Category: Uncategorized

10 Oct

International Diamond Center Grand Opening

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The Gainesville community has welcomed the International Diamond Center with open arms. A grand opening was held for IDC’s fifth location, and first in Gainesville, on August 15 at Celebration Pointe. More than 100 people attended. Taste catered the event, providing fresh and delicious food. Elio Piedra brought the Fiesta with music and entertainment. I was fortunate enough to shoot the special occasion.

International Diamond Center is a trusted company that offers a beautiful selection of the most renowned diamonds in the world. The grand opening showcased a variety of diamond engagement rings, diamond jewelry and luxury watches. The natural lighting of the store glistened off each piece of jewelry. An absolutely luxurious night.

Grand opening events for businesses new to the area are essential for creating a base of loyal customers. It’s important to capture the environment, the personality and the professionalism of each store. The identity and values of a business can all be communicated through photos when done professionally.

Here are some pictures from the festive night.

04 Mar

Graduation Photos

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With graduation season upon us, it’s time for one thing: photo sessions. Whether used for announcements, social media or personal accomplishment, grad photos are important to not only celebrate your achievements, but to document a major milestone in your life.

Grad photos are a great opportunity to let your personality shine through. Of course everyone wants a cap and gown picture in the stadium, but perhaps a stop by your college or favorite lunch spot would also make a great setting. These photos are meant to tell the story of your past four years; let them showcase you!

With a massive influx of students needing photos at once, many amateur photographers offer graduation photo packages. The importance of grad photos is not to be taken lightly, as you need these photos for multiple uses where many will see them. By trusting in a professional, you’re assured to get the shots you want without risking losing time and money.

Recently, I shot grad photos for Miss Florida USA 2019, Nicolette Jennings. While keeping the shoot more traditional, we took shots by the classic gator, as well as in and outside the stadium.

“He’s been one of my favorite photographers I’ve ever worked with,” Jennings said. “Not only does he get great photos, but he’s a blast to work with and your end results will be just what you want.”

When it comes to grad photos, ensure they’ll make you look your best by entrusting in a professional. After working hard for four or more years, your success deserves to be captured in a way you’ll cherish for a long time to come.

Miss Florida USA 2019 video

06 Feb

Personalities Behind the Pictures

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The most effective photo shoots I can do are those where I have time to get to know the person or people I am shooting before I take the very first picture.

Getting to know my subjects before a shoot is of the highest importance, and it is a must for me. Even if it is the day of the shoot – just hours or even minutes before we start – I can make that connection. As a result, I understand them and their story better. That can only result in a better-quality project.

By spending that time, and learning about them, I can take notice of their natural expressions, posture, demeanor and more. Building this rapport right away goes a long way in getting them comfortable in front of the camera.

Generally, that’s easy because most of the time I am taking pictures for a good, fun reason.

The shoot associated with these pictures is a perfect example. Different from most of the commercial shoots I do, this one falls in the human-interest genre of editorial, as it was for a cover story for Ocala Magazine. The fascinating subject of this story – Kanyon Walker – is an eventing equestrian who recently early enrolled at Tulane University on a football scholarship. All the pictures were taken on his family farm in Ocala.

Kanyon is a fascinating young man. You can read his full story in the February issue of the magazine.

Unlike the subjects of many of my commercial shoots, Kanyon wasn’t selling a product or branding himself, though this publicity may certainly be used by him for some future branding, as he has big aspirations.

This shoot is different from many other commercial shoots I do as this is for a cover story. This falls in the human-interest genre of editorial.

For me, this shoot was a wonderful experience. Kanyon impressed me. As a young man, he is disciplined and focused on his goals. He has a high level of responsibility. It takes a lot to be the caretaker for his beautiful horse, Durango. Spending time with Kanyon actually gave me some hope for youth and humanity. Kudos to his parents and family.

As far as shooting editorial vs. commercial, in this case in particular, I got to meet some incredible and interesting people. I had some creative fun during the shoots. And, with commercial, I usually have to just sit on the information in excited anticipation with this knowledge and wait. But here it is. I was thrilled to be part of bringing this young man’s story to the public.

25 Jan

The Importance of Headshots

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Professional headshots are vital to your career more than ever before.

In this digital age, your social media profiles will introduce you before you do. Social media platforms, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, are tools for recruiters to learn about candidates prior to meeting them, or before deciding to meet with them. By going the extra mile to have a polished, professional headshot on your profile, those who come across your page will be left with a positive first impression.

The downside of living in a non-face-to-face meeting space is that your personality won’t immediately be shown. A headshot can be used as a tool to represent who you are and your personality based on your attire, smile, etc.

Mark Liflander, Co-Owner and Principal Photographer at LJ Studios Photography in Harrison, NY, recently ran a headshot event for members of the Specialty Advertising Association of New York, and told Forbes:

“Don’t damage your professional image with an amateur headshot. Save yourself money and aggravation in the long run by doing it right the first time. Using a professional photographer is a bargain compared to the value you get — not to mention the real harm a bad or even not very good photograph can do to your image.”

Liflander also urged that company branding stay consistent, and to consider headshots for the entire staff so that branding stays constant from person to person and across the entire team.

Professional headshots are an important tool in your career, so let’s take one you’re not only going to love, but also one that helps propel you toward success!

12 Dec

Holiday Photography

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Memorable photos are an important keepsake for any family, especially over the holidays. While many of us will receive holiday cards galore, it’s easy for them to all begin to look the same.

With this in mind, it’s worth considering hiring a professional if your photography skills aren’t up to par. Actually, such a decision could pay for itself in just one booking.

