Bryan Graham of Fruition Chocolate and the Ulster County Business Development Staff

Ulster County Business Developement

I received a call from Brian Mahoney over at Luminary Media telling me that they had a new client, The Ulster County office of Business Development, whose main purpose is  promoting and nurturing business in Ulster County.  An organization that helps small and large businesses with various resources and guidance, and who couldn’t use that?

He mentioned that their next ad was going to be with the folks over at Fruition Chocolate. I had met Fruition’s creators Bryan Graham and his wife Dahlia in passing a while back so I was excited to partner with them and create a working relationship. 

After talking with Bartek Starodaj the account manager at Luminary, and seeing what he had in mind we set a shoot date and schedule. 

Lucia and I showed up at the Fruition shop in Shokan and met Bryan who promptly told me he had never seen a photograph of himself that he liked. Alright, challange number one. A young woman on his staff gave us a quick tour so we could see the facilities and scout possible shot areas. The actual “factory” space was very clean and sparse in it’s photographic appeal. So it was time to make photo magic, challenge number two. We start setting up in the front of the store, the retail area of the shop, as it was nice looking and had the display cases as a background, but soon found it to be a bit busy and compositionally unfocused. In the back area of the shop where they process the beans there is a bean storage area. Within this room there were big sacks of unroasted cocoa beans. The room itself was really unadorned but it did make for a clean background in which to put Bryan and the folks from the business development office. There was a big window to one side of the room letting in daylight. Needing gobs of light to work with I placed a large shoot through umbrella outside and blasted it through the window, adding to the daylight. Back inside we took a few test frames and we were good to go, with not a minute to spare. As it seems with most photo shoots, there is never enough time. 

We positioned Bryan and the three staff members of the UCBD and carefully arranged them so we were not getting a complete back shot on anyone. I then instructed Bryan to basically show the others what the beans looked liked and give a little talk on the subject of chocolate. Bryan clearly knows he stuff and instantly relaxed while talking to the group. We shot 20-30 frames and then slightly rearranged everyone and shot another 20-30 frames and we were done. Suzanne Holt and staff were able to leave on time and get to other scheduled meetings.

In post production I took out a few distracting elements and cleaned up everyone a bit, but that was it. This was a mostly in camera affair, just like I like it. 

Thanks so much to Fruition, the UCBD team, Luminary Media and Brian Mahoney for having me. Hope I can work on future shoots with you all.

Bryan Graham of Fruition Chocolate

Bryan Graham of Fruition Chocolate with the Ulster County Business Development staff.

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