Monday, November 27, 2017

Value in the Experience of Portrait Photography

I was very thankful to have the opportunity to photograph a fun portrait session last week, with Sallie and her son Trent. We found a beautiful location in late afternoon sunlight on a private farm property near Centerville, Ohio.

Successful portrait photographers understand that delivering value to the portrait client is much more than just simply providing professional imagery. It's also about the experience and delivering to the client a positive memory of the photo shoot to connect to the prints.

With every portrait session I carry with me a bit of that "photography teacher" within me. Instead of just simply directing my clients to where I want them I always explain what it is about the scene that works so well with them as the main subjects and why I am working with the light - both ambient and the light I bring with me - the way I do.

When the client feels like he or she is part of the total experience - and not simply posed subjects - it shows in their eyes and smiles and subsequently, the final images.

To schedule your portrait photography experience, please email or call 937-477-9324. I would be very happy and thankful for the opportunity to deliver images and an experience that will last a lifetime.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

I love what I do, I am good at what I do and . . . yes, I actually NEED to do what I do

It's that simple. Take another look at this blog entry title.

Got it?

Why hire a professional photographer versus the soccer-mom-with-a-good-camera?  Here are 10 reasons why:
  1. Quality of Work
  2. Dependability
  3. Fully Insured
  4. All client image files are carefully organized and back-up across multiple media
  5. Professional bearing and appearance while working at client's location
  6. Actual, true corporate experience working on the "other side" of the desk
  7. Bringing more to the table than just great imagery
  8. Over-delivers and delivers on-time
  9. Listens to understand client goals and expectations before the camera and lights come out of the bag
  10. And his or her career and passion to create and capture photographs that best  represent the passion that each client has for his or her business and customer and their respective communities

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Go Calmly | Living Outward with Confidence of Vision

Go calmly where your heart takes you. Stay attuned to life’s graces as they are presented before you. There’s a positive life energy there that can’t be found anywhere else. We live in a world of constant temptation; a negative energy and focus that collapses too far inward. Reflect outward the gift of grace and the world filled with the Holy Spirit will dance before you, in the light, in the love, in each moment we can become unattached to all that hinders and blocks grace through us. Stay humble, stay open, stay kind and let go.
Autumn montage of fine art landscape photography by Jim Crotty with locations that include Hilton Head Island South Carolina and Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio.

Landscape Photography Montage by Ohio Photographer Jim Crotty

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Consulting Services for In-House Product Photography

Recently I have been providing onsite consulting services to firms interested in improving and enhancing - or even just starting - their own in-house product photography studios and capabilities. I thoroughly enjoy these opportunities to show companies how they can improve the online appearance of their product lines by not only recommending the right equipment but offering the right training for their staff to shoot exceptional product imagery, from capture to edit to posting. If your firm would like to break away from stock images or lackluster photographs of your products I can help! Additional information @ I’d be happy to provide a free estimate over the phone or via email.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Great Expanse | Vision Encourages the Soul

The great expanse. Perhaps we are naturally drawn to scenes of great distances not just for the beauty of the vista but also because of what such scenes have come to represent within ourselves. The opening, a journey, an adventure. More than anything else the overcoming of the fears that keep us stranded within our starting points and our visions limited and small. Out upon that great expense is our faith. Beyond ourselves a love far greater and more powerful than what we assume keeps us safe and comfortable. The ships of our souls weren’t built to be tied and anchored. They were built for full sails toward the light.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Seek Authenticity - Be Authentic

Seek authenticity, marvel in its presence but resist the urge to simply imitate. What is truly authentic should only inspire you to find what is already authentic in you. Doing so has become increasingly challenging in the popular culture of today where the emphasis is on appearance and immediate visual stimulation. Popular culture devours the authentic with an insatiable appetite and then sits in the corner, sad and empty-hearted. Just look what has happened to the most well known art and music "festivals." There's the perfect example. Imitation is a disguise for those who can't - or have failed to - locate their own voice and it doesn't help that we have entire industries that cater to imitation. Inspiration is the far better journey. Defy popularism. Be true, be inspired and become a source of inspiration versus imitation. That's where you will find the good and lasting stuff.

