Thursday, December 14, 2006

MIT Admissions Blogs

Would anyone care to comment on WHY the MIT Admissions Blogs have such an amazing following? I've visited numerous admissions blogs recently, and the amount of feedback that the MIT Blogs get are astounding... A recent sampling of Matt McGann's and Ben Jones' blog entries yield some unbelievable feedback. Matt's last three entries have received almost 250 comments, and Ben's comments are equally impressive. What is it about these two blogs in particular that have students attention? Is it the storied reputation of MIT? or Just great content? or Great Branding? I don't know, I think it's a combination of all of these and many others. By going through several of these posts and comments, I have found that Ben and Matt's entries are very personal as well as great academic content.. It seems that they have really connected with the students in a way I have yet to see from other Admissions Blogs.. I would love to hear some thoughts on this topic... It seems like MIT has gotten it right, what can everyone else learn from them...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Online Chats with Prospects

There have been several discussions recently about the use of Podcasts, blogs, IM's in the recruitment process which have been entertaining reads. Late last week I was trolling through some feeds and found an interesting article from the Nashua Telegraph about the use of online chats in the search process. It profiled a few schools in New Hampshire, most notably Rivier College. According to the article Rivier is in its second year of online chatting. Rivier sent out 1,000 invitations to prospective students and parents about the chat session. The article indicated that only a handful of "chatters" took part. I guess my question is, in what way were those 1,000 invitations sent out? How are Rivier and other schools driving traffic to these chats? Even with the obvious increase in web interaction, it has not replaced traditional forms of contact like the "essential" campus visit. Rivier's director of admissions, David Boisvert has the right approach: "I don't see it as a replacement, If anything, it's augmenting it. We have just as many visitations to campus.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Faculty Photos

Here's one from Central College, in Pella, IA.. This particular professor was wonderful. He was animated, had that "look" and to top it off, he was a German Instructor. It always seems that some of our favorite professor captures are those of Foreign Language Instructors. Let us know what you think. To see more of our work for viewbooks and other admissions publications goto: FJ GAYLOR Photography

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Great Job by Eckerd Web Team

Found a great behind the scenes holiday card done by Eckerd College over on BrandflakesforbreakfastYou can find the direct link to the holiday card here Eckerd College Holiday Card We would love to hear how the feedback has been on the card with prospectives and what kind of traffic it been getting

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

"REAL" Dorm Life Shots

As I continue to comb through our recent archives for our website redesign, I found the following photo from a shoot in Michigan. I am looking for some input about dorm photos that go into viewbooks and other publications. Too often we see setup dorm shots of a sterile room. I love this one because of the "au natural" feeling it gives off. There was nothing setup about this one. I was just curious to see if anyone out there would ever consider printing it? or are the boxers and no shirt a bit risque? Just my two cents. To see more of our work goto FJ GAYLOR Photography

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

It's Getting There

The website, that is... It is coming along nicely. I think the design is pretty ready to go live. The hard part now is trying to find images to go on the site. I started going through some yesterday. So many images, tough to choose from.. I found this one taken what seems like years ago. (May, 2006) Hope everyone enjoys. To see more of our viewbook and admissions photography goto FJ GAYLOR Photography

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Study Breaks

Here are a couple shots from our shoot yesterday in Manhattan.. They were of two separate study groups taking a quick break from the books in the Student Union.. Now I think these two tell a story.. Let us know what you think. To see more of our work goto FJ GAYLOR Photography

Some Personal Time Between Shoots

Had a shoot in Lower Manhattan all day today, for a client. Looong day, but I did manage to have a few hours off to explore the city. Walked up to SOHO and did the Broadway, LaFayette, Canal St. walk and then back to our shoot on the subway... It is always nice to have some time to shoot for yourself.. We rarely have the time to do this... Here are some that "I" like.. Let me know what you think... Back to work on the redesign of our website.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Admissions Viewbook Photography

