12 Questions: Tom McKean

Meet Tom McKean.

Tom is a freelance commercial and editorial photographer, who shoots for area businesses throughout the Tri-State area. He also participates in arts and craft shows in Chester County. He shares his studio and home with his wife, Susan and five Bearded Collies.You can contact Tom at 610.420.0177, and see his photography at www.tommckean.com.

And now, the 12 Questions.

1. What kind of kid were you?

I grew up exploring art, drawing and music. I was in my own world with my imagination as an only child. When I was four years old, I was doing cartoons of Captain Cooke and Jerry Lewis. And I also wrote backwards left handed for fun.

2. What influences have shaped you?

Drawing, painting, playing drums, guitar and piano are my adorations. I also taught myself graphic design making logos and brochures. Eventually i discovered photography as my medium of expression. I began my career as a photojournalist for several local newspapers in Philadelphia; my photo journey now has evolved into shooting portraits, places, and fine art.

3. Ever done anything really dumb?

I had a client that wanted me to send a photo of beakers. I sent an image of sneakers instead.

4. How’d you learn to do what you do?

I’m a self taught artist. Never got to school.

5. What are you working on now?

I’m shooting more personal projects and expanding into more corporate work. And shooting video.

6. Walk us through a typical day at work.

I get up at 5:30 am. I have to get the dogs out and fed. Then I spend several hours with social media and marketing. I then work on what assignments I’m shooting and planning other shoots for the following days.

7. Who do you love?

I have had many favorite artists throughout my career. I love Ansel Adams for his landscapes. Jay Maisel for his bold colors, and Joe McNally for editorial work.

8. What are you passionate about?

Art is my passion that drives my photography.

9. What are you proudest of?

The many accomplishments I have made in photography and the many friends I have made over years.

10. Describe a great night out.

A nice candle light dinner with my wife at a traditional restaurant. Good food or great music!

11. So what’s next for you?

I’m experimenting with video and doing more photography as a fine art form.

12. What will your epitaph say?

“Here’s to an artist who gave his passion for photography to the creative community.”

12 Questions: David Fonda

Meet David Fonda.

I’m an architectural and interiors photographer based in Philadelphia. I have a background in fine art (BFA-Photography), and experience in the editorial, corporate, and industrial, as well as architectural spheres. My clients include architects, interior designers, real estate investment firms & developers, architectural product manufacturers, construction companies, advertising agencies & graphic designers, and editorial.

I live in East Falls, and have offices in the Design Church (www.ennisnehez.com/designchurch/), a renovated 1890‘s church in East Falls.

DAVID FONDA Architectural Photography

Where the Art of Architecture intersects the Art of Photography

610.564.3624
davidfondaphotography.com
david@davidfondaphotography.com

And now, the 12 Questions.

1. What kind of kid were you?

Well, outwardly, I was tall, skinny, and shy;  inside, curious, thoughtful, and unsure. Your basic suburban kid.

2. What influences have shaped you?

Geez, how do you answer that! Every experience leaves it’s mark. I guess I’d have to say that the people I’ve encountered have done the most to shape me. Every person has something to teach you if you’re willing to see it.

3. Ever done anything really dumb?

Yeah!  Do you want them chronologically, or in order of significance?

4. How’d you learn to do what you do?

Practice. Practice and never being satisfied. Henri Cartier-Bresson said ‘Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” Hopefully, your most recent is your best.

5. What are you working on now?

There’s always a dozen different things that, if I’m not working on them, I should be. Photography-wise, though, I’m putting together an editorial portrait of the former lead guitarist for a quadruple-platinum progressive rock band, who’s now a lawyer. Quite a transition, huh! I want to put him in an empty concert hall, with a guitar and a three-piece suit. I think it’ll be a neat shot, and he’s into it. Finally got a hall that’ll let us shoot in it, so it’s coming together! I’m pumped!

6. Walk us through a typical day at work.

There is no ‘typical’ day at work … that’s what I enjoy about it! If I were to answer ‘what is typical about a day at work’, I’d say ‘creativity’. As a small business person you have be able to do it all, and you have to be able to bring creativity to every task. Not just to the photography itself (the most fun creativity!), but to all of the problem solving that goes into making a photo shoot happen, and to all of the chores that make a business run.

7. Who do you love?

Who do you love?…   sounds like a George Thorogood song! I love my kids, my parents, my siblings, and my friends. That’s a question that begs for a more philosophical answer, but I think I’ll just leave it at that!

8. What are you passionate about?

Another philosophical question! Beyond my work, which is where passion comes to me most freely, I’m passionate about equality: all people should have an equal opportunity to live, thrive, and grow. Enough philosophy!

