Fenix Fotography: Business Headshots, Commercial Photographs & LinkedIn Profiles: Blog https://www.fenixfoto.com/blog en-us All images (C) Ryan L. Sumner | Fenix Fotography LLC. michelle.fox@fenixfoto.com (Fenix Fotography: Business Headshots, Commercial Photographs & LinkedIn Profiles) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:28:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:28:00 GMT https://www.fenixfoto.com/img/s/v-12/u859054594-o976654838-50.jpg Fenix Fotography: Business Headshots, Commercial Photographs & LinkedIn Profiles: Blog https://www.fenixfoto.com/blog 120 80 Fenix on Assignment: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman https://www.fenixfoto.com/blog/2019/6/fenix-on-assignment-portrait-of-the-artist-as-a-young-woman Some photography assignments are a lot of fun and this profile piece for the NoDa News was certainly one of them, as well as a break from the usual business headshots and executives portraits I normally create.  

I know a lot of artists that draw, paint, sculpt human figures in the nude and I've been wanting to reference the "framed through a set of sexy legs" trope that was most famously done on the poster for the James Bond film, "For Your Eyes Only." I knew I wanted to gender-flip the idea--it's been done enough the other way. So when I had the opportunity to do a story on Charlotte artist C. M. Wells, I was ready.

I made the portrait at the Charlotte Art League, where Wells leads weekly figure drawing sessions. I also wanted to shoot it without flash, something I rarely do and knew I could use the large bay windows at the league to capture a super soft and directional light.

My article about the artist follows below.






Drawn From Life

C. M. Wells (@cmwells_art) is one of the many artists calling the new NoDa location of the Charlotte Art League home and is a co-founder of the National Association of Collaborative Artists.  

The young artist works in several traditional art media —charcoal, sanguine (reddish-brown chalk), oil-paint, and clay. She calls her style Representational Realism, which she explains as “sort of the opposite of abstract, trying to represent something from real life as realistically as possible. I like classical art—Michelangelo, Botticelli—and I enjoy taking that and putting a modern twist on it.”

Although she has lived in Charlotte since her family brought her here as a thirteen-year-old, Wells’ artistic journey began at an even younger age.  Some of her earliest memories of her native Glendale, California are of first-grade classmates asking for drawings. “I’ve drawn my whole life, for as long as I can remember—but, I’ve only been taking it seriously for about the last seven years.” She went on to study art formally, at least for a while, completing four semesters in the online program of the Academy of Art University, a school based in San Francisco. Eventually, she and the institution parted ways. “I decided it wasn’t what I wanted to do—spending all that time and money.   I feel like anyone can learn to draw, but at a certain point, I could grow myself without getting further and further in debt.”

With such strong roots in Renaissance classical art, Wells naturally works with the nude human body.  While in school, she felt confined within the classical “Western Ideal” form—whose proportions were set literally in stone by the Greeks.  These days, she
endeavors to show a broader range of race and body types through her figure drawing. “Representation matters to a lot of people.  To see a reflection of yourself is important for self-worth.” She brings these values to the weekly life drawing sessions that she facilitates at the Art League.

Wells believes women of
color face more barriers to success in the art world generally and because she works in a European tradition, Wells’ audience sometimes experiences disconnection between her race and gender.  “At one show I had my drawings up and an excited attendee came up to me asking, ‘Who is this artist?’ ‘Where’s is HE?  Where is C. M. Wells’ and when I replied, ‘It’s me,’ …the shock on his face.” “The expectation is lowered for women artists and black women artists.  I’ve had people say, my art doesn’t match my personality, but no one group owns light, shadow, line, and realistic representation.”

When experiencing difficulties, Wells has her talent. “Art can be a refuge. It can be an escape from the world, or your life, depending on what you need to escape. I’m driven by my need to escape, so I don’t go crazy and also to express myself because I’m not really good at expressing myself outside of art.”

That life as an artist is difficult is no secret.  To steel herself up for that, Wells thinks about her priorities and placing personal happiness and fulfilment ahead of money.  “It’s a sacrifice to pursue
art fully and not go the easy way. The sacrifices are mostly financial. You spend all your time pursuing something that isn’t guaranteed, but you do it because you love it, to say something with your art and hopefully enact some change in the world.”






