Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It Was The Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times Part II

I'd like to mention another young lady who works for Dick Blick Art Supplies. We were having an opening in our gallery and I needed to procure a wooden art stand.  When it arrived within three days of our show, it had a minor defect.  I called Blick and they FedEx'd a second one out in time at no charge and told me to keep the first one.  They also followed up with a replacement piece making the first one work properly.  Sound familiar? Again they did the right thing.

To be continue...

Monday, November 29, 2010

It Was The Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times Part I

My best friend, and partner tells me that my blog should be used for photographic information only. Even though I have the utmost respect for her,  I'm sneaking behind her back on this.

Recently, I've had some good experiences with companies that stand behind their products. For instance, I had a 13 year old ladder that had a lifetime guarantee and it just broke. I called Home Depot and  told them my ladder broke. The customer service person said the company was out of business and they no longer carry those ladders, but if I'd like to come in they'd give me 50% off a new ladder. So I went in and picked out a ladder. Much to my surprise when I went to checkout, there was a green sticker on the ladder and the cashier said it was paid for. The manager saw fit to make sure I left a happy camper. This young lady understood that she's not just selling ladders but is selling a service, and a happy satisfied customer translates not only into future sales but the best advertising in the world, which is word of mouth.

To be continued...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Theres dumb and then theres me

To all the ships at Sea,

My partner and my son decided they have to have iPhones.  I tried to resist strongly for a while but figured if they had to have one there was something to it.  It was something I just did not want to do, but figured maybe I was behind the times.

Our son insisted that my iPhone be encased in a heavy duty Otter box case because I am sometimes tough on my phone. I guess that was a good thing because yesterday I went to physical therapy for almost two hours then came back and decided to take me best friend Ace for a three mile walk. Getting into the car I decided to take his bell off, but my hands were full so I placed my iPhone on the roof of the car. I drove the four and half miles home, went in, and went back to the studio for some editing work. Dylan was just back for a visit after  being out at sea for a month filming tuna fishing. He took the car downtown to get the mail, I didn't think anything of it but he was gone for an hour and a half. He walked in and said something to the effect that there was a minor problem with an iPhone.  Told him that if he broke his company iPhone I was not going to replace it (he has the iPhone 4). He then began to tell me on his trip back he heard a scratching sound and then a thump, the phone hit one of the struts on the roof rack before it decided to fly out at 60mph on route six. My son looked into the rear view mirror when he hit the bump and he saw the phone hit the pavement and preceded to do a Nascar tumble, all this time I'm thinking its his phone, and I'm not happy. Then he informed me it was my phone. He handed back to me a phone without a mark on it, the case was a little chewed up but it worked perfectly. It wouldn't allow me to make any phone calls but with ATT that was normal.

If you are crazy enough to buy an iPhone I strongly suggest you buy an Otter box case. By the way I've dropped it three or four times without any problems. What the hell does this have to do with photography? You forgot my iPhone is a camera. Next week I'll tell you a story about a Nikon F, Yankee  Stadium and a Volkswagen. The Otter box case is drop dead stupendous, it is more than enough protection I will ever need to protect my iPhone camera.

Signing off,
-Joe DiMaggio

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hip graduation

As most of you know I  had bilateral hip surgery late April. I've just been informed that I have graduated from my physical therapy. I have been taking physical therapy at the Drayer physical therapy institute.

Dear Mr. Drayer:
I've just been handed a patient satisfactory survey. In filling it out I realized that I would be unable to tell you how I feel about your company. I think it needed more of a letter. In the past 30 plus years, as an internationally known photographer and filmmaker, I've had the pleasure to work with several Fortune 500 companies- IBM, Apple, ATT etc.

Let me get to the point, I judge a corporation not by its logo, color scheme or proximity to a major road. The most important thing is service and people. You're a lucky man. every person that i have ever dealt with at Drayer has been 100% helpful and wonderful. what you have are great people and that's what makes a great company.  the interesting part to me, is NO not in their vocabulary from the Senior PT gentleman Chris Ferlo, to the young female receptionist.

If you were a public company I'd buy your stock. I presume their passion and their understanding must come from the top man at the company and that's you.

Sincerely ,
Joe DiMaggio

Just to bring everything full circle Chris has offered me a health maintenance program which I jumped at, so my relationship with Drayer will continue for a long time.
Great people, great leadership, great attitudes. WHAT A PLEASURE ITS ALL GOOD.

A photographer has to have some basic fundamental skills in lighting, composition, impact, structure and dynamics that all come down to visual literacy. The other thing a photographer has to have is a great personality and he has to understand and emphasize with the people he is photographing. For the most part you become an amateur psychologist. The personnel at Drayer have a wonderful understanding of the individual problems that people go through not only physically but mentally. The key with my family at Drayer is they genuinely care, they understand and they're there for me. They're there for the high school student who hurt their ankle the senior citizen who broke a hip, the police officer who dislocated his shoulder.

The reality is they are really amazing people who are motivated to help people. You just couldn't get a better group. Thank you to the crew; Chris, Nancy, Christina, Ryan, Penny, Toni, Tracey, Carol, Jess, Stacy, Connie, Danielle, Chrissy, Jean, Scott, Kevin, Dale, Laura, Denise.

You guys are great,
-Joe DiMaggio

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

There have been turning points in the new millennium. The first and foremost turning point was the attack on September 11, 2001 The World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the heroic crash in Pennsylvania.  Up until that point, travel was relatively simple and straight-forward but today travel has become more difficult and rightly so. A bright traveler has so do everything they can  to minimize the shock of intense scrutiny at the airports, ship terminals, train stations and so on.  So the first consideration, is to pack two weeks early.  Once you've done that, cut this in half. If you think I'm joking I'm not!  Forty eight hours before the trip cut things back again.  Like most modern day travelers, you will be traveling with a laptop computer - obviously carry on. I also strongly recommend a carry-on camera/video bag and incorporate your personal and mandatory items in that same bag.  For instance, in a side pouch of your camera bag you want to carry a tooth brush, contact lenses, mouthwash (under 3 oz), and maybe a change of underwear just in case your luggage gets lost and any prescription medication.  The concept here is for you to be mobile and self-contained. 

Now as a traveling photographer, in the new millennium zoom lenses are not only acceptable but in many cases as good as prime lenses and relatively fast. For instance  a 16-35mm, 24-70 and 70-200, and two camera bodies. With that you've got two travelers covered with almost anything you'd want to photograph on your trip.  Always remember extra batteries and a battery charger.  If you recall, when I told you to cut back on your clothing here is where you don't cut back on.  You want to double the number of flash cards you think you need and  if you think you need 6 take 12 cards.  This is also a good time to increase your compact flash size to 16 gig UDMA cards and if you're anything like us and you're shooting video, you will need large fast cards.  Last but not least, you will need an in-the-field downloading unit.  Also, In your luggage you'd want to put a small light carbon fiber tripod and a monopod.  Last but not least carry a strong zip lock bag and before you get to security put your jewelry, coins, wallet, phone, etc into it.  Much easier to do then in dribs and drabs. 

Monday, November 1, 2010


Photo© Joe DiMaggio

Every once in a while the moon and stars become aligned and the world is a great place to be.  This is one of those times. I just came back from 3 consecutive assignments and all clients were extremely happy - that's the moon. JoAnne and I had three successful, actually great workshops - that's the stars.  To put them in perfect alignment a bright, talented and good friend  asked us to contribute to his new company by the name of EXPLORER H2O. Suffice to say, we are honored to contribute to H2O aligning both moon and stars.  The new company will be all about the cruise ship industry from both passenger and personnel standpoint.