Lifestyle and Resort Advertising photographer, Steve Thornton, shoot the great resorts of the world.

Below are questions or statements from clients with my reply.

“What is your philosophy on your commercial or advertising work?”

The Bottom Line? - I'm here to help you make money by getting prospects excited enough to saying to themselves, "I want to be there" or “I want to do that” or “I want to experience that” or “I want to see that.” All of these statements are spending triggers; they cause someone to pick up the phone with the intent of spending money with you.

"Do not forget - The eye opens the pocketbook."

“Are you expensive?”

Yes, no, maybe, pick one. Some people just do not get the value of real photography and therefore think they can shoot the photographs themselves, or ask their guests to "Please send in your photos." We have all seen these kinds of images on the Internet and most of them do the property a diservice. A lot of them turn off a prospective guest.

Fortunately for me, a lot resort business people do understand what I bring to the table and are willing to invest in their business and hire me.

Great photography is critical to your saying to your prospective customer “We give you more value for your money than our competition.” 

"In any market driven economy, increased market share will not come out of thin air. You have to take it from someone else."

“It is hard for me to imagine what the best case scenario would be if we shot here.”

This is exactly why you want to seek out & hire only top professional photographers in any given specialty, like me. I am among the best resort & lifestyle advertising photographers in the world. I can see things you walk past every day & not recognize as great. I look at things you think are great & recognize they are not so great. I know what lens to use to best capture any given scene. I know what time of day is best to shoot. I know what kind of action is real & believable. This is what I do on every job I shoot.

"Whenever possible buy the best, it is cheaper and less aggravating in the long run"

“However, I imagine at sunrise and sunset the grass color may not be much of a factor.”  (This is from a client who has waited a little too late in the year to want to shoot and the grass & foliage is not real green but with a fair amount of brown.)

I would advise you to try for me shoot for you with as many "Things" going for you as possible, including the season. As much as I would like to take your money today I would much rather shoot in optimum conditions. If however you have a time crunch or just can't wait I'll advise you if shooting now could work or if it is better to wait or if it is just out of the question.

"With free advise, you can take it or leave it, if you pay for advise you need to listen"

“…I am a bit hesitant to have photos of yours, my property does not look as good as what you are showing me …”

What I do is photograph your property in it's best light. I scout your property for the best angles to shoot, I then know which lenses to use to best capture that shot. I get up before pre-dawn to set up a sunrise image, I shoot at sunset and the afterglow. I cast the best models your budget can afford. I bring the wardrobe that will work on the models and your property and the demographics of the clientele you are wanting to attract. I select the best towels, the way to roll or fold the towels to make an interesting photograph. I do not put you in a position of misleading your potential guests.

"Sell actively, but never over sell"

“Do you have a preference for shooting in the AM or PM?  It seems the window is larger in the PM.”

Light-wise some locations are better in the AM some are better in the PM. Personally I hate getting up 2-3 hours before the sun does, but it is an integral part of my professional life. The “good beauty light” window is much larger in the afternoon but the location may say, "Only shoot in the morning."

“…how many different scenes can we expect to get in your shoot?”

This totally depends on the layout of your property. One or two for sure, maybe 3 or 4 tops for a morning or afternoon shoot. If you have several different scenes in a small area then the number will be higher than if I have to pack up & move to another spot.

One thing you need to understand, if you want what I have shown you on this web site, that light is fleeting and normally only occurs at the beginning of sunrise or at the end of sunset. Light is one of the 3 keys to shooting a stunning resort image.

There are exceptions. If we have a black cloud in the background & brilliant sunlight where I want to shoot, I will still shoot regardless due to rarity of this climatic condition and the dramatic images that usually result. This normally happens in the afternoon anyway but it may not be at sunset.

Out of all of this the one common item is Light. Not “just” light but the right angle of light, the right direction of the light, the right color of the light and, very, very, very important, the right “Quality” of the light. The quality of the light is hard to describe but when I see it I get excited because I know the results I can get for you… stunning.

"Always expect the best, but remember you may have to wait."

“I just can’t believe what you do to the photograph after you shoot it. The colors are so rich ”

Just because a photo comes out of a camera does not mean it is all you can do with it. Quite the contrary, it only means you have finished shooting, not finished with the image.

The late Ansel Adams, one of America’s premier B&W photographers and the man who invented the zone system, said that “Taking the photograph is only half the job, the rest is done in the darkroom.” This is as true today as it was 70+ years ago... except the darkroom is now PhotoShop.

"When marketing, always go for all the marbles"

“Where can I use the photographs?”

Your web site
Your business cards
Your brochures
You ads in Gordon's Guide books and others like Gordon's
Your direct mail marketing postcards to existing clients & everyone that have asked for a brochure.
Your e-mail promos
Submission to magazines for editorial use with credit to your company

“How can your photography work for me?”

My photography speaks to people: "I want to go there," "I wish I were there," "I want to see that" and via this is the message that: "I can go here & do this & this is whom I need to call." As an advertising photographer my career is centered on helping my client make more money. I do this by showing your business in it's best light, I don't over sell, I don't help you to mislead but I do go out of my way to show your business as a shining example of an adventure or total relaxation. I go out of my way to show your business as having better value than your competitors.

“How else can you help me?”

If you are a small property with out an advertising agency, when we talk I will go to your web site & look to see what you are using now in the way of marketing materials. I will also look at the web site's Google page rank, and do a review of the content, navigation and "Feel" of your web site. I will run tests to see the download speeds of the server on which your web site resides. I'll ask questions about your current marketing plan to see if there are ways to help you grow your business by taking advantage of current technology.

I will ask you about your plans for the future, do you want to stay the size you are now? Do you want to grow? Do you want to shift towards more of a "High End" Client? Do you want to offer additional activities? Do you want to get involved with magazine editorials?

Based on this review I can give you options and ideas that will help you properly utilize the photography I create for your business. Additionally I will make suggestions about your web site, your host, your e-marketing, direct marketing & your advertising,

I love photography and I am rarely 100% happy with any given image. I always look at my results and see different ways of doing better. As a result of my lack of complacency and striving to always do better I am very good at what I do.

I truly look forward to your call.