Ryan Sumner is the creative director of Fenix Fotography and specializes in artful portraiture of business and cultural leaders, corporate headshots and other advertising images.  He can photograph you and your coworkers at his portrait studio at the Colony in NoDa and is available for location work too.  His fine
artwork is available through his gallery at the Charlotte Art League.


 

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michelle.fox@fenixfoto.com (Fenix Fotography: Business Headshots, Commercial Photographs & LinkedIn Profiles) advertising artist business charlotte commercial corporate executive headshot linkedin marketing north carolina photographer photography portrait https://www.fenixfoto.com/blog/2019/6/fenix-on-assignment-portrait-of-the-artist-as-a-young-woman Sat, 29 Jun 2019 23:19:07 GMT
Fenix on Assignment: Traveling with Photography Gear, Vermont https://www.fenixfoto.com/blog/2019/6/fenix-on-assignment-traveling-with-photography-gear-vermont

 

Yep, Fenix Fotography is based in Charlotte's NoDa Arts District and most of our clients are also based in the Queen City.  But I travel all over. In the last year, we've serviced clients in Detroit, Dallas, Washington and Nashville.  These photos are from last month's trip to Vermont, for a client who has brought me back for eight years in a row.  As you can see, we don't skimp and we bring all the full-sized studio equipment. The over-sized baggage fees only added $300 to the cost of this job.

Basically, if your city has an airport, we can take your business headshots, executive portraits, and other commercial advertising images.

Converting conference rooms and hallways into photography studios for headshots and other types of business portraits is always a bit of a puzzle and half the fun. The photo above (Burlington) and the one below (Stowe) are also from Vermont.  Obviously, I wasn't camera ready when Michelle snapped me downing a cup of coffee before I got swamped with convention attendees looking for their headshots. 



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michelle.fox@fenixfoto.com (Fenix Fotography: Business Headshots, Commercial Photographs & LinkedIn Profiles) advertising business Charlotte commercial corporate executive headshots linkedIn marketing North Carolina office photographer portrait studio https://www.fenixfoto.com/blog/2019/6/fenix-on-assignment-traveling-with-photography-gear-vermont Wed, 12 Jun 2019 21:16:06 GMT
Fenix on Assignment: Portrait of a Business Leader, Carol Wagenner, Bold Missy https://www.fenixfoto.com/blog/2019/6/fenix-on-assignment-portrait-of-a-business-leader-carol-wagonner-bold-missy I spent a lot of years working for magazines and to be honest, I often miss assignment editorial work. My favorite thing about those days was on-location environmental portrait work of business and cultural leaders, artists and artisans, and really anyone placed in the context of how they make their way through the world.  I learned a lot of the skills I use now--walking into a strange location, quickly figuring out a concept, choosing a location and designing a lighting setup.   So, I'm really excited to be producing a series of portraits and articles for the NoDa News about the people who live and work in Charlotte's NoDa Arts District.

The first in this series is below. For my photography readers interested in the process, this image was made using a mix of off-camera strobes and ambient light. It's not 
technically headshot, but is composed so that it can be cropped that way.  I also really like how the subject, Bold Missy-owner Carol Waggener, is framed between two strong diagonal lines and is layered among the brewing apparatus.

My article is below.






 

BREW BOLDLY

  

Bold Missy Founder, Carol Waggener is about to celebrate the second anniversary of an incredible entrepreneurial journey.


Waggener’s relationship with beer began in Saint Louis with behemoth brewer Anheuser-Busch. “Even though they are the ‘Evil Empire,’ I learned a lot from them, especially as regards quality and relationships.” Then about five years ago, while working for Snyder-Lance in Charlotte, inspiration found Waggener on aSouthEnd pub crawl--she realized she wanted to step away from the confining cubicles of the corporate food and beverage world and build a small brewery of her own. She attained a certification in the Business of Craft Beer from Portland State and studied brewing at Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago, got a Small Business Loan from Wells Fargo, and cashed out large parts of her retirement to invest in her new venture. 