Friday, September 08, 2017

The Powerful Energy of Change

Nature is a persistent and patient teacher with the life lesson of change. Having been involved with nature photography for over 40 years has allowed me to observe the power and importance of this lesson. The one thing that doesn’t change has been change itself. It is consistent.

People naturally fight change. They hate it. Honestly I do to. The very thought of ever moving again brings on a sense of dark doom. Change is so disruptive to what most perceive as safety and security. It goes against this inherent human fallacy known as control. But then nature comes along with her lessons, sometimes subtle; sometimes quite harsh. Late summer and into early autumn seems to be the time when mother nature too likes to put school back into session, with vigor and suddenness, particularly for those living in the coastal states.

Ohio’s lessons on change this time of year tend to be far more subtle but there they are, nonetheless. Summer ends, school begins, cool evenings give way to fields and meadows covered in webs and dew. The balance between day and night returns, and life goes on.

The opposite of fighting change within our own lives is to fully embrace it, with courage and faith. To emulate nature not in the struggle but in the quiet acceptance of what is meant to be will be. Ego insists on the struggle and attempts vainly at controlling the inevitable. Nature flows with it. She goes with the confidence of what changes never truly goes away but is returned again and again in new seasons and forms.

But with our modern lives embracing change is easier said than done. Ego and security are often buried generations deep with the help of inherited fears. This dire need for the “bricks and mortar” and monuments to persona do little to assuage wounds never properly healed. The falseness of our beliefs in ourselves and controlling everything prove to be powerful barriers for free spirits to overcome.

Nature continues to teach otherwise. I think it’s why I could never really leave her classroom. My camera has become my pencil and the photographs my growing stack of doodled and dogeared notebooks.

Change in the seasons and in life flow with an energy that when it comes down to it, I never see as negative. It’s continuous and so are the lessons. With energy so immense and eternal how could anything - or anyone - truly “end.”

In our lives we are given this gift of continuous love that we would rather shove into the corner in favor of what’s immediate and more serving of our needs for control and security. It isn’t until the hard lessons are put upon us whereby we return to the treasure behind our here and now. This gift of continuous love can be found and observed in both nature and in each of us. Change is the energy for it to fly in orbits that will never end but only become better and brighter through time and generations.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Movement and Expression | The Photographic Artist

The photographer artist is beholden only to the limits placed on him or herself, to see, to surrender, to express. There must always be somewhat of a returning to the original story, the essence of what has never failed to move the artist to act deliberately to carry the beauty of the conversation between light, subject, photographer and viewer. The motivation never ceases because the rewards go far beyond simple recognition of a statement made and the person making the statement. For the artist art is life itself.
New Fine Art Prints | Spring and Summer 2017

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Autumn Nature Photography in Hocking Hills Ohio | Workshop by Jim Crotty

Saturday October 21 2017  -  The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls  |  Hocking Hills, Ohio

October in the Hocking Hills of Southeastern Ohio can be spectacular. Join Pro Photographer and Photography Instructor Jim Crotty as he leads this group workshop along his favorite trails and to the best locations for fall landscape photography in Hocking Hills State Park, including the new trail to Whispering Cave. For eight years Jim has been leading and teaching photography workshops in this, the home of his love for nature and landscape photography. Jim's workshops are a good balance of both classroom and field instruction (with a bit more emphasis put on field instruction).

From the technical to the artistic vision, Jim helps photographers of all levels of skill and experience explore their creative vision and learn to master the camera and lenses for results that stand-out from the mere snapshop. Jim brings out the artist in all of his workshop students in a way that is fun and rewarding. This particular workshop Jim will be demonstrating and teaching best techniques for fall landscape imagery as well as macro/close-up subjects found along the breathtaking trails and woods of Ohio's legendary Hocking Hills.