Good Monday morning everyone. We hope everyone had a wonderful, long holiday weekend.. It is official, we are finally caught up on all our post production work from the last few months.. It has been a grind to stay above water during this time. As I have been saying, we were straight out the last three months. All told, we captured roughly 120,000 images and it seems like we covered about 120,000 miles on the ground and in the air. I can't wait for tomorrow. We can finally start our web redesign, that is long overdue.. First we have to come up with a new design, then I'll bang my head against the wall for a while trying to figure out how to program the whole thing.. Please keep in mind that I have no web-training at all, other than self taught basics. So I will try and figure out how to use Flash, Javascript, Dreamweaver, Go-Live, Ancient HTML, and whatever else is out there to be up and running before the holiday.. That's our goal anyway. To see more of our work goto: FJ GAYLOR Photography

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Wishing Everyone a Happy Thanksgiving

Good morning everyone, just hoping everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday. The next few weeks for us are going to be spent on completely redoing our website.. It is in great need of a major facelift (it hasn't been updated since June '05) Hope to have it up and running by the next set of Holidays. To see more of our work goto FJ GAYLOR Photography

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Viewbook Photography

Dining Hall shots are some of my favorite everywhere we go. It is the best place to see kids having a great time at school.. Other than dorm life, it is for the most part the only place where groups of friends get together and really let it go for a half hour or so.. Here are a few from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, TX... To see more of our online gallery goto FJ GAYLOR Photography

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Trying to Catch Up

As I've been saying for the last few months, it has been extremely difficult to keep up with the post production of our assignments.. Our delivery has slowed down tremendously this semester... This is something that is eating Fred and I up. I would love to be able to turn around completed photos in a day or two, but the way we shoot and what the client ends up with, it is impossible.. I know some shooters are able to do this, but not us... We do not go around shooting 8-10 "set up" scenes a day with models and "hand picked" students. 90-95% of what we do is "au natural", so there are a lot of frames shot during the course of a day.. We have been averaging anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 shots a day (before editing, of course). Now multiply that by that by about 55 days of shooting in the last three months or so... You can imagine the volume of digital data that we have been dealing with. We usually carry with us on the road, two laptops with 100 gb storage, in addition to 2 TERABYTES of external harddrive space.. That is an awful lot of data.. Now it is 1:00 am on a Saturday evening (My wife is out of town for the weekend), I've been processing files all day, please forgive my rambling on and on.. We should be able to get everything out the door and on its way to end users by Monday.. If you would be kind enough to share with us the delivery time from your photographers and the amount of images you receive, I would be grateful for any information on how to improve our delivery.. Thanks so much and enjoy the rest of your weekend..

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Rat Race Over! FOR NOW

Well, let me tell you.. If you've been reading the blog, you'd know that we have been extremely busy over the last three months or so... We have had a total of three shooting days off since labor day... We finished up our whirlwind fall tour this afternoon, after spending three days in Manhattan on location... The weather was horrible today, a commute that normally takes 2 hours, took almost 6 hours today... Now the tedious part of the work, we are several days behind in processing and delivering our work to clients... At least with a WEEK off in a row, we will be able to tackle the lionshare of the work and get caught up... Here's a couple shot yesterday on 5th Avenue... To see more of our work goto FJ GAYLOR Photography

Sunday, October 29, 2006

It Keeps on Going

Well, just last week I thought that after spending the last few weeks in Texas, that our fall 2006 tour was coming to an end.. Well I was wrong, we are traveling again all this week and next... Here are a few from late last week in Beaumont, TX at Lamar University... To see more of our viewbook and admissions work goto FJ GAYLOR Photography

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Viewbook Images

Hey everyone, still on the road, posting sporadically... We are on our 15 day tour of Texas... It is coming to an end tomorrow, flying back home Friday morning for the weekend... We leave for a few days in Philly on Monday morning and then the rest of the week in Miami... It has been grueling... Here are a few from the University of North Texas and Lamar University... To see more of our work goto: FJ GAYLOR Photography

Monday, October 23, 2006

Another Week in Texas!!!

Well, it looks as if our "world tour" is winding down, this is the last full week on the road for a while... These past 8 or 9 weeks have been unbelievable.. Way too much fast food, and way, way too much Mexican Food... We still have a full week to go in Texas, and I have told myself that I will not eat anymore beans or rice.... We'll see how long that lasts... Anyway, here are a few from last week that I like... Let us know what you think..