9. What are you proudest of?

Well, I’m proud of many of the photos I’ve created, and I’m proud of my kids … but I guess what I’m most proud of is what I’ve overcome. Yeah, most of the obstacles I’ve overcome were one’s I put there myself, but they’re the hardest to get past.

10. Describe a great night out.

John Lee Hooker, Jr. at Warmdaddy’s! Great blues, great food, and great seats! Little Ed & the Blues Imperials would do it, too!

11. So what’s next for you?

If I knew what was next, it’d take all of the fun out of it! Marketing. That’s my most immediate need. Work doesn’t just come your way, you have to go out and get in the way of it!  Easier said than done. I need to come up with a ‘creative’ way of giving myself a good, swift kick!

12. What will your epitaph say?

He gave it a good shot.

 

12 Questions: Heather Hunt-Casper

Meet Heather Hunt-Casper

Hello I am Heather Hunt-Casper. I am a co-founder of Open Haus Studio, a boutique creative agency located in West Chester, PA. I have over 24 years of experience in building brands and developing relevant creative strategies for a wide range of clients from consumer to B2B both nationally and locally. I am a creative who has worked on both sides of the business—agency and in-house which gives me great perspective on successfully partnering to build a brand. My business partner, creative collaborator and best friend is also my husband. When we aren’t working, we enjoy time exploring with our son Sammy and Boston Terrier, Menu. Check us out at www.openhausstudio.com.

Now, our 12 Questions:

1. What kind of kid were you?

Curious. Why?

2. What influences have shaped you?

Being the daughter of an engineer was an early influence. It pushed me to want to know how and why things work. Apple in the early 90s made me discover my inner tech geek. Living in center city Philadelphia for 22 years really influenced me to be myself and stay open to change. Traveling gives me perspective and inspiration.

3. Ever done anything really dumb?

Once I had a meeting and printed something for it but the toner exploded. I didn’t want to get my hands dirty so I blew the toner off the page. During the meeting, the man I was talking with kept leaning in and looking closely at my face. Afterwards, I ran to my car to look in the mirror. Much to my horror I had a dusting of black toner around my mouth and lower jaw. It looked like a 5 o’ clock shadow. I was awarded the work but I am sure he always wondered about my gender— I am almost six foot tall, too!

4. How’d you learn to do what you do?

I’ve learned by being curious about the how, why, when and where of things.  You have to try something to really know if it feels right and you learn so much in the process. Listening to those around you helps you learn and hone your gut instincts.

5. What are you working on now?

We are working on lining up two new web projects and diving into a website and branding redesign. We also have some on-going client work that involves trade shows, sales collateral and a campaign.

6. Walk us through a typical day at work.

It will vary but there is usually a mix of coffee, emails, phone calls. Then more coffee, more emails, work and a few conference calls. Our days encompass everything from research, planning and strategy to coming up with and presenting work to then execute.

7. Who do you love?

Its hard not to first say my family, friends and dog, but I also really love old people. You can learn so much from their experiences. I also admire—Luke Sullivan, Alex Isley, Sally Hogshead.

8. What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about the people and things I love. In addition to #7: technology, design of all kind, creative problem-solving, history, traveling and cheese.

9. What are you proudest of?

Besides my family, it would be Open Haus Studio. It has grown and succeeded through some tough and challenging economies. I am proudest that we have been able to build and maintain strong relationships by doing great work with great people.

10. Describe a great night out.

A night out for sushi with my husband, son and some friends at a great local BYOB and not being the designated driver.

11. So what’s next for you?

We just revamped our website so we got some great buzz and interest. Next up will be working on some new projects!

12. What will your epitaph say?

Always support finding your truth.

12 Questions: Dave Moser

Hi, I’m Dave Moser.

I shoot people and absolutely love the portrait!  People are endlessly fascinating and at times erratic-the ultimate puzzle and mirror. Our work is featured in ads, brochures, magazines, annuals, and websites worldwide!  After two decades of doing this I am still thrilled to drive by a billboard with my work on it!

I’m located in the Fairmount section of Philly and work out of my home studio. Although based in Philly, we spend most of our time on the road-not to say I wouldn’t love to do more local work!

I live with my beautiful wife Loretta, my exuberant daughter Ruby and lil’ Stevie our dog.

We haven’t had a TV in more than a decade; my family and I don’t like sitting still so we are out and about – hiking, rock climbing, going to live shows, eating at the many ethnic restaurants across the city, and visiting museums. When at home, my wife and I both love to cook, and although we’ve currently been eating more vegan, it’s certainly not exclusive. Additionally I try to meditate every morning.