Taking photos may seem to be an easy task. But in reality, it can be very difficult. The camera you use will have a huge influence on the quality of your finished photos. Also, if you’re trying to include young children or pets in your holiday photos, having a professional photographer to help round everyone in can make or break the photo.

You also have to consider the knowledge you are paying for when you hire a professional photographer. Photographers can effectively make use of light and filters to make your family look their best this holiday season.

If you’re looking for holiday photos to stand apart from others while making your family look their best, professional holiday photos are a great option. With professional photos, perfect holiday keepsakes are only a shot away.



02 Aug

Commercial Production

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Commercial Production

I wanted to touch on the commercial production aspect of my business. My partner, D.A. Jackson and I have a small independent film production company. As a cinematographer and assistant director for Workhorse Pictures, I often play multiple roles in independent film production companies. Staff in small productions often has to be in multiple roles outside of the actual production as well.

However, my primary goal is helping my partner and director to line up the best shots. Additionally, the other very important role I play is networking. I network by talking with people who need their businesses or company’s brands communicated visually. We are in charge of helping them form the concept, write the script and every aspect of the process to produce a commercial or promotional video — from music to sound to high end and dynamic post production.

In regards to what my work involves, it all starts with attracting the clients that are the right fit for us and them. We can do productions of all scales. Our favorite clients to work with are those who will allow us to think outside the box and create original ideas for. So this takes getting to know their brand and having conversations with them.

Afterwards, my partner and I begin brainstorming heavily in order to come up with ideas, putting ourselves in the minds of consumers. We talk with people who would be our ideal clients and run ideas past them. We come up with treatment and script ideas and we present 2-3 ideas to the client. Our goal is to make very dynamic content for our clients to use to promote their brand.

A typical work week consists of prospecting, networking and talking with business owners and individuals about business. This entails what they do and what we do, how I can help them and connect them. This also includes what we do for business in regards to commercial production.

This leads to script ideas that are always being brainstormed or worked on. This is usually outside of the actual production, since the actual production takes a shorter time than anything else involved with the business.

One of the most challenging things about what I do is finding the clients. Every other aspect feels like a breeze. Business often really comes down to creating customers, building those relationships and maintaining them.

The most rewarding part is to see the excitement and gratitude after we’ve provided the client with the final product. Seeing the looks on their face and hearing their reactions to their final product and how they want to get it out to the world is definitely gratifying.

My advice to future or developing commercial production entrepreneurs is to always keep learning. Nurture the love of it, master the technology and experiment on your own. Get mentors and work with other crews so you can improve yourself with those surrounding you.

With Workhorse Pictures, the plan is to continue growing our brand so that we can allow people to know that we are the film production brand to help them grow their business. Our goals are to work on at least one project per month and to continue to produce a national type of quality for our clients.

You can check out some of our examples of our commercial production work here:

06 Jun

Hippodrome Theatre’s “The Bikinis: A New Musical Beach Party!”

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I was honored to once again participate as the photographer last Friday, June 1, at  the Hippodrome Theatre’s opening night presentation of “The Bikinis: A New Musical Beach Party!” The hit musical takes you back to the songs of the 60s and 70s, with an incredible collection of the most familiar and cherished music of all time and tells the story about the original “Jersey Girls” who get back together for a reunion show to save the trailer park on the shore they grew up in. These four women used their charm and talent to raise money for the good folks at Sandy Shores Mobile Home Beach Resort. You don’t want to miss this nonstop celebration of song and dance on stage with seven shows a week running until June 24, 2018!

06 Jun

Father’s Day Photo Session

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Get ready to celebrate dad this June 17 for Father’s Day! We have decided to team up with Kirsikka Jewelry and come up with the greatest set of Father’s Day gifts. You can get a $100 gift card towards the Wheel and Anchor piece that is normally priced at $499 when you book a photo session with us. Or, get $100 off a photo session when you purchase the piece as a gift for that special father in your life. Don’t wait until it’s too late to find a gift for dad! Book your photo session now, so your special gifts will be ready in time for Father’s Day.

Call us at (757) 348-8655 or email for further booking information!

10 Feb

A Romantic Engagement Photo Session

Philip Marcel / Portrait Photography, Uncategorized / / 0 Comments

Portrait Photography. Engagement Photo Session.

I had the great privilege of photographing this lovely couple for their engagement photos.  This took place on a private estate at the tail end of the holiday season.  During an engagement photo session, my goal is to communicate the romance between the lovers. I immediately aim to break the ice and will often give the couple some time to walk the premises and talk amongst each other and to share some quiet and tender moments.

I always  look forward to the engagement photo sessions like these.


13 Sep

Client Testimony: Barre Forte

photography / commercials, Uncategorized / / 0 Comments

“In order to share our message with locals, we knew we would have to get creative, and Philip listened to our needs while bringing his own expertise to our project. It was a pleasure working with Philip to create an engaging and effective commercial for my business that captured the atmosphere of the studio beyond what could be contained in a picture or on a page. Because Barre Forte brings new fitness formats to Gainesville and features a different environment than many Barre studios, we asked Philip to highlight all of the unique aspects of what we offer in a short, 30-second commercial.

I explained to Philip that our studio was welcoming and inviting to all fitness levels and that it is a place where people can come to have FUN while getting a great workout. The workouts combine moments of intensity and focus as well as graceful beauty and even play. Philip was able to represent each of these in the commercials he made for Barre Forte, which allows us, in turn, to perfectly share our message with potential clients!”