Archive for the ‘Photos for Business’ Category

Media Award Announced.

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Paula Mahony, left, marketing expert at Words@Work, project manager Lou Christen, and VNA business development director Lisa Fuller with the 2011 Media Award winning slide show.

SEPTEMBER 15, 2011

When Paula Mahony, marketing expert at Words@Work, comes up with what she calls one of her “harebrained schemes,” you never know where it can take you. Today it took us to the Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport, where one of her “schemes” was honored with the 2011 Media Award by the Home Care & Hospice Alliance of Maine.

The award went to a slide show called “Ask for VNA” that Paula and I produced for VNA Home Health & Hospice, based in South Portland. The project started when Paula casually approached me and asked if it was possible to put words on pictures. I said, yes, you could create text layers on digital images. She then asked me if I knew anything about digital picture frames. I had purchased one for myself about three years ago, but wasn’t up on what models were currently available. My curiosity piqued, I wondered why she wanted to know.

Paula had been doing market research for VNA and had found that patients didn’t know what services were provided by the agency or that they could ask for these services when they were at their doctors’ offices. She was looking for a cost-effective, clever way to educate the public and thought that if patients could see a short slide show while waiting in their doctors’ reception rooms, the message would be delivered directly to the people who could most benefit from it. It occurred to her that digital picture frames could fit in with the décor of most offices and could be placed on end tables or hung on walls. They would be visible, yet unobtrusive. She wasn’t sure, though, whether the vision she had in her head would translate well in reality. The challenge was to use existing client photographs to carry a verbal message in a way that would be easily readable and understandable.

So how did Kathleen Kelly Photo help Words@Work produce an effective message for VNA? We started by creating a small demo, using three images provided by VNA and a rough draft of the text provided by Words@Work and playing it for the client on my digital frame. When VNA saw what Paula had in mind, they gave us the go-ahead for the project and asked us to have it ready to debut for an open house celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Visiting Nurses Association.

I was tasked with researching current makers and models of digital frames and getting comparisons of prices and features. I looked for a frame that could render high image quality at a moderate price. Due to time and budget constraints, we weren’t able to go out and photograph fresh images, so Lisa Fuller, business development director at VNA, selected more photos from pictures nurses had taken in the field showing patient care and acquired additional stock images. I edited the images to make sure that all had similar file size, resolution, and proper color balance and selected fonts for the text display. Paula amended the text, and she, Lisa, and I conferred to determine which words and phrases needed to stand out on the screen. The client also wanted the “Ask for VNA” logo, designed by Judy Paolini of TPDA, to be displayed several times during the slide show. After a second demo, I suggested that we repurpose several of the portraits that I had photographed of a number of the staff two months earlier for the VNA website to be layered with the logo. I reduced the opacity of the portraits so that the logo would pop more on the screen, and now the words were backed up by warm, smiling faces of caregivers. After the third demo, I rebuilt the slides with new typefaces for the text and scanned a vintage photo of one of the nurses from the 1950s to incorporate into the show. With all revisions complete, I loaded the digital slides onto memory cards for all of the frames and set the slide show to play in continuous mode.

After the slide show debuted for the staff and board of VNA, the digital picture frames were placed in a half dozen primary care physicians’ offices in the greater Portland area. Ms. Fuller says that they have been well received and that offices are requesting even larger frames (we are using 8×10 inch now) in the future. VNA plans to expand their reach with slide shows that will target specific services, such as physical therapy or wound care, to be placed in specialists’ offices. I’ve posted a version of the slide show on YouTube that plays with a music track, but the show that runs continually in reception rooms plays without sound.

On Location with ikno Intranet

Monday, April 25th, 2011

APRIL 25, 2011

When Becky McKinnell, president and founder of iBec Creative, a web-design firm in Portland, told me she was collaborating with business communications consultant Mark Girr to launch a new company, ikno Intranet, she asked me to take some head shots of them with a high-tech feel. Of course, most of the Old Port looks … well … old. I went location scouting to see if I could find a backdrop that would have clean lines and something that would suggest interconnectivity. Still being a relative newcomer to Maine, I don’t know the lay of the land all that well, so I motored along, hoping something would catch my eye.