I’ve got a very eclectic taste in music. I recently held my 17th annual “mix brunch” gathering where I invite a group of people to dine at my house and we trade mix CDs over brunch. It’s always interesting to see what everyone brings and to be introduced to new genres and styles.  This year I walked away with 15 new mixes that I am currently enjoying.

I’m honored to have received top awards in the past several years including: Graphis Photography Annual, International Photography Awards, Px3 Prix de Photographie Paris, Communication Arts, ASMP, and more. In the past year, I’ve also had a solo exhibition at Santa Bannon Fine Art Gallery, and am now represented in the Fine Art world by Santa Bannon. I am proud to recently have a photograph selected by Karen Marks of Howard Greenberg Gallery for the Center for Fine Art Photography Portrait 2017 exhibition.

Dave is principal of Dave Moser Photography. Contact him at:

Email: dave@davemoser.com
Web: www.davemoser.com
Blog: http://blog.davemoser.com

And now, the 12 Questions:

1. What kind of kid were you?

I was a big kid and really shy up until 7th grade when I made a conscious decision to change my shyness. By the 9th grade, I stopped caring so much about what others thought and it was so empowering for me. It allowed me to befriend a mix of kids from different groups and in a way eliminated the social barriers that exist within high school. I believe this helped shape my philosophy and ability to connect with individuals later on in photography.

2. What influences have shaped you?

Experiences and travel.

So many artists:

Painters: The German Expressionists, Andrew Wyeth, Mark Rothko, Cy Twombly

Photographers: Nadav Kandar, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Eugene Meatyard, Josef Kouldelka, Dan Winters, Marco Grob, and Sandro

Musicians: John Zorn, Mark Ribot, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Krishna Das, Ludovico Einaudi, The Black Angels, Gabor Szabo, Dr. Dre, Ryley Walker, Freddie Hubbard, Bill Laswell and Burning Spear.

3. Ever done anything really dumb?

Yes!  How else does one learn?

4. How’d you learn to do what you do?

By doing it – taking thousands upon thousands of pictures – Put your camera on M, go take pictures, and I guarantee you’ll learn a ton.

Growing up, my father and other members of my family were serious amateur photographers- so I always had access to cameras. I distinctly remember being in Maine at a young age and waiting for the perfect wave to hit the shore with camera in hand. Just being present in the moment transported me, it was the first time that I was fully aware of, feeling with all senses without internal dialogue.  This place of timelessness, of transcendence, is something that still occurs while I’m shooting.

In high school, I did an internship with a father and son business who were family photographers. They were laughing all the time, taking naps sitting up at lunch, and just all around had a mellow environment. It made me idealize photography a bit. Years later, I realized that it was more a byproduct of the individuals that made the environment rather than the profession itself, a youthful oversight. I wasn’t wired the same way, but my need to stay active and focused actually benefited me and really shaped a dedication to the craft.

There were only three programs that offered degrees in Fine Art for Photography at the time I chose to go to college, and the instructors at the University of Dayton really connected with me. I received my BFA in Fine Art Photography with a minor in Art History there.

After graduating top of my class, I discovered commercial photography through assisting- a whole world opened and I loved it. It entailed problem solving, being active, and gaining access to places and people you normally wouldn’t have access to-different people and places everyday with no predictability-perfect!

5. What are you working on now?

I have been giving talks on a recent personal project, The American Housewife. Last year I picked up representation in the fine art world with the gallery Santa Bannon Fine Art due to this project. We are currently showing in “Power to the Portrait” and have quite a bit of upcoming shows.  It’s been exciting to return to my fine art roots and am now embarking on a new personal project that is still being defined – very exciting.

I am getting more commercial work based on my personal and fine art work.  I find this immensely rewarding and am excited to be able to apply my vision to such endeavors.

We recently wrapped a dream job, a multi-year commissioned national portrait series called Love Story. Originally slated to be a book, it is now a permanent installation in a prominent local collection.

On the commercial side, we just photographed Megyn Kelly for our sixth cover of Success magazine, completed a large spread for NJ Monthly on Veterans, and a national consumer campaign for a drug company.  For the national consumer campaign, I shot the stills and directed the video/motion. I am starting to work more and more in motion and it’s a very different animal. I’m diggin’ it.

6. Walk us through a typical day at work.

There is none! My days are not predictable and are dictated from an ever-changing list of priorities. If I have a shoot, I might be on location shooting all day. If I’m in the studio, I could be shooting as well or I’m behind the scenes doing the millions of things that need to get done from emails, phone calls, marketing, research, planning, etc. No day is the same, but I love what I do and I love that it’s different everyday.  I am fortunate to have an understanding family- when they come home in the afternoon they may find a note saying, “Be back in 3 days, in LA.”

