 20:06:02 GMT
Pinhole Photography Awesomeness
I just love this article by BBC's Phil Coomes discussing pinhole photography.  It is truly a "back to basics" approach to capturing and creating artistic images.


Along with many other photographers, I have found that cameras that limit your creative options can, in the end, enhance your eye for unique compositions.  One of the best things I ever did for developing my creative vision was to spend a few months only using a film camera with 50mm lens.  Pinhole photography takes this to an entirely new level.


For anyone into experimental photography, I highly encourage you to read Coomes' article and view some of the great images.  You may even want to try it yourself!

Please click here to read Coomes' article-->>

]]> (Alex Thorne Photography) Arts and Entertainment Photographers Photography photography Tue, 23 Apr 2013 20:14:51 GMT
San Francisco Chronicle Photography Article Highlights Winogrand’s Work "Grand Central Terminal, New York" (1964) is part of a retrospective of photographer Garry Winogrand628x471

By Alex Thorne

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is currently showing a fascinating exhibit by Garry Winogrand through June 2nd.   Covering the show was San Francisco Chronicle reporter, Kenneth Baker, who wrote a fantastic article about the show.

Here’s a brief excerpt from the article:

“Early work from the 1950s and ’60s, centered on Manhattan, burns with curiosity about the ground-level American spectacle and with delight in the camera’s capacity to see more and faster than the eye. After politics attracted and eventually disheartened Winogrand in the 1960s, the tone of his work began to sour.

Or did the social reality before his lens sour? Or both? Did he evolve a bleaker vision because he left his native New York City to travel the country and live for long stints in Texas and Los Angeles?

Winogrand’s stature rests to some extent on the centrality to his work of unresolvable issues such as these, fundamental to off-the-leash photography.

Guest curator Leo Rubinfien, a fellow photographer and longtime friend of Winogrand’s, and SFMOMA photo curator Erin O’Toole compiled “Garry Winogrand,” collaborating with Sarah Greenough of the National Gallery of Art.”

Keep reading the San Francisco Chronicle article here->>

263 ]]> (Alex Thorne Photography) Photography Garry Winogrand Leo Rubinfien National Gallery of Art New York City Photographers photography San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Fri, 19 Apr 2013 10:47:41 GMT
San Francisco Bay Area Photographer Specializing in Professional Headshots and Business Portraits I'm the owner of Alex Thorne Photography and I will be relocating my portrait studio to Contra Costa County, California from Virginia.  Corporate Headshot I specialize in headshots and portraits for business and publicity clients.  My services will be offered throughout the San Francisco Bay Area along with Danville, Walnut Creek, San Ramon and many other areas throughout Contra Costa County.  I’m excited about moving to California after many successful years servicing clients throughout the Washington, D.C. area. 

To view my headshot gallery, please click here.


For a long time, photography has been my passion.  I spent many years in New Mexico and Colorado developing my skills and appreciation for the craft of photography. New Mexico in particular holds a special place in my heart for its culture, small towns and beautiful adobe architecture. After the birth of my children in 2004 my focus became portrait photography.


My favorite pictures of my kids are those taken when they were involved in doing something they love. Following them around the house with a camera while they were playing, exploring and interacting with each other allowed me to capture images that I will always cherish.


Local families began expressing an interest in having me take portraits of them. Their kind words and compliments, along with my love of photography, inspired me to create Alex Thorne Photography.  My services now include executive headshots, corporate events, family portraits, weddings and more.

Recent Testimonials:

“We needed headshots for my corporate team, and we were all delighted with the work that Alex Thorne Photography did in meeting our needs. Apart from the considerable diplomacy—and agility—he showed in dealing with all the various requirements of our team, Alex did a terrific job with our photos.”

Erik R. Peterson, Managing Director, Global Business Policy Council, A.T. Kearney

“Working with Alex was wonderful – he was especially efficient, considering the large number of people we needed headshots for. In addition to his patience and professionalism, we were pleased with the quality of his work, his quick turnaround time, and the final pictures we received.”

Amanda Wilkinson, Director of Marketing, CADD Microsystems, Inc.

]]> (Alex Thorne Photography) California Contra Costa County Contra Costa County California Photographer Photography Fri, 25 Nov 2011 09:09:45 GMT
Corporate Headshots at Ameriprise Financial Services Firm Offered a Variety of Portrait Options img_7093

By Alex Thorne

A financial services firm needed headshots for their website and the initial request seemed pretty straight forward.  However, after a face-to-face meeting with the client, the project grew into an interesting opportunity to help the company present a more personal image to the public.


