Commercial Photo • 2017 Q & A

Meatball Bar Banner #1CommercialResidential Architecture • Alan Blaustein Interview • Publications


What is your typical process for working with a new customer?

First find out exactly what the customers needs, expectations and budget are. Then I try to offer the best plan and options to execute the photography creatively according to the customers specific requests.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I have obtained both BFA and MFA degrees in photography and film and video production from Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester NY and the Academy of Art University, San Francisco CA. I also have extensive experience lecturing and teaching a wide variety of photography classes and photography workshops at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco and City College of San Francisco and University of San Francisco, California.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your service?

I prefer to price each job individually if possible.
I work with a variety of clients from individuals to designers, restaurants, editorial blogs, magazines, e-commerce websites, corporate companies, relators and reality companies, non-profit and publishing companies. Some of my clients have a substancial budget for their photography project production and others are working with a fixed or limited flat fee. I can usually accommodate a reasonable offer, especially if the travel is minimal or the project is interesting or for a cause I believe in.

In addition I license my photography from my image library archives posted on my website for a variety of different image usages including: editorial, advertising, publishing, e-commerce and wall decor. My image library archive search engine has a database with over 5000 images which is a great resource for commercial and fine art photography image needs.

How did you get started doing this type of work?

My career began as a fine art photographer. Gradually I started to receive notoriety and exposure from my fine art photography projects and subsequently my commercial photography assignments began to increase and flourish. My initial commercial photography assignments were generated from my photography exhibitions, publishing and wall decor image licensing projects. Early on in my career Parenting Magazine frequently hired me to use my creative approach to image making and printmaking for editorial, product and illustrative types of commissioned photography assignments.

What types of customers have you worked with?

I have worked with a variety of clients from individuals to calendar, book and magazine publishers, designers, corporate companies, Ad Agencies, Relators, Architectural and PR firms etc………….

Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?

I photographed an AD campaign for a branding company in NYC and the client was an international Italian coffee company.
I captured images of Italian cafes and cafe lifestyle vignettes as well as interior and exterior cafe themed photography and note worthy classic Italian architecture. During the same excursion I simultaneously photographed two calendar publications titled “Cafe’s & Bars” and “Italia Panoramic” for a German publisher.  All three projects were photographed within a two week time span.

What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?

Make sure first that the customer really likes the photography style of the potential photographer they are considering hiring. Review the photographers website and their images posted on social media platforms. Perhaps google the photographers name and see what the scope of their photography exposure is.

What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?

Define the exact expectations for the photographer that they going to hire. Such as how many final images they will need, the budget, production costs, any special circumstances involved, final image delivery, the timeline etc…….