A Professional Photography Business Providing Complete Studio & Location Services

Sandusky & Bellevue Studios In Northern Ohio



Advantages for our customers

Before you commit to any photographer, check out their business. Have they been in business long enough to know what they are doing? Are they schooled in the type of photography you are looking for? If you are having indoor studio photography, do they actually have an indoor studio that offers more than just a small room with a couple of drape backgrounds? Or do they depend mainly on outdoors in perfect weather for their portraits. Will they show up on time, or at all for your wedding? Will they deliver what they promise? Remember, a part-time or new photographer may be learning their craft on your session, what if it dosen't turn out the way you want it to?

We at Firelands Photography have worked hard for many years to be the best professional photographers possible. Here are some of our qualifications.

Ownership- Firelands Photography has been owned by it's originators, Doug and Cindy Klein since 1989. The following are some of the ways they are constantly improving their services to you.

Doug and Cindy receive continous education in all aspects of the photography business. Areas covered are: photographic techniques, corrective posing, corrective lighting, outdoor fill and main lighting, executive portraiture, facial analysis, and too many more to list. This means your photographers have the latest education and techniques to make your session the best it can be. They have studied under reknowned photograhers such as Don Blair, Monte Zucker, Robert Hughes, Larry Peters, Bruce Hudson, David Peters, Dennis Reggie (of Kennedy Wedding fame), Philip Stewart Charis, David Ziser and tons more.

Equipment- The best professional equipment is the best insurance against equipment failures and shortcomings. We use Nikon professional cameras, lenses, and flashs along with specialty equipment from Metz, Tamron, Vivitar, Kenko, Sekonic, and many more.

Firelands Photography has provided professional photography for over 20 years. There are a lot of ways to screw up in this business and we've made most of the mistakes already. Its important to not repeat the same mistake again. That can't be said of a newer photographer that dosen't even know what the mistake is yet, much less how to avoid it in the first place. There are still mistakes to make but we work very hard to minimize them if they happen and to avoid them altogether.

The same goes for photographing just about anything. We have photographed just about everything. Our experience with photographing a jet engine in a crane in Cincinnati can be applied to outdoor senior photography. Or a wedding in a park. Or an Amtrak car being moved in Erie, Pa. Everytime we do something different, we learn from it. Those lessions learned help us do a better job no matter what the next project is.

We have invested in a comfortable studio in downtown Sandusky for portrait photography. It has an inviting lobby with lots of charm and a private dressing room. The camera room occupies the back half of the studio and is equipped with a high key white cove end for all white backgrounds, numerous 10x20 drapes in all colors and styles and even a few scenics; store-bought and custom-made props for posing and several elegant canvas backgrounds. We also use a professional background projection system with backgrounds from all over the world, many which we've created ourselves just for variety. I don't know of any other studio with that kind of choices.

The studio features a rail lighting system which allows us to move our lights all over the place without stands or cords getting in the way. We use many different light modifiers to change the look from super-soft portraits to extremely hard advertising looks similar to the look of the 30's and 40's. The rail system gives us the freedom to position lights exactly where we want them to bring out your best features and minimize any imperfections. In doing this we will sometimes use up to 7 lights in different configurations. After all, this is professional photography, not just some hobby!

We also maintain a commercial studio in downtown Bellevue which is where we photograph large products and make setups for customers. We also do much of our production there. It is a building we own and where we started.

Your outdoor sessions will use custom reflectors, portable flash lighting, reflections off buildings, and sometimes powerful continuous lighting in many variations. The goal is for proper, natural lighting that looks something like you would get on a hollywood set with tons of crew and lighting equipment. Somewhat similar to what we acheive in the studio but on location.

Indoor location photography for large groups or families usually means portable studio equipment with lighting that is balanced with the existing lighting for a natural look. This also means fairly slow shutter speeds requiring the use of a tripod for consistancy. You can't get predictable professional results without using professional equipment!

Doug is a Photoshop Artist and does most of the retouching and artwork in-house. He has been educated by some of the finest Photoshop artists nationwide, including Eddie Tapp, Don Emmerich (yes, brother of Roland Emmerich, director of 2012 and Independence Day), Scott Kelby, Jane Conner-Ziser, and many more over the years.

The Education advantage- Firelands Photography continously receives professional development from the following organizations:

Senior Photographers International - Member since 1998, Attend yearly conferences with about a thousand other photographers researching new trends in senior portraiture.

