What do you enjoy most about the work you do?
The technology component … Growing up I thought I wanted to be an architect – to design and build things. What I didn’t realize was that what I wanted to do didn’t exist yet – website architecture, content, design and development, video post production and all the technology woven in between.
I’m fortunate that my position oversees the technology side of our business, along with other aspects of the operation. Marketing is constantly changing and as a life long learner, I thrive in this environment … staying up on the latest digital tools.
What brought you to tourism?
My journey began with photography. I was introduced to the dark room at summer camp. After graduating, I began work as a photojournalist at a daily newspaper … a personal highlight was covering the Summer Olympics as well as Winter Olympics. While with the newspaper, I opened my own regional color lab and also began taking photos for the local tourism industry. My company eventually grew to include graphic design and print production. Seeing potential for growth, I moved to Florida. As marketing distribution channels evolved, so have Flying Compass’ offerings.
Can you explain how photography has changed?
Since social media and smartphones came on the scene, it’s become more acceptable for anyone to take and post photos online. The other thing is that some photographers will be asked to take a photo using a skill set they don’t possess. They take the photo anyway with imperfect results. As such, less than stellar images are used by an organization.
For instance, we’ve seen photos:
- Of a wall of windows overlooking a golf course with the reflections of each of the umbrella stands and lights;
- That look fake because of how the interior and the exterior lighting was set up and how shadows fall;
- With trash cans, wrinkled tablecloths, crooked lamp shades, food drips, burned out light bulbs, problems in model’s clothing, etc.;
- Where the HDR treatment is so exaggerated, and the photo looks like an architectural rendering; and
- Where the photo is flat (no contrast) because it was taken without lights. It’s a poor representation of the actual service or product.
Strong, dynamic photography is so critical to showcasing tourism destinations, activities, services and products. A photo shoot just doesn’t happen; it’s a carefully orchestrated event with a detailed checklist.
When this doesn’t happen, fortunately, our team understands the subtle nuances of an image, and has the skill sets and the software to take most so-so images and transform them into a signature quality asset/photo.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
My family and I love to take drives to explore – wineries, historic sites, and museums and disconnect at state and national parks and on hiking trails. We always travel with our cameras.
What are your pet peeves?
People who aren’t open minded.
Tell us about your family.
I’m an only child and was raised in Manhattan but attended school on Long Island and took the train in on weekends. Later, I went to live with my grandparents in Upstate New York. I’ve had the best of both worlds, living in the city and also growing up in and around the Adirondack Mountains. My wife and I are the proud parents of two furry-brothers we adopted in recent years. They run our household.
What are some of the things hardly anyone else knows?
I’ve hiked all 46 peaks in the Adirondack Mountains.
Who are some of your favorite photographers?
Ansel Adams, and Bob Holmes and Michael Melford, both of National Geographic.
What are some of the places you’d like to visit?
Alaska; Lakes District, Austria; Cotswold Region, England; Burgundy and Loire Region, France; hill towns of Tuscany, Umbria and Lake Cuomo, Italy; New Zealand and Switzerland and The Alps. In the continental U.S. the list includes these National Parks: Arizona – Grand Canyon, Glen Canyon, Hubbell Trading Post, Lake Mead, Montezuma’s Castle and Petrified Forest; California– Death Valley, Redwood and Yosemite; Montana – Glacier; New Mexico– Carlsbad Canyons; Utah– Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capital Reef, Rainbow Bridges and Zion; and Wyoming– Yellowstone and Grand Tetons.
What are some of the strongest convictions that you hold?
If you are going to do something, do it right.