Michael Tillack Photography
Michael Tillack Photography Blog
 I enjoy being a photographer and the joy it brings my client's. I look for to sharing my experiences, thoughts and relevant information that I hope that you will enjoy reading.

Michael Tillack Photography

Photo Memories

by Michael Tillack on 09/04/17

About four years ago my Mother had passed away. When I traveled back home my sister had a box that I was unaware of the contained a ton of photos. Many were before my time. There was pictures of my Mother when she was a kid. Lots memories and it was great to be able to see these images. What a treasure to have found. As a Photographer, I know how important that the images that I provide are treasured. This is one of images have from the box. My Father and his younger brother.

Unfortunately, I see too many people who get a camera then become what is known as a shoot and burn. I have done that myself as well. However, it is very disappointing to see someone advertising that he or she can provide 50 digital images for $50. I could never get 50 images to a client from shooting in a day. Nor do I know any Professional Photographer that could do that either.

What has that person provided? Probably just a bunch of snap shots.

Whatever happened to hanging pictures on the wall and putting in photo albums? Does that person provide the art that he or she has created? Too often people place value on the cheapest price with the most given. Then get them printed at Walmart. 

Whatever happened to quality? I know there are people out who appreciate the work a Professional Photographer can provide. I have my work online so that people can see my work. I also have prints done from a professional lab so that my client can see what they are getting.  I take great pride in either having them in a photobook or hanging on the wall. The image below is on the cover of a photobook I had put together.

As I structured my business and pricing portfolio digital images will be available for social media along with different print products of my art. But my business will not be shoot and burn. I have done some specials to build a new portfolio but that is very limited. I have put too much time and resources to get to this point in my photography career to treat my art as just a digital image. My work is meant to be seen not hidden on a hard drive, cell phone or memory stick. What are you going to be leaving behind to your family?

What are your thoughts?

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Pet Photography

by Michael Tillack on 08/13/17

Wow, this summer has been busy. A trip to Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee and other places in Alabama. Plus, made some friends along the way. We should be in the house by September 16th and getting the studio set-up. Since most of my work is in Boudoir Photography it gives the client privacy. One thing in photography that I do not hear much about is Pet Photography. I did learn about it in school and they showcased a photographer in New York City who only shot pets. It was interesting to see the fun he had with his client’s. So I got to thinking several weeks ago my about my experiences and the way people see their pet’s vs the way it was when I was growing up.

As a kid pets were just that pets. Now we have warehouse stores catering to pets. I have even seen strollers for little dogs. All I could do was shake my head. While I was in the process of relocating in Memphis I had to get a carrier for my cat. Yes, I bought a designer model since it was on clearance at a very low price. Still I never thought I would do any photography of other people’s pets.

I remember a client wanted me to shoot her riding a horse as she had a private trainer. Since horses are one of my favorites animals I jumped on the opportunity. So I thought how you are supposed to capture the images of horses. Not sure if there is a certain way so I just shot them as I would people. I got a few good images along with my client ridding her horse. However, this one was my favorite. We made eye contact.

Since school I never encountered anything about Pet Photography. I never looked either. I just assumed Portrait Photographers cover that area. Although, I did have an opportunity a few years ago to shoot some dogs by a Christmas tree during the holiday season. I have to say it was fun and somehow we were able to get the dogs to cooperate and capture some really good shots. I hope to see the dogs again and get some cool pictures. Maybe I will create a second website just for shooting pets as a side business.

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Commercial Photography

by Michael Tillack on 05/14/17

 When I was in photography school I had learned about Commercial Photography as one of the options that one could pursue. It was interesting because I had never realized everything that went into creating an ad. One of the projects I had to do was to recreate another ad. I had to show the original and mine. It took about five different sessions with Models to find the right one.


My instructor said that she preferred mine over the original. I can see why. It looked like the original on the bottom was shot in a studio whereas, mine was in public. Mine on the top seems to represent the everyday woman shopping. The one on the bottom seemed to be more towards the affluent shopper. Either way they both represent shopping.  Plus, I still had more learning.