I’ve driven along Congress St. numerous times, but this was the first time that I noticed the glass skylight and façade at the Portland Public Library. I entered the building and found a stairway leading me up to the skylight on the second floor where all sorts of pipes crisscross. Ah! Just the look I was hoping for. Sandy in the development office was kind enough to let us come in one morning before the library opened for the day to do the photo shoot.

I learned that the library was founded in 1867, but a renovation was completed just last year by Scott Simons Architects. I called Scott to ask what the function of the pipes is. I wondered if they were part of the heating system or if they housed electrical wiring. Scott explained that the trusses are structural elements. “The library used to be quite dark,” he said, “and it was hard to figure out where you were going. The skylight and glass façade bring more light into the space.” Scott said that the super high-performance glass retains heat better, but with less heat escaping, snow doesn’t melt as fast. In order to support the extra weight of the snow, the trusses are needed to reinforce the structure. Scott said he enjoys the challenges of taking old buildings and bringing them up to the 21st century. “Besides bringing in more light,” he says, “we were able to improve the visual readability of the space.” Sounds to me like his job is really to make a physical space communicate better with its users.

Improved communication is also the goal of ikno Intranet. An intranet is like a mini-Internet and is used by individual companies for employee communication. It is best suited to businesses that have more than 50 employees or that operate in multiple locations. It’s an interactive platform for sharing documents, ideas, and internal communications. It also incorporates its own form of social media. Mark Girr, head of Girr Corp., had a background in internal communications, but he was frustrated by available intranet platforms. He wanted to create a new format and knew that would require a strong, user-friendly website design, so he teamed up with Becky to design an interface. They did a test account for Norway Savings Bank, and they are now developing systems for Visiting Nurses Association and Green Buildings Strategies Group. Mark said, smiling, “Some day we’d like to be nipping at the heels of Microsoft.” Well, I believe he’s got the right partner. Last year Becky was named as one of Business Week’s Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under the Age of 25, and if anyone can do it, she can. Congratulations, Mark and Becky, on the launch of your new enterprise!

Social Media Photos.

Monday, March 15th, 2010


March 15, 2010

In a recent blog post (, Rich Brooks, president of flyte new media, listed five tips to improve your LinkedIn profile. Number two on the list was “add a photo.” Brooks says, “A few years ago it was fine not to add your photo to your LI profile; they were few and far between. But we now live in a Facebook world, people, and it’s time to get with the program. People want to see who they’re networking with. And, unlike Facebook, a photo of your dog, your kid, or that shot of you doing a 10-second upside down keg stand isn’t appropriate. (Although that last one is impressive.) Also, use a photo that was taken in the past couple of years. If you’re sporting a handlebar moustache or beehive hairdo you’re not fooling anyone.”


Are you in need of a professional looking photo for your profile? If so, take advantage of the free portrait sessions I’m offering during the upcoming Successful Thinkers meet-up at The Maine Studios on Presumpscot St. in Portland on April 6th. To reserve a 10-minute time slot, go to . You’ll receive a free digital image that may be used on any of your social media sites. While there, please take the time to talk to the folks from Port Resources, the non-profit group which is being featured that evening, and learn about their services for the developmentally disabled.

Documenting “A Day in the Life”

Monday, March 1st, 2010


MARCH 1, 2010

One of the most interesting aspects of working as a newspaper photographer was having opportunities to be a “behind the scenes” observer. Whether it was documenting the backstage activities of a theater production, photographing in an operating suite while a doctor performed surgery, or spending a day with a political candidate making the rounds in the community, it was an endless fascination to see first-hand how someone’s job is done.