7. Who do you love?

First and foremost, I love my family. I also love people, but this sounds trite without explanation. As I am photographing someone, particularly a portrait, I work hard to connect with the subject. As I learn about the subject and see them loosen up, reveal themselves without self consciousness, I begin to feel love. I know this sounds odd but it’s about connection and understanding. The more you feel you understand someone, not necessarily agree with them but understand them, the closer you feel. Often, as the shooting continues, people appear “younger” to me. It’s nothing short of intoxicating.

8. What are you passionate about?

Being fully present. Seizing the day. Raising my daughter.

I am passionate about exploring and learning about female culture, and the self-image influenced by media and society. Exploring the culture of “housewife” is simply a springboard into the Female American Culture, where my daughter and wife are so heavily influenced.  After seeing the documentary Ms. Representation, I too realized how much of the Kool-Aid I had drank.

All my work, even my commercial work, revolves around my desire to show and connect the audience with the dignity of the subject while creating understanding.

Travel – food – music – people – culture – nature – history – mythology – art – I’m generally just excited.

9. What are you proudest of?

My daughter Ruby – it’s fascinating and inspiring to watch her grow and cultivate her passions and interests. Our differences in passions have taken me to places I’ve never gone and her world has opened up an entirely new perspective that’s even trickled into my photography. It’s created a new way to relate to people – I can talk about unicycles, horseback riding, mythology, and even Justin Bieber. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in tea parties with American Girl dolls as well as learning about knitting, primitive weaponry and Apophis – the Egyptian God of Chaos.

10. Describe a great night out.

Taking a long walk to one of the many great restaurants in the city, ordering something I haven’t had before, seeing a show and then letting the night unfold before ending up somewhere and doing something that was not planned – a night full of surprises.  Recently my wife and I closed an after hours club dancing, something we had not done in years, and I loved it.

11. So what’s next for you?

I’ve been itching to start a new personal series and when a week opened up a few months ago, I shot three subjects for it and am up to five now.  There does not seem to be a unifying theme so far, but there is definitely a thread. I’m planning on including writing with this series, possibly from the subject point of view.  Some of this work ended up on the walls of a gallery only weeks after being completed. It feels so fresh and new. It’s invigorating.

Trying to balance personal work with a busy commercial schedule can be challenging but never fails to create momentum.

12. What will your epitaph say?

My will states cremation so no gravestone here but in a broader sense: a seeker, artist, friend, father, and lover.

12 Questions: Dave Muehsam

Dave MuehsamHi, I’m Dave Muehsam.

I grew up in Media, Pennsylvania and graduated from Penncrest High School. I started my adult life with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photographic Illustration from the Rochester Institute of Technology. From there I went to Los Angeles and learned video production.  After 26 years, I sold West Coast Post and my wife and I brought our two kids back East so they would know their grandmother. I still work for a few clients in Los Angeles but the bulk of my local work these days seems to be for pharmaceutical companies. Marketing, sales, meeting support- that sort of thing.  I love it and it keeps me busy.

Dave is principal of All 1 Media. Contact him at:

Email: dave@all1media.com
Web: all1media.com
Phone: 484-643-0578

And now, the 12 Questions:

1. What kind of kid were you?

If you were to believe my teachers, smart, but lazy.  That’s also what they tell me about my son, so I’m not too worried.  I know when he finds his “spark,” he’ll do just fine.

2. What influences have shaped you?

As an editor, I’ve seen it all.  Good and bad.  I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. This has turned me into a pretty good producer, avoiding costly mistakes before they happen.

3. Ever done anything really dumb?

Yes, but that shall remain my secret.  I have two more years on the statute of limitations.

4. How’d you learn to do what you do?

When I first arrived in Los Angeles I was hired by Redken Laboratories as a photographer.  They later decided video was cool and I agreed.

5. What are you working on now?

I just finished a video demonstrating the clinical differentiation for a meningococcal vaccine portfolio (awesome fun) and a two-minute “sizzle” piece for the opening of a national sales meeting. I also help out the Performing Arts department at Longwood Gardens on a regular basis.

6. Walk us through a typical day at work.

If I’m not scheduled on-site for a shoot, or on a tight deadline, I bid my wife goodbye as she leaves for her job with benefits, make a cup of coffee, fire-up my computer and see what needs to be done. Or maybe I’ll shovel snow or mow the grass.

7. Who do you love?

I love everyone except violent criminals, most of Washington DC and some drug-addicts.