Then I saw a spice company with Models trying to advertise the product. It really did not seem the images would be effective as the Model seemed to be more of the subject in the image then the product. I wanted to give it a try. I had some images in mind.

I knew that the product needed to be in the image. I work with a young lady to actually use the product in preparing food. We did get a few good images that day. I do hope the inserts to the images helped to define the product.

I know that people normally associate spices for grilling and are normally targeted to men since they normally grill. Although, I know that I would use a young lady preparing food in a kitchen would be acceptable since choosing spices as I believe is not just limited to men.

I was happy the way these images turned out and the young lady performed very well. I still need to do the grill image. My thoughts are that both this girl and her father could represent family cooking out. That will be my next adventure. I sure Breana will be ready to shoot.

In case you are wondering the spice was really good.

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Time for Marketing

by Michael Tillack on 04/23/17

As a person who is reestablishing my business in Alabama it has been a difficult journey.  I have been busy with a few teen Models who were great to work with along with their parents. I enjoy helping these young ladies to get started with their portfolios. I have shared some of the pictures that I have shot for these young ladies. Now that I am getting closer to June I realize that I have to redirect my energy towards my business. This means a lot of marketing since I am new to Alabama.

As I have read books and numerous articles and they all say about the same thing. Yet, I realized many are geared to towards family portrait photography. That is not my specialty. Don’t misunderstand. If someone wants to hire me for family portraits then by all means I will do the job. My focus is more around the art of boudoir and glamour as my primary focus. So where do I advertise?

My first look is FB at what options are available. I do have a business page but FB limits the reach unless I pay to boost the views. It is great that I am able to customize my search. But I am not seeking likes. However, I need a more targeted marketing campaign.

I think my best bet will be Google. I am signed up for business account with them along with Bing for Business. I should be able to target those who search for a boudoir photographer. Hopefully, this will help with searches to have my website seen. I will have to plan that I get closer to my new studio. But for now I will just concentrate on the no cost methods.

I notice that women are hosting beauty products home sales session. I though what I could do is to offer headshots at no cost. No sales pitch. Just a business card. I know when they see my work they will remember me. Now I just need to think of other ideas.

What ideas can you share with me?  

2017 Had A Slow Start But Now

by Michael Tillack on 03/12/17

It is good to be able to write again. I have been busy with traveling, work and recovering from a heart attack in January. The medical care I received while in Germany was great. They saved my life. I do seemed to be back to normal except I now get cold very easily. In the past month I had the opportunity to do some Boudoir shoots in the past month. This is what I have wrote about before in previous post.

As I reflect back on several of the women that I have worked with in the past month in which I feel blessed that they have become part of my life. They are a treasure in my heart. I have learned a lot from them and I know we will all be shooting again. One of the shoots I would like to do is an outside Boudoir shoot with these ladies. Right now I am renting a house and just waiting for the new house to be built and hope to move in in June.

Since Winter weather slows down shooting outside what I have done is set-up a studio in my rental home. Then when I move into my new house I will have more space for a new studio. It makes shooting easy since we have privacy and do not have to worry about the weather. Although, I am looking forward to the warm weather that is coming in the next several months. Meanwhile, I been busy planning for the move to a new home.

I had realized that I was going to have to acquire more equipment for my studio. I do have some simple backdrops but those are in storage. However, I need more to choose from depending on the shoot. I have ordered a nice back drop in which is a dark blue on one side and then a nickel grey on the other the back. It allows me to have a choice when shooting.

I am also considering getting a second strobe light. I have been using an Alien Bee which has been a great strobe light. I do have other lights and may just invest in a beauty dish for my strobe light.

Either way I am now confident that 2017 will be a great year for Michael Tillack Photography.

Share your thoughts.


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Full Service Photographer Serving Florence, Alabama and other surrounding communities specializing in Portraits, Swimwear, Glamour/Boudoir and Bridal Photography