We are reorganizing the website, I apologize, sharing information sometimes means long reads, and some can’t seem to navigate. Those are the ones who didn’t read the manual that came with their car, thus they can’t change a flat. Be patient, we are diligently working on a navigation kit with coloring books and crayons for the sharing impaired. In the meantime use the site guide at the top under informational if you get lost or call me.
My name is Al Jacobson, and I welcome you here. I have been addicted to making/ designing/ tinkering/ blowing up photographic flash products as a super way of keeping happily active for most of my life. My love of photography, both in the front lines shooting and in the industrial end in the lab and partner in a retail store is alive and well. I am still in the elusive hunt for the once in a lifetime shot that keeps me going though I have had several winners, and the search continues. Photographers are hunters, you are stalking an idea, and the challenge keeps you focused and looking for the trophies.
I have another side, my nickname given to me forty something years ago is AKA the GadgetMeister. I am a gadget hound. I welcome you, to peruse this site, I personally make every product by hand and have many things to share, but understand this is a large and diverse site, with products, ideas, challenges, training and knowledge. I made money shooting and quickly learned the greatest assets in this business if you take it seriously (as in food on the table) is simplicity, redundancy, and preparation. If you have to reach for the manual when the bride is having a meltdown, go back to flipping burgers.
When four plus decades ago another brand of pack failed during a Wedding, I decided to make my own battery packs initially with simple designs. Today you have cameras with settings that most pros only utilize 10% of the menu, could care less about the rest, flashes with more modes that light was created for, and battery packs with more bells and whistles and when the shot of a lifetime comes along, you give up, turn the dial to “P” and wing it.
I have been building these packs on a very limited basis for the specialized work of advanced amateurs, paparazzi, wedding shooters and the sports guys for a long long time. Most of my clientele are PROS, they are in the game for renumeration, not idolization. It’s called a making a good living. Those are my customers, they could bring home the bacon with a slingshot.
I am not a forum queen and haven’t got the patience for the rumor mills and useless communication over the latest chip in the Canon or Nikon that will revolutionize some third world country. By the way in case you didn’t know, that latest chip came from SONY and was in Sony cameras six months prior.
I get to commune with some of the greats in the business and an industry that has changed a lot. Some changes for the better and some for the worse but a very high percentage of shooters I deal with don’t need half the stuff thrown into the new models of camera flashes and packs today.
For the products I build and sell, I like it simple, no big sales, no glitzy stuff, no-pop-ups, surveys, sign-ups, no carts, no nothing, except knowledge and ideas to help you survive in the photographic industry. My goal is to get you thinking, simplifying the job and perhaps helping you to make some money. My mantra is K.I.S.S. "Keep it simple stupid”.
It didn’t make me rich, if I had paid myself, I would be broke. It didn’t start that way. I’m a shooter, over 400+ Weddings, hundreds of corporate and charity events. I write in a heavy handed Brooklyn NY way, I post seven websites from Weddings to Politics, Food Critic, been there done that, two are industry only.
So why build packs? At my age, over seven decades plus nine months for my conception, the building and inventing keeps the mind going, prevents depression, the arthritic joints moving and the phone ringing, I’ll never retire, retirement is a first step to leaving this world.
SECTION ONE - PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
The PRODUCTS AND SERVICES tab explains what I offer in products and services, terms of pricing of battery packs, brackets, cable shortening, and so forth. If you want to order a battery pack please consult the Flash Charts tab to order the correct cable for your flash. With information in hand you go back to How to Order. Things you should know this is not a AA powered or cheap lIthium setup.
• If word of the BLACK BOX, or the cure for the fumbling, inadequate, inconsistent use of AA batteries got you here, you are saved. Remember, the shot of the year when the flower girl kissed the ring bearer got caught on fifty cellphones and you missed it when you were changing AA cells, you are in the right place. My Black Box is a long distance high capacity pack. It is designed for the shooter who needs high capacity in time and shot counts. Sports, forensic, commercial recording, thats my market.
• This section deals with products I designed and built to be simple and rugged. The Black Box, is a PRO series, and the smaller Tuxedo, are cost efficient power packs for the most common strobes on the market today, and also fit many legacy units. And they survive a myriad of crashes, bangs, dings, and dents, falls and being driven over and still keep working. try that with that thousand dollar rig you bought.
• Long legs as we say in aviation, It easily handles a Wedding or sports event, a day in Forensics and other commercial applications. My pack is built to work day after day, a capacity almost double most others on the market and charges back within four hours and ready to work the next day. Day after Day.
• It comes standard with airline caps, belt holder, shoulder tabs and a Euro Charger good anywhere in the world with a simple plug changer.
• This gear is different in it’s Chemistry. Both in process and performance from the cheaper methodology like NiMH powered packs composed of AA batteries you take out and refill. Isn't that what you wanted to get away from? Bumbling, fumbling, unpredictable, AA cells.
• Lithium AA cells are better but still not right. Just ask Boeing and your cellphone supplier about Lithium. On the other side most pro gear is too expensive period. 80% of the top money in this game is probably shared by less than 20% of the folks trying to make it. I build for the 20%.
THE SECOND SECTION: MAKING MONEY IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS
THE FREE WEDDING BOOK, EVENT SHOOTER and BUSINESS GUIDE
For forty plus years and over 400 weddingsI learned a lot from the Brides I shot. From those with resplendent tears of joy to those whose glowing red pustules where the eyes were must have been, truly the daughters of the underling Mephistopheles.
