Case Study JD Stairs & Metal

Architectural Photography
Product Photography

JD Stairs is a Las Vegas based business specializing in building custom stairs and other high-end metal fabrication work.

Updated: 
April 9, 2023

JD Stairs needed professional imagery for their website portfolio, social media marketing efforts and for submissions to national architectural design competitions.

Our goal was to professionally and convincingly demonstrate JD Stairs' luxurious, artistic and expertly handcrafted custom stair solutions.

Over the course of 5 years and more than 20 productions, we've created over 500 unique images highlighting the artistic creations of JD Stairs.

JD Stairs has since evolved from a small specialty fabrication firm to being recognized nationally for their expert metalsmithing work.

All of JD Stairs’ projects are top notch and often located in multi-million dollar residences. Special attention has to be paid to highlighting the quality in the materials and craftsmanship. Additionally consideration has to be put into the best time of day to shoot, many projects only allow for limited access so choosing the right time is a big part of getting the best result.

Deliverables

Summary

JD Stairs is a custom fabrication and build solutions company located in Las Vegas, NV. They specialize in handcrafted custom stairs with luxurious and artistic designs. With the introduction of their website portfolio and social media marketing efforts, it was necessary to document their wide range of projects as well as submit media to national architectural design competitions. They needed help to achieve these goals and reached out for assistance from our production team.

Over the course of five years and more than 20 productions, we’ve created over 500 unique images that highlighted JD Stairs' expert fabrication and metalsmithing work. These images have been used on both the website portfolio and social media pages which helped to generate more sales and recognition for the company. They also used the images to enter national architectural design competitions which in turn earned them even more recognition and respect in their field of work.

With our content JD Stairs was able to increase their visibility both locally and nationally. What started out as a small custom stair fabrication firm has quickly evolved into one of Las Vegas’ premier builders. The portfolio, social media marketing efforts, product documentation, and media submissions were all key elements of success that helped propel JD Stairs to where it is today - a respected leader in the home design and fabrication community.

The success achieved by JD Stairs serves as an example of what can be accomplished when you combine creative thinking with hard work. Although our production team played a vital role in this success, it was ultimately JD Stairs' dedication and passion for their craft that made it possible to reach the heights they have achieved today.

It has been amazing to see the growth that has occurred over the past five years, and I can only imagine what will come next as JD Stairs continues down its successful path.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you offer services aside from photography?

Yes.

We offer additional services such as photo editing, retouching, graphic design, web design (we built this very website), SEO, social media management and more.

We also offer branding, marketing, and advertising consulting to help you create and maintain a cohesive visual identity.

Where are you located? Can you come to me?

Las Vegas. Yes.

While I often serve resort and hospitality clients in Las Vegas, I accept projects from all around the world across a variety of styles including architecture, lifestyle, product, food, corporate and even construction projects.

How do I know I'm getting what I want/need? Can I be involved in the creative process?

Yes, you're the producer, I'm the director.

You (or your coordinator) can be involved in each stage of the process, from pre-production to the photoshoot and into post-production. During the actual shooting/filming, media can be shown on a monitor in real time so we all know we’re going in the right direction.

For those who prefer a more hands-off approach, we can schedule virtual a conference call over Zoom or Google Meet to review art direction, creative, model usage, etc.

Can I share the cost of a photoshoot with my partners?

Yes.

If your project is a collaboration between multiple companies or organizations, you can split the hard costs of a production and pay usage/licensing fees just for the specific needs of your company. 

This is a great way to divide expenses and get the highest photography production for a fraction of the price.

Let me know if you'd like to discuss Cost Sharing or if your project involves any government agencies, NGOs, political affiliations etc.

Do you only work with large companies/resorts?

No.

We love working with businesses of all sizes and budgets. We understand the importance for EVERY business to have impactful visuals to help them attract customers. We even offer specialized packages for startups or entrepreneurs on a budget.

I have a general idea of what I'd like, but want to leave the creative work to the professionals, is that ok?

Yes.

While we always encourage your involvement, we are professionals and with a well thought out and detailed plan we can be left to do what we always do best.

Note: Even when a project is left to our team to make key art direction decisions, we may still request your feedback.

I don't have a big budget, can I still get "big-budget" media? How is the pricing calculated?

Yes.

Smaller businesses pay less. Larger businesses pay more.

The scope of use is a major contributing factor in how creative work is priced; a small startup will have less reach than a global corporation and thus pays less to license the same work.

I price projects based on the creative and production needs, in combination with the specific use of the imagery. In other words, while a small business may not have the marketing or advertising budget to book models, props, and large scale venues, the deliverables I provide will still match the technical quality and expertise of a large big-budget corporate production.

If you have concerns about budgeting, contact me and we'll discuss possibilities.

What types of businesses typically hire a commercial photographer?

All of them.