8. What are you passionate about?

Being alive often stirs me up.  I also like being the editor on a project whenever I can- I’ve always loved editing and I think I always will.

9. What are you proudest of?

My daughter and son and  the fact that except for the four years I was with Redken, I’ve always worked for myself and always know who to blame or exalt.

10. Describe a great night out.

A good restaurant.

11. So what’s next for you?

A tropical climate and a margarita fountain.

12. What will your epitaph say?

This space reserved for Dave Muehsam.

 

12 Questions: Harry Giglio

Harry GiglioHi, I’m Harry Giglio.

I make still images, videos and TV commercials for corporations, universities, magazines, ad agencies and organizations.

I’ve been selected to the Communication Arts Photography Annual twice, PDN and numerous other trade awards. Most importantly however, my clients reward me with continued assignments for years and become friends…this is my most rewarding accomplishment.

I have a large studio in  Pittsburgh,Pa. but 85% of my assignments are on location.

I’m not really the type of person that that will go on and on about all the things I can do or what a great shooter I am. I figure you are all accomplished creatives and will see that in my work … or not. To be candid, I am the type of person that is much more interested in other folks as opposed to trying to get others interested in me.

You can contact me at www.harrygiglio.com or www.harrygiglioproductions.com.

And now, the 12 Questions:

1. What kind of kid were you?

I was a kid that always challenged the rules, helped anyone that was downtrodden and punched the bullies in the face.

2. What influences have shaped you?

The day i realized that the most important and powerful tool I have as a shooter is my personality.

3. Ever done anything really dumb?

No, even the very bad decisions taught me valuable lessons. Looking back i see that everything happened for a reason…to teach me… and I couldn’t have leaned life’s lessons any other way.

4. How’d you learn to do what you do?

My college training is in art and design. As far as shooting goes I learned that by looking at life around me and interpreting what I see and how I feel about it with a camera and lights. Over and over and over again…until it was worthy to show someone.

5. What are you working on now?

I just finished a portrait series on wounded veterans and presently I am beginning to start the prepro for 10 videos of accomplished alums from a prestigious business university.

6. Walk us through a typical day at work.

The only typical part of my day is drinking 3 or 4 cups of strong coffee. My days go where my assignments call me and by the needs of my clients.

7. Who do you love?

I love my wife, children, friends, family and the One that is the Lord of all.

8. What are you passionate about?

I can not tolerate abuse of any kind to people or animals. I try to find work that promotes that cause. Working with professional talent is nice but I am drawn to shooting non actors. I enjoy getting to know people, gain their trust, become their friend and guide them toward self expression on camera. People, their stories, their lives and their uniqueness fascinate me. I’ve learned that the I have the most success as a shooter and as a person by learning as much as I can about my subjects, clients and assignments. I strive to make images that show people what they don’t see.

9. What are you proudest of?

Never having to work for a living.

10. Describe a great night out.

Authentic Italian food, friends, good wine and getting home safely….and early.

11. So what’s next for you?

Finding more assignments that help people and benefit life. Using my abilities to tell stories in unique and emotional ways, make my clients look like heroes, and most importantly touch people and effect how they think and feel.

12. What will your epitaph say?

“I told you I was sick.”

12 Questions: Dennis Steele

Dennis SteeleHi, I’m Dennis Steele.

I am a freelance writer/producer/voice actor, with commercial clients such as the Phillies, the PA Lottery, the Inquirer, Car Sense, the Sands Co., plus numerous Medical/Pharma clients, financial service firms, political campaigns and insurance companies.  I’ve narrated a number of films, including “Seeing the Gross Clinic Anew,” produced by The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and “Footsteps in the Snow,” a Lifetime Movie Network presentation, produced by Nancy Glass Productions.  I also generate about 600 on-hold messages a year.

My writing/production credits include: Steven Singer Jewelers, EP Henry, Solar City, Dish Network, etc. I’ve produced corporate videos, TV commercials, fund-raising films and just recently completed an animated video with my buddy Dave Blazek for Xylem, Inc.

Notable Accomplishments:  Voice on virtually all Phillies TV and radio commercials for 15+ years, creator of the “I Hate Steven Singer” radio ad, which became the cornerstone of Steve’s decade+ “I Hate Steven Singer” campaign.  Two Philly Gold Awards and four Addys.  Little League baseball/softball coach for 18 years.

I live and work in Villanova and have been married to my high school sweetheart for 35 years.  Three of our four kids are “off the grid,” and are highly-functioning adults.  Addicted to television and media of all sorts, love good food and wine, sports (esp. the Phillies,) bicycling, and hearing and telling good stories.