The base location is the beautiful and historic Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls, centrally located within Hocking Hills State Park. The classroom portions of the program will be held in the Gathering Space conference facility at The Inn. Fee includes a gourmet lunch prepared exclusively for the group by the outstanding dining staff as well as all handout materials. Lodging and transportation is not included although once the workshop begins car pooling is organized for transportation to and from the field locations.

Come join this exciting opportunity to become fully immersed in the beauty of autumn in Ohio's most scenic location and share in the passion and fun of nature and landscape photography with Jim Crotty.

Open to all levels of skill and experience with the DSLR camera. Minimal equipment
required. Fee includes lunch, guided instruction and workshop handouts. This workshop will be limited to first 20 people who register.

Cost is $100 for full day workshop from 8:00AM to 5:00PM.
Email or call 937-896-6311.

Monday, June 05, 2017

The Truth of Who We Are | Life, Love and Old Luggage

Writing spontaneously has always been cathartic. Along with image-making the art of the written word has served me well as the outlets that not only relieve a bit of built-up emotion but both have always come natural with how I express and connect. I fit well the description of that extroverted introvert described in an article a friend posted just yesterday.

So what is it I’m expressing today? Well it has to do with the image included with this post. Pretty ordinary, huh? Luggage on a rental car bus. But there is so much more here than what first meets the eye.

See that canvas bag in the middle? That’s mine. It’s seen many miles of travel since when I first purchased it at The Orvis Store  (now gone too) in Dayton, Ohio in spring 2008, over nine years ago.

On this trip to Dallas, Texas, to see my oldest daughter Emma graduate from high school, I was noticing all the scratches and stains on this bag and in that noticing came a bittersweet introspection.

You see that particular piece of luggage was purchased just after I had separated from the mother of my daughters, Emma and Chloe, and she and the girls moved to Texas. I stayed in Ohio. My daughters were only six and eight years old at that time.

I didn’t have a clue as to what that next chapter in my life - that of a single dad - would bring and I don’t think much could have prepared me for the experience. And I know nothing in the world could have prepared my daughters for what they were about to go through either.

Nine years and more trips to Dallas than I can remember, from Ohio, and then from South Carolina, and from Ohio again. Rental cars and rooms at the Comfort Suites in Frisco, TX. And my girls flying the unaccompanied minor route back and forth as well. Summers and holidays. Emma living with me for 7th grade in South Carolina and now Chloe in Ohio for her high school years.

It’s not the ideal childhood, not by a long shot, but through it all they’ve both turned out to be awesome young ladies. Smart, determined and full of courage. Adjusting to college will be a breeze for both.

They tell you when your kids are that age - six and eight - don’t blink because the years they spend growing up will flash before your eyes. At that time all I was thinking about is getting through the summer with both safe and happy and making sure they arrived safely back to their mom when they’d return to Texas.

You don’t even realize just how quickly they do grow-up and before you know it you’re on your way to catch a flight back to Ohio after seeing your oldest graduate from high school. It’s at that point - looking at an old piece of luggage across the way - that it hits you.

Damn. How did that happen?!?

I have two more years with Chloe but I’m sure that will fly by even quicker, especially now that I will try to hold onto time even more.

I said it before and I will say it again, parenthood is the great equalizer. When you are there in it you will be humbled away from too much of the self, too much of the past. Kids have a way of keeping things moving in a forward direction, and that’s a good thing.

And I’m guessing that it’s at this point when kids reach this age that parents start to question themselves - “did I do the right thing, was I good mom or dad, could there have been a better way?” I do that a lot in my life. It’s part of coming from a big family that can sometimes be “lovingly critical” and a bit limited in the experiences of single parenthood, but always meaning well. I’ve learned to just accept the fact that even in families separate worlds can peacefully coexist, and that’s cool.

Families have changed since my near-ideal childhood of 1970’s Midwest suburbia. Or at least it looked “near ideal” from my perspective. Is it right to compare one generation of parents to the next? The older and wiser I become I’m thinking not.

It’s like what I just overheard stated by a fellow traveler on my most recent flight from Texas to Ohio, “it is what it is.”