The client had expressed an interest in showing off their newly decorated offices.  In addition to formal headshots, I also recommended that we capture some images of the staff with the office as the background.  The shoot really developed into a nice combination of formal and intimate images that really capture the firm’s personality.


I wanted the informal portraits to look natural, so I decided not to use any flash lighting for these images.  I only had artificial light to work with, so in order to fill in the shadows from the overhead lights, I needed to us a handheld reflector.  I tapped one of the employees to be my assistant and directed her on how to direct the light onto the subjects face.  I used a 50mm lens at f/1.6 to get some separation from the background and to make the subject almost pop out from the rest of the image.

I think these images demonstrate how adding informal portraits to a company’s stock of headshots can go a long way in presenting its employees’ personal side.  You can see more images in my portrait gallery by clicking here.


Below are a few more examples from the shoot showing both formal and informal portraits of the staff.


]]> (Alex Thorne Photography) Corporate Headshots photography Mon, 12 Sep 2011 08:31:58 GMT
The Beatles, some Dusty Old Negatives, and a Great Story lot-46_1313338860b

Photo By Mike Mitchell

By Alex Thorne

It’s a classic storyline:  someone discovers some old negatives they shot a long time ago and sells them for big bucks.  But for Mike Mitchell, his struggles with depression and finances makes this story particularly uplifting.

The Washington Post’s Manual Roig-Franzia brings to life Mitchell’s passion for photography, along with his personal trials and triumphs by weaving the theme of light throughout the entire article.  Anyone who loves photography and using light for creative effect will be inspired by this read.

From The Washington Post:

“When things are good, when sadness gives way to peace, life rhymes for Mike Mitchell. That’s the way he puts it.

It rhymes. He hears it, though you may not. A private poetry reading for one.

Of all the things that rhyme for Mike Mitchell, nothing rhymes like light. There it is, off in the clouds. A burst, describing momentary squiggles of brilliance in the sky. He sees it and he listens to it, though it makes not a sound. Lightning in the thunderhead. One silent burst, and it’s gone.”

Continue reading here–>>

Click here to view a slideshow if Mitchell’s images.

179 ]]> (Alex Thorne Photography) Photographers Beatles photography The Beatles The Washington Post Washington DC Tue, 16 Aug 2011 05:17:35 GMT
Ten Photography Websites for Inspiration By Alex Thorne

creative Every now and then, stepping away from your own work and taking a look at what other photographers are doing can boost the creative juices.  I found the following list in an article written by Katy Cowan at Creative Boom.  Each site brings a new and interesting perspective to photography.  I particularly like the Guardian In Pictures iPad app that has professional tips in the caption of each shot.  And then there is the 50mm site, which I was naturally drawn to as my all-time favorite lens is the 50.  One of these days I’m going to write an article about why it is the most beautiful lens to shoot with.


1. The Big Picture: Inspiring news stories in pictures, created by the picture editors at The Boston Globe.

2. Guardian In Pictures: The Guardian’s own popular ‘news in pictures’ section. And if you download the iPad app you’ll be able to follow ‘pro tips’, learning how to take similar shots.

3. 50mm: An inspiring blog by photographer Sean Wood… just as you’d hope and expect – great shots that dominate the web page and allow easy browsing.

4. Fish Spa: A photography blog with huge images to browse through. Great for a dose of inspiration first thing in the morning.

5. They Shoot Film: They Shoot Film is a photo collective started by two photographers, Patrice Esser (on sabbatical) and Garrick Fujii. They are based in San Francisco and Los Angeles respectively.

6. David Kleinert Photography: Daily fauna, flora and landscape images from Australia.

7. Joe McNally: The thoughts, notions, and ideas here come from thirty years in the field as a shooter… Follow famous photographer Joe McNally and his blog.

8. I Heart Faces: An inspiring blog with weekly photo challenges, tutorials, tips & lots of fun! They welcome all levels of photographers, bloggers and moms with cameras.

9. Flickr Blog: The companion blog to Flickr, showcasing a huge range of photography from across the globe.

10. Shutter Sisters: This is one of my favourite blogs with a range of beautiful photography shot by a bunch of talented, female photographers. Check it out!

170 ]]> (Alex Thorne Photography) Photography Websites Arts and Entertainment Flickr photography Thu, 11 Aug 2011 06:28:01 GMT
Food Photography: Yummy to Look at and Not Hard to do Well By Alex Thorne

Yes, not hard to do well at all, but as you can see from my previous post, “Food Photography Gone Wrong,” too many people just don’t take the time to do it right.