Many who were so far gone from reality should of been best shot with the telephoto lens mounted on a Winchester 338 Mag with either Lapua's or Barnes best. Nevertheless you are the contractee and they are the boss even though it is the Brides first big day on the job.
Lets hope it’s not your last. The Wedding Book for Beginners and Pros alike contains sections on business and practice for the new and used Photographer. You learn a lot in half a century. I am an intersection of knowledge picked up from photographers all over the world. It's amazing and rewarding how freely they offer good advice which I readily share, usually with a touch of humor and sarcasm added.
You say you have no sense of humor, then go read the phone book. I will tell you what I think and it will be truthful, no manufacture owns me and a few would like me to go away. It's ingrained for me to slam shams and scams. I write columns and blogs on bad food and bad people. Mostly politicians, and TV religious false prophets who steal from Grandmas for profits, and all those things you talk about at the water cooler you weren't supposed to. So bad photo gear comes easy to write about and twice a month at the pistol range gives me a certain air of confidence and safety.
The Wedding guide and Business Plan are updated daily. It is a lot of information. Better to read it, learn about the forces, mental, chemical, and physical effecting this trial of your patience, rather than have to pay a shrink when you have a breakdown. It explains the people structure and the pitfalls, what to look out for and how to prepare to be smarter than the "Bridezilla's" of today.
The Wedding Guide shares those thoughts and ideas I started scribbling down years ago. In structure, its alive, because Weddings haven’t changed, only some bad actors debuting for their roles on “ Bad Girls” or some other “Kardashian Style Reality” show. But it’s not all about them, the second section is the most complete series of both mental structuring, and good business sense to succeed in this business for YOU, or any other endeavor for that matter.
Much of it came from field training I had access to, wrote much of it and practiced for a large corporation which is still in business. The number one failure in the Wedding-Event game is you. Prospecting for new clients probably stopped after you shot your cousins Wedding. The business is like farming, don't plant seed, don't expect a crop.
The third section of the guide is really pointers on gear and will be expanded significantly. No, I do not waste my time doing a review on the big threes latest model since it really wont do anything spectacular and is nothing more usually than a breadboard or chip change. I see a lot of dumb trends being pushed missing the whole thing about Weddings, it's not about you, it’s not about what brand you use, it's about the bride. The gear you select and use are tools, in the hands of a buffoon, they are useless, expensive toys that won't save you, it's the simple ideas and backups that work under stress conditions. I cringe and slam idiot wedding photographers who print on the cards that they use Nikon or Canon. Not the sign, nor work this of a pro. It’s a sign the noob had nothing better to say about his work.
THE THIRD SECTION : YOU CAN "DO-IT YOURSELF”
A guide for " Do it Yourself " with great inexpensive products you can build yourself that work as well as the commercial overpriced stuff does. I love dreaming this stuff up. It’s humor for me. I am a student of simplicity with advanced and doctorate degrees from Ace Hardware, Lowes and Home Depot.
I find overpriced crap on the web all the time and with some findings and common everyday tools you can build inexpensive gizmos to make your life easier. From box holder to flash gear you might just have what you need sitting in your house, the tricks are "exposed" and many may be just the thing you need in an emergency.
For most, all you will need are Allen wrenches, actually one 3/16, a 7/16 box wrench, a pair of pliers, you get the idea. Don't have any knowledge of these tools, ask your wife, obviously she must be the one who fixes the things around the house.
Newer technology and always improving, we went back to the drawing board and while maintaining our standards in Gizmology, we are now able to offer offer the New Heavier Light Stand adapters for Black Boxes and Tuxedos. Cheap!
THE FOURTH SECTION: INFORMATIONAL
Here is my relaxation, just the fun stuff, feedback, incredibly great people I have had the fortune to meet, and much off the wall sometimes things I see and hear in the industry that I can rant about. The great folks I have had the privilege of being with and information it won’t hurt you to know something about.
Also breaking news from my reporter at Photokina, our on the job rover. NIKON Collectors, there is a page on Nikon Rangefinders with bodies, lenses, and accessories for sale. Almost anything can wind up in this section.
Disclaimers and Safe Browsing
This website and my online free book “The Guide To Weddings” has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and we make no claims it will cure any disease, or malady caused by shooting photos’s at Weddings or at worst someone from the wedding shooting you. No photographers, brides, grooms, horses, sheep or canines were injured during the writing of this book and if you cannot afford an attorney, my nephew will be available at the usual exaggerated attorney fees for malpractice cases so I can get my cut. We use two, sometimes three ICONS to represent certain circumstance.
"DIGGER" INDICATES UNDER CONSTRUCTION
NO SMOKE NO BULLSH*T - You are about to get truth.
Thoughts Deader than Casey's Balls
>>>>>> SOME OF MY OTHER WEB SITES <<<<<<
POLITICS, SEX, and RELIGION EXPOSED
Things not spoken about except at the water cooler"
FOOD, FODDER and FOIE GRAS IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY
"How to get thrown out as a food critic, tell the truth"
THE CENTRAL COMMAND MEMORIAL
ACCURATE PLATING and WEAPONRY
"Professional Factory Gunsmithing and Plating"
DIAL INDICATOR REPAIR
"Make your Indicator like New"
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