Let the second-guessing go. Smile and nod at the critics. And keep moving forward with that old piece of canvas luggage.

Hearts get worn and stained too but what they carry grows in value that all the gold and silver will never keep up with.

I think about all the times I stressed and worried and occasionally cried goodbye as my girls grew-up from elementary through middle school. It’s a little scary when they’re gone away and I’m sure it was that way for their mother as well.

The journey of parenthood is that great classic that never grows old. Settings and situations may change and distances may be more involved than before, but the reward remains the same.

To love, to make a difference, to grow older and re-prioritize. To let the small stuff fall away and accept the peace in knowing that there is never a need to impress and be overly vain with what is fleeting and shallow. And to have an old, worn piece of luggage to remind me of the miles invested in the soul connection with a child’s heart.
What I was meant to be doing was there for me all along.

Now the real fun begins, as I was reminded by my girlfriend Karen, herself a grandmother. “College, weddings, grandchildren.”

You stop just long enough to notice how far life has taken you and then you keep going, doing the best you can, in life, parenthood and love.

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Picture of Health | Jim Crotty Prints at Miami Valley Hospital

I'm happy to announce the photographs I captured on assignment last summer are now installed as backlit wall display prints at the soon-to-be opening of the remodel of the Rubicon Cafeteria at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. I am very thankful for the business and opportunity. This project was a creative collaborative effort with Deck the Walls and App Architecture.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

2nd Spring Nature Photography Workshop Added for May 2017

I'm happy to announce that I have added a second, full day nature photography workshop for May 2017. In addition to the workshop in Hocking Hills Ohio on Saturday May 6th I will also be presenting a workshop at Cox Arboretum MetroPark near Dayton Ohio on Saturday May 20th. Both programs will be based on mastering the craft and art of spring nature photography. I present my workshops as an effective balance between both in-classroom instruction and field instruction, culminating in a review of select images from the students. The majority of my workshop students are those just starting out with their first DSLR camera but I also make it a point to include advanced instruction for the more experienced photographers. Additional details and registration information is available at
 May 20 2017 Spring Nature Photography Workshop in Dayton Ohio

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Learn the Art of Spring Nature Photography in Hocking Hills

Join Professional Photographer Jim Crotty as he returns to his favorite location in Ohio for nature and landscape photography, to do what he loves - teaching the art of capturing images and composing subjects and scenes in what he considers the best time of year in Hocking Hills - spring.

Jim will be leading a small group (his workshops are limited to 20 participants) along the best trails in Hocking Hills for capturing stunning imagery of the Hemlock-filled forests, waterfalls, streams and spring flora.

Instruction will be held both on the trail and in the classroom at The Inn at Cedar Falls - the perfect centralized location within the Park for easy access to the most scenic areas. From discovering or enhancing the photographer’s creative vision to grasping the technicalities of nature photography with the DSLR camera, Jim will be sharing his favorite tips and techniques for composing nature imagery that tells the true story of the true beauty of this special place.

Beginners are welcomed as well as advanced photographers. Jim is known for workshops that provide a valuable and fun learning experience for all who attend.

The cost is $100 per person for the full-day workshop (8AM to 5PM) which includes professional guidance and instruction, handout materials and lunch at The Inn at Cedar Falls. Fee does not include transportation and accommodations. Workshop participants who choose to stay overnight at The Inn at Cedar Falls will receive a special workshop discount.

To register please email or call 937-896-6311. Once again this workshop is limited to the first 20 people who register so please email or call soon.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Peaceful Power of Calming Imagery | Nature Photography for Healing

Where print installations of my work can be seen . . . Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN - Andrews Air Force Base Ambulatory Care Center MD - The Zangmeister Cancer Center OH - Miami Valley Hospital OH - Wooster Community Hospital OH - Soin Medical Center OH -Englewood Health Center OH - Springboro Health Center OH - Buckeye Oral and Maxilofacial Surgery Office OH - St. Rita’s Hospital OH - Wood County Hospital OH