Friday, October 20, 2006

San Antonio Day #2 - Trinity University

Here is one from day two at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX... This place is wonderful, it is very easy on the eye... Very gorgeous to photograph, and for a school it's size (roughly 2,500), there is a huge amount of activity late into the evening.. We have one more day at Trinity, and then off to Denton, TX... Hope you enjoy..

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Still on the Road

Let me start off by telling everyone, that the past 7 weeks have been an absolute blur.. It looks as if we are the "final leg" of our fall tour... We arrived in Dallas this afternoon for the start of a two and a half week stint covering most of Texas... It's going to be a grind, but well worth it.. We are still looking for some help processing and delivering the final product... Anyway, I hope to update as often as possible these next few weeks.. To see more of our work goto FJ GAYLOR Photography

Friday, October 13, 2006


Are you kidding me??? Is this what we have to look forward to for the next 6 months or so in the Northeast.. We were up in Buffalo today shooting at Canisius College, we were supposed to be shooting the great autumn colors of Buffalo, and this is what we ended up with... Nice oranges and reds on the trees this morning until about noon, and I guess this is what they call the "lake effect" snow of Erie... I am from New England, and have lived here my entire life, but each winter seems to get longer and longer as I age... Thank god we don't do a whole lot of work in the Northeast... We are off to Texas for the next three weeks on Sunday.. Talk about a change in climate...

Monday, October 09, 2006

So Much for Keeping up with Posts

Well, about a month ago we embarked on a "whirlwind trip" across the country shooting admissions campaigns... I had said that I would update every evening... As you can see, we have not kept our word... Our apologies.. Here's one from last week that I like... To see the rest of our admissions and viewbook photography goto FJ GAYLOR Photography

Monday, October 02, 2006


Good morning everyone, just wanted to update everyone on what we're doing.. We are in the midst of our first day off, from shooting anyway in the last 4 weeks... Back on the road tomorrow... We have been at the computers non stop all weekend trying to dig out from the last month of shooting... We have taken over 90,000 images since labor day... Editing and processing is a nightmare... As a business this is where we need to somehow come up with a system or cloning device to deliver all our work to clients... Any suggestions to speed up delivery time would be great, keep in mind, sifting through 3-4k images a day... All suggestions will be greatly appreciated... Asiide from that, it has been a great month, we have met some wonderful people and been to some really cool places... Here's one that I really like from Central College in Pella, IA... A bunch of football players, showing their competitive spirit while playing XBOX in their apartment... It doesn't get any grittier than this... To see our entire online gallery of admissions and viewbook photography goto FJ GAYLOR Photography

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

On the Road --- Day 16

We got to sleep past 7:00 this morning for the first time in a while this morning.. We are starting a bit later today.. We have some grad classes to shoot this evening.. To see our entire online gallery goto: FJ GAYLOR Photography

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

On the Road --- Day 14

Well, it has been a while since our last posting, two weeks.... I apologize for that... The last two weeks have been an absolute blur... The next six weeks will also be a blur.. I will try and update as often as I can. We were all over the midwest last week.. We started our week in Des Moines, IA for a few days, on to LaCrosse, WI for a bit and then spent the last three days of the week in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.. It was a great week, we were worked to the bone, but got some great "REAL" stuff. I have posted one of our dorm shots that we took last week.. I really like the "gritty" look of the image.. Nothing in this shot was set-up at all, this is what was happening in one of the freshmen dorms just after lunchtime.. let us know what you think.. To see more of our work goto: FJ GAYLOR Photography

Monday, September 11, 2006

Day One: St. John's University, Queens, NY

As I stated early this morning, our busy season started today... We started off early in Queens, NY at St. John's University... We were there a few days in the spring shooting, what a difference four months make... St. John's has made some major renovations... All the renovations were improvements to cafe's, and dining halls... Great places for kids to enjoy the cmapus experience... Here's one that I like from a couple of students having a snack and enjoying "FACEBOOK".... I think this is what prospective students want to see... to see our entire online gallerey of viewbook and admissions work goto: FJ GAYLOR Photography