You can reach me at steelecreativity@gmail.com and www.steele-creative.com

And now, the 12 Questions:

1. What kind of kid were you?

My family insists I’ve been “showing off for company” since I could talk.  I have two much older siblings and one much younger, so I had no real “sibling rivalry,” and I spent a lot of time on my own.  I watched a lot of TV as a kid, and as a result, just like our parents warned us, it rotted my brain.

In the third grade, I was cast in a college production of “A Music Man,” and my fate was sealed.  I’ve been performing pretty much ever since.  I was in an all-city boys choir in middle school, acted in plays and sang in a rock band in high school and college, and I received my BFA in radio/TV and film from the University of Cincinnati-College/Conservatory of Music (CCM).  So the professional baseball career had to be put on hold.

2. What influences have shaped you?

First and foremost is my wife and best friend, who is the smartest, most decent, logical and ethical person I know.  Not sure where I would be without her.  My mother, who is 94 years-old, taught me resilience and the benefits of seeing the glass as half-full.  I have some great men in my life ,whom I looked up to and still do:  My dad, my brother, my older brother-in-law, my father-in-law.  Professionally, my old friend from high school, Tom Sandman, who advised me to go to CCM, and helped get me my first “real” radio job, as his assistant at WEBN in Cincinnati.  I learned so much of what I know about writing and production from him.

Locally, I don’t have a voice-over career without Scott Sanders, Gary Bridges and Gary Moskowitz, former owner of Baker Sound.  My love of American History and politics can be traced to two influential teachers, one in high school and one in college.  I can’t underestimate the influence of Looney Tunes, Monty Python, Firesign Theatre and the National Lampoon.  And a great group of friends in and out of the business continue to shape and motivate me today.

3. Ever done anything really dumb?

Every day I do at least one dumb thing.  I’m very forgetful.  Seriously, I lose my keys about three times a week.  My dumbest career move was taking a radio job, sight-unseen, from an ad in a trade paper, which landed me in Flint, Michigan.  The station was #1 in the market, but the facility was so bad, they had a room air conditioner in the production studio.  Think about that.  The nine months spent in Flint were the most surreal times of my career.

4. How’d you learn to do what you do?

I learned how to sing, including breathing, in the Boys’ Choir as a kid.  I received a lot of great training in announcing in college, including pacing, script marking and microphone technique.  WEBN in Cincinnati was formative in my learning how to tell stories with just voice, music and sound effects.  And before I ever started shopping a demo to ad agencies and studios in Philadelphia, I had read over 3000 spots as a station producer.

5. What are you working on now?

I just finished collaborating with my buddy Dave Blazek (the brilliant ad writer for the Inquirer and author of the syndicated cartoon, “Loose Parts”) on an animated “Year in Review” video for Xylem, Inc. in NJ.  I created sound files for Nationwide Bi-Weekly Administration’s phone system, and recorded some on-hold messaging for long-time client, Spectrio, in Florida.  Last month, I wrote and produced a series of 15-second radio spots for Steven Singer that are currently running on satellite and internet radio. Last week, I actually did a political ad. I wrote some Dish Network radio copy for the Radio Agency in Media, and I narrated seven corporate jobs for various pharma/medical clients.

6. Walk us through a typical day at work.

That’s one of the things I love about my job; there really isn’t a “typical” day.  Every day is different.  But there are patterns.  I seldom get booked for a vo job more than a week in advance, so my schedule has to be fairly flexible.  I get up pretty early in the morning; usually before 6:30, because my wife and daughter are up and out early for work/school. I have a wonderful workspace in my home, with plenty of room to write, or play music (to distract me from writing,) and a basic rig for recording vo at home.  I prefer working at one of the local studios to working at home, but these days, it’s unavoidable.  When I’m in a studio, it’s usually at Baker, Alkemy X, Philly Post, Center City Film and Video, 2nd Street in NoLibs or Mars Audio in Gulph Mills.  When I’m not doing the work, I’m trolling for more work, or working to get paid for the work.

7. Who do you love?

I love my wife most of all, my kids, my new daughter-in-law and her family, my extended family, including my wife’s enormous clan, my mom, my siblings and their kids and grandkids.  I’m blessed to have some tremendous colleagues who’ve become close friends.  Our neighborhood is unusually close, and we’ve made some great friends there. And my wife and I have some close friends whom we’ve known since we first got to Philly in the 80’s.  Can’t forget our two Westies.

