My name is Al Jacobson, I have been 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, over 50 years, and the elusive hunt for the once in a lifetime shot keeps me going. I think photography when one uses it as a form of expression is like hunting. You are stalking an idea, a theme or an occasion and the challenge keeps you focused and looking for the trophies.
It can have a calming effect in retirement, it keeps the hands working, legs moving, and the slightly better food on the table. I am in the "Golden years", believe me, those are the years you give all the gold you might of had to the doctors.
I have been building on a very limited basis for the specialized work of advanced amateurs, paparazzi, wedding shooters and the sports guys for a long time. It didn’t make me rich, like most hobbyists it never became a full time job, but richer in the sense when your hobby allows you to meet some very special people and fiddle the music you like.
I like simple, easy to use, gear that works, and thats why I made my own battery packs initially. I like simple designs. I and I like to share ideas with others. This website has four sections and it is big because I am a shooter, a designer, a teacher and I have opinions, some you will like and some you won’t.
It’s through the sharing of ideas with great photographers that is my form of social media. No Farce-book, no Nit-twits, just good friends and the occasional project started, by my friend. Travel, I'm in, and it is true social media. We will be the media and we will socialize thousands of miles away doing what photographers like to do… taking images...see the sidebar.
FOUR MAIN WEBSITE SECTIONS
A] MY PRODUCTS - THE BLACK BOX
This section deals with products I designed and built for myself to be simple and rugged.
The Black Box, and the smaller Tuxedo are power packs for the most common strobes on the market today, and also fit many legacy units. Fifty plus years ago I made my first packs. Crude bags holding conglomerations with telephone, RC, lamp and hobby parts.
If word of the BLACK BOX, or the cure for the fumbling, inadequate, inconsistent use of AA batteries got you here, you are saved.
You are in the right place. I built the Black Boxes because I had a need and I share these upgrades with others.
But this gear is different. 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.
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. In one year alone 8,000 new wedding photographers signed up with one of the professional organizations. When registration lists were checked two years later about the same number had dropped out. It can be a tough game when you are the one on the stage or podium and just realized you can’t sing...
Just the cold fact of most business’s that involve sales. Oh, I'm sorry, you are a photographer and not into sales. I have heard this one many times. Definitely your career will be short lived and just when you need to get started or get ahead, you will blow more money on something else you think you need when you don't and you should have been prospecting. Part C deals with this is as a business.
Hints: The wife starts to look at you like you need rehab. I started building these boxes for the Wedding and Event work I was doing, being a basically frugal individual. I wanted unlimited power and from one resource. And I wasn't about to go broke before I got started.
B] PRODUCTS - 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.
Just the local hardware store and common everyday tools 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, box wrenches, a pair of pliers, you get the idea. Don't have any knowledge of these tools, ask your wife, obviously she fixes the things around the house.
We do have small inexpensive accessories we make when there isn’t any football on TV. And we are constantly improving.
Newer technology and the fact we ran out of the older parts called lollipops, 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.
One Heavier duty part, from CLIP.com, one 3000lb rivet, shrink tubing, one chrome not cheap clamp Wing nut, and two backing plates complete the project just as before. But it is now stronger, better nicer, newer, and almost indestructible. This will be the standard for 2014. Your cost $12.00 Each. $5.15 shipping up to three in one box, no shipping tariff when ordered with the Black box.
C] THE WEDDING BOOK and BUSINESS GUIDE
The Wedding Book for Beginners and Pros alike which contains sections on business and practice for the new Photographer. You learn a lot in 55 years. I am an intersection of knowledge picked up from photographers all over the world. It's amazing how freely they offer good advice which I readily share, usually with a touch of humor and sarcasm.
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 all those things you talk about at the water cooler you weren't supposed to. So bad photo gear comes easy…
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 writing about over fifty 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 Reality” show.
The second section is the most complete series of both mental structuring, and good business sense to succeed in this business or any other for that matter.
Much of it came from field training I wrote 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 is really pointers on gear and will be expanded significantly. I see a lot of dumb trends being pushed missing the whole thing about Weddings, it's not about you, it's about the bride. The gear you select and use are tools, in the hands of a buffoon, they are useless, expensive toys won't save you, it's the simple ideas and tricks that work under stress conditions.
D] TRAVEL - GERMANY - PHOTOGRAPHERS ONLY (SEE SIDEBAR)
Almost a year ago when Tom told me of this idea, I thought he was loosing it. But as a friend, co-worker, and fellow trade show traveler for thirty years, we can call each others ideas crazy or nuts all the time. Nothing personal, we kick things around a lot, OK I delved in.
As things came together, and as I helped with the research on Germany and the construction of this site, I realized there is a lot more to this trip and its structure. While this part of my website will not possibly cover everything in the works at this time, we will try to keep it as up to date as possible.
Almost everything is locked in, we have the necessary confirmations. Systems are go. Read the whole thing, I had others tell me in the travel industry, asking how did he pull it off… An agent friend told me this on a single basis would almost be double and wouldn't include some of the bennies offered.
This website and the book on 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 at Weddings or at worst someone from the wedding shooting you.
No photographers, brides, grooms, horses 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
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