I’m now bringing my experience as a documentary photographer to the corporate world with multimedia. For businesses that would like to share online with their clients an inside glimpse at their world via their company website, blog, or Facebook page, I am offering “A Day in the Life,” an audio slide show that will document the activities of your company, one of its departments, or one of its employees during the course of their business day.


I recently spent 12 hours with caterer Nancy Cerny (, from the time she began chopping vegetables first thing in the morning until the finished dishes were out on the tables and being served at one of the two events she catered that day. My story of her day is told in the slide show attached here. Please contact me if you would like to have this type of project done for your company.



Tips for Photo Preservation.

Thursday, November 5th, 2009


NOVEMBER 5. 2009

Although photographs are created with light, light is the enemy of the photographic print. It can cause color fading, yellowing, or brittling. To extend the life of your photographic prints and enlargements, it is recommended that you don’t keep them out on extended display. I periodically rotate the artwork hanging on my walls, whether it be photos, posters or other prints, or paintings. When new pictures go up, the older ones go into dark storage. When stored prints come back out on display, it’s like having old friends come to visit.


When you display photographs, be sure to use UV filtering glass or plastic in your frames. High temperatures and high humidity can also accelerate print deterioration. Ideal conditions for display are a temperature of 68 degrees Farenheit and 30-40% relative humidity.


When you store photographs, put them in acid free boxes. Containers in a variety of sizes can be found through sources such as or Family photo albums made with archival quality materials may also be used for storage.

The Art of Family Portraits.

Monday, October 26th, 2009


OCTOBER 26, 2009

I’ve been looking through photo albums that my mother assembled as a young woman, before she was married. There are many wonderful pictures of her, her siblings and her friends. Some are well done technically, but many suffer from the problems I’m sure you find in your own family photo albums – the blurred, out of focus images, the pictures shot a mile away from the main subject, or photos made under poor lighting conditions. While snapshots like these have their charms, the pictures I treasure most are the beautiful enlargements of family portraits that were done by a professional studio. I’ve posted one here of my grandparents and their first three children, my mother being the youngest. The images are crisp, and they are lit well. These pictures are more than a family record – they are photographic art.


From my father’s family, the only portrait that exists is one taken of his parents when they were married. There are a few snapshots of my dad and his brothers as adults, taken with buddies on army bases after they each enlisted during World War II – nothing of them as children, though, and nothing that shows them with their parents and their older sister. My dad took pictures of me and my siblings when we were growing up, but we never went as a family to a studio for a portrait sitting or had a professional photographer come to our home. We have nothing to compare with the elegant images that exist of my mother and her family. Snapshots that sit in a box, but no art to hang on a wall.


As the holidays approach and you plan for family gatherings, think about the value of having a professionally done portrait. Whether your dress up in your Sunday best or each wear an outfit that best reflects your personality, make it an occasion – a favored memory, not a chore. A professional photographer will provide many options for how to preserve your image, whether by having your portrait matted and framed or put onto a canvas enlargement to be enjoyed now and for generations to come.

Who should you hire for your next assignment?

Friday, October 16th, 2009

blogpic_101609.jpgOCTOBER 16, 2009

You are:  In charge of marketing for a corporation. Organizing an event. Planning a wedding. Starting a blog.

You want:  Beautiful, memorable photos. Images that will grab the viewer’s attention, and hold it. A new head shot. A creative Christmas card.

You need:  A photojournalist with daily newspaper experience.

Here’s why, according to Andrea James, a reporter formerly with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, you need to hire a photojournalist:

1. Photojournalists don’t make excuses — Things do go wrong, but a photojournalist who has worked for a daily newspaper is trained to do superior work, and quickly. She cannot come back to the office with no photo. The paper is coming out tomorrow; a photo is needed. She is used to operating under pressure.

2. Versatility — What I love about newspaper photographers is that they can do anything. My P-I colleagues often found themselves shooting a natural disaster one day (they all own rubber boots), a concert for the arts section the next day, and then a cake for the food section the next.