8. What are you passionate about?

Again, my wife is right at the top of the list.  I’m intensely interested in my kids’ lives and try to stay close, without hovering.  I have a passion for collaborating with people, whether it’s working on a project, playing music with friends (I play a little guitar and mandolin…very little), or cooking with a group of people.  I care very deeply about current events and politics, although I never wade into those waters except with family and close friends, and never on social media.  I love music, all kinds.  And I love history, especially American history.  I love the pursuit of excellence, whether it’s in sports, music, art or storytelling.  I’ve been known to get passionate about the Phillies and Eagles.

9. What are you proudest of?

First, my marriage, and the life my wife and I have built together.  Next are my kids.  They are a constant source of joy. I’ve been able to make a pretty good living here as a freelancer for going on 28 years.  And there’s only a couple of people in town who don’t speak to me, so that’s good.  I’m proud to have so many long relationships and steady, regular clients.  There’s nothing better than good word-of-mouth, and repeat business.

10. Describe a great night out.

A great night out usually involves people I really like, good food, wine (red).  Lots of laughing.  Stories.  Once in awhile, a good cigar (not good for the voice.)  Very often, it involves music, either making it, or enjoying it in the foreground or background.

11. So what’s next for you?

I hope to keep my clients happy for another year. There are always surprises; new projects, new opportunities.  I’d love to do more work like narrating documentaries.  I’m open to whatever lurks around the corner that we can’t see yet.

12. What will your epitaph say?

“That guy really knew how to parallel-park.”

12 Questions: Todd Palmer

Todd PalmerHi, I’m Todd Palmer.

I cultivate personalities for your favorite local brands. Any start up can adopt a logo and corporate standards but my company, Virtual Farm Creative, delivers a combination of strategy and creative support to develop compelling brand stories, meaningful content and engaging conversations with the target audience. I am 24/7/365 focused on understanding client offerings and devising approaches for creating consumer action and reaching the client objectives of increased exposure, enhanced image, improved conversions, controlled expansion or dynamic growth. Every day I am conceptualizing the campaign, guiding and managing multiple projects, interfacing with clients and developing creative. As Creative Director with VFC, I have proven record of consistently persuading and educating target audiences and effectively communicating the client message, brand and position. My most notable achievement is the complete roster of satisfied small businesses whose success my team and I contribute to strategically and creatively, every single day. We bring big brand thinking and solutions to companies of all sizes.

I live just outside of Phoenixville, PA and VFC’s studio is three miles closer to the amazing Borough whose revitalization we actively support. I’m married with two children, both of whom have milestone birthdays this year (21 and 16) while I will be turning 50. Interests are extremely diverse and, I believe, that contributes to a unique creative sensibility as well as a passion for intimately understanding the client offering whatever it may be. In my free time I enjoy art, music, reading, writing and people, but I’d rather be outside on an adventure.

You can reach me at:

Virtual Farm Creative
31A Ridge Road, Phoenixville. PA 19460
610-917-3131

todd@virtualfarm.com
http://www.virtualfarm.com

And now, the 12 Questions:

1. What kind of kid were you?

I could have been a character in Stand By Me.

2. What influences have shaped you?

Musicians, artists, writers, branding pioneers, popular culture, television but, more humorously, it is absolutely true that I always wanted to work in advertising because of nuances I gleaned from the work of Darren Stevens, Michael Steadman and Elliot Weston!

3. Ever done anything really dumb?

In business I am quite conservative while I may have made a bad decision or two in my personal life. But aren’t mistakes proof that you’re trying?

4. How’d you learn to do what you do?

The trenches… Nearly 30 years of combat branding experience. Degrees do not impart brainstorming on deadline, winging a pitch or multitasking like a madman.

5. What are you working on now?

At this moment, I took five minutes to answer 12 questions. In 2015, VFC is busier than we have ever been managing several events, product launches and start up brands, non-profit campaigns…all while maintaining traction for existing clients.

6. Walk us through a typical day at work.

I never leave work without an empty inbox and a draft schedule for the next day. When I get in at 8 the inbox is full and the schedule is out the window. VFC is a collaborative studio where we all wear a lot of hats and communicate constantly. VFC gets an insane amount of work done in a day but it is never typical.

7. Who do you love?

Everyone who agrees with me. I throw the word love around a lot but I think I generally do love most open-minded, tolerant, intelligent positive people.

8. What are you passionate about?

Simplifying processes.

9. What are you proudest of?

My daughter. Is that wrong to say? My son won’t be reading this, will he? I have never met anyone as naturally true as my daughter.

10. Describe a great night out.

Riding bikes in the woods.