I’m not sure what it is about food photography that I find so interesting.  Maybe it has something to do with my appreciation for a professional photographer’s ability to turn rather ordinary subject matter into works of art.

Or, as a recent Guardian article that sparked my interest in writing this post starts out:

The structure of familiar foods, when examined closely and artfully lit can be fascinating and ‘Tagliatelle’, ‘Spaghetti’ and ‘Macaroni’ are all good examples of this.

The images in the Guardian article, which seems to have a fetish for the subject matter, are hi-quality work.  However, just about anyone who takes the time and follows a few simple tips can produce attractive images according to Andrew Scrivani, a freelance photographer for the New York Times.  His article covers shooting the whole table, but his tips can also apply to food as well.

Thomas Houston follows up on Scivani’s article, literally, with his quick tips for better food photography.  To sum up: manually set your white balance, keep it simple, close-up compositions, use natural light and a tripod, avoid using flash unless you know what you’re doing, bump up your ISO, and use a fast lens.

Speaking of fetishes…

Now if you’re on the cutting edge and think the photography industry is ready for a convergence between food and fashion photography, and you’ve been wondering why it took the world so long to invent waffle trousers, check out Boonie Alter’s article which starts out with:

Just when you thought that you had eaten enough for the next month…we bring you Hunger Pains. It’s fashion and food photography coming together in a vegetarian way.

Photographed by Ted Sabarese, a New Yorker, he is portraying his fascination with people and the food


Waffle Fashion

that they eat. The models are wearing clothes (made entirely of real food) that depict a meal each was craving. Hmmmm, some strange food fetishes here.

As a portrait photographer, I’ll give this one a two bananas up!

And let’s not forget Lady Gaga’s meat dress either.

134 ]]> (Alex Thorne Photography) Food Photography Fashion Fashion Photography Food Lady Gaga New York Times Photographer photography Sat, 08 Jan 2011 08:56:52 GMT
Behind the Scenes Look at the Official White House Photographer By Alex Thorne


Pete Souza and President Obama

Tonight’s National Geographic on PBS will be chronicling the daily life of Pete Souza, President Obama’s official photographer.  This should be a fascinating look at one of the most elite photography assignments in the industry.

But, as today’s Washington Post review of “The President’s Photographer” points out, this assignment has one of the most grueling schedules imaginable.  Up at dawn, shoot all day, and an endless stream of grip-and-grins to feed the White House’s PR machine.

Souza’s resume is impressive.  Some of the highlights also include being an Official White House Photographer for President Reagan, and a New York Times bestseller titled, “The Rise of Barack Obama.”

Here’s more from The Washington Post’s review of the program:

“The President’s Photographer” follows Souza following Obama last winter, as the health-care reform effort begins to quiver under the weight of compromise. Contrasted with Souza’s earlier stills from Obama’s 2008 victory, the shots have suddenly become more grim. A White House photographer’s daily output must capture the full spectrum of a public face that is often starkly contrasted with the private mood.

Perhaps only Bo the Dog and personal aide Reggie Love have better access to Obama than Souza, who is a constant presence with a couple of cameras slung over his droopy shoulders. Both Bo and Love figure prominently in some of the memorable shots Souza has taken so far; the president, we learn, is particularly enamored of a photograph of himself blocking Love’s shot on the basketball court.


120 ]]> (Alex Thorne Photography) Photographers Art Arts Arts and Entertainment Barack Obama National Geographic National Geographic Society PBS Pete Souza photography Public Broadcasting Service Washington DC Washington Post White House Wed, 24 Nov 2010 08:17:12 GMT
Washington DC’s Week of Photography Mayhem By Alex Thorne


Peter McBride

FotoWeek DC as it’s called, kicks off tomorrow!  It’s going to be a great week of photographic exhibits, contests, lectures and workshops that will keep any enthusiast busy and entertained.

Here’s more from the Washington Post:

“Think about it: Over the course of a single week, this Friday to next Saturday, thousands of pictures will vie for your attention (if not your affection) in this third annual celebration of the photographic art. Based for the first time at the Corcoran Gallery of Art but including a lineup of dozens of shows at more far-flung “partner” galleries and museums in and around the city, FotoWeek seems, at first glance, like an overwhelming parade of visual stimulation.”

Read more of the Washington Post article here->>

110 ]]> (Alex Thorne Photography) Arts Arts and Entertainment photography Washington DC Thu, 04 Nov 2010 15:14:38 GMT
Do Mug Shots Make Great Portrait Art?  


Jane Fonda was arrested in 1970 for possession of suspicious pills and for kicking the policeman who arrested her. The pills turned out to be vitamins; the charges were eventually dropped.