3. Consider your moment captured — How much would you pay to make sure that THE moment of your event is captured forever? This is what photojournalists are trained to do every day. At my own wedding, I knew that I didn’t have to worry about making sure our photographer (and friend) was capturing crucial moments. He was everywhere. When I saw the photos, I was delighted and saw new aspects of my own wedding that I had missed.

4. Photojournalists are problem solvers – Tell me, how do you make a photo of a technology company interesting? As a business reporter for nearly five years, I got to profile some really cool companies — but a lot of times, these companies performed a service that just wasn’t visually interesting. But I rarely worried about this — I knew we’d have a publishable photo for the newspaper because the photographer would think of something I never could have.

5. They’re the best of the best — Newspaper journalism is cutthroat. Thousands of people want to shoot photos for newspapers. However, just a few hundred actually get to do it. In short, they’ve been vetted.


For your next portrait, event, annual report, brochure, or website, come to Kathleen Kelly Photo. I’ll bring my 20 years of experience and style as a newspaper photojournalist to bear on your assignment to bring you a variety of photos and meet your deadlines.


 (Andrea’s “Five Reasons You Should Hire a Photojournalist” are reprinted with her permission. They originally appeared on her blog at

Corporate Recognition

Monday, October 12th, 2009


OCTOBER 12, 2009

Twenty years of experience at producing pictures for newspapers on tight deadlines came in handy last week when I got a call from Becky Stockbridge, owner of iBec Creative, a web design firm in Portland. She had just gotten off the phone after being interviewed by a writer for Business Week. Becky, who designed my website, had just been named as one of the magazine’s 2009 finalists for America’s Best Young Entrepreneurs.


She had to send them a photo — something more than a head shot. She needed the picture by 2 o’clock; it was 12:15. Could I help her out? I grabbed my camera bag and hopped in the car. I arrived at her office at 12:45. In the span of an hour we had done the photos, downloaded the images to the computer, and Becky was making her selection of which picture she wanted to send to the magazine.


If your business needs a photo in a hurry, you can rely on Kathleen Kelly Photo to produce quality results on deadline. Even better, though, would be having me come to your company to photograph when you’re not under deadline pressure. From executive portraits, to facilities photos, to documenting the ongoing processes of your business, I can create a body of work that you may draw upon for press releases, your website, blog, or brochures. In fact, since I maintain an archive of images shot on assignment, you may call me and have me take care of sending out press release photos for you.

What do your photos say about you?

Thursday, July 16th, 2009


JULY 16, 2009

I met today with Rich Brooks, president of flyte new media ( in Portland. He is a web design and business marketing specialist, with a voluminous knowledge of social networking sites and how to use them to advance a company’s marketing goals. He gave me some insight about how to use my blog more effectively. Up till now, I have been using it as a creative outlet, a way to share my personal vision through photography. Rich showed me that I could also be sharing my expertise in how companies can use photos effectively in their advertising or marketing campaigns. I now plan to incorporate advice in this area into my blog in addition to my personal photos and my ongoing Scarborough 350 project.


Today’s question is whether the photos on your website reinforce your corporate identity. Whether you’re using stock photography or having a professional come on site to produce custom photos, make sure that the visuals match your message. If you make hand-crafted, one of a kind items, you’ll want to have pictures that show your attention to detail. Photos that are poorly lit, that have bad shadows, that aren’t as finely crafted as the products you make will tell prospective customers that you are sloppy, not detail-oriented. If your company’s key to success is superior customer service, but the photos on your site are generic, stock shots of sunsets or landscapes, or, worse, pictures of your offices or equipment with no people in them, you’ll be missing the warmth that can be seen in the human interaction of your staff with your clients — the thing that will make prospective clients interested in doing business with you. If you serve a young, hip clientele, are your photos bold, bright, edgy and shot from interesting angles, or do you have a bunch of boring, line-‘em-up pictures that don’t tantalize the eye? Matching your photographic images to your corporate image will bring consistency and clarity to your message and help establish your brand.