Road Trip Begins

Well it is is here... The beginning of our Fall semester "world tour"... That's what it feels like anyway... We are starting a run where we are shooting everyday for the next 8 weeks without a day off... Well weekends and Columbus day anyway... It should be great fun... We are going to be in NYC the next couple of days and then off to the New Jersey shore... Weather is supposedly going to be good, that definitely makes life a bit easier... I hope to be posting daily at night.. To see our entire online gallery of admissions and viewbook photography goto: FJ GAYLOR Photography

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Admissions Blogs

With the recent buzz about the use of admissions blogs in the recruitment process, I just thought I throw my two cents in.. I haven't visited as many as Sam Jackson, but there is one that I read quite often, Room 3-107 - The Blog of Ben Jones, MIT Admissions. Ben is an Admissions Officer and Communications Manager at Cambridge's MIT.. He has some great stuff, that by looking at comments, prospective students really like... Take a look... To see more of our viewbook and admissions photography goto FJ GAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

Viewbook Photography

To see our entire online gallery goto FJ GAYLOR Photography

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Future of Print in Higher Ed

Found an interesting post from Bob Johnson about the future of PRINT in Higher Ed.. let us know what you think.. I would love to see what Sam Jackson and Morgan at Erelevant have to say about this.. To see our entire online portfolio of viewbook and admissions photography goto: FJ GAYLOR Photography

Friday, September 01, 2006

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Admissions Marketing Photography

I have a question for readers.. Hopefully we'll get some decent feedback on this one... Nowadays, most everyone is looking for NATURAL images in most marketing publications... Today's image is completely natural, but it was taken with a wide angle lens, therefore obviously had some "in your face" contact. Do you think prospective students would look at this as a fake or posed image? Any feedback is greatly appreciated.... To see more of our admissions marketing photography goto FJ GAYLOR Photography

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sam Jackson's Mailbox

If you haven't seen it already, talented senior Sam Jackson has posted a great piece on "his findings in his mailbox" upon returning from vacation earlier this week.. It touches on what he thinks of several printed marketing pieces he received from schools.. Enjoy... To see our entire online gallery goto: FJ GAYLOR Photography

Monday, August 28, 2006

Admissions Photography

REAL, REAL, REAL, REAL, REAL, REAL!!!!! Here's one from move-in day today at the University of New Haven... I think you can agree with me on this one... It doesn't get any more real than this one... Just love the emotion and grittiness of this shot.. Let me know what you all think? To see more of our admissions and viewbook photography, goto FJ GAYLOR Photography

Ready for the Busy Season

Well, hope everyone enjoyed their weekend... Ours was soggy in the Northeast, hope others fared better... We were at the University of New Haven the last couple days documenting the class of 2010 Move in Day... We don't typically do this type of thing, but I have to tell you, I had a GREAT time, there was a ton of emotion, on both kids and students... We have a couple more one day shoots this week, a nice long labor day weekend (needed desperately) and then we hit the road for basically the next ten weeks.. We are almost completely booked with the exception of a few days.. We start in Manhattan and then to NJ, IA, WI, MI, MA, CT, TX for a while and then back North.. We can't wait... it's going to by sooo fast.. by the time we know it, it will be Christmas break (argggh)... Anyway here is one of a group of "newbies" at UNH having a great time at a first year, first day event... To see our entire online gallery goto: FJ GAYLOR Photography... Also if you get a chance check out Sam Jackson's wonderful blog on his college admissions process...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Admissions Photography

After getting swept this weekend by the Yankees, it is safe to say that they will not be updating the sign you see on the wall of the Monmouth University Radio Station any time soon... To see our entire online portfolio of admissions and viewbook photography goto FJ GAYLOR Photography

Monday, August 21, 2006

Great Blog on electronic marketing in higher education

Was trolling the net late last week and found a great blog, Erelevant ... It's as Morgan puts it an "off-the-cuff blog about electronic marketing and working within higher education. Articles will focus on marketing and branding through websites and email as well as design and development issues. The theme (if there is one) is the concept of relevance and authenticity—the challenge of always returning to your market for inspiration and direction."