By Alex Thorne

As portrait photographers, we become sensitive to people’s emotions and expressions when they are in front of the camera.  We see a lot of genuine and sometimes not so genuine smiles, laughs and other expressions as we get people to pose for us.  However, in the book Mug Shots: An Archive of the Famous, Infamous, and Most Wanted, Raynal Pellicer shows us another side of many famous personalities.  These shots capture a completely different set of expressions not normally seen in a traditional portrait – which I at least find interesting.

Pellicer’s book looks back through 100 years of archived mug shots to reveal a who’s who of some of history’s most influential and infamous personalities.  We are used to seeing these personalities when they are performing for the camera or in front of large audiences; however these images take on an eerie and intimate quality that draws the viewer closer.

The mug shots are pure, unadulterated emotion and an interesting break from the everyday portrait.  Click here to view a slideshow of sample images from the book.  Maybe mug shots aren’t art, but they are fascinating to view.

95 ]]> (Alex Thorne Photography) Photography Books Art Arts Arts and Entertainment books mug shots photography photography books portrait photography portraits Fri, 22 Oct 2010 06:47:22 GMT
Food Photography Gone Wrong By Alex Thorne

We all probably have seen many examples of bad food photography, but some of the images captured by Harmon Leon at the San Francisco Chronicle top the list of worst food photography.

Check out this quick read here –>>

Obviously, food photography’s purpose is to make the restaurant’s food appetizing, however as you will see, these images backfire in a big way!  Leon has posted several articles about food photography, starting with this story that focuses on restaurants in and around Market Street in San Francisco.

Here’s one of my favorite shots with the caption from the article included.



The restaurant Munch Haven's photo seems to be asking, "How about some pasta topped with whatever was scooped up after that horrific auto accident?"

And finally, check out the first picture on Leon’s second posting that begins with a photo of Sweet and Sour Pork.  Now doesn’t this look delicious!

If you want to see food photography done right, check out Virginia’s own Stewart Photography’s food gallery.  Now there’s something you would want to sink your teeth into.


]]> (Alex Thorne Photography) Arts and Entertainment Food Food Photography Harmon Leon Market Street San Francisco Stewart Photography Virginia photography Mon, 18 Oct 2010 08:40:37 GMT
New Photography Exhibit in Washington DC Takes a Fascinating Look Back in Time
Rose Sélavy (Marcel Duchamp). 1921. Photograph...300px-RroseSelavy

Image via Wikipedia

By Alex Thorne

An interesting photography exhibit just opened up in Washington, DC at the Phillips Collection. Titled, Truth Beauty: Pictorialism and the Photograph as Art, 1845-1945, the show takes you back to the early days of photography, as some early enthusiasts attempted to transform the “fussy craft” into an art form.

Here’s more form the Washington Post:

In 1917, when Marcel Duchamp took a lowly urinal and declared it a sculpture called “Fountain,” he made one of the most original, important moves in all of modern art.

The strange thing is, he’d been beaten to the punch by an artistic movement that was just fading out at that moment and seemed to stand for everything he didn’t.

Read more of the Post’s article–>>


74 ]]> (Alex Thorne Photography) Art Marcel Duchamp Phillips Collection photography Washington DC Fri, 15 Oct 2010 09:41:53 GMT
The Joys of Jumpology
253/365 The "Julie Andrews"3906084235_f76e1f14a2_m

Image by kharied via Flickr

Posted By Alex Thorne

When the photographer Philippe Halsman said, “Jump,” no one asked how high. People simply pushed off or leapt up to the extent that physical ability and personal decorum allowed. In that airborne instant Mr. Halsman clicked the shutter. He called his method jumpology.


53 ]]> (Alex Thorne Photography) Arts and Entertainment Commercial-Advertising Fairfax VA Philippe Halsman Photographers photography Portrait Sun, 23 May 2010 15:40:14 GMT
Rock photographer Jim Marshall dies at 74 marshall

Jim Marshall

By Alex Thorne

I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be Jim Marshall.  He is among just a handful of photographers who attained what few of us strive for – the dream job.  He spent more than a half-century capturing images of music legends from the Beatles to Thelonious Monk.  ”This ‘career’ has never been just a job – it’s been my life,” according to Marshall.  How many of us can say that?


43 ]]> (Alex Thorne Photography) Jim Marshall photography Thu, 25 Mar 2010 08:16:03 GMT
Lady Gaga & Atomic Public Relations to Re-introduce Polaroid Brand
Lady GaGa performing300px-Lady_GaGa_cropped

Image via Wikipedia

By Alex Thorne

My worlds have collided (public relations & photography) with the news that Polaroid and Lady Gaga are teaming up to introduce a new line of products later this year.  I wrote a brief article over at Thorne Communications which is posted below.