11. So what’s next for you?

I am not done here yet and VFC’s best work is still ahead of us but I do envision the agency embracing a specialty and growing creatively in a different direction. We all enjoy the work a little bit more when we’re managing accounts whose offerings we are passionate about. Next I am going to focus on doing meaningful work that I am passionate about.

12. What will your epitaph say?

Way to end it on an up note! Probably something like, “Anything can happen, even this!”

Know somebody who should be featured on 12 Questions? Tell us!

12 Questions: Mark Gambol

Hello, I’m Mark Gambol.

IMG_2787_400pxI am a director of photography, cameraman, still photographer, director and producer, production manager and coordinator; but my biggest hat is that of a problem solver!

I graduated from Penn State in 1993 and started my career in 1994 for a small production company in Philadelphia. While there I was able to learn the ins and outs of production, production managing/coordinating and more specifically – camera work. I started MG Pictures in 2000 and I haven’t looked back. I’ve worked on hundreds of projects covering broadcast television and cable, Emmy-nominated television shows, documentaries, “reality tv”, professional sporting events, national news, and non-profit groups.

I surround myself with a other highly skilled and dedicated professionals to capture stories for a wide-range of clients. When I begin a project for a new client, I do a lot of listening.  I am interested in learning about who you are as a person and what your story is all about. I ask a lot of questions! Even in my personal life I want to know about the people around me.

My adventures and hobbies – both in and out of the production world – have taken me all over the world. I am an explorer, traveler and adventurer. I need to see every town, city, village, mountain, ocean, jungle or dessert that I can before I die for work and for pleasure.

You can read and see more about me and my company at www.mg-pictures.com or give me a call at 484-431-4824. I’d love to meet you and see if we can work together on your next story. Email works too! mark@mg-pictures.com

And now, the 12 Questions.

1. What kind of kid were you?

Athletic and adventuresome. Freshman year of High School introduced me to rock climbing and from that, the ability to handle extreme situations and believe in myself.

2. What influences have shaped you?

Of course my family and friends, but my high school physics teacher was and still is an amazing teacher outside of the classroom. And my mentor whom I met on my college internship at 6ABC here in Philly. She introduced me to a much bigger world filled with different races, religions and ideas. This suburban kid is forever in debt to her for what she showed me.

3. Ever done anything really dumb?

Of course! Who hasn’t? But I just can’t seem to make a great decision when it comes to buying cars… I don’t know what it is but it always frustrates me.

4. How’d you learn to do what you do?

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On the job training with a small company where I could get my hands dirty and make mistakes. Watching others do their job. Reading and watching movies and tv shows for inspiration. But I’ve also continued to learn and grow by hiring people who aren’t necessarily better at what I/we do, but those who do it differently and can show me a new way of approaching the same old shot. One piece of advice I’ve always tried to give someone just getting into the business is to “Learn what not to do.” I still live by that credo!

5. What are you working on now?

A series of spots/psa’s for Big Brothers/Big Sisters on becoming a mentor and getting back in touch with old clients to start working on new projects.

6. Walk us through a typical day at work.

I wish I had a typical day! I would love to “work” everyday but that isn’t the reality sometimes for a freelancer. So on those days when I am not on set I am working on finding new clients and projects or reaching out to old clients to touch base and see what’s new.

7. Who do you love?

I love my family and friends. My daughter and her friends. My straight friends and gay friends. As long as you are a good person there is plenty of room for you in my life. And if we don’t get along I promise to be open to your views, opinions and beliefs. I just like good people no matter where you are from.

8. What are you passionate about?

I could take the answer from #7 and put it here as well. But I find myself passionate about work and getting better at what I do. I love photography of all sorts. I love looking for a new adventure or place to travel. Finding out what is around the corner excites me. Trying to grill the perfect steak!!!

9. What are you proudest of?

Raising my daughter and being able to support my family while doing something I truly love for my career. I am proud of myself for reaching my goals and setting new ones every year. I don’t think people say they are proud of themselves enough. I depend on myself and my attitudes to get me through the good and bad. Be proud of yourself and stand up for who you are and what you’ve done.

10. Describe a great night out.

Grilling out for friends on the back deck on a warm night. However, I have grilled out in the snow for friends as well.

11. So what’s next for you?

The new seasons for “Awesome Adventures” and “Awesome Planet” will be starting in February. It’s a great show produced by Steve Rotfeld Productions here in the Philly area. I have been the DP for the past three seasons for these nationally syndicated shows. I’m getting my carnets in order and gear all packed for what promises to be another great year of adventure and travel in the US and abroad.

12. What will your epitaph say?

It wasn’t the right way, it wasn’t the wrong way… It was my way.

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Know somebody who should be featured on 12 Questions? Tell us!