With lots of skin now in the game, Waggener settled on NoDa, a quarter-mile from the neighborhood center in an old cabinetmaker’s shop. The area near Craighead and North Davidson wasn’t very developed retail-wise at the time, and the first time she saw the future brewery a man was urinating on the exterior wall. But it fit the required zoning, had high ceilings and the sort of water access she needed. Oh, and parking.  “We love being in NoDa, which fits the personality of the brewery perfectly – it’s a little off-beat and bit quirky, which is what NoDa is all about.”  She greatly enjoys that so many women come in and find inspiration in the beers named for heroic women.  

The transition to entrepreneurism is usually a trial.  Construction and road closures challenged the startup early on, but they are getting better. Like most small business owners, Waggener wears lots of hats—helping in the kitchen, cleaning the kegs in the back, and spending late nights and weekends in the brewery. “I’ve always had a huge respect for anyone who wants to start their own business, but now even more so. Starting something from scratch is unbelievably rewarding but is also an incredible amount of work.”  

There is more brewing in the area these days--Protagonist being the newest kid on the block and Devine Barrel opening last year just a stone’s throw away. According to Waggener, craft brewers tend to have more collaborative relationships as opposed to competitive ones. She loves having Devine Barrel as a neighbor. “People will come here and check them out, or they go there and then come see us.” 

That synergy is great for beer fans and also homeowners. The University of Toledo, using Charlotte as acase study, found that the opening of a brewery raises single-family home values 10% within half a mile, being that they are perceived favorably as amenities, unlike bars and liquor stores. 



Ryan Sumner is the creative director ofFenix Fotography, and specializes in artful portraiture of business and cultural leaders, corporate headshots and other advertising images.  He can photograph you and your coworkers at his portrait studio at the Colony in NoDa and is available for location work too.  His fine artwork is available through his gallery at the Charlotte Art League.

 


 

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michelle.fox@fenixfoto.com (Fenix Fotography: Business Headshots, Commercial Photographs & LinkedIn Profiles) advertising business Charlotte commercial corporate executive headshots linkedIn marketing North Carolina office photographer portrait studio https://www.fenixfoto.com/blog/2019/6/fenix-on-assignment-portrait-of-a-business-leader-carol-wagonner-bold-missy Fri, 07 Jun 2019 18:10:14 GMT
You Win or Loose Customers in the Blink of an Eye https://www.fenixfoto.com/blog/2019/4/you-win-or-loose-customers-in-the-blink-of-an-eye In America’s digital marketplace, good first impressions are vital, while bad ones are difficult to mend.

 

Relationship building has shifted online, with the headshots on your company’s website and social media channels replacing in-person face-to-face firm handshakes.  As of 2014, 84% of top-level business-to-business buyers use social media to research their vendors during the purchasing process—almost half utilizing LinkedIn to build trust and confidence in business partners.  Clients buy from people they like, and photographs of your executives and staff can humanize your company long before a prospective client actually meets a member of your team. No matter how eye-catching your headline or snappy your copy, imagery first attracts a viewer to an ad, article, or website. It’s also the first and sometimes only thing later recalled by a viewer. The best advertising images have people in them. For example, look at all the people staring back at you in the magazine aisle on your next visit to the grocery store. When humans register another human face, they instantly lock on to it and rapidly process it.

 

Viewers process and judge the photos of your people fast—really fast.  According to a Princeton University study published in Psychological Science, people make near-instantaneous decisions about competency, trustworthiness, and likability when encountering a photo of a face—all in less than 1/10th of a second

 

Because people like to be right, prospects will continue to use a website or read written material that makes a favorable first visual impression to confirm their initial decision.  Psychologists call this the “Halo Effect.” If this first impression is un-favorable, clients will be out of your site or tossing your mailed pieces in the trash before they learn you may be offering more than your competition. 

 

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michelle.fox@fenixfoto.com (Fenix Fotography: Business Headshots, Commercial Photographs & LinkedIn Profiles) advertising business Charlotte commercial corporate executive headshots LGBTQ friendly linked in linkedIn marketing North Carolina office photographer photography portrait studio https://www.fenixfoto.com/blog/2019/4/you-win-or-loose-customers-in-the-blink-of-an-eye Sun, 14 Apr 2019 22:30:19 GMT