Orthotown magazine cover

Cover of Orthotown magazine featuring Dr. Jason Hartman.

The Creative Director at Orthotown Magazine contacted me to shoot a feature profiling Dr. Jason Hartman, DMD, MS of Sparks Orthodontics. Orthotown is a B2B trade magazine published by Farran Media. Sparks Orthodontics currently consists of ten locations throughout Central and Eastern Pennsylvania. My job was to take readers on a visual tour of the practice.

Patient area at orthodontists.

Patient area at Spark Orthodontics.

I began by shooting architectural details in the morning before the practice opened to the public. The bright and modern decor helps to differentiate Spark from other practices. I also used this time to determine the best location for the cover shot of Dr. Hartman and to set up lighting.

Upon Dr. Hartman’s arrival we jumped right into shooting the cover portrait.  I had to make sure to leave plenty of space above and around him for the masthead and cover lines.  When I was satisfied we had several options I struck the lights and moved to the waiting room where we did the staff shot.

Staff photo at Spark Orthodontics

Staff photo at Spark Orthodontics in Schnecksville, PA.



When the practice opened to the public my approach became more photojournalistic. I documented the doctor’s interaction with patients and staff. I also did equipment shots as Spark are often early adopters of new technology.

It was pleasure working with Dr. Hartman and his staff. From the time I spent there It was obvious that they cared for their patients and enjoyed their profession. We should all be so fortunate.



See more of my editorial work.

scanner at orthodontist

Patient in scanner at orthodontist’s office.

Orthodontist and patient

Spark Orthodontics in Schnecksville, PA


            A recent editorial shoot sent me to The Sugar House Casino in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia. The client  arranged for us to photograph casino employees in three different locations within the Casino. The first in the restaurant, one in the high rollers area and one on the deck overlooking the Delaware river. 

            In our phone conversation the art director expressed concerns about the varied light sources in the casino so we decided to scout the location together beforehand. His fears were well founded. There were lights of many different color temperatures and the front and back walls were glass, which would add daylight to the mix.
            I suggested that rather than arriving mid-day as originally scheduled, we push the shoot back to early evening.  We could start with the shot on the deck while the sun was still up. I could position our subjects so the sunlight was hitting them from the side and behind then all I had to do was cross light them in front. I used a beauty dish, as they are more stable than umbrellas or softboxes when working outside in the wind. By the time we were ready to shoot inside the sun would be down and I would have one less color temperature to deal with.
            The second shot was two people seated at a table in the restaurant.  I was able to light them with a 4×6 softbox off to one side and fill them with a ringflash from camera position. The hardest part was staying out the way of the servers as they exited the kitchen with trays of food.
            The third and final shot was to be taken in the “High Rollers” area in the middle of the gaming floor.  Our contact at the casino expressed concerns that our strobes might upset some of the patrons. Taking his concerns into consideration, I rented an LED light kit as continuous lighting would be less distracting.  The LED panels were daylight balanced, I covered each with a full CTO gel to match the tungsten room lighting. I wanted to shoot at the lowest ISO possible so I used an umbrella adapter with a stud on each end, to attach two panels together, doubling the output. This fixture would be my main light. As the LED’s were battery powered there was no need to plug anything in. Because they were lightweight they could be handheld so there was no need for light stands.
            My assistant held the main light high to camera right while the art director held another panel behind and camera left to separate our subjects from the background. This combination was just enough light. Using a zoom lens at 24mm wide open at f/4, I had enough depth of field to render my subjects and  foreground in focus. Image stabilization took the worry out of shooting handheld at 1/15th of a second. Only minor noise reduction would be needed at ISO 800. 

            We got what we needed in a matter of minutes with no complaints despite the fact that there was a table full of “high stakes” poker players just out of frame to our right.

           The casino was built on the site of the old Jack Frost Sugar Refinery, hence the name Sugar House.

                           Philadelphia EditorialPhotographer | Addison Geary

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          A few months ago I had the pleasure of photographing Charles Branas for Penn Medicine Magazine. Dr. Branas is a professor of epidemiology and is director of Penn’s Cartographic Modeling Lab. He has been conducting research demonstrating that cleaning up and greening vacant lots reduces violent crime.
            I was asked to photograph him alone in a vacant lot, with members of his staff in the cartography lab and to shoot a basic headshot. I had about a week before I had to deliver the photos so I scheduled three separate sessions rather than try to shoot everything at once. I decided to do the headshot first as it would require the least amount of co-ordination and it would allow Dr. Branas and I to get to know each other. In addition I could learn more about his work, discuss the vacant lot shoot, and scout the lab.
            I met Dr. Branas at his office and after moving some furniture I set up a backdrop, two lights and a reflector. We talked about his research as I shot a series of fairly straightforward headshots that could work for the feature but were generic enough to be used for other purposes as well.
            While I was setting up I couldn’t help but notice a large laminated map of Philadelphia hanging on the wall. I knew it would make a good backdrop not only visually but content wise so when I felt I had a good selection of headshots I asked Dr. Branas to sit in front of it.  As the map was laminated placing lights in front of it was out of the question so I used a strip light off to one side and had Dr. Branas turn toward it.  A white wall opposite the strip light ,provided just enough fill that I only needed one light.
            While I’m sure the other headshots will be used somewhere the above photo was used full page as the opener. For my own reference as well as your consideration, here are some takeaways from the relatively simple session.
Shoot what your client asks for first, then shoot what you want.
Study the work of other photographers. The morning before the shoot I had watched a video of Joe McNally shooting portraits with a strip light.
Leave room for type. Like an art director once told me, “Frame it the way you want then back up.”
If you have the time and the creative freedom, why try to cram everything into one session?

Feel free to leave a comment if you can think anything else.

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