When my Google alert contains two of my favorite subjects; public relations and photography, I can’t resist writing about it. Last week, Atomic Public Relations announced that it had been chosen by Polaroid to assist in re-introducing the company’s iconic brand.  The new campaign has already made a big splash with the news that Lady Gaga is going to join Polaroid as its creative director for a line of Polaroid Imaging products to be debuted later this year.  The pairing of Polaroid and Lady Gaga, one of today’s hottest artists, is a brilliant move to redefine the Polaroid brand.

As I see it, Polaroid has two main goals.  First, introduce the Polaroid name to a young target market that may only vaguely remember those cameras that spit out square instant photos by associating the company’s new line of products with one of today’s hottest young artists.  Lady Gaga will definitely help the Polaroid brand stand out in today’s crowded and noisy consumer electronics market.   Second, leverage its existing brand equity and history into its new campaign to peek interest with an older demographic that still remembers Polaroid’s fun products of the past.  A quote from Polaroid’s press release spells out their rebranding strategy nicely:

“Building upon Polaroid’s rich history, the Polaroid partner network will support fans and users of classic Polaroid products and deliver new Polaroid products to a new generation of Polaroid customers while staying true to Polaroid’s long-standing values of fun and simplicity.”

It goes without saying that Polaroid’s new products must be compelling, unique and remain true to the company’s historic nature or else the campaign will fail. If Polaroid’s new products don’t establish the company’s credibility with their target market, the risk of damaging the brand is considerable.  Every marketing and public relations professional involved in rebranding is familiar with the lessons learned from the New Coke fiasco.  Re-introducing the Polaroid brand has its risks, in large part because the company doesn’t have its version of Classic Coke to fall back on.

As an avid photographer and public relations consultant, I’ll definitely be watching Polaroid’s rollout of its new products later this year.

38 ]]> (Alex Thorne Photography) Photographers photography Polaroid Processes Mon, 01 Mar 2010 07:23:04 GMT
Great Photography Books for your Snapper
Category:Photographers who committed suicideLarge_format_camera_lens

Image via Wikipedia

By Alex Thorne

The simple truth is that better equipment doesn’t make you a better photographer. Creativity, and understanding how to use your camera to get the affect you’re trying to achieve, are paramount to your success. Classes can be expensive and time-consuming for most folks. And, although digital technology gives you immediate results that you can review to adjust your technique, teaching yourself can still be a frustrating experience. Simply put, invest a few dollars in one or two photography books in order to take full advantage of the large investment you’ve made in equipment.

The New York Times recently published an article titled, “Three Photography Books for Gift-Giving,” that aspiring shutterbugs should check out. Many of the techniques I use have been influenced by reading instruction books by master photographers, and I highly recommend that folks new to the hobby use them to get up-to-speed quickly. Learning just a few creative techniques can really make a difference in your final product and add to your picture taking enjoyment. Otherwise, you may never fully appreciate what your camera can do for you.

From The New York Times: Three Photography Books for Gift-Giving

There are plenty of useful Web sites that help aspiring photographers sharpen their digital photography skills. But, as heretical as this may sound, sometimes you just want a book. A printed book, one with handsomely produced photos that demonstrate photography at its best.

Over the last month I have looked at books on digital photography and found some that would make great holiday gifts (for those of you who can’t afford that fast prime lens for the snapper on your list). Two of the three books I have selected are instructive guides that target digital photography novices, although they also offer some great insights for those who have used a camera for years. The third book targets young photogs with any kind of camera and an active sense of creativity.

Read more of The New York Times article–>>

30 ]]> (Alex Thorne Photography) Arts books Burke VA Camera Digital Digital photography New York Times photography Wed, 16 Dec 2009 14:17:58 GMT
Open to Everything? 170 Years After Its Birth, Photography Must Refocus on Its Identity for the
Annie Leibovitz is one of the most famous phot...300px-Annie_Leibovitz-SF-1-Crop

Image via Wikipedia

Posted By Alex Thorne

From The Washington Post - There’s been a lot of talk lately about the shaky finances of Annie Leibovitz, celebrity photographer and photographer of celebrity. Her creditors recently gave her a reprieve from bankruptcy, but are set to pounce again unless she can raise a lot of cash, fast.


22 ]]> (Alex Thorne Photography) Annie Leibovitz Arts and Entertainment Fashion Photographer photography Tue, 15 Dec 2009 14:00:08 GMT