Professional Photographers of Ohio - Members since 1994, attend bi-yearly conferences and participate in seminars in photographic techniques and business management.

Professional Photographer Society of Ohio - Member since 2005. An invitation only, professional photographers membership, encourages education and idea exchange among its members.

AerialPro- Professional Aerial photography Member and participating in providing aerial photography for other aerial photographers

The following organizations continue to provide education for our photography, business management, and studio operations.

Professional Photographers of America

PPNO- Professional Photographers of Northwest Ohio

Sonopp- Society of Northeast Ohio Professional Photographers

Triangle Photographers Association- covers Ohio, Pennslyvania, and West Virginia for education.

A Timeline of Firelands Photography

Continuous improvements to our facilities and equipment (or what it takes to run a proper professional studio...)

2011- Camera upgrade to a 5th generation Nikon 18mpx body that also features extremely quiet operation and full High Definition video. All Fuji cameras are sold. Hard to believe but all professional film cameras are gone!

2009- Camera upgrade to 5th generation Nikon 12mpx body and an extremely high resolution 28mpx Hasselblad camera system is sourced for commercial and aerial photography. A 24" wide format printer is purchased to provide quick turn-around for commercial and aerial imaging and for canvas wrap prints. Incorporated Nikon's remote flash technology for multiple lighting with portable flash.

2008- Rail lighting system is installed in Sandusky camera room allowing fast lighting movement and positioning. New, extreme range telephoto lens combines many zoom ranges into one lens for fast action at weddings and extreme views with seniors.

2007- Complete Hasselblad medium format camera system is (sadly) traded in one 3rd generation digital camera body.

2006- Backup Nikon Digital Camera Body is purchased.

2005- 3rd Generation Fuji S3 Digital Camera body is purchased with extended exposure range. Extremely wide angle zoom lens is purchased primarily for architectural interiors.

2004- New, high speed laser printer added for literature and mailings. Long, fast telephoto lens is added.

2003- 2nd generation Fuji S2 Digital camera body is purchased upping resolution to 6mpx. 8mm fisheye lens added for extreme looks. Firelands adds commercial architectural photography to offerings.

2001- Purchased professional level printer for proofs and comps and laser printer for office and sales literature.

2000- First Fuji S1 Professional Digital camera is purchased, 3mpx and used primarily for Seniors. Instant previews in the camera room are finally possible. Fast normal zoom lens is purchased.

1998- Sandusky Studio is established in one of Ruth Parker's renovated buildings where it exists today. Large camera room is equipped primarily for portrait use.

1996- Large quantity of studio and location equipment, mostly lighting, is purchased to allow photographing in numerous areas of Bellevue studio.

1995- Background projection system is purchased for commercial and senior photography. Doug starts creating custom background slides from locations they visit. Wide format, wide angle Fuji 6x9cm camera is purchased for scenics and panoramas.

1993- Joined Professional Photographers of Ohio, one of the best affiliations available for education and professional development.

1992- Bronica cameras are exchanged for highly acclaimed Hasselblad camera systems.

1991- Large quantity of studio and location equipment is purchased to expand the studio's offerings. 4x5 Linhof View camera system also purchased.

1990- a storefront was purchased and converted into the Bellevue Studio. A large camera room was constructed with high ceilings. This is currently used primarily for commercial and product photography where sets can be left up without being in the way of our portrait studio. The Kleins started their full-time Professional Photography business. Professional Bronica cameras are purchased.

1988- Doug & Cindy started photographing weddings for friends and relatives.

Pre 1988- Doug provided commercial and aerial photograpy for several area businesses.

Why do we use the term Professional Photographer so much? It seems that our concept of a photographer is Ashton Cutcher shooting a wedding with a new camera and getting great results. Sort of like the person that jumps onto a stage and is an instant star in a rock band. Or the glee club that can come up with a new program an hour before their most important competition.

To provide our customers with consistant, repeatable portraiture takes a huge investment in time, money, and dedication. It dosen't happen overnight, or by yourself. As you can see, a lot of education goes into it. And tons of experience.

The term "Professional Photographer" means that person earns more than 50% of their income from photography. We take it to another level. We believe that being a Professional Photographer means a dedication to our customer in that we do everything we can to supply them with the excellent images they expect at reasonable prices they can afford.

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 Copyright © 1996-2011 Firelands Photography  Thank you to all of our customers who allow us to publish images from their sessions.  If you do not want your image to appear, please e-mail us immediately.  Thanks!