Any business that needs high-quality visuals to promote their products or services can benefit from working with a commercial photographer. We work with a wide range of industries, including retail, hospitality, fashion, real estate, and more.

Why do I need commercial photography?

Time.

Today, people value their time more than ever and are making buying decisions faster then ever. Professional commercial photography can help businesses cut through the noise and effectively showcase their products or services in the best possible light, significantly impacting purchasing decisions.

How long does it take to get my photos/videos?

2 weeks, typically.

Your photos and videos are typically delivered within 10 business days of the last shoot day. However, this process can be expedited if needed - don't forget to mention it when you submit your request for an estimate. Just remember... there's an age-old saying about quality, speed, and price... and while we strive to provide all three, there is a harmony to maintain.

Note: More dynamic projects, where the post-production process involves many decisions, may take more time to deliver.

Can you do aerial/drone projects? Are you licensed and insured?

Yes and yes.

I am licensed with the FAA, follow all airspace regulations, and carry full liability coverage for all commercial drone flights.

I also have experience with traditional helicopter-aerial projects for more specialized imagery or if we need to shoot from higher altitudes that are unavailable to drone based services.

Can you service ongoing/recurring clients?

Yes.

We have a talented team of individuals that assist with ongoing marketing, advertising, design, social media, web and other adjacent services.

What sets a “commercial photographer” apart from other photographers?

Experience.

Commercial photography, as with any specialty, requires its own unique set of skills, abilities and experience. From balancing light to working with perspective it takes years of training and practice to perfect all the nuances of commercial photography.

One of the key differences between a commercial photographer and other photographers, such as a real estate photographer, is their ability to capture images that effectively convey a message or tell a story that also matches the voice and tone of an existing brand.

My business has a "brand/look" that we want to maintain, can your content match what we already have?

Yes.

I can take directive from examples of either (a) your current brand/look or (b) the brand/look you would like to emulate. The more branding and identity you have already established, the clearer our objective as photographers will be, and thus the better the entire project will turn out for you.

I don't understand, what makes commercial photography different from just hiring a photographer for a day?

Quality.

While my aim is to make every final photograph look simple, natural, and effortless — that’s rarely the fact.

A well executed photograph involves balancing many factors such as composition, lighting, styling, blending and retouching, it’s a lot of problem solving that comes with experience.

In addition, commercial photography involves collaboration with clients, art directors, marketing teams, and other professionals to bring their vision to life.

I have never hired a photographer before, where do I start?

Plan ahead.

Before inquiring, you should have a good idea of (a) how soon will you need the project done (b) whereabouts will the work take place and (c) what are some examples of what you want to achieve. It is also helpful to know who on your team will be the key decision maker/tie breaker, who will be the primary point of contact before, during, and after the shoot, and how much staff you have available to assist with the production process.

For the more detail oriented, feel free to review the AIA Best Practices Guide. Once you have a good idea of what your project might look like, give me a call at or shoot me an email to continue the planning process.

How much advance notice do I need to book a project?

2-4 weeks, ideally.

Commercial photography shoots can often take weeks of planning and preparation with very tight running schedules and deadlines. By providing as much advance notice as possible, we are better able to schedule and prepare for your shoot in a professional and reliable way.

Do I own the rights to the photos taken by a commercial photographer?

Typically, no.

ALL clients get a lifetime unlimited license to use the photos; ownership of the photos is based on client needs and budget.

Ultimately, it depends on the contract and agreement we make for your specific project.

More likely, you (the client) will have the rights to use the photos for your intended purposes, but we (the photographer) retain ownership and have the right to use them in our portfolio or for marketing purposes.

How many photos will I get?

As many as you want.

There are many factors that go into the shot count and the yield depends heavily on the size and complexity of the project considering the styling, staging, lighting, models, permits/access, and other logistical needs.

For example, a mixed-day shoot with a few high value photographs and a package of social media / detail shots would provide more quantity, but overall less quality and vice verse.

When in doubt: Plan out your media needs (shot list) ahead of time and we will ensure the most important shots are prioritized.

What services do you provide?

We make photos and videos.

We create photography and media of architecture spaces, food and beverage, product and retail, lifestyle and editorial and skilled drone/aerial coverage.

How do you and your team work? What is the process?

One step at a time.

I have a simple 4 stage process, starting right here, based on the details you provide. (1) I’ll create an estimate tailored to your specific needs. (2) We schedule a pre-production meeting and arrange a location scout. (3) Take great photos, shoot awesome videos, and have some fun. Lastly, (4) Select final images/videos, retouch until perfect, and format for your specific use.

This entire process can often be achieved in as little as a fews days upon request but generally are delivered within 2 weeks, depending on the size and scope of the project. However, the only way to ensure a project is completed within a deadline and budget is to assess a full scope of work in as much detail as possible.

Visit my contact page to request a detailed estimate.